Xero Review: Cloud Accounting for Property Investors

PiB is delighted to welcome accountant Jim Moore to our guest blog spot. Jim has been my accountant for several years and has given me invaluable accounting and business advice across three different businesses.

Jim probably wouldn't tell you himself but before he went solo, he was an FD with the Stakis Hotel Group before they were sold to Hilton Group in 2000 for £1.2 billion.

In this post, Jim exposes an accounting application that I will be looking to integrate into my business as soon as I get a spare 5 minutes!

Most small business owners recognise the benefits to cash flow and bottom line profitability of:

  • Carefully monitoring cash flow on a daily or at least a weekly basis. 
  • Producing and analysing monthly or at least quarterly Profit and Loss Accounts to identify profitability issues such as falls in sales levels or gross margins or increases in direct costs or overhead costs.

I think owners of property related businesses are no different in recognising these benefits. To maximise business success in these challenging times the owner of a property related business must monitor carefully, on a regular basis, both profitability and cash flow.

Cashflow is King

Cash flow is, at the end of the day, the life blood of every business. Annual accounts are really of little value in this as they are only produced once a year and often finalised many months after the year end, result…….. too infrequent and produced too late to properly control profitability and cash flow on an on going basis. 

With the right information available at the right time, cash flow and profitability issues can be identified and addressed at the earliest possible moment to avoid potential cash flow crunches or unknowingly bleeding bottom line profitability out of the business for months on end.

For property portfolios it is also advantageous to be able to "drill down" and monitor profitability on a "per property basis" rather than just a total for the whole property portfolio.  (A profitable portfolio may contain individual loss making properties where management attention really needs to be focused.) 

The Accountancy Budget

Xero Cloud Accounting for Property Investors

All businesses have an accountancy budget but particularly in the current financial climate many small business owners are loathe to spend additional money on accounting costs to produce such regular cash flow and profitability information.

However, with the arrival of cloud accounting software it is often possible for business owners  to get those cash flow and profitability reports throughout the year AND achieve this within the present annual accounting budget.   

Until recently the annual accounting spend of most small business owners has been almost entirely used up to meet the compliance requirements of the Authorities…. what accountants call "compliance work "……. i.e. preparation of  VAT returns, preparation of annual tax returns and preparation of annual statutory accounts. All of these are statutory requirements of the Government and are of little real benefit to the business owner in managing his/her business on a day to day basis…..WORSE !!! all of these are looking backward, not forward looking as a business owner must be if he/she is to run and manage a successful property business into the future.

Xero Review: Cloud Accounting Software

It no longer has to be that way……… Xero cloud accounting software allows every small business owner to easily capture the numbers in his/her business and produce continuous meaningful reports on cash flow performance and bottom line profitability within the business whilst also going a long way towards producing that "compliance work" for the Authorities much more easily.………..  AND often all of this can be achieved within the existing annual accounting budget.

As an accountant with over 30 years experience of advising business owners I am extremely enthusiastic about "Xero" cloud based accounting software and the benefits it offers to small business owners.  Xero now has over 150,000 users worldwide (so it is very well established) and is still growing fast. I have clients already using Xero and they are more than happy with their new cloud based accounting system.

Xero allows all of the numbers in a business to be quite effortlessly captured and frees up much more time for me to work closely with my clients on a regular basis throughout the year to help them to monitor business performance, work on growing their businesses, address cash flow and profitability issues as they arise and constantly seek to identify ways to drive their businesses and their profitability forward. The result?........... much more value for my clients for the same annual accounting budget. 

I honestly believe that Xero is a "Game Changer" in terms of small business owners having the ability at their fingertips to continuously monitor and control cash flow and net profitability……….. you can find out more about Xero at www.xero.co.uk.

On the Xero home page you will find a short video about Arthur (the tree house architect) which gives a great overview of how Xero takes the drudgery out of bookkeeping and accounting.  The video is only two minutes long ………….. so go on take a couple of minutes to watch Arthur's video………… I’m confident you will find it two minutes very well spent.

Guest author profile

Jim Moore has over 30 years experience of helping business owners address profitability, cash flow and accountancy issues within their businesses. If you would like to know more about his business…. (JWM Business Advice & Accountancy) please visit www.jwmbusinessadvice-accountancy.com.

Jim's personal email is jim@jwmbusinessadvice-accountancy.com if you wish to contact him directly with any questions you may have on a specific business matter or to find out more about how Xero cloud accounting could benefit your business or ……… to arrange a free initial meeting to discuss in detail the particular circumstances of your business.

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