Many small and medium-sized businesses use Xero to manage their daily bookkeeping as well as their wider business operations. But what are the benefits of using Xero, and what are the benefits of moving accounting to the cloud? Managing Director Greg Bestwick answers the questions.
Accounts in the cloud
Xero is a cloud-based application, meaning that all the accounting systems and processes a business owner needs are accessible over the Internet, rather than directly from their computer. Cloud-based accounting opens the door to multiple benefits:
- User-friendly features and interfaces
- Cost savings and scalability
- Best-in-class integrations
- Security and disaster recovery
- Easy collaboration
Let’s look at each in a bit more detail.
User-friendly accounting from anywhere
From first login to daily use, Xero makes accounting easy.
A personally configurable dashboard provides an overview of all key business metrics from one place, including bank balances, outstanding payments and cash flow breakdown. The app is simple to navigate and highly customisable, with options to use default features or create fully bespoke layouts and wording for invoices, quotes, statements and other documents. And with the ability to attach files to bills and other cost entries, Xero can act as an all-in-one solution to accounting and online filing.
A final usability bonus worth noting is the app’s accessibility and mobility. Xero can be accessed online via a web browser as well as through an intuitive mobile app; invoices and quotes can be sent remotely while small business owners or those operating away from an office can run their businesses remotely.
Save time, save costs
While many businesses have had to become remote during the past 12 months, many have always been remote by choice. These tend to be small or medium sized businesses, for whom Xero is specifically designed.
Small and medium business owners tend to be at the coal face, spending time with customers and managing operations while also taking care of business admin and accounting. For some, the additional cost of a cloud-based accounting solution might seem too high. However, Xero’s user-friendly features and accessibility can save significant time that could be spent managing admin in an inefficient way, in turn making more time for value-add tasks that contribute directly to the bottom line.
But time savings aren’t the only advantage. Xero’s pricing tiers provide scale for businesses as they grow, with the benefits of more features as and when they’re needed.
Customise with integrations
Xero’s scalable features provide business owners and managers with excellent accounting solutions, but Xero can’t do everything. That’s where the App Marketplace comes into its own.
The App Marketplace offers Xero users with a wide array of integrations, including:
- PayPal: automatically reconciled transactions within Xero;
- Syft: creation of reports, graphs and forecasts from Xero data;
- Harvest: time tracking and invoicing; and
- HubSpot: link up your customer information with accounting data for richer client insights.
With various integrations, a small business can develop and scale a best-in-class business management platform over time, using the best of each individual solution to create an efficient whole.
Stay safe, stay secure
Moving accounting and business operations into the cloud can be a big step for some. And with that step comes questions about security.
Aside from maintaining key security accreditations, Xero is designed to provide multiple layers of security, keeping their customers’ data safe and secure. This includes:
- Customer control with Xero support staff only able to access when invited by the customer;
- Multi factor authentication to provide two layers of access security;
- Encryption of data when being transferred and when being stored on Xero’s servers;
- Full network protection across Xero’s cloud;
- Enterprise-level security for Xero’s data centres; and
- Proactive monitoring of servers and activity.
While highly unlikely, security threats do occur. To combat this, Xero performs real-time replication between data centres in different regions, ensuring immediate back-up availability and full disaster recovery.
Collaborate in real time
With highly effective security and multiple user access, Xero also enables real time secure collaboration. All users within a business can access the most up-to-date accounting information from the same source, ensuring accuracy of data and efficient workflows. For businesses working with an accounting partner, real time collaboration extends to working with a Xero Certified Advisor, who can guide their clients through daily use and tailor the platform to each client’s unique requirements.
With the right partner and the right solution, accounting needn’t be a chore – Xero provides the right combination of features and integrations to support small and medium-sized businesses as they scale and grow, increasing efficiency and freeing up time to focus on their business.
To find out more about our services and how we could user Xero to support your business, contact Greg Bestwick for an informal chat: