For SMBs, choosing how to handle accounts can mean the difference between financial clarity and flying blind. But accounts can be difficult and confusing to manage, particularly when your experience in the area is low. Couple this with an accounting software package that barely fits the bill and you could end up in a sticky situation.
More traditional – and previously market leading – software providers haven’t provided for such on-the-go access, requiring users to be tether to a desk and usually limited in the number of ‘seats’ the software will give access to. These software solutions will have been physically installed onto the device and, as such, cannot simply be accessed from another location. When a business needs up-to-date information concerning their finances say, for example, in a client pitch, employees would have to resort to preparing documents to carry with them, phone someone near the device or simply make an educated guess.
Xero as an accounting Option
Xero is a relative newcomer to the accounting software market (Sage, for example, has been operating for over 20 years) but has made some notable waves in its time, effectively carving itself a niche within the accounting software industry. Originally developed for New Zealand markets, Xero saw a great reception and its significant adoption highlighted the possibility for international growth. Now available in many other countries, including the UK, Xero continues to provide an alternative in a market traditionally saturated by figures such as Sage.
The main advantages Xero has over its competitors is its cloud-based architecture and its ease of use. This allows you to log in anywhere whilst on the go, whether it is at home, travelling to and from locations, overseas – wherever – and access someone’s accounting records.
Compared to traditional software such as Sage, which requires you to be sat at a desk in your office, you can work on what you want at any given time without the continuous need to stare at a screen. The software’s ease of use also allows for swifter, more efficient processes, granting much greater productivity. Having used and recommended Xero for several years now, the system also allows for people to work in it at the same time. The system is real-time so banking transactions can feed in to the system. You can see who you owe money to and who owes you money, which is another major plus for customers using it.
Other companies are just beginning to understand why the cloud can be so beneficial for businesses and, as a result, have allowed solutions such as Xero to find footholds in the market. But this has also provided a more competitive marketplace and also ensured that businesses doing their accounting can do so at their own convenience.
Stalwarts of the accounting industry, particularly those working in Finance Offices around the country already, should change their ways and fully embrace the evolving world of technology and the rise of cloud. The benefits are significant.