Back in 2013 a momentous thing happened to our business.
People still have some misgivings about this ‘new’ Cloud stuff in 2016, but here’s the thing: Cloud based systems were not even a new thing back in 2013. The Google for Work suite of products had started to take off, and it wasn’t the only thing.
Think of Contact Management Systems like SALESFORCE and the length of time that people have been using them as part of their Digital Ecosystem. Think about online booking systems like Shortcuts in the Beauty/hair industry, or any of the online booking engines in the accommodation space.
But then Cloud based accounting packages started to pick up steam.
Whilst many businesses were starting to integrate some of their systems into the cloud, I believe the tipping point to move MOST systems to the cloud has come about due to the acceptance and confidence of cloud based accounting systems.
Our business is just like your business from an accounting perspective.
We (ah yes that would be me!) put off moving to cloud based accounting package for a variety of reasons.
Security: Could other people access my data? Could they hack in? What about the ATO??
Access: Would I readily have access whenever I wanted, would the system be reliable enough for me to know I could get into my accounts, whenever and wherever I wanted?
Bandwidth: Would my internet stand the bandwidth drain, so that I could quickly update the information and retrieve information as and when I needed to?
Licensing: What would the cost be for ongoing user based access?
Who is the upstart NZ based company anyway compared to the known behemoths of MYOB and RECKON (Quickbooks) in the SME desktop space?
Yes, a lot of questions. I was torn.
Obviously working in the Digital space, I knew the long term benefits of cloud based anything.
Namely the potential for all other parts of your business to interact. A true digital ecosystem, with all parts of the system working together to successfully achieve our business goals.
And, not to the mention how cost effective the move would be. Network servers are expensive, expensive to maintain and expensive to continually upgrade as a business has continually expanding data storage requirements.
But accounts, online, in The Cloud, out of my secure network control...
It was a definite thing to get over.
The increasing electricity costs to cool a dedicated server room proved the tipping point.Yes old school costs, proved to be the tipping point to take on board new school efficiencies.
And I wish I had done it sooner.
The change in our business has been nothing short of remarkable.
Our business has more than doubled since 2013 and we could not have managed the increased accounting needs during that time if we had still be doing it the OLD way. In addition, we have been able to integrate our accounting into our CRM and into our website, creating further productivity efficiencies due to the seamless workflow and automation that we have been able to take advantage of.
We effectively added a new element into our Digital Ecosystem that flowed through and allowed us to reduce our accounting costs, whilst increasing the level of activity inside our accounting software. Not to mention the reduction in general administration of invoices.
Seamless and simple.
Xero integrates with our CRM system Accelo see (Brendon’s article here) beautifully - with automatic invoice generation for monthly and annual subscriptions as well as adhoc and project work. It also allows all our team to see when payments are made or outstanding due to the push back of data from Xero into Accelo.
Xero integrates beautifully with our accounts, credit cards, paypal for easy reconciliation. No more nightmare paper trail or hours of creating payments inside our old desktop application. Payments just present themselves to be reconciled. We can also connect to other XERO users, meaning that creditors can send us an invoice from XERO and we can accept the details directly, without having to manually create the details. Too easy!
In addition we have integrated Xero into our website. So each time a purchase is made at our site, an invoice is created inside XERO with the correct details brought across, saving more time. We just review, approve and post. Simple!
We are Xero developer partners, but if you haven’t made the change to XERO for your small business needs, or moved your accounting to the cloud, what are you waiting for? As Nike says,
Just do it!
Speak to your accountant, or maybe get in touch with a XERO set up specialist likeFlourish FM.
You will be so glad you made the switch!
So have you moved to The Cloud? What platforms/products do you use and love? Have you integrated them into your website or CRM? If not, why not? We would love to hear how you are expanding your Digital Ecosystem.