Business and Xero accountants and advisors

Why and how to move your accounts to Xero?

16 June 2023

Let’s look at why we recommend Xero

Xero was one of the first platforms built with business owners and users in mind (rather than created for the accountant). It has always been cloud based and Xero are always looking at ways to improve their system.

What we love about Xero

We love:

  • The customisable dashboard you see on login. It includes key charts such as your bank balances, invoices owed to you, bills you need to pay, cash in / out. You can add business performance metrics such as gross and net profit.
  • Tracking categories. These let you slice up sales and costs to show you how each part of your business is performing. For instance by shop, market type, customer grouping, product / service.
  • Repeating invoices. A huge timesaver if you invoice the same customers regularly, even if the amount varies.
  • Links to payment services. Making it easier for customers to pay helps keep cash flowing in your business.
  • Bank feeds. These import details of your transactions from your bank account, company credit cards, PayPal and other payment services. This makes bank reconciliation (matching your transactions to the bank statement) easier.
  • The ability to integrate with the tools you need to run your business, such as job management, stock management, time-tracking.

We use a bookkeeping tool called DEXT Prepare to make it even easier for you to keep Xero up-to-date. Simply forward any purchase invoices by email, or take a photo of paper documents with the app, and the relevant data is automatically extracted.

Are you still using desktop accounts? 

With Sage 50 desktop support already ended and with QuickBooks Desktop support ending 30 June 2023, you may be considering going online into the cloud. If so, chances are you have been doing lots of manual data entry such as:

  • manually entering every purchase invoice, bill or receipt (and filing the paper copy).
  • creating similar sales invoices every month.
  • using spreadsheet (or paper) expenses and mileage forms, which need to be manually checked for errors.
  • doing manual bank reconciliations.
  • entering manual payroll journals each month.

So is now the time to move?

We understand that there are a whole host of reasons you haven’t yet made the move to cloud accounting.

  • You may be worried about making the move.
  • We know you are familiar with your existing system. You’ve probably been using it for years!
  • It’s hard to find the time in your busy schedule.
  • You recognise it will bring big changes to your business.
  • You may be worried about security.

But with support for most desktop software being phased out, decision-time is rapidly approaching. 

How can we support you to get the most out of Xero and be online?

We provide fixed fee packages for clients which include:

  • Set up and training on Xero.
  • Regular bookkeeping.
  • Monthly or quarterly management accounts reporting (tailored to the needs of your business).
  • Year end accounts and tax returns (for you and your company).
  • Help with other compliance tasks such as payroll, VAT and dealing with Companies House.

We’re also on hand to provide ad hoc support over the phone and online. That’s particularly reassuring when you’ve just changed your accounts system.  We’ll provide hints and tips to help you get the most out of it.

Frequently asked questions about moving to Xero

  • What impact will it have on staff?
    • It is a change of mind-set. You’ll move from batch processing closer to real time information. Once we get you through the learning curve, both you and your admin staff will have more time. Use this to focus on customer service and business development.
  • What do we do with all that time saved?
    • You currently spend a lot of time processing data. Let’s act on the information. Cash slowing down? Let’s find out why. Profits squeezed? Let’s check if it’s a business-wide issue or affecting one product, one service, one type of customer, one location etc.
  • What do I do with my old data? Should we import it to Xero?
    • You can add comparative balances for previous years. However we usually discourage you from importing lots of old data. It may not be in great shape. We feel your management time is better spent looking forward not back. Moving accounts systems also gives you the opportunity to rethink the structure of your data. Should detailed data import be required, Xero offers the services of ‘Move My Books’, and it’s mostly free! You do, of course, need to retain accounting records for at least 6 years. Find out more at gov.uk.
  • When should I move to Xero?
    • The ideal times are year-end or at the start of a VAT quarter, just let us know when you’re ready!

We wouldn’t recommend Xero if we didn’t use it ourselves. Xero helps us run our own business, and our Directors use it to help them run other businesses too.

So are you ready to move to Xero? And what questions do you have? Contact Us to get started.

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About the Author

Linda Carrington

MA(hons) GDipLaw

Practice Management Director

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

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