You’ve surely heard of online accounting software by now. It’s advertised on everything from Midsomer Murders to talkSPORT. You are probably already using it yourself. But are you using it to its full potential?

Xero is probably the most well-known cloud-accounting software package, and there are others out there including Quickbooks and Sage.

The features – powerful reporting, advanced invoicing and live bank feeds among others – were once the preserve of global behemoths. Now they are at the fingertips of any small business owner.

Frankly, these wonderful features are considered commonplace now. So the next step is to leverage them to your maximum benefit. This is really when the software becomes remarkable.

Getting the most out of Xero bookkeeping

The ‘cloud’ element of the software means that all the information is stored online rather than on your local computers or servers. This achieves a number of things:

  • It is extremely secure – because you get the security resources of a global company defending your data. Everything is password protected (and increasingly behind two-factor authentication), there are hierarchies of users so different people can have appropriate access, and there are crystal-clear audit trails.
  • It is highly accessible – to the right people of course. As long as you have cleared them, anyone, in any organisation on any device can access your bookkeeping and perform tasks in line with their clearance.
  • It is live and stays updated – which means that it gives you a real-time view across your business, allowing daily bank feeds, as well as quotes, invoices, bills and payments all talking to each other for reconciliation. The software even keeps itself up to date so there is no risk of you running an older, insecure version.

So it is easier than ever for you as a small business owner to stay on top of your finances.

All this comes with a caveat, however: as sophisticated as the software might be, it’s no replacement for expert knowledge.

The ease with which business owners can now manage their own accounting and bookkeeping processes has led many to take those jobs on themselves. That’s fine if you know the legislation inside out, but in reality for most people it can mean a higher likelihood of errors and missed deadlines, which in turn might lead to issues with HMRC and potential fines.

Cloud software makes it a no-brainer to let a bookkeeper stay on top of your finances for you. As you can see, it is all packaged up perfectly to hand over to an expert.

And when you do this, more remarkable things start to happen.

You get hours of time back for yourself every month. Time you can spend on doing higher value work within your business, or with friends and family – as you wish.

Your bookkeeping improves further, because you are handing over to an expert instead of muddling through yourself. Professional bookkeepers are already experts in Xero and similar software. They know every trick to enable them to work efficiently and proficiently, so they can raise standards, cost-effectively. This in turn will improve accounting functions in your business at key times of the year.

And when your bookkeeping improves, your general operations will improve with it. Cashflow will start to get better, customer experience will rise and you will become more informed on key metrics within your business.

Perhaps most importantly of all, you’ll have peace of mind that all your tax and financial obligations are being handled correctly, and all your deadlines are being met.

Let us elevate your bookkeeping

If you are ready to harness the full potential of cloud accounting to free up your time and optimise your processes, talk to us about helping you with Xero. Having worked with it for many years, across many businesses, we are true experts and will help you get the most out of it.