One area where many businesses, small or large, can improve their efficiency is in their bookkeeping and accounting. Often, old and established ways of doing things become outdated, as a business develops and grows, and as tax and accounting changes come into play.
At Timewise VA, we recommend Xero as a highly efficient, cloud based system for bookkeeping, and also for accounting too. It is the UK’s leading cloud accounting software, having been widely adopted by a variety of businesses. By being based in the cloud, the system immediately saves a business from the hassle of arranging their own hard drive or server, on which to securely store their bookkeeping data.
One of the other great benefits of using a cloud based system is the facility to log in from any machine, in any location to update information, or view important cash flow information. There’s no need to worry about updating software, making sure everyone uses the same version, or obtaining different versions for PCs and Apple Macs or ensuring that licenses are up to date. You can even keep tabs on the business from your smartphone, while out and about.
And this makes it easier to ask a virtual assistant to provide support. Being a cloud based system, it is simplicity itself to give them permission to carry out remote updates of information. So your organisation’s bookkeeping function can be efficiently outsourced, enabling items such as expenses, invoicing and bank reconciliation to be carried out on your behalf. Gone is the need to commit busy staff time to complete these necessary tasks – the team in the office can be deployed on other sales and marketing activities, instead.
Often, the prospect of changing from one system to another is scary enough a prospect for you to dismiss the idea of swapping. But with Xero, migrating information from another accounting system such as Sage or QuickBooks is made simple, with historic transaction data simply saved and moved so that it does not need to be re-entered.
Xero’s facilities make it simple to record and offset expenses, to send out purchase orders and create invoices. It also interfaces with many other pieces of software, such as those recording project management or time spent on work for a specific client. And an easy to understand dashboard gives quick, up to the minute information about how business is doing. Thanks to regularly updated feeds from bank accounts and other financial sources, it is possible to see information updated daily, not in retrospect as was often the case in the past.
Many businesses irrationally fear putting parts of their business in the cloud, preferring to view data held on their own server as somehow being safer. All cloud based accounting services generally operate to best in class levels of security, so that it is practically impossible for information to be seen without authority. And, in contrast to many small business set-ups, there is a robust back up arrangement, often with a duplication of the data at a separate, remote data store.
The best thing about making a change such as moving to Xero, is that you can generally try it first, before committing to any contract or long term agreement relating to management costs. So, if you are still slaving away with Excel spreadsheets and manual bank reconciliations, how about calling Timewise VA to talk about an upgrade to Xero. We’ll help ensure the transition is as trouble-free as possible!