Xero is one of the most popular and effective cloud accounting platforms available today. And with good reason. As the quintessential solution to a growing SME’s financial management challenges, it can feel like there’s nothing you can’t achieve with Xero and its diverse ecosystem of add-ons.
But as with any business software tool or platform, it’s always a good idea to explore all the options.
So, should you try to squeeze every last drop of benefit out of the core Xero platform before you start using its wide range of third-party apps? The answer – as is often the case with business advice – is, it depends.
1. Xero is a powerful tool
And with great power comes great responsibility.
It is, of course, vital that you understand how to use Xero effectively for your business before you start tacking on additional apps and functionality. Otherwise, you run the risk of complicating the core solution. But it’s also important that you take the time to examine all your options.
Choosing to implement Xero means embracing automation and efficiency when it comes to billing, invoicing, purchase orders, and more. Before you start considering CRM systems and eCommerce plugins, think about the processes and workflows involving Xero itself. Do you understand how they work? Are you seeing the benefits of automating certain tasks rather than manually entering data?
Only once you’re comfortable with the platform will it make sense to start exploring its full potential.
That being said, every business is different, and for some Xero will always work better in conjunction with the right apps from the outset. And for others, Xero just won’t be a viable option – think high volume point of sale operations, like cafés.
2. The ecosystem is vast
With over 500 apps spread across a wide range of categories, just one glance at the Xero app marketplace can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed.
Faced with so much choice, it can be all too easy to make the wrong decisions and undo the time-saving, efficient processes Xero itself has brought to your organisation.
Now, we understand that the temptation is there for many to create an all-singing and all-dancing interconnected, cloud-based solution for internal workflows and financial processes. But that sort of system takes time and know-how to get right. There’s a degree of trial and error involved as you learn what works and what doesn’t for your business.
The last thing you need – particularly in the early stages of growth and development – is to labour your business with unnecessary costs and unwieldy workflows that do little to support operations.
On the other hand, Xero is able to interface with incredibly complex apps; ones that require expert intervention to set up, and specialist training to use on a day-to-day basis.
For a startup finding its feet, this level of upfront investment of both time and money can be jarring, but for an established business looking to take the next step, or transition its systems to the cloud, it’s worth taking on both Xero and its specialist apps at the same time.
The heart of your business
If the third party apps in Xero’s diverse and interesting ecosystem are the arms and legs of your business processes, then Xero can be its heart. Your business will only be able to run faster and climb higher when it has a strong and healthy heart pumping accurate data throughout the system.
We can help you start with Xero, make sure you understand it, and make sure you see the benefits of implementing it. We can also help you identify opportunities to complement it with additional applications and software platforms that will add real value to your business.
Ready to get started? Contact us today to speak with one of our friendly Xero experts.