The business benefits of Xero and related cloud-based accounting software

msi - xeroBy Geoff Hattam, Hattam McCarthy Reeves, Accountants, Adelaide.

Many of you will by now have heard of Xero which is one of the leading cloud-based accounting programs. Whilst the take-up by small businesses (and the accounting profession) is certainly increasing at great speed, the area that has really made us sit up and take notice is the proliferation of add-ons available.  At the recent Xerocon in Sydney it was revealed that there are now nearly 200 add-on partners working the Xero platform and this number is expected to double over the next 12 months.

So what is an add-on? In simple terms it is a cloud-based program that connects to the Xero platform.  This compatibility enables seamless exchange of information between the programs.  So whilst Xero is ‘only’ an accounting package the functionality of the add-ons allows you to actually ‘run’ a business via cloud based programs. We are talking about inventory management, scheduling, marketing, quoting, job management, point of sale, e-commerce, HR and more. This is a fantastic opportunity, particularly for those businesses with mobile workforces, multiple locations, remote workers or an aversion to filling their offices with clunky black boxes.

In our business, besides using Xero we also use:

  • Workflow Max – an on-line job management system,
  • Enable HR – human resource tools,
  • Debtor Daddy – automated debtor follow-up,
  • Capsule – customer relationship manager and lead management
  • Shoeboxed – automates scanning of receipts and invoices

Not only are these programs great time savers, avoiding the double handling and double entry, but the ability to access them from any device connected to the internet (including smart phones and tablets) means all the information I need to run my business is in my briefcase or back pocket. This produces amazing efficiencies!

We have also helped clients transform their businesses by pairing Xero with other add-on such as:

  • Unleashed – online inventory management and stock control
  • GEOOP – a comprehensive solution for mobile workforces
  • Vend – a point of sale system and e-commerce solution

In addition to these there is an extensive range of other add-ons from more sophisticated payroll systems (Xero has a basic in-built payroll function), budgeting to industry specific applications (medicos, farmers, sporting clubs and many more).

If you would like more information on how cloud based solutions can assist your business, contact your local MSI Accounting firm members.

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