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.)
So 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.
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.
Speaking 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.)
Balance 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!
Austin Bookkeeping & Consulting
QuickBooks featured Austin Bookkeeping & Consulting in a five part Facebook video series: #OWNIT QuickBooks is focusing on small businesses all over the country, great exposure for all of us! Thanks again QuickBooks!
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