converting to xero accounting software

Xero: how to convert to Xero accounting software

An accounting solution that offers easy invoicing, easy access, and an easy to use interface? Those are things we all want from our accounting software! Xero is a cloud accounting product which offers the ability for multiple users in your organisation to access and update data from anywhere with an internet connection. The interface also works flawlessly on tablets and mobile devices. It has been getting great reviews worldwide and recently came at the top of business application marketplace Cloudswave’s rankings for the best accounting software, with a score of 87!

Though the benefits of using Xero are obvious, moving from your current accounting software solution is likely to appear daunting. How long will the process take? How easy is it to move my data over? Is it a complicated process to move from my current accounting solution? These are all understandable concerns.

The ins and outs of conversion

When converting to Xero, the process itself doesn’t take very long at all. Most users can be converted over to Xero in just a day. And though you may think that it has to be done at the start of the financial year, this is actually not the case. If you do decide to make the move at the start of the year, you will of course have the benefit of having all your transactions for the year in Xero. However, many find that Xero’s ability to import summary figures for when they weren’t using the product is perfect for what they need. In this case, you can convert to Xero at the start of any VAT period.

Converting to Xero is usually a straight-forward process, no matter which accounting product you are moving from. Beyond has Xero users who have come to the platform from the likes of Big Red Cloud, Sage and TASBooks. To ensure that everything goes smoothly, we handle the process from start to finish for clients. This is a free service for all our new and existing clients.

Pick the right time to convert

To convert to Xero, we simply take a trial balance off the old system at the conversion date. We look at what invoices are outstanding at the conversion date and import this and customer data. On the purchases side, we look at how much is owed to suppliers.

Even if there is a lot of data involved, that won’t cause problems during the conversion or make it a lengthy process as most of the products mentioned earlier allow you to export reports in CSV (comma separated values) or Excel format. Xero allows this to be easily imported. This reliable method for importing data means you will know exactly what is still owed to you once you are up and running on Xero, allowing you to easily issue statements and chase up those debts. So there is no need to worry about missing out on payments.

Xero statements for preparing conversion

Invoicing and VAT

The next step is to set up your invoicing preferences and how you want your invoices to look. There is no need to be stuck with a generic invoice. The package is completely customisable. If you have a business logo or graphic you’d like to appear on your invoices, that’s no problem at all!

We know that it can be a bit tricky handling VAT, due to the multiple VAT rates and exemptions that exist in Ireland. Obviously the main VAT rate a typical business will use here is 23%, but then there are some products/services that are exempt, some that are zero rated, some that are categorised for export. We also have reduced rates – 13.5% for certain products/services and a second reduced rate which is 9%. Altogether, that’s a possible eight different VAT rates that might be used. We set this up on the system for our clients, but if you want to tackle it yourself, here’s an example of how it might look.

Xero setting up VAT rates

Extra support to learn all the great features

Beyond offers support through all stages of the conversion process and also once it is complete. We know that when using any new application, it takes times to get fully up to speed. For clients who need a bit of support after the conversion, we would generally offer an hour of coaching per week for the first six weeks – it’s helpful to answer any questions, troubleshoot, and show how to take full advantage of the powerful features Xero offers.

And that’s pretty much your conversion to Xero covered. We’ve seen lots of clients through the process of converting from both traditional and cloud packages, and they have always been delighted with Xero’s features and value. We definitely agree that it’s the most progressive package out there!

If you’re new to Xero, take a look at this quick tour of its main dashboard:

If you’re interested in seeing Xero in action, we give free demos once a month, so why not come along and take a look.

Rory