One of the most publicised recent acquisitions for Xero was Canadian Receipt Capture, Scan and Coding software HubDoc. Rather than send a “bank-like” email informing users that the monthly fee to use Xero was increasing, Xero “sold” the value of the pesky increase of $2 as a saving of $27.50 because they included the Receipt Capture features in the software! That’s smart marketing.
In the meantime, MYOB forged an alliance with Bunnings as every large fintech, accounting and banking organisation tries to get into the Smart Receipt marketing at the source. Here are some of the things that have happened.
MYOB is starting to get their act together providing much desired features in their accounting software.
I’ve written about some of the major receipt scanning programs like Dext/Receipt Bank and Auto Entry in the past and happy to say that we have some new MYOB training course resources in development for our MYOB bank reconciliation Training courses.
I find it interesting to see the messages coming from both these companies. They seem to arrive at similar times and it shows that they are very closely watching each others digital marketing messages and fighting for your attention by revealing what they are doing for you, their clients.
This week Xero sent a message about cashflow forecasting and QuickBooks sent a message about their receipt scanning and data capture but which one is more important right now? I’ve attached the email message sent from each company for you to compare.
DO YOU GET frustrated when you see the little box at the bottom of the BAS lodgement form? You know, the one where they ask how long it took to complete the form because I feel like writing, “It took 10 minutes to complete the form, but 4 hours to do the data entry and bank reconciliation work!”
Junior bookkeepers, accounts receivable and accounts payable clerks, and office administrators will all share that their most time-consuming work is data entry, coding and bank reconciliations. However, there is software available which almost totally automates this work — and it’s becoming increasingly accurate and speedy.
Whether you’re a bookkeeper or business owner, if there’s one thing we probably all have a shared hatred of — it’s filing. Filing is the little task we always put off, until eventually we can’t find anything through the sea of paper and receipts cluttering our offices.
This wouldn’t be so bad if filing wasn’t such an important part of a business.
As part of our commitment to be the number one choice for online MYOB Bookkeeping training courses we are always keeping an eye and ear out for changes and improvements in the bookkeeping industry. If you do your own banking reconciliation, you might agree that sifting through printed statements and checking each entry off in your accounting software is maybe the most tedious part of bookkeeping.
But it need not be. With accounting bank feeds – a new feature in the world of cloud accounting – your bank transactions are automatically synched with your cloud accounting software.
This means that as long as you’ve entered your purchases into your accounting software, when your statement comes in from your bank, it will automatically marry up your purchases for you to approve with just the click of a button.
Automatic bank feeds removes the single most tedious step from the banking reconciliation process, which, depending on the size of your company, can take anywhere fifteen minutes to two hours (sometimes even more).
For a little more detail on how MYOB and bank feeds works, watch this video:
Or, for more information on how Xero and bank feeds work, watch this video:
But it’s important to know how your accounting software will access your sensitive banking information as currently there are two main methods for doing so.
First there is the method used by the likes of MYOB where your accounting software provider integrates a direct feed of your bank transactions from each of your banks into your software without needing your bank username and password.
The second method, called screen scraping, requires your accounting software to use a third party to access your bank transactions, thus necessitating your bank usernames and passwords, which can become a grey area with regards to protecting yourself from banking fraud.
While the companies that use the screen scraping method take security very seriously, should a breach occur, you could find yourself in violation of your bank’s terms and conditions because you gave out your usernames and passwords.
It’s up to you to choose what method you feel comfortable with but always check your bank’s terms and conditions before you give out your login in details.
Whatever option you choose, by eliminating the hours of data entry, your saving not only time, but also money.
And for the layperson doing their banking reconciliation themselves, services like Shoeboxed only eliminate the data entry even further.
PS: We’re also almost ready to announce our new Cert IV in Small Business Management with the Australian Small Business Centre so if you are looking to start a business or learn the skills to manage one stay tuned…
Xero is well known for purchasing apps which integrate with it and provide vertical integration. The best known acquisition in recent years is the purchase of Hubdoc for receipt capture. This made Xero compete directly with some of the other companies who’ve been doing this for a while like Dext (formerly Receipt Bank) and AutoEntry.
Well they’ve done it again in the purchase this year of Planday in Europe for staff rostering, attendance and reporting. But how will they compete with QuickBooks Online and KeyPay?
It almost seemed like Xero was giving you $27.50 of extra value when they announced their $2 per month increase last week. These effects take effect on 18 March 2020 but not everyone wants Hubdoc and competitors like QuickBooks already offered similar functionality!
Xero has had a love/hate relationship with bookkeepers ever since the days when they promoted their accounting software as so easy that small business owners could use it themselves – without the cost of a bookkeeper – and it looks like they are well on their way with this mission. Continue reading Xero going up a pesky $2 rather than $27.50
MANAGING EXPENSES AND capturing source documents, like receipts, is the bane of most accounting department managers. But can this now be done with ease?
