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Xero meant nothing till now

It’s great to come across testimonials from clients such as this blog post by Julie McLeod of bespoke software and web app company Digital Fusion. Based in earthquake ravaged Christchurch, New Zealand the conversion to Xero happened a little sooner than anticipated.

For a long time I was a bit of a doubting Thomas when it came to the online accounting package cleverly named Xero. I thought it was a good idea and was pretty impressed by what the NZ company based in Wellington were undertaking. But I guess I thought the product was still too immature to cover the full gamut of functionality required to replace our incumbent system (MoneyWorks) and be a useful business tool.

Well, I’m here to say I’m a convert. We love Xero!

I started easy, convincing my partner Ben to switch his business over just before Christmas – I thought we could see how that went and decide whether it’d be a good fit for Digital Fusion. I didn’t tell Ben he was my guinea pig, I thought that might influence his perspective… Even so, I was expecting lots of the usual change-related frustrations – you know swearing, cursing, slamming of laptop lids etc. Ben does all that quite well usually.

Our accountants Wood Walton set things up and brought all the historic information across from MoneyWorks. I showed Ben how to log in and we worked out how to add his company logo and create a debtor invoice then I left him to it. I braced myself for impact and hoped for the best.

But there was nothing, not a peep. Next thing I know, he’s loading in creditor invoices, creating new customers, receipting invoices, checking his aged debtors and bank balances. I almost felt… surplus to requirements.

The benefits of changing from a desktop-based solution to the web were obvious from the outset; it’s always backed up, we can both view the information all of the time (which is a biggie given the amount of travel Ben does), and we can log in from any computer that has an internet connection. But there are extras, it’s fast – really fast. I would estimate we’ve reduced our financial administrative time by about 75%. The automatic bank feeds means that your cash position is always up to date and bank reconciliations are a joy.

Given the success of Ben’s transition, the plan was to switch Digital Fusion over at the start of the new financial year, however the events of February 22nd brought our plans forward somewhat and we’ve now been using Xero for several months.

Digital Fusion may appear a simple business to the untrained eye, but there’re some real hooks when you scratch beneath the surface. We operate in both Australia and New Zealand, use 4 different banks and need Xero to integrate with Nutshell our CRM.

For the most part Xero has stepped up, much like in Ben’s business we’re seeing big reductions in admin time (now that Elaine and xero have bonded), and the sharing of information between admin and management is easy – we all just log in and look. We’ve had a few difficulties with inter-bank transfers, the extraction of specific information is not always simple, and I’m not sure we’ve come to terms all of the reporting as yet.

These are pretty minor in the big picture though and overall the gains are huge… bigger than Texas. So if you’ve been considering Xero and you’re on the fence, get off it. This has been a really big win for us for relatively little effort.


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1 comment

Megan Clark
10 May 2014 #

It was not an easy work for us to convince our clients to shift from their old bookkeeping applications to Xero. Most asked the question as to why do they actually need their accounts to be on cloud (when we could access their accounts remotely) and most specifically on Xero, with so many other online applications present in the market. Being in virtual bookkeeping business we even had to prepare a comparison between different accounting packages available in the market, atleast the top 4 cloud accounting applications.

Initially of course it was difficult for us to convince clients due to the security issues, but with time and Xero becoming more popular it wasn’t so difficult for us to actually convince them. We would just ask them to come over skype and demonstrate the user friendly GUI of Xero. And THAT eventually was the maximum effort we had to put to bring our client over to Xero. The concern of security was easily resolved by us just sending links to clients from Xeros blog.

Our takes on Xero? It is certainly a beautiful accounting software. [A remote bookkeepers prospective :-) ]

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