Cloud Accounting

Get more from Xero with these six must have add ons

By July 12, 2016 January 26th, 2017 No Comments

Whether your creative agency is new to Xero, or you’ve been using it for some time, the power of the integrated add-ons can advance your agency growth in ways you may not have yet imagined.   Although being a creative, it’s probable that you have imagined it – so we are here to share with you that what you’ve dreamed of is possible, in these areas.

One of the reasons we love Xero is that it fits ridiculously well with creative agencies – not simply through its elegant software which handles everything to do with accounts, but also the in-built features and separate add-ons which apply so well to your business.

We recommend that you explore the various options available, and start using the add-ons that help your business the most.

To get you started here’s some information about six of our favourites.

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Team workflow:  Workflow Max

Living up to the principle of beautiful design and intuitive controls, Workflow Max helps to manage a number of aspects of efficiently running a team.

Our favourite features include its in-built time management, its directory of client contact details and its connection with Xero.

Why it’s ideal for creatives

:  Generate invoices directly from WorkflowMax and give yourself extra control over projects.

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Managing expenses:  Receipt Bank

This is probably the all-time most popular Xero add-on around the world.

Here you can process receipts by taking a picture of them on your mobile or another device. Receipt Bank (once properly set up and integrated with Xero) will take care of everything from this point on – saving your document, and backing it up, in two separate places.  This rescues you and your accountant from the dreaded annual Shoe Box Sort.

At My Accountancy Place, we set everything up with you correctly from the start, so that expenses can be tracked, budgets are integrated with past expenses and costs, and you never, ever have to save an old crumpled receipt again.

Why it’s ideal for creatives

:  Get extra insight into the outgoings from your business, and manage your profitability in a more powerful way.

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Forecasting and budgeting:  CrunchBoards

We’ve already covered CrunchBoards in detail here, so we won’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it.

We’re massive fans of its ability to help businesses forecast and keep track of their money.  We also appreciate that it was founded by professionals who wanted to do the high-level forecasting work, but wanted something more visual than Excel.

Why it’s ideal for creatives

:  Your financial information is presented in a beautiful, visually appealing format (especially for creative minds that balk at the sight of a spreadsheet full of numbers).

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Mileage tracking:  Trip Catcher

This add-on makes mileage claims almost a dream.

Many of our clients need to travel to set up projects or meet with prospective clients. If you travel by road (using a car, that is – mileage expenses don’t really work if you’re cycling) for business purposes, you’re left with a pile of expense claims to sort out.

With Tripcatcher, all you need to do is set the rate you want to claim and enter the distance you’ve driven.

That’s it.

Mileage logged, and expense claim amount all but calculated – dead easy.

Why it’s ideal for creatives

:  You can have your team use this app as well, ensuring that all travel expenses for a particular project are captured appropriately.

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Direct debits:  Gocardless

Go Cardless makes the process of getting paid on time less of a nightmare.

You essentially have the ability to take direct debits, without all the hassle of arranging this with your bank.  Once your clients have set the authorisation, you can process one-off payments as well as recurring direct debits – so whether it’s project work or monthly retainer work, you are always getting paid.

While no add-on can solve the problem of late paying clients completely, this goes a long way to helping agencies getting paid by retained clients.

Why it’s ideal for creatives

:  Once the authorisation is set up, you never have to chase clients for money again.  So you can spend your time talking about enjoyable, creative things, like their new website or design project – not having to bring up unpaid invoices.

If you do start using Go Cardless, it might be a good idea to look at Directli too – this will integrate between Xero and Go Cardless, automating variable collections and saving you the admin time of doing it manually. Talk to us if you want to know more.

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Card payments:  Stripe

For international clients or those who aren’t ready to set up a direct debit authorisation, Stripe is our favourite add-on for processing credit card payments.

Its ability to process foreign currency makes it an ideal add-on for agencies who’re starting to attract business from abroad.

Best of all, with the combination of Stripe and Gocardless, there is no payment you can’t take straight away – no matter what the project, client, or their location. Again, freeing you up to spend time creatively, rather than administratively.

Why it’s ideal for creatives

:  It ensures that your accounts and bookkeeping are as creative and easy to use as your agency is.

 

Final Thoughts: Add ons make your Xero more powerful

At My Accountancy Place, we’ve got a lot of experience with Xero. That’s why they’ve given us Gold Partner status, and why we won their “Most Valued Professional” award in 2015.

Xero is a remarkably useful tool by itself, but these add-ons allow it to stand out from the other accounting packages available.

By taking advantage of the best add-ons, you can greatly improve your business and financial management.

Just remember – while Xero’s add-ons do make a huge difference to your business growth, don’t take them all on at once! Arrange a discovery call today to talk about which one will most quickly provide a return on your creative agency processes. We’re here to help.

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