Before I sold the business for AccessID/EzyAccess Safety Management software, I used the business credit card for all business-related expenses. However, credit card or not, the Financial Controller for our financial team was constantly asking for hardcopy or electronic receipts.
What makes Xero so popular is that it is inexpensive software that’s simple to use and has lots of time-saving features.
In doing so, it’s basically left MYOB to hold the mantle of the accounting software used by accountants and bookkeepers.
Now, however, Xero is looking to close that gap, with the launch of “Xero HQ”; a data and insights platform for bookkeepers and accountants who are part of the Xero Partner Program.
Xero HQ wants to help you grow
To shake MYOB’s stranglehold on the accountant and bookkeeper market, Xero had to do something to differentiate itself and tempt accountants and bookkeepers away from MYOB.
And they’re betting that Xero HQ will be the thing that does it. Xero HQ will provide bookkeepers and accountants with data and insights tools so they can provide “advisory level” services to clients.
Xero’s focus on “advisory level” services is important here, because it reveals a couple of things Xero plans to do with the industry. The first is to continue to automate many of the tasks a bookkeeper would traditionally carry out — the introduction of bank feeds eliminated data entry, for instance — and the second is to up-skill junior bookkeepers, while simultaneously embedding them within the Xero ecosystem — which will fit nicely with their recently launched Xero Lifelong Learning platform.
What exactly is the Xero HQ platform?
If you’re part of the Xero Partner Program already, then access to the Xero HQ platform is free. The Xero HQ platform is essentially a separate workflow that you access online, which provides a number of features not available though your regular Xero software.
These Xero HQ features include the following:
Activity feed: When your clients’ GST or activity statements are due, a notification will appear in the activity feed to alert you.
Client list: This is essentially like a contact book, where you can store all your clients’ information in one place; even those clients who aren’t on Xero.
Explorer: This feature pulls data Xero knows about your clients to help you provide them with better advice, or help you up-skill in areas you know are important to them. For example: it will show you which apps are popular across all your clients, so you can learn how to use them.
Xero HQ app marketplace
The Xero HQ platform also has an app marketplace, which has a focus on apps that will help bookkeepers and accountants with their business. That’s different to the existing Xero app marketplace, which is geared towards small businesses in any industry.
The Xero HQ app marketplace is split up into three tiers, depending on the size of your bookkeeping or accounting practice.
Which Xero HQ app marketplace will suit you?
If you’ve 100 or fewer clients, then you’d be best suited to the “activate” package of apps especially “curated” by the Xero HQ team.
If you have between 100 and 200 clients, then you’re best suited to the “energise” package of apps; practices with 300 or more clients suit the “supercharge” package.
It’s up to you which apps you switch on, but Xero has eliminated the leg work involved in finding apps to suit your business needs.
Some common third party apps, recommended across all three Xero HQ app marketplace tiers include:
Futrli: A forecasting and reporting app designed to help control cash flow and accelerate growth. Technically, you can pull all these data out of Xero by running a number of different reports and exporting them into Excel, but this app does all that work for you, and just delivers the insights. Partner pricing starts at $399 per month.
Receipt Bank: Extracts relevant information from paper receipts and invoices, imports the data into Xero, categorises it, and stores both the data and receipt safely in the cloud. Your clients just snap a picture of the receipt using the Receipt Bank app on their smartphone or upload from their PC.
BOMA: Is a marketing and advertising platform that lets you export data from Xero and use it for your marketing and advertising campaigns. With BOMA you can create and broadcast marketing and advertising messages across five channels (email, Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter), including sponsored advertising posts on those platforms. It also provides you with all the imagery, templates and other design needs to create your campaigns. It’s basically a one- stop -shop for digital marketing and advertising. Partner pricing starts at $49 per month.
Xero HQ is where accounting meets CRM
In essence, the Xero HQ platform is where accounting and customer relationship management meet. Xero provides bookkeepers and accountants with a platform that enables high-level analysis and data management through integrating third-party Xero HQ partner apps.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles; and they can use the Xero Lifelong Learning platform to up-skill and provide those services.
“Xero HQ serves dual purposes: it encourages bookkeepers to move away from providing basic bookkeeping services to deeper analysis and advisory roles…”
FOR BUSINESSES WORKING on large projects spanning weeks or even months, keeping track of time, cash flow and profitability is imperative. This is even more so for businesses that work on fixed-rate contracts or tenders.
Such fixed-rate projects are common in the building and construction industry, but also the creative, engineering, and IT industries.
Many of these businesses manage a project’s workflow across a number of different documents (spreadsheets, their CRM, accounting software) — and many don’t manage it properly at all.
As a consequence, projects often come in over budget. A number of cloud-based project management and workflow apps aim to change that, however.
That’s not to say there are no expense apps that integrate with MYOB. There are. Receipt Bank is one, Squirrel Street is another, and there are probably a lot more on the MYOB marketplace (or add-ons page). Probably the best expense tracking application we found is ExpenseManager, and it only integrates with MYOB.