In a digital age, you need the right digital tools to run your business in the most efficient manner.
The fact that you’ve clicked on this blog means you may already know something about Xero, Sage, or Quickbooks – or you’ve used one of them already. On your lookout for accounting advice you may have noticed an accountant is a ‘Quickbooks Adviser’ or ‘Xero Partner’.
We don’t blame you for being indifferent about which one to put your faith in. There’s a tonne of information out there, and it doesn’t always say a lot. The answer online is often “it depends”. That advice alone doesn’t feel entirely helpful.
It shouldn’t only depend on what your accountant likes
Accountants in the UK (and worldwide) will have different opinions about a lot of things.
Believe it or not – not all accountants are the same. To the untrained eye, we may all appear to be doing the same things – but there are some stark differences between us that will dictate what we advise is best. Some firms are traditional, some are modern. Some are dealing with only entrepreneurs, whilst others deal with multinational corporations. Some wear suits and ties, others prefer to slum it in hoodies and trainers.
At Golding, we exclusively use Xero. We don’t bother dabbling in Quickbooks, and we generally avoid Sage. There’s no financial benefit to us advising one over the other. We’re not insisting our clients use Xero for our own personal gain.
We believe Xero has built a future proofed software. That’s not to say that things can’t change, and nothing will ever top it. But right now, we believe Xero to be the absolute best option for helping our clients succeed long-term.
First, why any of them?
Before we delve into the software itself, a quick interlude on why you need a digital software in the first place. Why Xero over desktop is probably a good place to start.
If you’ve been in the game for a while, you (or your accountant) will have used a desktop accounting programme at some point. Digital accounting, or cloud accounting, just means that your data is no longer restricted to one computer. Like online banking, you can access your numbers anywhere, all you need is an internet connection and you’re good to go. You don’t need to go through the stress of manual desktop updates, and you can collaborate really easily with your accountant. Not to mention, all your information is backed up in the cloud, so you won’t need a complicated all-singing-all-dancing backup system in place for your accounts.
Digital accounting is the way now, and we’re only moving forward.
So, why do we believe Xero is the future?
Here’s our honest review.
- Xero’s ecosystem is second to none
Xero integrates with over 800 independent apps all designed to help you solve the problems unique to your business. As your accountants, we can look at the best apps for you, factoring in your specific industry needs and your personal needs.
There are apps for everything, from predicting future cash flow, to managing your sales process, to moving your products online. Apps for service based businesses and consumer businesses. Apps to streamline the internal processes, and apps to make life easier for your customers and clients. Have a browse of all the apps that integrate with Xero here.
We include Receipt Bank in our Xero subscription for all our clients, so that you never have to faff around with uploading your expenses manually. We wrote about that here.
- It’s the most user friendly platform
When we say that Xero saves you time and money, we really mean it. Accounting has a history of being arduous and painfully time consuming, especially for anyone without a background in accounting. Xero makes bookkeeping tasks accessible to all, plus does a lot of the old school manual tasks automatically.
There’s probably a long list of things you’d rather be doing than reconciling the bank, or manually entering hundreds of receipts. Working on the business you love, spending time with your family, watching paint dry. Once you’ve connected Xero to your bank, statement lines feed in on a daily basis. In a couple of clicks you can accept a match, and Xero will reconcile the bank statement line and apply the payment to an invoice or bill.
Easy to check, quick to complete.
- Xero are forward thinking developers
In a Xero Vs. Quickbooks Vs. Sage google search, you’ll see a whole load of feature reviews, spanning many years. We could delve into each product feature and compare the pros and cons, but it probably wouldn’t get you any closer to making a decision.
One of the things we love about Xero is that they’re always innovating, and all their updates are automatic. There’s no need to buy a new ‘version’. They listen to business owners and accountants and make advancements in their technology based on human insights. Every year, we take a trip to Xerocon (Xero’s conference in London) to hear about all the feature updates and how they’re going to make your life as a business owner even easier.
- It makes your MTD requirements a breeze
It is now necessary that every business is compliant with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) rules. This means that if you’re over the £85k VAT threshold, you must keep records digitally and submit them via a HMRC-recognised MTD software.
Xero has been working with HMRC since MTD was first announced, to support business owners in the transition to digital tax. There is now an MTD for VAT solution live in Xero, available in all Xero plans for no extra cost.
This solution is easy to activate in Xero, and we can help you to migrate your data over if you’ve been using a desktop software and need to make the transition.
Our advice – use Xero, but don’t go it alone
We believe that Xero Vs Quickbooks and Sage is like Mercedes Vs Vauxhall. Quickbooks and Sage will get you there, but not as seamlessly and beautifully as Xero will. Xero is a smart design, there’s no doubt about it – but there is still a human behind it, which means there’s still room for human error.
We recommend Xero to all our clients, whether their business is a new fresh slate, or has been going for years. But we also recommend sparing yourself the time it takes to do your books, so that you can focus on running your business. As a Xero Gold Partner, we get 25% off the subscription costs, so it’ll be a little cheaper to get set up with us. We also throw Receipt Bank into our costs, as we mentioned in point 1.
Want to talk to us about taking your Merc for a test drive? Just give us a shout and we’ll show you what it can do for you.