The team headed down to the 2019 Xero roadshow last week to check out the latest updates from Xero and its industry partners, I've captured some of the key highlights & takeaways below.
Single Touch Payroll
The first key note speaker to take the stage was Xero managing director, Trent Innes who discussed the upcoming implementation of the ATO initiative, Single Touch Payroll (STP).
We've touched on STP in a previous update, STP is the new way business’ will report tax and superannuation information from their payroll or accounting software each time they pay their employees. Before STP, businesses of all sizes used a variety of methods to record payroll from payroll & accounting solutions to pen and paper, STP is the push to consolidate business into a simpler way of reporting.
If you employ 20 or more people you were required to implement STP on the 1st of July 2018 (unless given an extension) however new legislation has passed this week which will require all businesses who employ to be using STP by the 1st of July 2019.
What’s in the pipeline with Xero?
STP solution for small business – For the estimated 400,000 businesses who employ four or fewer staff, Xero have announced an STP compliant product that will process, pay and report payroll information for up to four employees. It has an expected price point of $10 per month.
Xero Mileage – A solution to recording work related travel. Easily create mileage logs for taxes or reimbursement utilising automatic tracking and simple reporting.
My cases – A new and better way to get Xero support. ‘My cases’ is a question centre where business owners can go and ask their questions and be placed in a queue to get a response from a Xero team member. A key feature is the ability to request a call back from a support specialist when they are available – this will mean Xero can provide support by both email and phone.
NAB direct payments from Xero –NAB customers will soon be able to make payments straight from Xero rather than having to complete the additional step of logging into their NAB online banking platform to make the payments.
Automated Bank Rules – For those smooth operators setting up rules for their common transactions to auto match, you’ll no longer have to spam the ‘ok’ button - instead these transactions will now automatically post with no need for user intervention.
The move to ‘data flow’
The term 'data flow' refers to the seamless transition of data from system to system without the need for human intervention.
The benefits of this include:
- Speed – software solutions are much faster at completing tasks than their manual equivalents.
- Accuracy – software achieves a significantly higher accuracy rate and lower errors when inputting data across platforms.
What does this mean for my business?
We encourage you to analyse tasks you do everyday in your business and ask the following questions:
- Can this be automated?
- Is there a commercial product available to help me with this?
- Is it affordable to me?
If you can automate or reduce the time it takes to do repetitive tasks by 20% that’s time that you could be spending bringing in additional clients, golfing, spending time with the family or watching the Bachelor - the choice is yours!
The final presentation of the day was Xero’s featured apps, a presentation by a handpicked selection of apps found to be most useful to business’. Here is a quick rundown on our favourites:
Receipt Bank is an automated solution which removes the need to manually enter receipts and bills into Xero, and keeps record of all documents so that you don’t need to keep paper copies. Its OCR technology extracts the data from the receipt (Supplier, Amount, Date) allowing you to spend more time doing what you love.
Hubdoc is an automated solution to inputting bills + invoices into Xero. Hubdoc varies to Receipt Bank as it has a strong focus on extraction - meaning that once your accounts are set up, it will automatically fetch your bills without any effort involved by you.
Practice Ignition is a proposal and payment system designed to reduce the significant effort to send out and engagement letter and the extensive follow up required to get clients to pay those accounts. Key features include;
- Reduce or eliminate debtors by automating your revenue via upfront or recurring payments via credit card or direct deposit.
- Create professional proposals in seconds not hours, Practice Ignition also ensures your proposals are compliant and error free.
- Direct integration with Xero.
- Automatic email follow ups to remind your clients to accept their engagement.
- Improved ability to forecast forward – provides an easy insight to key metrics such as recurring revenue per month.
If you’re interested in learning more about any of the aforementioned features and how they can potentially help you grow your business, make more profit or automate the boring stuff so you can do more of what you love, contact your local Richmond accountant at HTA.