As we begin the first unrestricted Summer for a number of years, we all want to maximise the amount of time available outside of work. With that goal in mind, we’ve highlighted several ways to make your bookkeeping and accounts process less time-consuming.

Of course, there are a plethora of bolt-on apps you could consider but, quite often, the biggest efficiencies are already at your fingertips.

Bank feeds

Bank feeds get mentioned in most of our blogs, purely because of how good they are. The time-savings for this simple switch are immeasurable, with bank transactions being brought through to Xero without the need for uploads or typing.

Once linked, we are yet to have a client choose to remove the connection!

Bank rules

Another item that gets talked about incessantly is creating bank rules within Xero. Bank rules enable you to allocate items with one click without investigating where they went last time.

This is not only a time-saver, but also improves the accuracy and consistency of your data – which in turn allows your Xero reports to be more meaningful for real-time data.

Emailing direct from Xero

‘Create invoice… Approve… Print to pdf… Download… Open emails… Type email… Send to contact…’

Does this process sound familiar? If so, why are you still doing this?

Xero has a built-in emailing service direct from your invoicing screen, allowing you to send your invoice with templated bodies of text which can be specified by client or client groups.

For a relatively short setup process, you can cut out a lot of admin time involving multiple softwares.

Online payments

Do you accept card payments for your company, or have a PayPal account? Why not include payment links on your invoice?

For the sake of adding a link to your email template Xero has found that users with a Stripe (for card payments) link on their invoices are being paid up to 15 days faster than those without.

It may seem like a trivial change, but this removes the time-consuming barrier of customers loading up their online banking to make a payment to you, which is quite often put off by them until the invoice is due.

Customer payment terms

On the topic of invoice due dates, we appreciate that it isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ policy. The credit terms which you grant your customers can vary on a case-by-case basis.

Xero allows you to set this within your Customer’s Contact Card, which will flow through whenever you create an invoice for them.

This makes it simple to tailor for everything from the multi-national company that pays 15 days after the final day of the current month, to the small business that you expect immediate payment from.

Statement reminders

Often the reason for late payment of invoices is that your customer has simply forgotten. We have seen success stories with our clients implementing automated invoice statement reminders on the due date.

Similar to the email customisations, the tone of the reminders can be tailored away from the ‘DEMAND’ format which we instantly envisage when picturing Statement Reminders.

From our clients’ experiences, they have found that their customers are grateful to receive a polite prompt for them to pay.

Xero mobile app

Create and send invoices, reconcile your bank, view your profit – all from the convenience of your phone.

Xero aims to keep improving their mobile app to accommodate the agility and accessibility of modern business and prevent you having to load up the computer for every single activity.

Automating your eCommerce

eCommerce is an area that we are constantly being asked about, as each company aims to explore the infinite market.

Personally, I wince when I speak to a client that is choosing to process Amazon, eBay, Etsy or Shopify data manually through to Xero. Invariably this arrangement only lasts for a little while before the client comes back for further advice.

Quite frankly, the intricacies of these selling platforms are too large to process yourself in a timely manner. The various tax and VAT implications can often weigh you down with admin for each reconciliation.

We use the likes of A2X and Dext Commerce to offer a solution to your woes, as you seek to expand your business reach online. Yes, there is an additional cost involved for this but how much do you value your free time?

How can we help?

If any of the above issues resonate with you, please contact our digital advisory team direct for further advice.

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