10 Steps to Automating your Bookkeeping with Xero

The first question that I guess you have is “why should I automate my bookkeeping?”

And to answer that fully I should probably write another article, however, there are a few reasons why you should be automating now;

1.      Save Time. So many business owners are spending valuable hours doing their bookkeeping manually when they could be using that time to grow their business.

2.      Stop Stressing. Everyone has great intentions to keep on top of their accounts, until the day to day running of their business takes over, and before they know it there’s  6 months’ worth of invoices and receipts to enter into a spreadsheet or basic system. Now that is stressful and time consuming.

3.    Know your Numbers. If you’re going to run a successful growing business, then you must know your numbers. You need real-time information. You need to know your gross and net profit, you need to know and understand your cashflow, you need to know who owes you money.

4.    VAT Submissions. From April 2019 (only 6 months away) all VAT submissions for businesses over the VAT threshold will have to be made online to HMRC. Xero does this easily and seamlessly.

5.   Planning. Switched on business owners know how much tax they are going to have to pay before they must pay it and they plan for that. No horrible tax surprises.

OK so now you know why you should be automating; the next question is

“Why Xero”?

Xero Certified Advisor Certificate

Yes, we know that there are lots of accountancy software packages on the market, but at Green Zebra, we love Xero.

Why do we love it? 

Well, firstly it’s intuitive and easy to use. Secondly, it grows with your business, so you can add to your Xero to support the needs of your business as it grows (think payroll, stock management). Thirdly we think it’s more advanced than any of its counterparts.

So, if you want to automate your bookkeeping and you want to use software that will grow with you then we recommend Xero.

Great Accountant

Here is our simple 10 step guide on how to automate your books:

1.    Switch your bookkeeping software to Xero. You can find out all about Xero and subscribe to a free month’s trial here https://www.xero.com/uk/

2.    Get some xero training from a certified advisor or watch the training videos on Xero. You can find Xero training videos under the “Resources” tab on the Xero website or you can enrol on 1-2-1 training with us from £99

3.    Set up automatic bank feeds into Xero. This means that your bank information is feeding directly into Xero. You’ll need this information when you get to step 8

4.   Raise your invoices using Xero. You can brand them with your business logo, address etc and you can create and send them from the Xero App as well as from your computer/laptop. So, you can literally be sat with a client and ping them an invoice from your phone.

5.    Receipt BankUse Receipt Bank to upload receipts and expenses instantly into Xero. Receipt bank is an App where you can take a photo of a receipt and it’ll go straight into Xero, or you can forward on an email receipt to the system. Receipt Bank uses Artificial Intelligence to work out who the receipt is from and which category to allocate it to in Xero – saving you a lot of manual entry work. You can find out more about Receipt Bank here  https://www.receipt-bank.com/

6.    izettleGet paid faster with payment Apps such as GoCardless and Stripe.  GoCardless allows you to set up direct debits for recurring clients and Stripe let’s clients pay you instantly. We also love iZettle which at a basic level collects card payments in-store or on-the-go with a card reader, and at enhanced level is a full Electronic Point of Sale system (EPOS)

7.   Automate recording your business mileage using tripcatcher, it records your business mileage for you and even calculates the VAT. You can find out more and trial it free for 14 days here https://www.tripcatcherapp.com/

8.  Reconcile your transactions at least once a month (time block to do this)

9.   If you can’t do this yourself, get help – it will literally save you hours. If you want some help then contact Cathy or Wayne – we’ll happily help.

10.Add on any other Apps that could streamline your business processes – such as Workflow Max (time sheets, time tracking, project management, financial reporting), Chaser (debtor chasing for invoices that are past their due date), Shopify (allows you to create your own online, ecommerce store). You can find information on all these apps and hundreds more at www.xero.com If you’d like to talk to us about our recommendations and other Apps that could work well for your business just contact one of us.

Now sit back and enjoy your free time, enjoy knowing your business numbers , understanding how your business is performing, and having access to data 24 hours a day.

At Green Zebra Business Solutions we help ambitious business owners to simplify their Accountancy, Bookkeeping, HR, Recruitment and Contracts; and we offer lots of proactive business advice too. 

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