How To... March 30, 2017 Once you’ve picked decided on a direction that allows you to work from home, you will need a plan to follow you through. One of the troubles many small businesses encounter is how to manage the day to day things involved with running a business. This is particularly the case when you have no prior experience in operating your own business. Coming from an IT background, one of the things that left me overwhelmed about running my own business was the accounting part of it. Luckily, a simple search uncovered loads of different software that make integration simple, and the best one I’ve found to date is Xero. Contents1 What is Xero?2 What can Xero do?3 Should you use Xero?What is Xero? Bascially, Xero is a cloud based accounting software that allows you to manage the the accounting side of your business online, but there is way more to it than that. Initially, I only wanted something that would be able to track cash flow, expenses and other aspects of my business as I didn’t want to spend time playing around with software. Xero has been able to offer me way more than this. By far the best part of using this software for me is just how easy it is to use. When you login you’ll be able to see a breakdown of the areas important to you on the dashboard which means I rarely need to go beyond this. What can Xero do? Xero may look clean and simple but it really is a powerhouse. One of the best things I’ve been able to do is integrate my bank accounts with Xero. Like any business, I can have a large number of transactions from my bank account everyday. This is why the bank feed is the best part for me – it would be painful to have to do this myself! This is updated daily and saves a massive amount of time. Paypal is also something my business heavily relies upon, and I am able to integrate my Paypal account in the same way. My Paypal account is mostly in foreign currency – particularly USD. Adding a foreign currency was really simple and they’ll show you the current exchange rate at the current time. Only the premium plan allowed me to to add this and it did cost a bit extra, but for me it was essential. Plus it meant that I was able to add my super fund too. As I said, I rarely go beyond the dashboard as I’m able to track the things important to me – such as cash flow. I’ve also recently hired my first employee! I was worried about how this would add to the complexity but with Xero, I was able to integrate employees as well. You can manage payroll and see details such as leave and pay which has made managing this super easy. I can imagine this would be even more beneficial to a business with several employees. You also have access to loads of reports so that you can see what is important to you. There are certain features of Xero that more or less don’t relate to my business but that I can see would be beneficial for any business. One of these is the ability to create custom invoices with your business name and details. You can also store contact details when creating invoices, however it doesn’t remember all information. There’s also loads of support if I ever need any assistance and other apps that integrate with it. Should you use Xero? For me, Xero works brilliantly. It’s allowed me to simplify the accounting side of my business so that I don’t rarely need to think about it. The results are very accurate and if there ever is any hiccup there is plenty of support to help me. Whether it’s right for your business obviously depends on individual factors relating to you, but with a 30 day free trial period, it’s definitely worth trying out. Click here to sign up to Xero today. Disclaimer: This article contains an affiliate link. If you sign up with this affiliate link, we may receive a small commision at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our website.