In this series, we interview Xero partners trialing Xero Tax. In part one we interviewed Bryan Stevens of Interbiz Ltd and for part two, we had Toby Woodhead from Armstrong Watson in the hot seat.
Xero Tax simplifies the process of tax filing and financial reporting in the UK for Xero partners, connecting Xero directly to HMRC and Companies House.
For our final piece, we spoke with Jonathan Bareham, Director and co-founder of Raedan.
Jonathan is currently trialing Xero Tax in the closed beta programme. What’s that like, you say? Let’s find out…
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I graduated with a degree in Computing and Accounting which seemed like an odd mix at the time but it’s paying dividends now.
I had many motivations for setting up Raedan in 2010 but the main one was around my desire to make better use of technology in the accounting space.
Raedan is now a team of six and we work with creatively-minded business owners – typically that means agencies, technology companies, and media enterprises.
When did you first hear about Xero Tax?
We first heard about Xero Tax when it was announced at Xerocon London in 2018. As a firm, we were already discussing a transition from our old solution to a cloud-based one so we asked to join the beta programme immediately.
Tell us about your experience using the product. Which features stand out and why?
We were blown away by the initial product demonstration. In terms of features, we love how smoothly Xero Tax guides you through the accounts and tax process.
Another standout functionality is being able to push the tax calculation back into Xero as a journal.
How easy was the implementation process?
The Xero Tax team took time out to train me which made it easy for me to train the rest of the team at Raedan.
Getting started on Xero Tax was really simple – the interface is clean and there are no complicated setting panels to work through. Plus, the process to connect clients is quite similar to that of using integration apps, which we do quite a lot so it didn’t take us much time at all.
How has Xero Tax helped your practice?
With Xero Tax, we’re saving around two to three hours per client. With our old desktop system, we used a hosted desktop where you needed to load the software, run updates, switch clients, produce PDF accounts, switch to tax software, produce PDF returns and so on. But now we can cut out most of these time-consuming steps and be so much more efficient.
How has Xero Tax helped your customers?
In my experience, clients don’t usually get into the details. All they want is an easy way of approving their tax returns which is where Xero Tax comes in – no paper, no printing and e-signature approvals.
Why did you decide to take part in the beta?
We wanted to take part in the beta because it was the solution we were looking for. Before the announcement at Xerocon, the team and I discussed cloud solutions for accounts and tax returns but sadly the market is lacking in options. So when we heard about Xero Tax, there was no holding us back.
Nearly nine years of partnership with Xero gives us huge confidence in the team’s ability to deliver a great product that we can rely on. Speaking to the Xero Tax team about their vision has only reinforced that.
Since taking part in the beta, have you had the opportunity to influence and shape Xero Tax? If so, how?
The Xero Tax team has been in constant contact so we feel very much involved in this entire process. We shared a list of tweaks, as well as a wishlist of all the features that we felt a cloud solution should provide – features that desktop solutions have typically failed to offer or never tried and we’ve already seen some of our suggestions implemented which is very exciting!
Why would you recommend other firms get involved in the Xero Tax beta?
The Xero Tax beta is a great opportunity for firms to test the product alongside their existing systems and have the chance to help build the next great accounting solution.
If you’re interested in joining the beta, and being the first to hear about our future development plans, you can register your interest by emailing UKTax@xero.com.For further questions or support, please contact your Xero account manager.