March 23rd, 2019

Xero – a Q an A with Keystone Development

How Xero can save you time

As director of two companies, Sheridan Webb understands better than most the benefits of centralizing her accounts. To do this she uses cloud-based platform Xero, with the help of Jonathan Ford & Co. “Everything I need to know is there in Xero at just a click, whatever the time of day” says Sheridan. “It helps me keep track of where we are financially.”

Sheridan is training services director of Keystone Development, which designs bespoke training to fit clients’ exact requirements. She also owns Power Hour, which provides bite-size and off-the-peg training materials. “The Power Hour series has been developed to allow you to receive practical and effective training with minimal cost or disruption to your normal every-day operations,” she explains.

John Mansley, director at Jonathan Ford & Co, has helped Sheridan switch from traditional book-based accounting to Xero, which is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses like hers.

What do you like most about Xero?

Everything’s there at just a click, anything you could ever want to know is there on-screen. Invoicing, payroll, VAT, bank balance, all our latest transactions; they’re all accessible immediately, and on either my phone or tabletas well as my PC; I log onto Xero every day and I love it; I feel in control by using it. At just a glance I can see everything that’s coming into the accounts as well as what’s going out. I can even invoice from it.

Also, I can log into our Xero accounts from wherever I happen to be; there’s an app I can use when I’m out and about; it helps me keep track of where we are financially. And it doesn’t matter what time it is, I can log into our accountwhenever I want. It’s all cloud-based, so it’s accessible anywhere.

If I’ve got a question, I don’t have to email somebody in my accountant’s office, then wait a day or so for them to get back to me.

Xero’s secure and reliable. The time-saving tools make the whole accounting process so much easier. All our latest transactions are automatically categorised, which makes accounting much easier. The platform also helps us reconcile our bank accounts. It’s much quicker (and easier) to keep track of sales and purchasing by using it. There’s so much less manual input of data; most of it now happens automatically through Xero.

Invoicing is so much simpler using the platform. And it’s much easier to monitor our performance and plan ahead. It also means Jonathan Ford & Co can log into our accounts whenever they want, and see what I’m asking about.

How has Xero helped you in your business?

It makes planning easier; I can manage accounts payable by scheduling payments out against those due into the business, since, at a glance, I can see how much is due in and out.  It means that although we’re a small business we have access to an amazing set of accounting tools that help me feel fully informed. I find I can use it in a natural and intuitive way. We spend so much less time speaking with our accountant, or transferring data from our system to theirs. It’s efficient; things can be dealt with quickly.

It means we have much more control over our financial situation and I spend less time managing my accounts. We save on time and infrastructure. Back in 2014 we started using associates to deliver programmes on our bigger projects. Using Xero has made it so much easier to keep track of paying people. Doing my VAT return is so easy now, too; it used to be a big job. Now I can do it in five minutes.

Xero makes a huge difference when it comes to monitoring cash flow and invoicing. I can set up and design the look of an invoice, then programme for it to be repeated every month, or every few months, basically however often I need. I log onto Xero daily because it’s important to know what’s happening with my money.

How have Jonathan Ford & Co helped?

John Mansley is lovely! He’s been encouraging me for the past three years to switch over to Xero. I’m so glad he persisted. I wish I’d done it sooner! He’s sat down and spent hours with me explaining how it works. He’s shown me how it helps with handling things like pay roll, invoicing and tax returns, as well as claiming and logging expenses. He’s always happy to help if I’m not sure what to do, or if I make a mistake.

Xero releases new features monthly, Jonathan Ford & Co help me if I need help in learning how best to use them.

If you’d like our help taking your accounting into the 21st Century then book a Discovery Call with us.

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by
Managing Director

Jonathan trained as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse (now PWC) in Liverpool before becoming a small business services manager for Grant Thornton in Warrington. He also spent three years as the financial controller for Brookside and Hollyoaks (not that he ever mentions it!).

Jonathan is recognised as a specialist in the entertainment industry and is often called upon to provide training courses and seminars for media professionals. He's also a bit of a technology geek and has been recognised with the accountancy industry as one of the most progressive accountants in the UK.
Outside of work Jonathan is very proud to be the Treasurer of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace and to be on the Council of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA)

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