For any creative there comes a point when your need to focus on finances grows, as one of our fab clients coined it, “the shit gets real”.
At that point it’s vital you have a tech solution that you can use alongside your accountant or bookkeeper to get ready access to that vital data in a format you can relate too.
You’re likely here because, like many, you’ve realised Xero is that perfect accounting software for creatives. However, there’s one little issue, you’re using something else.
Fear not, in this article we’ll show you how easy it is to switch to Xero.
Why Xero is a better choice
We expect we’re preaching to the converted but in case you’re not already convinced you’re taking the right step, here are some of our top reasons you can be assured Xero is a better choice than whatever you’re using right now, whether that’s spreadsheets or Quickbooks.
- It’s beautiful – yes it really is and yes it matters. We know looking at financials probably isn’t top of your wish list right now but when you have a solution that’s as easy to use whilst also being easy on the eye, it makes that task a whole heap easier.
- It plays nicely with others – Xero has always stood out from its competitors due to its incredible open API. What’s that? Essentially, from day one, Xero made it easy for other apps to link up to it, pushing and pulling data securely between all the software you already love.
- It makes collaboration a doddle – as a cloud first solution it has been built from the ground up with collaboration in mind. Whether you’re working with your accountant, bookkeeper, sales team or aunty Anne you’ll be able share with ease and peace of mind.
When should you switch to Xero?
Yes, there are better times to make your switch and whilst having read the above you may be eager to get going, 12 years of experience have taught us, sometimes the hard way, that patience here is a virtue!
So when is it best to make the move?
- Financial Year End – if that’s not far off the best time to move is at your financial year end, a point when you’re naturally drawing a line in your data.
- VAT Quarter End – if year end feels too far away and your business is registered for VAT, the next best option is at the end of your next VAT quarter. This helps avoid any mess when trying to work out your next VAT return. Trying to piece it together across two systems isn’t fun!
- Month End – if your business is not VAT Registered then any month end should work fine for your migration to Xero.
It’s also important to try and move ‘good’ data. By that we mean don’t rush to move if you’re still trying to finish up your bookkeeping. It’s much easier to move clean and complete data than move and try and correct errors or add data in Xero.
How to switch to Xero
The practicalities of switching to Xero depend a great deal on what solution you already have in place. The great news is that moving from other common software like Sage and Quickbooks is easiest of all. Next up is moving from your trusty spreadsheet. Hardest of all is moving from less well known software.
In those circumstances there may be work to do on the data you extract from your old solution before importing into Xero.
If you feel comfortable taking on the change yourself, Xero have a DIY guide to Convert to Xero.
You would be excused for thinking the task feels a significant one though and if you’d like expert help in making sure everything is setup properly, we’re happy to provide you with our 12 years of experience in doing just this!
So, you now have the metaphorical Ferrari in the garage, how do you make sure you get to use it? We’ve condensed our 12 years of experience across hundreds of companies into a quick guide to help get you on the right track.
- Bank Feeds – set them up now, right now! Xero’s super power is its bank feeds, as a company they have pioneered this technology long before Open Banking (What is Open Banking?) came about.
- Capture Receipts as you go – time to say goodbye to that shoebox/shopping bag/top drawer of receipts. Incredible tools like DEXT allow you to snap receipts on your phone or forward them from your inbox. It then takes the image and extracts the data and sends both into Xero. This gives you a bulletproof, single source of financial data.
- Update often – now we don’t mean update the software, being cloud based that’s all done for you. Make sure you check-in to Xero (& DEXT) at least weekly. The bitesize approach to managing your finances and recording your data is most definitely the best way. It will save you from that Sunday evening sat catching up on months of transactions, scrapping for receipts before your VAT Return is due in.
- Get comfortable with reports in Xero – now you have this fantastic system, full or regularly updated data, you want to know how things are going. Who owes you money, what needs paying to HMRC, where are you spending that you could cut back. Diving into Xero’s reports and finding the ones that give you what you need is a must. Further, most reports can be customised to suit you and your business.
Ready to go?
We’re excited for you! We’ve seen over and over the incredible impact a switch to Xero can have on businesses.
If you’re ready and want some expert support in getting you up and running please do reach out.