A small business bookkeeper explains how to use Xero

August 1, 2023

There’s a revolution happening in the world of small business bookkeeping.

New cloud-based bookkeeping systems such as Xero are shaking things up, making bookkeeping faster, more efficient and simpler than ever before.

As a cloud bookkeeper that specialises in training business owners in new systems such as Xero, we’ve seen many small business owners gush about how much time and work they’ve been able to save on their bookkeeping.

They thank us for showing them a quicker and easier way of bookkeeping, and express their happiness with how much time they’ve saved since making the leap to cloud bookkeeping.

Will you join them or be left behind?

Cloud bookkeeping melbourne small business owner

What is Xero, anyway? Our Xero bookkeepers in Melbourne explain

Think of Xero is the solution to a range of bookkeeping-related problems common to small business owners:

  • Long nights spent going over accounts
  • Losing track of invoices and unpaid debts
  • Hours spent entering data
  • Payroll headaches

If you’re a shop owner, an agency, in the landscaping field, an electrician, a plumber, or any type of small business and fed up with these bookkeeping issues, Xero has the answer.

Designed to make bookkeeping easy, Xero is a cloud-based bookkeeping platform. In addition to allowing you to access your bookkeeping from anywhere with an internet connection, Xero also automates and simplifies your bookkeeping.

Thanks to smart integrations, addons and plug-ins and in-built calculators, Xero takes the stress of small business bookkeeping off your shoulders. Literally all you’ll have to do is plug in the numbers – Xero will do the rest for you.

“Do I need to install anything?”

Nope – the only thing you’ll need to do is set up a Xero account for your business!

As we mentioned above, Xero is cloud-based, automatically setting it apart from traditional accounting and bookkeeping software that needs to be installed on a desktop computer.

Back in the old days, if you wanted to check your bookkeeping, you’d have to return to your business or wait until the following workday.

By contrast, Xero is cloud-based (read: web-based). As such, all of your records are stored online, and the program can be accessed by any browser. All you need is an internet connection, and you’re free to look up your business finances wherever you are!

Want to check your cash flow statements? Worried you may have missed something in your daily statement? Just break out your smartphone and open the app.

Not to mention, since Xero is web-based, it also means that you won’t have to make printouts and photocopies if you’ve booked a meeting with your small business bookkeeper.

Using Xero for the first time

Step 1: setting up your Xero account

As a web-based service, there’s no need to install anything – of course, that doesn’t mean there’s no setup whatsoever.

Luckily, the amount of setup is minimal!

The first step is to set up a profile for your organisation. Some of the data you’ll have to provide include:

  • Display, legal and trading names
  • Email address
  • ABN
  • Addresses (both physical and registered)

In addition to your business’ details, you’ll also want to create profiles for anyone else who may have a legitimate reason to access your bookkeeping.

While your small business bookkeeper and accountant are the main ones, you’ll also want to set up accounts for staff members and employees (as they can use Xero to log hours and request leave).

Step 2: linking your bank accounts

Once you’ve set up your profiles, the next thing to do is set up a direct feed between your new Xero profile and your bank accounts.

This allows new bank activity to be automatically imported into Xero. Once they;re synced, any expenditure or money received is automatically entered into Xero – Xero automatically inputs data from your statements, eliminating data entry almost entirely.

When setting up, ensure that each of your bank accounts, credit cards and PayPal accounts has its own direct feed with Xero.

Worried yours won’t be supported? Don’t be – Xero supports accounts and cards from the vast. Don’t worry if the feed doesn’t work immediately, either – just be sure to give it a couple of days to go through.

A small business bookkeeper explains how to use Xero

Step 3: set up your chart of accounts

Each business needs a chart of accounts that outlines all the different financial accounts on the ledger, such as:

  • Cash
  • Savings accounts
  • Inventory
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Liabilities owed
  • Credit cars
  • Buildings and vehicles

While Xero does come with a default chart of accounts that’s suitable for most businesses, if you have unique accounts, you’ll want to modify the default chart, adding and subtracting accounts as needed.

Of course, if you have an existing chart of accounts tied to a different bookkeeping platform, you’ll want to skip straight to…

Step 4: import, import, import!

Are you changing from another small business bookkeeping program to Xero? If so, the next thing you’ll want to do after setting up your direct feeds is to import your existing data.

Thankfully, this is a lot more straightforward than it sounds.

Most bookkeeping software (cloud-based or otherwise) will allow you to import and export data in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Xero is no exception in this regard.

Simply export data from your current system as a .CSV file and import it into Xero, and you’re set!

But what if you’re upgrading from paper bookkeeping? Or using an older system that (for some unknown reason) doesn’t export as .CSVs? What if the export simply isn’t working?

If you run into trouble during this stage, or simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, our Xero bookkeepers in Melbourne are more than willing to help!

Step 5: install plug-ins and addons

One of the most powerful things about Xero is its modularity – in addition to its core bookkeeping functions, Xero also features a range of add-ons and plug-ins to add additional functionality.

Do you:

With the right plug-ins, Xero can do all of this and more!

During your first meeting with our cloud bookkeepers in Melbourne, we’ll do a deep dive into your needs. Based on what you tell us, we’ll prescribe a suite of plugins and addons to help you get the most out of your new setup!

Need help with your small business bookkeeping?

Our Xero bookkeepers in Melbourne can help!

Fast. Easy Effortless. Three words you don’t often associate with small business bookkeeping!

Once you get your business set up with cloud bookkeeping platforms such as Xero however, that’s exactly what your bookkeeping can be.

We weren’t kidding when we said that there was a revolution in the bookkeeping world!

Interested in bringing Xero into your business? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne specialise in cloud bookkeeping systems, including Xero. We can:

  • Set your business up with a Xero-based solution
  • Train your team to use Xero
  • Migrate your existing bookkeeping
  • Provide you with the extras and addons your business needs

And it all starts with a simple phone call!

Get in touch with our bookkeepers today – give us a ring on (03) 9589 0128, or click here to make a booking with one of our skilled bookkeepers.