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Why my small business switched to Xero

Posted 3 years ago in Advisors by David Koch
Posted by David Koch

Today’s guest author is small business and finance expert, and co-host of Sunrise, David Koch.

David Koch on online accounting for small businessI’m not a huge fan of the Super Bowl, but I love seeing the ads. They’re always the highlight of the whole event for a lot of people. This year there was a great ad by BMW that showed a clip of two TODAY show hosts from 1994 who were reading an email address out loud. It was obviously the first time they’d done so. They didn’t know how to pronounce an ‘@’. This led to the perplexed duo questioning “what is internet anyway?”

Today’s rapid outpouring of technology and innovation often leaves business owners wondering “what is this?” and “do I really need it?” In a lot of cases, perhaps not. Small businesses have enough on their plate without trying to educate themselves on every single new ‘life-changing’ product or service. But when it comes to online accounting, it truly is a revelation. And in the world of online accounting, Xero is at the leading edge.

Making the switch to online accounting

I’ve been a small business owner for over 25 years now and have employed teams from five people right up to 70. Bookkeeping used to mean shelves and shelves of folders and actual books. There were days on end spent reconciling accounts, and using a ruler to scroll down pages of transactions (yes, I’m old). At the time, it was just something we had to do. But now, with the beauty of hindsight, it was a nightmare.

After a lot of research into the market, my family business, Pinstripe Media, made the switch to Xero last year. This was because we’d heard so much hype from other business owners, and our accountants, about how easy and how enjoyable it was. I was sceptical at first. How on earth could anyone make small business accounting and bookkeeping enjoyable? Fortunately, I was convinced to give it a go.

Never looked back

Nine months later, and I can tell you without any embarrassment that I love logging on and checking the accounts. I’m a control freak, and Xero’s platform really is impressive. Everything is simple, intuitive, and easy to navigate. In just a few clicks, I can see how much money is owed to us compared to what we owe. I can get a P&L for any specified time period – and even just for individual jobs – to compare against other jobs. I can see  bank and credit card balances, and reconcile it all straight away. Our bank feeds come straight into the dashboard. I love the dashboard.

The best part about it is that I can do it all while sitting on the balcony at home. Because these days I’m trying to spend as little time in the office as possible. (That’s why you have kids, to take over the family business isn’t it?). With the footy season coming up and, a lot of trips to Adelaide and Melbourne, I can keep checking up on things from the road whenever I like. And that’s the real beauty of Xero – it gives me not just peace of mind, but the freedom to have peace of mind from anywhere at any time.

So if you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, then give it a go and see for yourself how much it changes your life as a business owner. Because in a few years it won’t be “what is internet” jokes playing on Super Bowl ads, it’ll be “what is online accounting?” And when that day comes, you can sit back and be proud that you knew all about it. And you may even have your Xero dashboard open next to you.

As a side note, in case the sceptics are wondering, I did pay for my Xero accounting package. We made our decision to switch without contacting them.

David Koch is the owner of Pinstripe Media. He also hosts Kochie’s Business Builders, co-hosts Sunrise, and chairs the Port Adelaide Football Club. Connect with him on Twitter @kochie_online.

10 comments

Timothy Munro
February 18, 2015 at 6.29 pm

Welcome to the Xero family Mr Koch! It’s great to see yet another impartial, real world experience of a business owner who has switched and loves the ease and fun of using Xero.

Cyrel@ Brisbane Accounting Firms
February 18, 2015 at 9.17 pm

It’s good to be innovative no matter how small your business is. And I think what’s great about Xero is that it’s not complex, so, even the not-so-techie business owners can use it easily.

Paul Volpe
February 19, 2015 at 12.23 am

Enjoyable is fine for finance guru’s and us accountants + bookkeepers 🙂 – however small business owners love xero because it saves them time, gives them business financial insight and allows them to work much more productively with their advisor’s.

Phillip Kennedy
February 19, 2015 at 1.38 pm

Too right Kochie. I’ve got a small accountancy practice and we’ve now signed up over 30 clients in a year. One client is a mum with a young family and a very busy small business. I bumped her in the carpark and asked “How’s the Xero online going?” She said “It’s brilliant but do me a favour and don’t tell my husband how much time I’m saving. It’s all my time now!”

Adrian Iverach
February 19, 2015 at 3.51 pm

Xero and David Koch…I have been in business for 35 years and have just started with xero and find it fantastic…however I have also listened to David Koch and have never heard so much BS from someone that has no knowledge of business.. its amazing how media personalities think they are GURUS…Xero please don’t fall into his trap of BS…

Leanne Berry
February 20, 2015 at 8.34 pm

I am feeling very cynical Kochie – word on the street is that Pinstripe Media has an exclusive media deal with Xero

Amanda Linton
February 22, 2015 at 3.45 pm

Congratulations on finding one of many wonderful solutions improving the small business compliance requirements. However, I’m a little skeptical of the true independence here. I hear Pinstripe has an exclusive media arrangement with Xero. No problems with giving testimonials, but would rather full disclosure of any behind the scenes agreements.

David Koch
February 26, 2015 at 2.02 pm

Thanks for all the great feedback, I’m looking forward to sharing more of my thoughts down the track!

Adrian, I’m sorry that you think my advice is BS. I’ve been passionate about helping small businesses for decades. I don’t pretend to know everything, which is why we invite experts on to our shows and websites to share their advice and expertise.

Leanne, my production company does indeed have an agreement with Xero, which simply involves me writing some guest posts for the Xero blog from time to time, as well as on our small business site Kochie’s Business Builders. In fact, we reached that agreement because I was already using Xero for my own company long before they approached me. I do it because I like using Xero, and I want to see other small businesses upgrade to something that will help them!

Evelyn Bronte
March 14, 2015 at 9.48 am

Hi David, for clarity here, are you saying that Xero are not paying you or giving you or your businesses any financial consideration or benefit in kind to write these blogs/endorse their product?

You go to great lengths to lists all the reasons for endorsing them, implying no commercial arrangement exists.

Thanks in advance

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