Xero have more than 1,200 people in 20 offices across the world. In the UK, we have offices in London and Milton Keynes.
What’s Xero about?
Xero is beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. We have over 540,000 subscribers in more than 180 countries and seamlessly integrate with over 400 third-party tools, including Epos Now. We were also ranked No.1 by Forbes as the World's Most Innovative Growth Company in 2014 and 2015.
How did you get started?
We started Xero to change the game for small business. Our cloud-based accounting software connects people with the right numbers anytime, anywhere, on any device. For accountants and bookkeepers, Xero helps build a trusted relationship with small business clients through online collaboration.
Founded in 2006 in New Zealand, Xero is one of the fastest growing Software as a Service companies globally. We lead the New Zealand, Australian, and United Kingdom cloud accounting markets, employing a world-class team. We’re just at the beginning.
What are your core values and mission?
Small business makes the world go round – it’s the heart of the global economy. We want millions of small businesses to thrive through better tools, information and connections. Like all great challenges, we can’t do it by ourselves: we work closely with our customers, partners, and other friends to push innovation forward, turning Xero into the online business platform for the world.
Why did you choose to work with Epos Now?
Epos Now provide a complete POS solution for small businesses in the retail and hospitality industry, and with a cloud based platform it’s a natural fit for Xero customers looking to simplify their retail sales accounting.
What are your predictions for the future of finance?
In the last decade, technology and the ‘App Economy’ has transformed the way businesses raise, manage and spend their finances. By the end of 2015, at least 90% of UK businesses will have adopted at least one cloud service. If you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a key investment. Working in the cloud gives businesses a better overview of their finances and means that owners can stay connected to their data and their accountants. Cloud software can also integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons saving small businesses event more time and money.
New technology has advanced so rapidly. The days of having to spend a week submitting your tax return is well and truly in the past for small businesses. Cloud-based accounts software links you in directly with the HMRC website meaning a tax return can be done in minutes rather than the usual painful week of tax return hell.
Do you have any advice for businesses?
Cashflow can make or break a business. Yet having a healthy business cashflow is not entirely within your control; it depends on customers paying you promptly. But invoicing isn’t always straightforward when you’re busy. More important things like sales or more strategic things like marketing become the priority. Money, as we know is the lifeblood of any business though, so getting your cashflow right is as critical as it is time consuming.
Here are a few tips on how to make cash flow more smoothly around your business:
Tip #1: Agree payment terms up front
Be clear on your payment terms and state them on the invoice. If you want to be paid in 14 days rather than 30, state that on your invoice and it may mean your invoice is prioritised. Broach the difficult subject of money upfront and agree payment terms in advance. You will only be respected for this.
Tip #2: Make the invoice clear and easy to understand
List the details of the job in a way that makes sense to the customer; any confusion could create a payment lag. It’s also good to personalise your invoice with your business logo – it helps carry on the professionalism of your work. Make sure your bank details are on the invoice so you can be paid.
Tip #3: Communicate
Never be afraid to follow up on overdue invoices. Let the client know immediately if their account is overdue. Sending out reminder emails can help, but a better option is to pick up the phone and talk to someone. Reminders from a real person are much more persuasive than automated emails.
You can get more advice on improving your cashflow in our Xero Small Business Guide ‘Invoice Payment Terms: Top 7 Tips’.