Sep 16

Xero Add Ons - How do I know which one is right for me?

Posted by Mitch Uzelac at Tuesday, September 16, 2014

One of the major benefits of using Xero is the vast ecosystem of add-on partners. These are software applications that can integrate with Xero to create an integrated IT solution for a business to generate efficiency and productivity improvements that flow through to the bottom line.

However with more than 350 add-on partners in the Xero ecosystem, identifying the right ones for your business can be daunting.

Whenever we help businesses choose and integrate add-on partners, we look at a number of factors, including:

  • Does it improve a business processes?
  • Is it cost-effective?
  • Will it deliver a benefit to the business?

Let’s start with back-end applications, which help improve business administration functions. Our favourites include:

  • Receipt Bank helps automate the accounts payable data entry functions. (It’s one of Xero’s most popular add-ons.)
  • Debtor Daddy automates the follow-up of outstanding invoices, and has shown to reduce outstanding debts and improve cashflow.
  • Fathom and Spotlight both provide excellent reporting functionality and feedback to business owners.

On the flipside, front-end applications help improve the processes and experience between the business and its customers. Here are some of our favourite front-of-house applications.

  • GeoOp is a great add-on if you have a mobile workforce. You can allocate jobs, raise quotes and invoices, get clients to sign off on issues and let staff allocate their time and materials onsite.
  • Vend is arguably the best cloud-based Point of Sale application for retailers. It lets you order and receive stock (which then uploads to Xero along with the sales), and integrates with e-commerce platforms for online sales.
  • Deputy and Tanda are two great applications for staff rostering and time sheets that link to Xero’s payroll functions.
  • Re-leased and Sharesight are two of our favourite applications for investor clients. Re-leased lets commercial property investors manage their portfolio, while Sharesight downloads daily sharemarket information to help share investors monitor and manage their portfolio. Both applications integrate with Xero and upload information to reduce the data entry functions.
  • Unleashed and Dear Inventory are all inventory management applications. They allow business owners to monitor and manage their stock, and integrate with other applications to provide up-to-date information on stock availability and costs.

These are only a sample of the many applications designed to help small businesses improve efficiencies, productivity and bottom line results.

To assess which ones are best for your business, ask yourself:

  • Does it reduce time in one of our business processes?
  • Is it cost effective (i.e. does the benefit outweigh the cost)?
  • Will it deliver a benefit to our business? (Note: this may not always be in direct dollars. For example, an integrated CRM such as Capsule may just provide better marketing opportunities and sales lead management.)

The number of add-on partners is constantly changing, with new partners arriving daily. As a specialist integrator MU Business Solutions can help you choose and implement the best solutions for your business as well as help with all of your training and bookkeeping needs.

To get the most out of Xero, talk to people in the know (such as MU Business Solutions) and get the applications that best suit your business needs.

Aug 09

3 Reasons why you should move to the Cloud

Posted by Mitch Uzelac at Saturday, August 09, 2014

Embracing new technology can be difficult for many companies.

They want to make sure that it will be easy to integrate into the workplace and that it is a value added alternative to existing ways of performing tasks or producing items.

Is cloud computing of interest to your Business?

If you are trying to decide whether cloud computing is something that your company should be interested in you may find this information interesting and helpful during the selection and integration process.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a simple concept. It puts computer applications on the internet and users access it that way rather than downloading or installing a terminal-based program on their computers.

By putting the application or program online it offers a number of benefits that are not shared when the programs are installed directly on a computer’s hard drive, such as:

1) Cloud computing is affordable

For many companies, it can be a struggle to pay for expensive terminal-based programs.

There may be a limit on how many terminals can access a program and the time to install and expanding a program to accommodate a large number of users may be expensive. Cloud computing may still have a cost in order to access the programs or applications but it may be more reasonable than installed applications may be.

2) Cloud computing does not need you to maintain it

Part of the IT expense a company may incur is centered on maintaining systems and programs. With cloud computing, this is not an issue.

The applications are maintained by the company that created them which means that you do not need to worry about updating and repairing them yourself. This can help your company to substantially reduce the cost of its IT department.

3) Cloud Computing offers flexibility in terms of payment

Many terminal based computer applications or applications which are installed on a computer can be expensive and need to be paid for up front. This can be an issue for many companies especially if they are unsure whether a software package offers them the functionality that they need.

In this case, cloud computing can be a definite asset, since it is often possible to pay for these applications on an ongoing basis, such as a monthly one.

Keep in mind that cloud computing is not right for every company. If employees do not have access to the internet on an ongoing basis the applications will also be inaccessible.

This is where Xero and integrated add-ons come in. Traditionally staff out in the field did not have access the internet, but smartphones like the iPhone and Tablets such as iPads change this for the mobile workforce, allowing them to access files just like they were back in the office. If you want to learn more about Xero and how cloud software can help your business become more proficient, productive and profitable, contact us today for a free consultation