Best accounting practices for small to medium-sized business owners

Stephanie Zheng
·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read
Accounting made easier (Photo: iStockPhoto)
Accounting made easier (Photo: iStockPhoto)

There are many online solutions designed to minimize the accounting workload of small and medium-sized enterprises, setting you free to develop and grow your business with confidence. But few consistently win as many plaudits from both industry experts and end users as Xero.

From New Zealand to Singapore to London to New York, more than 2 million subscribers now trust Xero to streamline their invoicing, payroll, inventory control and more. And no wonder — not only does Xero simplify your everyday accounting and administration duties, it’s also incredibly easy to use.

No matter the type of business, from a cosy neighbourhood café to a dynamic start-up or a fledgling retail empire, Xero helps business owners with many of their most critical yet time-consuming and tedious tasks such as managing invoices and reconciling payments, which can all be integrated with their digitised bank feeds. With all your business data stored in one place, you can enjoy the confidence that comes from being able to assess at a glance the financial health of your business at any time from any device, phone, tablet, or computer with Xero’s mobile app. It’s even possible to collaborate with your accountant or bookkeeper for tax, financial forecasting and bookkeeping.

Xero’s immediate and practical benefits include:

Bills paid on time, every time — Track and pay bills quickly, and get a clear overview of accounts payable and cash flow. You can also make batch payments and schedule payments in advance.

Seamless bank transactions — By connecting your bank to Xero securely and reliably, transactions flow straight into Xero each business day, so you can keep track of all money coming in and going out.

Fast and secure payments — Accept online invoice payments and get paid up to twice as fast by connecting to Stripe and other payment solutions. You can also add a ‘Pay Now’ button to online invoices, and safely accept global cards and Apple Pay payments.

Simplified expense claims — Your employees can make paperless claims quickly and conveniently while on the go, and those claims can be approved without delay. Analytics examining all expenses data can then guide informed management decisions.

And that’s not all. Xero’s extensive functionality also extends to project management, bank reconciliation and inventory control. You can quote, invoice and get paid for jobs while keeping track of time, costs and project profitability with ease, and effortlessly manage inventory and keep track of what's in stock. Xero also supports:

Contacts and smartlists — Look up a customer or supplier to see a full history of sales, emails, invoices and payments, as well as contact details.

Online filing — Use Xero as your online filing system. Manage and share documents, contracts, bills and receipts safely from anywhere.

Smart quotes and invoices — Work smarter by creating online or PDF quotes and invoices from your phone or desktop. You can also create and edit an invoice directly from a quote.

Multi-currency accounting — Pay and get paid in more than 160 currencies, and enjoy up-to-date exchange rates and instant currency conversions.

Purchase orders — Create and send purchase orders online. Then keep track of orders and deliveries so ordering is right every time.

Payroll — Process and keep records of pay runs online, create a batch payment file each pay run, and generate electronic payslips.

And perhaps most crucially of all, Xero protects all your data with multiple layers of security, so it’s secure and available whenever you need it, and you benefit from unrivalled peace of mind. You control what users can see and do in Xero, and no one else has access to your organisation’s data unless you invite them into your account.

Ultimately, accounting with Xero opens up a world of opportunities to increase efficiency and streamline the way you manage your small or medium-sized business. You can explore all Xero’s features for free for 30 days before deciding which on-going plan best suits your needs.

Visit xero.com to get started. Plans start from USD$10 per month, offer ends 31 March 2021.

This article was written in partnership with Xero Limited.