RfM has recently been awarded Gold Partner status by Xero. To us, this is a reward for helping many of our clients to revolutionise the way they manage their bookkeeping and business administration. For client Hyde United FC, a move to Xero cloud accounting software has put the performance of their finance department into a different league.
Graham Pearson, Cloud Solutions Manager at RfM, has worked closely with the finance team at Hyde United FC over the last 18 months, to facilitate the move to a cloud-based accounting system and drive improvements in their finance processes.
“When we first began working with the finance team at the Club, they were using Sage for their bookkeeping. Unless you’re an expert, Sage can prove to be difficult and complex to use; the team were not getting the most from the software and certain tasks would take them much longer to complete than they needed to,” explains Graham. “For us to provide the right level of support and get their finance function running smoothly and efficiently, we determined that Xero would be a much better solution.”
Xero accounting software is “cloud based” which means users can log in from anywhere they have access to the internet to use the application and see up-to-date information. An additional benefit is that your accountant can also log in remotely to get an accurate picture of the business finances and, most importantly, pinpoint and solve any problems you might be having. In fact, user and accountant can both be logged in remotely at the same time, looking at the same, up-to-date financial information. This makes it possible for client and accountant to have “real-time, over-the-phone meetings” as and when they need to.
Over a 12-month period, Graham supported the finance team to move their financial data and processes over to Xero. He also provided training and ongoing advice to ensure that they were making the most of Xero’s many time-saving functions.
“Although the desktop system they were using was outdated, it was the system that everyone knew and was comfortable with. So, the most important thing was to get to a position where everyone felt comfortable using Xero and had enough knowledge to really benefit from its many clever features,” says Graham. “The Club has a vision to become paperless and the move to the cloud is also a big step towards this goal.”
Here are just some of the ways that Xero has made a difference to the finance team at the Club:
- Invoicing and statements – The team can easily generate invoices directly from the software which can then be emailed directly to the customer.
- Bank feeds – Once the bank feeds feature is set up, transactions in and out of the bank account(s) can be posted automatically to the relevant income and expense accounts.
- Expense receipts – A clever Xero feature is that digital images of receipts can be stored within the software, enabling fast retrieval should they be required – and no need to keep paper copies.
The efficiencies that have been achieved by using Xero have made a real difference to the accuracy of the financial records and the process of preparing the Club’s accounts.
“As their accountant, I can log in to see the Club’s records at any time and get an accurate, real-time picture of the financial position. It really has streamlined the process of preparing the quarterly VAT returns and management accounts,” adds Graham.
“The team are fully up and running and very happy using Xero but the improvements won’t just stop here… We get together every quarter to complete the VAT returns and also take the opportunity to look for other ways in which we can improve the finance processes. It’s a real partnership and we have come a long way together, but we’ll keep striving to make things even better.”
Pete Ainger, General Manager of Hyde United also agrees that the move over to Xero has had a positive impact on the day-today task of managing the Club’s finances: “Xero is much easier to use than the system we were running before. Tasks which were complicated and frustrating before can now be completed far more efficiently, so the team are much happier. Graham provided the right level of training to help the finance team get to know the software and is always on hand if we need to do something in Xero that we haven’t tackled before. It also makes it easier for our accountants at RfM to do their job so it’s definitely been a win-win for us!”