Taking the pain out of writeups
We’ve talked to a number of accounting professionals over the last little while and one thing we continue to hear is that Xero is a great tool for write-up clients.
In the US, a write-up client is accounting terminology typically used to describe clients who need financial statements for a tax return. In order to get the financial statements done, an accounting professional needs information from the client, such as a check register, bank statements, cash receipts, and a sales summary. Then they need to get that information into a software package, make sure it reconciles with the bank, make any necessary adjustments, and produce the reports.
This gets complicated quickly because the accountant has to work with a year’s worth of data. It gets even more complicated with the not-uncommon “shoebox” clients who don’t use accounting software, but rather opt to use spreadsheets or literally keep a hard copy of everything in a shoebox – hence the name.
I recently caught up with one of our Xero partners here in the United States (Mariette Knoblauch of Ballard Beancounters). She offers both consulting services and write-up services.
Mariette has a good number of Schedule C clients and S Corporations that would be considered write-up clients. When I asked about her experience with Xero for these clients she was thrilled. She said Xero was a huge time-saver compared to desktop software. With the automated bank feeds, bank transactions are automatically fed into Xero so there’s no need to manually enter all these transactions when write-up time comes around. And the bank rules allow for automation and remove opportunity for client error.
Mariette went through her experience of collecting information when her clients were on desktop software. Below she describes the things she had to go through for each client:
- Ask for the data file
- Show the client how to back the file up
- Client sends the file via email or some document storage application (show client how to do this)
- Remind the client to send it
- Get the file from the client.
- Find / remember password and version
- Remind the client not to do anything to his or her version of the file until it is sent back
- Upload the file to the Accountant Edition of the desktop software
- Review the data file, make adjustments, and create the report
- Send the file back
- Explain how to overwrite their current file
- Email the report or upload to document storage environment
And now Mariette’s experience with Xero:
- Login to Xero
- Review and make adjustments
- Publish report
Accountants and bookkeepers: are you using Xero for your write-up clients?
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