Why I love Xero: My Journey from Analog to Digital

why i love xero 5Xero Bookkeeping!

After years of desktop accounting software, I made the change to the cloud. Since I own Austin Bookkeeping & Consulting, this was a big change. I explored Fresh Books, QuickBooks online, Mint, and found Xero.
Xero promised beautiful accounting software and that really caught my eye. I’m an artist who owns a bookkeeping business, so design counts. Plus many of my clients are designers and can appreciate good looking numbers.
Here’s what’s pretty in Xero: report layouts with color choices, a dashboard with moveable parts, a few well-placed graphs, and Xero’s consistent blue branding. (The Xero blue actually changes depending on your browser. I’ve noticed a more turquoise look in Firefox. Pretty.)

why i love xero 4So how does Xero work?

The beauty of Xero is the bank feed. Connect your bank to Xero and watch the transactions populate your checking register.

Data comes in on the left side through the bank feed. On the right side, you have an opportunity to create a transaction and post it. Notice the green on the right. This indicates that a transaction has already been created and the bank feed has found the match! Hit the okay button, and you have brought the transaction into your checking register.

You can also write notes in the “Discuss” tab, anything you want to say is fine. Maybe you are writing notes to your accountant or vice versa. (I’m a big fan of collaboration, and Q&A with clients is so much easier in the cloud!) There’s no way to blunder a transaction in the discussion area, so don’t feel shy to express yourself.

screenshot from xero bookkeeping

Xero Bookkeeping

It’s fun to match up the green transactions and read discussion notes, but what about more automation? Enter Xero Rules.
Most people have reoccurring expenses from some of the same vendors. No need to type in the same thing every month. Make a rule.
Here’s how it works: you set conditions and when the bank feed comes in, the rule is applied. The rule can be simple or more complex using multiple conditions that evaluate several pieces of information. For example, you can make a rule that directs all Office Depot transactions under $200 to be coded as office supplies. Dues and subscriptions are ripe for rules; same vendor and monthly recurrence. I take the time to make as many meaningful rules as possible. Less data entry equals more time to look at the big financial picture.

why i love xero 2Speaking of the big picture, there are over 500 apps that work with Xero. Some of my favorites are reporting apps.
Beautiful graphs and charts communicate in a snapshot.Some of us are visual thinkers and learners, so visual financial reporting gets the point across. One of the prettiest reporting apps is Spotlight Reporting.

The Xero Marketplace reminds me of Apple App store. Lots to choose from. Something for everyone. Plus reviews (and some free trials).
Xero also has a mobile app. I use it on my iPhone, but prefer to stick with web version on my iPad. The mobile version is fast and furious. You can reconcile your bank account, upload receipts, check on unpaid invoices in the grocery line.
Never an unproductive moment. (Let’s say more productivity in long lines equals more down time later.)
why i love xero 1Balance in bookkeeping and in life.

If you are interested in trying Xero, why not grab your free trial?
Click my link here https://goo.gl/zzEm37 (shortened with google url shortener)
Or click the red button below!

Xero Free Trial!

Cheryl Finfrock
Austin Bookkeeping & Consulting
www.AustinBookkeeping.com

Continue Reading
new computer

Three Simple Tax Saving Solutions

Do you put off business expenses? The end of the year is the perfect time to purchase much needed equipment for your business and write it off for tax year 2013. Here are a few ideas and tips: Buy what your business needs  Frivolous expenses do not count, especially in the IRS’s eyes. For example, […]

Continue Reading
Tax-files

Organizing Your Financial Life: A Few Pointers

Even if you’re determined to organize your personal financial life, it’s easy to get lost. Don’t try to figure out and master all the personal organizers and electronic gadgets that are supposed to make it easier. Meanwhile that stack of unattended paperwork multiplies like dust bunnies behind a desk. Disorganization and procrastination can be difficult […]

Continue Reading
time-management-sm

The Game of Time Management: Tips to help you win it.

You’ve tried all of the time management techniques offered by the experts. You’ve attended seminars about getting organized, setting goals and working through your
”to-do” list. Yet, the pace of your work life is still more than you can handle. Here’s an approach to time management that will actually help you feel in control and restore […]

Continue Reading
Tax Breaks for Contractors

Tax Breaks for Independent Contractors

If you’re an independent contractor, it’s imperative that you understand the tax rules involved. For tax purposes, independent contractors are treated as if they are running their own businesses. This makes them eligible for many tax benefits that are limited or not available to employees. Federal and state taxes are not withheld on behalf of […]

Continue Reading
zen bookkeeper stones

The Zen of Bookkeeping

As each tax season approaches, many business-owners find themselves overwhelmed with back-logged financial decisions and bookkeeping tasks. For most, managing financial records is a dreaded chore. They work hard to develop business plans and a client base, but avoid balancing the books for long periods of time, or do it in fragments that never seem […]

Continue Reading