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Monday, 15 August 2011

Accounting Package

You might think it strange that I am discussing accounting on this blog, but it is vital to any business; get it wrong and you could end up in a right mess.

The conventional accounting route has been Sage, but a good number of people I know say that Sage is expensive, sometimes complicated and not particularly user friendly to the non-accountant types.

My accountant recently introduced me to Xero which is an on-line accounting package.  There is a month's free trial and then, if you take it up, a subscription each month.

Xero was founded in July 2006 by successful technology entrepreneur Rod Drury and specialist small business accountant Hamish Edwards. Xero is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and is a fast growing company with teams in Wellington, Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the UK.

I found that it was easy to use, presented data in a logical manner and best of all it ensured that my data was secure and always available.  No more back-ups.  I can access Xero from anywhere there is an internet connection and I only need the one licence.  I can allow my accountant access to my data so I can get problems sorted out much quicker than before.  The package has a vast FAQ’s and an online help facility.  My one query to the online help desk was answered in less than two hours.

The system is intuitive and easy to use; errors can be rectified quickly and efficiently without the need to do journals all over the place.  I often found that in Sage I would do a journal to correct an error only to find that I had done it the wrong way round and doubled the original error. One novel feature is that it can download bank statements and tries to reconcile the bank data automatically. Naturally you have to authorise the reconciliation but it takes the pain out of this monthly chore.   I have spent hours chasing an elusive payment or odd pence in a transaction.  This does it for me.

Data is presented in a format that is easy to understand; a dashboard shows the financial position of the Company at a glance and allows me to get the accounting bit done accurately and much quicker.

The one thing that Xero doesn’t do yet is print cheques, but it is on the wish list from customers.

As you can tell I am pretty impressed with Xero.  I would urge everyone who is involved in accounts to have a look at Xero and take up the month’s free trial. I am sure that, like me, you will be impressed and will want to use it.


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