July 12, 2012
Accounting & Taxation, Improve Cashflow, Time Management, Systems
It seems the buzzword of 2012 is Cloud Computing, which in really simple terms means using the power of the Internet to better store, manage and process data. This saves you time, energy and effort – something that we know you hold dearly! At May Partners, we have a real commitment to creating time efficiencies for you and your team, and that really should involve Cloud Computing.
So, in the context of business – What specifically is Cloud Computing? From a bookkeeping perspective, this is the use of accounting systems to securely store data offsite to allow for up-to-date access anywhere, anytime via the Internet. Software providers are racing to get their products in ‘the cloud’ and are spending millions doing so. One of those providers leading the pack is ‘Xero’.
Xero is an online software program that ultimately allows business owners to spend more time working ON their business rather than IN their business.
There are 7 really clear benefits to using Xero to better manage your business;
- Automatic software upgrades (hence no more installations to do), that are free. This means less time juggling software, no downtime, and the convenience of knowing that you ALWAYS have the most up-to-date version, without having to think about it.
- Easy Access to data and software (you can access it from anywhere you can access the internet). So no matter where you are, as long as you have access to the Internet, you have access to the lifeblood of your business – the numbers! P.S. This means that your accountant ALSO has super easy access to everything, always! It also means NO MORE USBs!
- Future Proofing your business. Many software developers are moving towards releasing their product (and supporting their product) only via the cloud. Using Xero means that you’re already there.
- Higher Reliability. Your work server can (and in time, will) go down. Cloud providers operate systems that are far more reliable than in house servers, meaning that you’ll always be able to get what you need, when you need it.
- iPad Connectivity. Xero can also be used in iPads and smartphones!
- Security. The level of security offered by a reputable cloud provider such as Xero exceeds the level of security that businesses can otherwise provide themselves – usually just as safe (or safer) than some online banks. No more USB sticks or PCs in the office that can be tampered with, stolen, or burnt down.
- Time savings – which can be HUGE – given the automatic bank feeds of transaction data each day. Xero can link straight to your bank account and can put all of the relevant data in the relevant places. No more number crunching. And the way that it remembers what goes where is really really quite incredible. You’ll have to see it to believe it.
Of course, it can’t be all perfect. There are some of the potential disadvantages of using Xero:
- Ongoing monthly fee. When you use Xero you sign up for a monthly subscription (rather than buying it outright, as a one off). However when compared to the cost of upgrading and then installing software each year, the cost is totally comparable. Note that looking at the pure financial cost also ignores the huge time savings that can be gained – not to mention all of the other key benefits.
- It’s only as secure as you are with your passwords. Access to data is gained by logging in through the Internet, so if you don’t keep your passwords safe (or if your password is ‘password’), you’re in trouble
- Quality and speed of Internet connection. If you have poor or unreliable Internet, this could cause an issue. However, if this is the case you really need to consider solving that. Remember, we each only have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. No point spending half that time waiting for your Internet to connect, right?
On top of all of the above, Xero also incorporates payroll (as well as the usual accounts receivable and accounts payable) all within the one piece of software, unlike some other providers.
And Xero isn’t known as the world’s easiest accounting software for no reason!
For further information please feel free to contact us at May Partners. We love the software and can explain in really simple terms what it could mean for you and your business. And if you’re in Bendigo, Kerang or Cohuna (or even just live in Country Victoria and don’t mind a short drive), drop in in-person and we can give you a live demonstration. We’re accredited local Xero specialists and have a team of experts waiting to help, so you may as well take advantage of us, right?