The benefits of Xero cloud accounting software for trade and Field service businesses

 In Accounting & Finance

When it comes to streamlining your Field service business processes, how you bill customers and how your business does its accounting are two of the most important parts of a complicated puzzle.

Accounting can be a massive pain for small businesses without in house resources, but thankfully we have some new kids on the block shaking up the industry and making it easier for small businesses without a dedicated accounting team.

We are going to take a look at one of the biggest new players in New Zealand based Xero accounting.

In comes Xero

Xero is a cloud based accounting system that has grown to be one of the largest in the world with over 500,000 users**. The New Zealand based software company now services most countries in the world with their main markets being the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

What is “cloud based”?

When people talk about technology being in “the cloud” it means in simple terms that the service you are accessing is available anywhere at any time on any device (an example of this is your online banking). In technical terms your data is being stored and served to you from servers which can be housed anywhere across the globe (eliminating the need for data to be stored in one location).

 What’s the big problem with traditional accounting software?

old computer 2

Technology is moving at a rapid rate and we can think of many different reasons why cloud based accounting far outweighs traditional accounting programmes. We’ve listed some of the key reasons below

  • You purchase a copy of traditional accounting software and install it on a single computer in your office or at home. You have no way of accessing the data if you are not in that location.
  • If you want to give the data to an accountant, they have to come to your office which can be expensive or you have to put the data on a USB stick or disk which is very insecure
  • Key people in your team cannot access the system at the same time to view reporting or any other important information
  • Its costly and time consuming to keep backups
  • If rules or regulations change the software is not automatically updated

 

Why Cloud Accounting is great for field service businesses

xero cloud software

  • Work from anywhere on any device- Xero’s cloud based software gives you the ability to access and update data from anywhere – you could be at home, the office, on a mobile device, PC or on the beach!
  • Real time data- Xero gives you a clear overview of your current financial position, In real-time
  • Give key members of your team access- provide access to the staff that need to see accounting information. You can also provide access to an in house or external accountant without them having to come on site and collect data. Limiting what staff members see or revoking access can also be done easily from within your account.
  • Bank feeds- Bank feeds allow you to automatically import account transactions from your bank account into Xero on a daily basis. Setting up is really easy, and once live you will no longer have to manually import transactions into Xero again.
  • Simple Payroll- Xero have fully integrated payroll for businesses with up to 200 staff members, so you can pay your staff directly via your accounting system. Xero is fully connected with HMRC’s Real time submission (RTI) and you have the added ability to create P45’s and P60’s with the click of a button.
  • Get paid faster with electronic invoicing- Invoice customers electronically and get paid faster. You can also add the ability for customers to open your invoices electronically and make payment via debit or credit card.
  • Automatic upgrades- Never have to worry about upgrading software again. All software is kept up to date and upgraded instantly behind the scenes.
  • World class security- As a business owner, you may have some reservations about storing your data in the cloud, however this is one of the most secure ways to store your data with nothing being saved on your device. If you lose your PC, laptop or smartphone no one can access your accounting data unless they have your login details.
  • Connect your accounting software to other Applications- create the perfect business process by combining Xero with some of your favourite online tools. Xero have lots of add-ons which include payment providers, CRM’s, Email marketing, Job management and Field service management software.
  • Low cost- You can sign up for Xero for as little as £4 per month depending on the size of your business and what functions you need. There are no upfront costs and its free to trail for 30 days.

 

How do I get started with Xero?

To get started with Xero you need to sign up for a free trial. You can do this by going to their Website. Once you have created your account you can test drive the system for 30 days free of charge. You may also want to import some of your data into the software (link to template below in the useful links section).

 

** Data correct as of April 2016

Useful Links

Xero website: www.xero.com

Xero videos & guides: www.xero.com/uk/tv

Xero training & events: www.xero.com/uk/training

Template for importing your data into Xero: https://help.xero.com/uk/BankAccounts_Details_ImportTransCSV

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