The Cloud Accounting Report, Part II

Recently dubbed the ‘Apple of Accounting’ by Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), Xero holds an enviable position in the cloud accounting marketplace:  they are the only provider to have designed a platform that seamlessly integrates with third party providers.

The benefit of this integration is a real-time, small business toolbox of over 300 software products and applications, known as ‘add-ons’.  Grouped according to their accounting function – such as inventory, payroll, invoicing and reporting – each of these add-ons can be incorporated into the design of your individual Xero installation, giving you the ability to create a streamlined accounting system that is custom-fit for your business.   

As Xero is entirely cloud-based these applications, along with the rest of your Xero accounting system, can be accessed and modified on demand from any internet-enabled device – meaning you can complete a myriad of tasks from almost anywhere - even the beach!

At first glance the library of add-ons can be overwhelming, so with this in mind, we have created a short-list of our favourites:

ReceiptBankAdd-on:  Receipt Bank     Benefit: Less data entry

This application eliminates the need to enter supplier invoices into your system.  Copies of your invoices are submitted to Receipt Bank by email or iPhone app, who then create the corresponding transaction in Xero - all you need to do is approve the allocation of the expense.  A copy of the invoice is also attached to the transaction.

VendAdd-on:  Vend     Benefit:  Real-time sales and inventory data

This cloud-based platform enables retailers to accept payments and manage inventories in real-time.  Simple to set up, it works with a wide range of point-of-sale devices and all internet-enabled devices.  It also records daily sale totals automatically in Xero, ready for bank reconciliation.

Float real time cashflow forecastingAdd-on:  Float    Benefit: Flexible, real-time forecasting

This simple, cloud-based cash flow forecasting and budgeting tool automatically syncs with Xero, keeping your forecast up to date for consistently accurate business projections.  It allows you to forecast different financial scenarios and understand the potential impact of issues such as seasonality and capital outlay.

Workflow Max job & time management for productivity and profitabilityAdd-on: Workflow Max   Benefit: Better productivity and profitability measures

This application allows you to track time, manage jobs, create quotes, purchase orders and invoices.  Advanced reporting capabilities measure how well you are meeting deadlines, team productivity and more importantly, how much money you are making on each and every job.

Quotient appAdd-on: Quotient     Benefit: Integrated quoting and invoicing

This application allows you to create a quote which, once accepted by your customer (with the click of a button), prompts Xero to generate an invoice.  It also creates a permanent link back to your quote for future reference.

Whilst the benefits of these and the other 295 add-ons available are numerous, ultimately it is their ability to deliver a flexible, user-friendly accounting system that will provide greater clarity and huge time savings for all types of small businesses. 

Choosing the best applications to meet your individual business objectives can be a little overwhelming - but you needn’t go it alone. As a Xero certified partner, I can help you to identify and implement the add-ons that will deliver maximum efficiency, giving you more time to focus on your business future – from the comfort of your deckchair, of course!

Posted by Doug Mitchell
<p>Doug has overseen the growth of Mitchell Wilson for two decades, where his knowledge and integrity have made him a trusted partner to business owners and entrepreneurs in industries as diverse as financial services, travel, media and transport.</p>