SMEs require cloud solutions that are simple to manage, yet complete in their functionality. Although there are plenty of solutions to choose from, it is often difficult for new users to use them effectively. In this article, we look to provide practical advice on how to make best use of Xero, one of the most popular cloud accounting solutions available. Through our Xero set up guide, we will discuss how the Xero set up process, and how FastLane can assist you in adopting and using this cloud accounting solution.
What You Will Learn
1. How to set your company details
In order to start using Xero, you will first need to input all your business information and relevant contact details. All the information inputted will then be displayed on any invoices your company issues going forward.
To set your company details, go to Settings → Organization Details
The following information should then be inputted:
2. How to set your financial settings
In order to track your company’s finances, you must input your company’s financial details via Settings → Advanced Settings → Financial Settings
At this stage, you can input your company’s financial year-end date, base currency and any conversion balances your company may utilise. This will help make sure that your company’s year-end financial statements will be accurately produced.
3. How to add your company’s branding
To add a personal touch, Xero users are able to incorporate their various branding schemes onto their invoices. Doing so will display your company logo on all invoices generated by your company.
After you’ve successfully incorporated your company’s branding, you can then insert additional information fields which allow you to customise the documents even further. These documents can then be saved as templates, saving your company time when drafting similar documents going forward.
4. How to establish your chart of accounts
Chart of accounts are a financial organisation tool that lists out all accounts a company has in their general ledger. For many new Xero users, they are making the transition from another accounting system and need to import their chart of accounts from their previous accounting system into Xero.
To make changes to your chart of accounts, go to Accounting → Chart of Accounts
For those who do not have a financial background and are unfamiliar with accounting concepts, the FastLane Group can help make sure that your Chart of Accounts and other relevant accounts are properly set up.
5. Set Up Your Bank Account Feed
To get the most out of Xero’s accounting features, companies should take full advantage of the Direct Bank Feed feature. By doing so, your bank of choice and Xero will work together by sending information over a secure connection to be made available directly onto Xero.
In order to establish a direct bank feed, you will need to first make sure that your bank supports direct bank feed functionality. Once you have determined that it can, you should go to Accounting → Bank Accounts → Add Bank Account. After doing so, you will be taken to your bank’s website to login.
6. Set Up Your Payroll
Users of Xero often comment on Xero Expenses, an add-on for the Xero platform that helps users monitor their staff costs. This add-on allows companies to manage all their payroll related tasks in one place, rather than having to manage it separate from their accounting system.
7. Add Payment Services
If you want to simplify how your customers settle their invoices, you can consider linking any active payment services, such as PayPal or Stripe, to your Xero account. Doing so will truly turn Xero into a one-stop solution for managing all aspects of your company’s invoicing activities.
8. Set Payment Reminders
Maintaining a healthy cash flow for your business is dependent on your customers being able to settle their invoices in a timely manner. Payment reminders are often a fantastic way to ensure that your clients do not accidentally forget to settle their outstanding payment obligation to you.
9. Add Users
As your business grows, the number of staff who will require access to your company’s Xero account will likely increase. As a business owner, you will need to be able to provide your accountants, bookkeepers or other important parties with access to your company’s accounting information.
10. Basic Reports
Once your company has become accustomed to Xero and you have successfully synchronised your account with all your required features, you can begin generic basic reports to learn about the health of your company. Such reports include a Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss.
11. Integrating with Other Apps
Xero has a wide range of features designed for their platform, but those looking for a more customisable experience can take advantage of the various third-party applications available on Xero’s App Marketplace.
Many of the applications found on the App Marketplace are designed for specific purposes or with certain industries in mind. Integrating these applications onto your Xero account can help streamline certain repetitive processes in your company.
Enhancing Your Cloud Accounting With FastLane
As a Hong Kong CPA firm and Xero’s Hong Kong Accounting Partner of 2019, the FastLane Group can provide you with an end-to-end solution to help transition your accounting process from offline to online. Xero set up does not need to be difficult. We understand the practical considerations that must be made to use Xero properly, such as data migration, selecting a financial year-end and how to use Xero to prepare for your audit and tax obligations.
We will provide a dedicated person to help facilitate your transition and to ensure an effective delivery and coordination when implementing Xero. In addition, FastLane can customise your system setup process by identifying the most appropriate third-party applications for your account and helping you integrate them onto your Xero account. We can also handle all data migration so that you can review your company’s financial figures anytime.
After helping you implement Xero, FastLane can provide 1-on-1 training for your team to make sure all of your staff are familiar with the system. If you encounter any issues while using Xero, we can act as your support to help you resolve any issues as they arise.