In the world of accounting, the software you choose has the power to be either your greatest asset or your greatest obstacle. It’s a decision not to be made lightly — and it’s one that should be re- assessed on a regular basis to ensure you’re using the best tools for the job.
With the rise of new accounting options that take full advantage of cloud-based architecture, now may be the perfect time for accounting departments to perform more re-evaluations. At SUM Innovation, we’ve studied and tested a variety of leading software solutions in order to find the best option for accounting operations.
And while there are a number of excellent solutions out there — from legacy brands to new startups — in our experience, there was one particular solution that stood above the rest, both in usability and in forward-thinking technology. For us, that solution was Xero.
While there are plenty of highly recommended accounting solutions out there, for our money, Xero incorporates the perfect blend of user accessibility and functionality that the majority of accounting firms require.
Its advantage over traditional accounting software is readily apparent: By taking full advantage of the cloud, Xero allows users to access its system through any computer connected to the web. This feature gives employees significant flexibility in terms of when and how accounting information can be accessed and used.
However, Xero would still face stiff competition from other cloud solutions, such as QuickBooks Online. Compared to other cloud-based accounting platforms, it’s really the smaller things that make Xero stand out.
How Xero Stands Apart
One of the biggest problems with the current crop of large-scale accounting software is that there’s a lot of redundancy and wasted time. These issues aren’t lost on Xero, which has found ways to streamline a number of tasks that are more time-consuming than they should be.
Take, for instance, Xero’s cash coding feature within the banking reconciliation window. In most other software, the coding would need to be done on a transaction-by-transaction basis, wasting a lot of time on tedious repetition. But Xero lets users code multiple statement lines at once — trimming the majority of the fat off this process and turning users into lean, mean, cash-coding machine.
Xero is full of these types of touches that may seem small on their own but add up to a ton of saved time. Consider another long-time headache like importing invoices. Rather than manually entering each invoice into the system, Xero allows users to import them through Microsoft Excel templates and review them prior to any transactions. Whether we’re talking bank transactions, bills, credit notes, or other types, Xero can import it in bulk.
All in all, Xero contains numerous time-saving features that aren’t available in other cloud-based platforms. To thrive in today’s fast-paced environment, efficient time management is a must. Having these time-saving functions available in Xero makes it a very attractive solution for any company and accounting professional.
While QuickBooks and other competitors are still excellent choices, these features — and Xero’s clear commitment to improving its software on a regular basis — make it the obvious solution to beat for accounting firms looking for the best.
Mark Styring is an accountant training and technology specialist at SUM Innovation.