Starting a new business? These are the two must have apps for SME!
Have you just made the leap to start your our own business? And are unsure about which software is best for your new venture. Or you may have been running a business, for years now and think it is time for an upgrade. It’s likely your Accountant set you up on MYOB or Quickbooks years ago. If this is you keep reading!
I have two main recommendation for my clients when it comes to software, Xero and Receipt bank (and before you ask, no this isn’t a paid commercial). The following software packages helps you reduce time and headaches associated with accounting data entry. This will make your time poor business into an efficient machine. Freeing you up to spend the time on making strategic decisions based on real-time accurate data or spending time with your fam.
So here they are...
Xero – Accounting Software (again not a paid commercial, I promise)
Have you googled cloud-based accounting software? One of the first searches will likely be Xero. Xero are a new player in the market (in terms of accounting software) however are kicking goals in the cloud-based software space and continues to do so. Xero set out to change the game on how traditional accounting data entry was completed, which they have successfully done. Why is Xero for your business? For me the following are the top reasons to run your business on Xero:
Bank Feeds and Automation – Xero has the ability to connect to all your business bank accounts (including credit cards) and automatically brings in your bank data every morning without any input from you or your bookkeeper. Sounds good hey? It gets better... You can actually setup what Xero calls ‘bank rules’ where you define a particular part of the bank transaction like the description or reference. Xero then uses the data identify where to code the transaction. For example, if your monthly phone bill payment has ‘Telstra’ in the description. You can tell Xero to always code a transaction with that description to the Mobile Phone expense account allowing you to reconcile the transaction with one click of the mouse. Magic right!
Invoicing – Remember Cash is King! One of the top killers for new small business is cash flow (or lack thereof). Xero’s invoicing function is very intuitive and easy to use. This allows you to get invoices out to customers quickly and keep track of who has paid and who hasn’t paid (it also will tell you if the customer has viewed the invoice or not). Xero invoicing also allows you to send friendly reminders for amounts outstanding. Xero has also built in the function that customers can pay online using credit card or Paypal accounts – another awesome feature!
Payroll made easy – Paying yourself or employees is a headache at the best of times. Especially with the added complexity of the ATO changing the reporting obligations and the withholding rates regularly. For example the newly introduced Single Touch Payroll system where you have to report payroll details directly to the ATO every time you process a pay run – Xero has the functionality built in. Xero has all your payroll needs covered, you can quickly and efficiently action the following with just a couple of clicks of the mouse;
Process pay runs and email pay slips directly to your employees
Make superannuation payments using Xero’s Auto-Super function which will direct debit one payment out of the business bank account and pay it to your employee’s various superannuation funds
Xero’s payroll system is fully compliant with the ATO’s new Single Touch Payroll reporting requirements and is very easy to lodge the data with the ATO
You can grant employees access to their payroll portal allowing them to access historical pay slips and current leave entitlements
Allows employees to submit annual leave and sick leave requests whilst tracking their leave entitlements always ensuring they are accurate
Open API – It integrates with just about everything! Xero have built their platform with an open API. Meaning that it integrates with thousands of different applications from stock control to job quoting to HR management applications. Which leads me into the next software product, Receipt Bank.
Receipt Bank – Data Entry
Receipt bank provides a very simple but yet very effective solution for data entry into Xero.
In the old world of data entry you would sit down at the end of each week. Beginning the mundane task of processing the mountains of bills in your in tray by manually entering all the data from the invoice into the bills section of your accounting software. Then once you made payment from your bank account you had both sides of the transaction to reconcile the bank account – Receipt bank will give you back this precious time.
Enter the new world – Simply email a copy of the bill to your receipt bank account. They use OCR technology to scan the original bill and draft the bill ready to be published directly into your Xero file. Again this can all be done with just a couple of clicks of the mouse. If you are out on the road, simply open up your smart phone and take a picture of the receipt using the Receipt Bank app. A copy of your original receipt will be attached to your draft bill in Xero ready to publish.
YES! you will save yourself and/or your bookkeeper a huge amount of time in the data entry process. On top of that another big benefit to receipt bank is that every transaction processed in your Xero file using receipt bank has a copy of the original supporting document attached to the transaction. This is very handy if the ATO ever comes knocking on your door and you need to provide the source documents for your transactions.
If you are still undecided about which software products are right for you. Do yourself a favour, go to both the providers websites and sign-up to their free trial period and have a play around with it – you won't regret it!