Xero Cloud Accounting Software – How it Helps Small Businesses Better Manage Tax

Record keeping isn’t one of the issues entrepreneurs spend a lot of time thinking about when they dream of starting their own business, so it’s little wonder then that so many new businesses get themselves into difficulty come tax time,  because they underestimate the time and resources involved in good bookkeeping.

Keeping up to date and accurate accounts presents a significant challenge for any business, but in recent years a plethora of cloud based accounting software packages have appeared, making it much easier to manage taxation and business record keeping requirements.

To get a professional opinion about the best cloud based accounting software, we spoke to George Kontominas, the principal of Dendra Accounting Group, whose firm has been nominated three years running in the prestigious Australian Accounting Awards

“Modern cloud based accounting tools make running a small business easier than it’s ever been before”. says Kontominas “That’s why so many businesses are now moving their accounting software to the cloud”, and a common question they ask us is “what cloud based accounting software do you recommend.”

“At Dendra we can and do work with many of the popular cloud based programs (we are professional partners with Xero, MYOB and Quicken), but over the last few years we have seen a remarkable movement towards Xero accounting software,” says Kontominas.

Here’s a quick over view of some of the features that the Xero Cloud based platform has that makes it such a good option:
•    You have instant access to your business fundamentals. Log in online anytime, anywhere on any device, Mac, PC, tablet or phone and get a real-time view of your cash flow and reporting dashboard.
•    Multi-platform capabilities. Use a mobile app, PC Mac or tablet to send invoices online and get updated when they’re opened.
•    Fast seamless reconciliation. Match your bank transactions automatically to invoices, bills and purchases recorded in Xero. Send Imports and categorises your latest bank transactions, credit card and PayPal transactions and reconcile on the fly, just click a button and it’s done.
•     Use a mobile or tablet to snap photos of your receipts as they happen and attach them to your expense reports so you have a complete record of all expenses at your fingertips. You can even give your employees access to create expense claims via their cell phone.
•    Track working hours, calculate the payroll, pay employees and manage payroll taxes with ease. You can even give your employees self-service access from any device which means they can view their payslips, submit their timesheets and apply for leave, all on their cell phone or tablet.
•    Xero integrates with 500+ third-party apps allowing you to create truly seamless integrated administration software.
•    Receive and store your bills electronically, you can even email bills and documents straight to your files inbox in Xero for paperless record-keeping.
•    Improve your work efficiency and reduce data entry by setting up bills that repeat each month, each quarter or any period you choose. Manage your cash-flow by scheduling payments and batch paying suppliers.
•    Gives you live updates via a performance dashboard that allows you to tailor smart financial reports and budgets to suit your business.
•    Handles the challenges and impacts of multi-currency transactions, automatically tracks gains and losses across multiple currencies in real time. All foreign currency transactions are converted into your local currency and foreign exchange rates ae updated hourly, so you instantly know exactly how gains and losses affect cash-flow.
•    Managing goods and services taxes easily. Xero can accurately track and manage these taxes automatically for you as part of your tax submission process.
As mentioned, we also use MYOB and Quicken cloud based accounting systems. “If you are using one of these systems you may prefer to stay with them, they are catching up with Xero, but for the time being Xero certainly seems to be the most popular application,” says Kontominas.