At day one of Xerocon San Francisco, accountants and bookkeepers learned how to get the most from the Xero platform, through Product Mastery sessions, demos, one-on-ones with Xero developers and education sessions with the Xero learning squad.
Xero’s Accounting Ambassador for the Southwest, Amanda Aguillard, led a Product Mastery session outlining how accounting professionals can streamline procedures and save even more time with Xero.
More than 1000 delegates had the chance to get hands-on with some of the latest Xero features at the event. Many realizing that the time taken in the past to perform manual tasks like data entry and recoding is now slashed due to the automation and collaboration Xero offers.
Aguillard is a CPA and launched her cloud-based firm, Aguillard Accounting, nearly five years ago. Her practice now services more than 50 clients. From her wealth of experience, she shared best practices for setting up clients on Xero.
1. Plot the right road map
At Xerocon, Aguillard said it’s important for accountants to ensure the framework is laid down for accountants and their clients to successfully collaborate in the cloud.
“Strategic setup is important, it saves you time,” Aguillard said.
Mapping out a client’s ecosystem from the outset will make it easier to choose the right app partners for the accountant and their client. This selection process is simplified even more so with Xero’s App Marketplace, where you will find more than 500 apps. Accountants can search the Marketplace by app function or industry vertical.
Aguillard said the simpler accountants can make accounting for small business owners, “the more likely they are to do it”. Clients should be able to jump into Xero quickly and, with a couple of clicks, be done.
Xero’s Find & Recode function relieves the pain of manual coding. With more than 3,000,000 accounts recoded since it’s launch, Find & Recode saves accountants time.
Aguillard detailed how setting up solid bank rules enables accountants to capitalize on the efficiencies of Find & Recode. In the Cash Coding tab, users can set bank rules with a specific title to take the guesswork out of reconciliation. Aguillard said accountants can “reconcile tons of lines with the click of a button”.
3. Train clients
There are some things that only accounting professionals are able to help their clients with. Accountants should gently train clients to do little things to make the work easier and free up time. Time that can be spent providing higher-value services.
Aguillard said accountants should train their clients to upload documents with meaningful names, for example: naming a receipt by its date, vendor, and amount. Pdfs are preferable too. It’s all about thinking about the little things that will add-up.
Spending the time today to carefully set up clients in Xero, along with implementing best practices, will enable accountants to help small businesses thrive.