When your to-do list is long and time is short, the right tools can make all the difference. Just ask these platinum partners, who have all experienced first-hand the difference that clever accounting software can make.
1. Xero Tax
“Xero Tax has allowed us to move our entire firm into the cloud,” explains Timothy Munro of Change Accountants and Advisors. “This means we can log in anytime – and our team members actually find that they prefer to work from home, to quickly finish off projects and keep things moving.”
Timothy has worked out that his team’s productivity is on the up, thanks to Xero Tax. “We’ve done the numbers and we’re finding that 10 percent of the work done by our team is now being done from home in their own hours. We don’t require this from them, but Xero enables it.”
However, his clients are the ones to whom Xero Tax and e-sign have the greatest appeal, Timothy says. “Clients just love Xero Tax. They can look at the paperwork online, sign it online and send it back. We attract new clients because of that.”
But Xero Tax represents much more than a big leap in ease and efficiency. “Accountants need to be leading the way in tech,” explains Timothy. “We need to show clients what they can do in their own business. If accountants aren’t doing this, then what sort of other advice are they not giving their clients?”
2. Cash coding
Anita Allan, director of Perks Integrated Business Services, says the simplicity of Xero’s cash coding makes all the difference. “It’s a really simple intuitive process and design. This makes it so easy.”
“It’s really so easy,” agrees Buddy Shihabuddin of R J Sanderson & Associates. “We now transfer from the bank to the client account in an instant.”
Timothy adds another perspective. “The time saved in cash coding translates as us having more time to help mums and dads grow their business, rather than being bogged down ticking off bank transactions.”
Being cloud-based means that clients aren’t bound to a particular location, which opens up global business development opportunities.
Change Accountants and Advisors is one example of this shift. “Because we’re cloud-based, our clients are increasingly international,” says Timothy. “So it is just magic to have the multi-currency feature to hand. Clients can invoice us in UK pounds and it instantly converts to Australian dollars. There’s no other software like that which does it in real-time.”
Steph Hinds, an accountant at Growthwise, agrees that multi-currency saves so much time. “No longer do we have to do manual complex calculations to bring things back into AUD – Xero does all the heavy lifting for us.”
Steph also loves the fact that reporting is now done in one system. “Having to type information from one system to another is a complete waste of time,” she says. “Let alone the fact it’s fraught with danger as it’s easy to make an error.
“Xero’s reporting has made a huge difference to us. It gives us one system that the accountant, bookkeeper and client can work in together – with accountant adjustments made directly in it – so data is always up to date.”
“Xero’s reports are insanely good,” agrees Timothy. “Once we’ve finished coding and reconciling the accounts, I can push one button and instantly we’ve got the year-end report in whatever form we want.
“We can also add notes and search terms to make reports as tailored as we need – and they look beautiful – in colour, with logos. It’s great.”
Xero’s reports can give useful context, given their viewing flexibility, adds Anita. “You can drill into transactions from the report, so during review you can quickly better understand line items.”
According to Anita, it’s the streamlined capabilities of payroll that make the biggest difference. “By keeping everything in the one system, lodged electronically with the ATO, it is so much simpler,” she says. “Leave requests are now entered seamlessly and leave converts to be used in pay runs, which removes double handling.”
Timothy agrees. “To have payroll built into the accounting system means that every time you push a button to issue payroll, the PAYG is updated, super is updated, and it all reflects back to the balance sheet instantly. So we always have the most relevant updates ready for our clients.
“I’ve got a client who runs a Mexican restaurant with 45 employees,” he adds. “It used to take her a couple of nights a week to do payroll. Now it takes her 10 minutes.
“As accountants we look at what value we can create, and a lot of the time we look at saving tax, and creating more profit, more wealth and so forth. But what have we given this lady? We’ve given her more time back with her family – what price do you put on that?”