Like many bookkeepers who learn on the job, I started doing bookkeeping in places well before I should have. At 16, it was an Excel spreadsheet for my mother’s construction business. Eventually I entered the paralegal profession, and if anyone wants to know exactly what a paralegal does (especially in small law) – it’s everything. I often took the lead in billing and bookkeeping as I entered a new firm simply because no one else wanted to do it. So, I learned bookkeeping the hard way. I made lots of mistakes and the programs I used often felt clunky, not made for the typical user and difficult to manage. When I started my very own legal billing company three years ago, I knew I needed 2 things. Practice/project management software for keeping me organized and accounting software I could use myself. Quickbooks was always an option, but for me it I never got over the idea that Quickbooks was initially built for accountants and CPAs – not the typical user.
I decided when purchasing accounting software, I wanted something:
- easy to use
- dependable, yet adaptable
- continuing upgrades and improvements (no resting on laurels for me)
I came across limited options but found Quickbooks online and Xero. Quickbooks was just starting its cloud based version and the reviews were not great at first. Xero seemed to have fantastic reviews, was established but not quite mainstream yet and sounded like the perfect choice for me. Xero was beautifully designed for my brain. I don’t think in debits and credits but instead of money spent and received. Xero understood the typical user brain and built accounting software that was intuitive, had wording that was easy to understand and was easy to use. After trying out the program, I knew I made the right decision.
Eventually, I shared Xero with others. I had a fellow small business mentor (we are habitual volunteers - the two of us), who started his own financial advisory company. As a banking guru for years, and someone well-versed and training in accounting principles, I suggested he try Xero out and maybe offer it as an alternative for some of his clients. He confirmed what I had always suspected, Xero was a great fit for many small businesses looking for something they could use every day. He has helped many small businesses make the change to Xero and offers sage advice along the way. Shameless plug – check out Rick Miller's bio and contact info if you are in the market for a CPA/advisor!
If that wasn't enough, payroll options quickly became available over the next couple of years in all states in Xero . As I shopped for payroll options, I knew I had two choices. Do it myself for free and learn way too much about the complicated payment processes or pay someone else to do it for a chunk of money. Once again, Xero came to the rescue. Xero took all the work out of the process, and doesn’t charge me an extra dime! They offer:
- pay run features easily customizable to your company's payroll schedule
- reminders of important tax and filing deadlines
- direct deposit for your employees
- automatic entries into your accounting of all the payroll and taxes processed through payroll
- e-filing of federal taxes and forms with a simple click
- employee time sheets and portals for ease of use by your employees
There are many other great features of Xero, including repeating invoices sent out monthly by email (great for my regular billing clients), a customizable dashboard so I can see what matters and all those things my accountant needs at tax time. So, if you are looking for accounting software made for you – and affordable (most companies find the $30.00 a month option perfect), I made it super easy for you. Click the word Xero anywhere in this blog and get your free trial started!
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The RayNa Corporation