Xero is an innovative cloud-based accounting software that we at Champion have been using for quite some time now. It gives growing businesses a head start ready for when Making Tax Digital comes into place.

Our in-house Xero expert and audit & accounts manager, Nathan Jones from our Chester office, shares his experience with Xero and what he believes to be the benefits of utilising the digital platform.

Hints and tips

There are a range of tips and tricks that Xero offers such as improving cash flow and equipping businesses with the tools to oversee and manage their finances efficiently. The three biggest include:

  1. Bank Feeds – This outstanding feature lets you automatically import account transactions from your bank account and business credit cards directly into Xero. Once bank feeds are up and running, you’re banking activity will then automatically pull through daily and reconciling will become a simple task.
  2. Bank Rules – Xero is extremely intuitive and actively tries to learn where transactions should go from previous reconciliations. Bank rules can be used to help it recognise transactions and recommend where to post them, making the reconciliation process easier and quicker.
  3. Receipt Bank – This add on makes processing purchase invoices effortless. Scan invoices in and let the software extract the information, which is then automatically published into Xero at a click of a button.

Common questions

We work closely with every client on Xero to help them to get up to speed with the platform. Whilst the platform is extremely user-friendly, there are various questions that we get asked on a regular basis:

  1. How safe is the Bank Feed? – A bank needs permission from you as their client to access Xero, which means that you’re fully in control. The feed is completely secure and is monitored to ensure it remains so.
  2. What reports can I run within Xero? – Under the ‘Reports’ section you can view and share more than 40 interactive reports and budgets in real time, to help gain insights into your business and make informed decisions. Finances, sales, purchases, payroll and inventory are just a handful of the reports that are available to you.

Common errors

As with any new digital platform, it takes time to understand its functionality and how to get the most out of what’s available. One aspect that many of our clients get wrong is entering every cost as a purchase invoice. Payments to HMRC for monthly PAYE, for example, is not a purchase invoice but rather a bank payment, whereas receipts from a supermarket for stationery is suitable to enter it as a purchase invoice.

Is Xero right for me?

We specialise in the SME sector and Xero is one of a number of accounting products that we encourage our clients to use to support the growth of their business. From professional services to retail, Xero is suited to a range of SMEs. To find out more information and to see whether your company is suited to Xero, contact your local Champion office today.