Katie Lips, social media strategist
and Director of Kisky Netmedia, refused to
touch her accounts before she started
using Xero.

"Xero has made aspects of our business black and white. You can see which clients and projects are making you money and which aren't."

Katie Lips, Kisky NetMedia

Katie would pass anything accounts related directly to her fellow Director or accountant, and Katie didn’t even want to know about it. Of course this meant she didn’t really know where the company was financially all the time, and some things would get delayed because the admin was put off.

Happy to admit she took an ostrich approach to the accounting side of her business, Katie explains why:

“The accounting system we were using was very archaic. It really was horrible. It came on a compact disc for a start. Because it had to be installed on one computer, only one of us could work on the accounts at a time. It was totally clunky and confusing. It was given to us by our bank to ‘help’ with our accounting and I would like to say more about it but it was so awful I just didn’t use it!”

“When we took a look at what we were doing with our accounts (which was helped by getting a new accountant, who made us) we sat down and thought – there must be something online that can make this easy for us. We’re Internet media consultants and our lives are on the web and advising people about what they can do online. We run other parts of our business online so we decided that’s what we needed to do with our accounts. Mind you, even then I admit I delegated the task of looking for an online accounting solution to my co-Director! But he did well and found us Xero.

“The best way I can think to describe how happy I am with Xero is I use it all the time. From not even looking at the accounts side of the business I am now using Xero all the time to run invoices, look at the bank statements and all sorts of accounting things I never wanted to know about before. And I am enjoying it. Our accountant also loves it and thinks it’s a great system.

“Xero is so easy too which is key. It took me very little time to understand and work out what to do on the system to complete all the accounting-related admin I have. And because it’s so easy, I keep everything up to date and there is no back log or sense of dread about what I have to get done.

“Obviously the fact that Xero is online is also perfect for us as a company. We’re only small but we’re hardly ever all in the same place, and our accountant is also based elsewhere. We travel a lot, and now I can just keep up with whatever I need to do – or look up what I need to know – from wherever I am just by logging on.

“We’re always on the lookout for cool new web apps and I find it quite funny that I am so excited about one that does accounting – but I am! What I also like about Xero is that it looks good. Not something that you immediately think of as necessary when doing your accounts, but for me it’s so obvious the designers have thought about how people work and what they want to be able to look at. The design really makes sense from a usability perspective and makes it clear for me where to look for information and then when I find it, it is presented in a way I can understand. All the ‘headline’ data is there for me to see easily, which is quite often all I want to know.

“My favorite thing with Xero is to log in and see what’s happening with accounts receivable - I like to see how many payments we have in the pipeline! Plus everything is visual which really appeals as I am not a pore-over-spreadsheets kind of person.

“I now feel much more in control because I can easily see what is going on in the business from the point of view of our finances.”

But it wasn’t just Xero being online that Katie was pleased about, or that it was so easy to use, but that it had the added bonus of being developed for Mac users too:

“We all work on Macs and this was another pain for us with our previous software and our online banking. Back when we started up in 2002, we had to wait ages for software that was compatible with our machines and then some banks didn’t even support Mac browsers for their online access. Xero is 100% Mac compatible which made the decision even easier for us to start using it. I could also tell that Xero are Mac users too just from how the interface and design of the system is, so they are not just ‘adapting’ software for Mac users.”

As for what Xero has meant to Katie in terms of understanding her business better she says:

“Using Xero has made some aspects of our business black and white. You can see all the time which clients and projects are making you money and which aren’t. This type of information is invaluable in helping to focus us and our efforts on an ongoing basis. Because Xero makes it easy to understand our business performance we can get better with little effort.

“I have already been recommending Xero as it really is such a great online tool. If it can make me do my accounts I am sure it will make you too!”

Kisky Netmedia is a social media consultancy based in Liverpool and Amsterdam that help businesses and organizations leverage the power of Web 2.0 and social media technologies, tools, platforms and principles. The company is lead by Katie Lips and Paul Stringer, supported by a diverse team of multitalented associates.

In addition to its consultancy, Kisky Netmedia also develops its own web services including the award winning Mobile 2.0 SMS archive service Treasuremytext.

Kisky uses Xero for its accounting needs in both businesses.

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