Getting Started with Xero: A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud-Based Bookkeeping

June 5, 2024
Getting Started with Xero

The beauty of Xero is that it can handle all your business reporting requirements in one spot—invoicing, quotes, payroll, budgets, profit and loss, GST reporting, asset register, etc. It’s also relatively user-friendly and intuitive. However, as the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” that is never more true than with bookkeeping and cloud-based software. This article shares three client stories behind getting started with Xero; the names have been removed to protect the injured parties!

Example 1 – The importance of linking your bank feeds

We discovered with a new client that their bank feeds needed to be set up even though they had a Xero file. They were just using Xero to send invoices.

The partner in this business had a young family (3 under 6!), so time was not a luxury they had. Before seeing us, they kept track of debtors and business expenses through a complicated spreadsheet. So, whilst they were incredibly organised, this was a vast but unnecessary task. Their previous accountant had been lodging their BAS using this spreadsheet!

The client undertook a two-hour training session with Fiona, during which they linked the bank account for automatic bank feeds and then learned how to code and reconcile the bank account, including matching off invoices and electronically uploading source documents to create bills in Xero.

The process has saved the client at least 4 hours per week (if not more). This time is now spent doing far more important tasks like wrangling the three kids!


Example 2 – The importance of checking your data files regularly

A client managed multiple business activities through one Xero file with a dedicated bank account for each enterprise. Unfortunately, one of the bank feeds had dropped off the file and was undetected for some time.

When our bookkeeping team took over this client & conducted our initial two-hour Xero file health check and training sessions, they found this issue, along with a few others: 

  • Prior period BAS’ had been lodged with incomplete data (because the bank accounts weren’t being reconciled to the physical bank statements each month)
  • Due to a significant monthly subscription change, the client was being charged for two different insurance premiums—the same period and the same coverage from different bank accounts. 
  • Payroll reporting wasn’t used to its full advantage, i.e., lodging superannuation through Xero’s automatic superannuation function each fortnight with the payroll processing. This was a missed opportunity to help cash flow and avoid the missed deadline trap and Super Guarantee Surcharge.

Instantly, our bookkeeping team provided value and clarity in the bookkeeping -by explaining better ways to use the software, which has resulted in savings in time and money for this client. 


Example 3 – Keep your reconciliations up to date

Our new client came to us with a Xero file that they were only using for invoicing; they were using a separate Excel spreadsheet to track everything else. They were wary of using software that they didn’t really understand and worried about making a mistake. 

When it came time for EOFY financials to be lodged, there were more than 3,500 unreconciled transactions in the Xero file for the year! It took the client over a week of solid concentration to reconcile the file (agree to their spreadsheet and lodge BAS). 

Talk about inefficiencies and aneurysm-inducing stress for the client and our accounting team!

So, after having a 2-hour training session with Fiona, they can now use Xero more confidently; he’s also avoided the “tedium” (his words) that is bulk reconciling and duplicating a spreadsheet. Outsourcing the weekly payroll has also meant this client can have all their business data in one place; they have peace of mind that employees are being paid on time and the information in their Xero file is accurate and up to date, resulting in meeting reporting obligations. 


Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? You don’t need to navigate bookkeeping alone, nor do you need to spend hours and hours reconciling information each month, when using Xero to its fullest can help you! If you are ready to bring in the experts to help you with your bookkeeping, speak with the team now. 


Let’s give you your time back and restore peace of mind ASAP.