One of the things I dread most about running my business is dealing with the administrative hassles of the day to day, but so important, aspects of running it.
I love organising events, but even more, I love sharing with the attendees of the event.
But to do an event means you’ve got to deal with contracts, invoices, bank accounts, credit cards and so many other things.
Out of all these things and more, one of the things a business owner must constantly do is mange their income and expenditures – financial management.
A large part of this financial management hassle is to enable one to pay taxes every April – all the deductions and forms need to go through an accounting program to be properly accounted for.
Another reasons is to manage payroll.
And yet another reason is to know what products are selling best, what products are most profitable and etc. But all of this is centered around your bank account – the money in it and the money leaving it.
To properly manage your bank account you MUST have a financial management program.
Intuit’s QuickBooks is the leading software that many small businesses use. Sage’s PeachTree has another swath of this fragmented market, and other vendors such as Outright, Indinero, GreatWave Accounting provide accounting solutions for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Into this ecosystem comes Xero.
Xero is a New Zealand based company who has recently expanded its footprint to the USA. Jamie Sutherland is the President, US Operations, before Xero, Jamie worked at Sage.
A few weeks ago I was able to speak with Jamie (see the interview below) about Xero and his plans to dominate small business accounting. Here’s few highlights from our conversation:
- Xero is first and foremost beautifully designed online software. I’ve seen many online applications and few are designed with the features and rich interface that make you think you are using a traditionally software, installed on your computer.
- Accountants are a huge part of Xero’s connection to small businesses and Xero is making a concentrated effort to partner with accountants. Jamie said that in Xero’s discussions with accountants he finds although it is the defacto standard, that many accountants don’t like QuickBooks Online. Xero hopes to leverage this to Xero’s advantage.
- Xero is simple but also very robust for mature and growing businesses – hence double ledger (or entry) accounting and multi currency conversions.
- Working well with other software is fundamental to Xero as well – demonstrated by their membership in The Small Business Web
- Accountants will find Xero’s value proposition very compelling as Xero is not just giving them a product to resell but also a platform to run their accounting practice and better manger their small business customers.
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