Blog

Dec 09

CreditorWatch & Xero - Tools Of the Trade for Tradies

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Doing the job is one thing.  Getting paid is another thing!  


One of the many challenges that comes with running a business is making sure SME business owners keep on top of administration, GST compliance and finances to maximise their profit.  As their business grows, new challenges appear.  Particularly with trades and service business who are not only working  "on the tools",  but they are also require business management skills.


They now find that their business role has changed dramatically into that of a management role.  This comes with the territory, viz staff recruitment, managing staff, chasing new contracts, building business relationships, providing quality service, debt collection and cash flow.

 

Tradies in Australia have had to contend with late payers and bad debts far too often.  I have heard many stories of woe and as one of my clients has mentioned "he is out there driving new business and does not want to be the one chasing bad debts".


The key to success is working smarter and this is where I believe CreditorWatch, who has sashayed into the online ecosystem space to provide real time credit reports, customer monitoring & alerts and debt collection tools, is a winner.


What is CreditorWatch?  & How It Can Help Small Business

https://creditorwatch.com.au/page/features


CreditorWatch is a cloud based credit-reporting agency that manages the credit files of all commercial businesses in Australia. It assists to identify bad debtors and helps to provide credit management solutions.  CreditorWatch comes in three flavours with various levels of access.  The monthly subscription plans are packaged  on a 15 day trial period and can be upgraded or specifically tailored to suit the user's needs.

Some of their cool features and what I like about CreditorWatch:

I have been using CreditorWatch with Xero for just over a month and have found the tools, email notification updates and resources terrific, all of which have been really beneficial in running my own business.   Love that CreditorWatch Connects with Xero.


Collaboration: Within 24 hours of signing up, I received a welcoming letter thanking me for connecting CreditorWatch to my Xero account as well as receiving a follow up phone call from my new account manager, who offered to take me on a guided tour.


Customer Lookup: Search for a business by "Name, ABN and ACN":  Whilst assisting one of my clients when performing their quarterly BAS Business Health Check, came across a new sub-contractor my client was dealing with and was not sure if he was had an ABN &/or registered for GST.   I was able to do a quick search and had the answer, readily available just by entering the contact details from the dashboard.


Customer Love: Excellent.    Easy to use, wide range of functionality. Cloud based am able to use on my iPad.  Ticks all the boxes.

At a glance:

- Online: Provides the tools to assist with decision making, knowing who you are dealing with before opening up that account and whether there are any risk factors.


-  Integrates with Xero: Synchronise with Xero via API with seamless integration of customer list and outstanding balances brought across appearing on dashboard with each company's Australian Business Number and an option to turn on the monitoring tool.


- Credit Reports & Scores:  Access a credit report on any business in Australia and have these readily available in graph format when logging into CreditorWatch.  


- Risk Monitor:  There is a “High Risk” portfolio summary visible from the dashboard showing companies you are dealing with and whether any adverse rulings have been associated against these companies.  The listing shows a comprehensive report on court judgements, company deregistration, strike off actions in progress, ASIC insolvency notices and or whether mercantile footprints have been registered.

Members can take action against bad debtors and non payers, by lodging defaults online and warn other businesses.


- Education and Tools Portal: A raft of debt collection tips, credit management documents and articles on how to assist with managing credit.


- Use CreditorWatch Logo: Incorporate their logo in conjunction with your own company branding on invoices, statements, website and final payment requests.


 - Online Support: All-In-One support, awesome customer service.  Quick and easy to get up and running.


Aug 24

It is never too late to start using Xero

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Saturday, August 24, 2013

So you want to convert your data to Xero?

Not sure how?; Who to go to? ; Where to start ?

We offer a personalized data conversion service specifically to fit each individual business/client needs.   No matter whether it be QB, MYOB, or any other On-Premise accounting system we will have you up and running in next to no time.

Our expertise in this area spans many years in IT and Data Management service, and are extremely proud to have migrated hundreds of clients’ data to Xero.  As BAS Agents and Modern Bookkeepers, we understand accounting so you will be in safe hands to ensure “Best Practice” and compliance is correctly adhered to throughout the transition.

All the work is carried out in-house, under strict project management guide-lines.  We are serious about what we do and comply with the Privacy Act. Each project is meticulously scoped by our Xero Certified Advisors to ensure your data transfer is 100% accurate.

Sit back, relax and take some well deserved time out until you receive your first invite to log in and access your shiny new Xero.  This is where all the fun begins and trust me, using Xero is addictive so don’t say I did not warn you!

This is what we provide in our conversion service.

  • Map and Import Customers &  Suppliers
  • Import Chart Of Accounts
  • Import Items
  • Enter Trial Balance
  • Set up Tracking – (Job Coding)
  • Import Open Invoices (Receivables & Payables)
  • Set Up Payroll – we will even process your first pay-run
  • Bank Feeds – linking your bank accounts, Paypal & 3rd Party Services

 Our conversion service includes 2 months Xero Subscription

Want more? Talk to us about what we offer in our training packages.

We will train you to use Xero correctly, showcasing tips, tricks and all the cool features Plus.  

Looking forward to meeting you in the cloud using the Xero Eco-System

 

Jun 29

HAVE YOU HEARD THE LATEST GOS?

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Saturday, June 29, 2013

Open for business – Spanner Planner Training and Support
With the new financial year upon us, I would like to wish everyone a productive year ahead plus share some really cool information on a recent Xero Add On Solution.

Have you heard about this product ? Spanner Planner ? No !

Well Let me tell you a little about it. www.spannerplanner.com

Created by the Auckland company App2SaaS, has been in development and beta testing for close to 2 years and now has been launched internationally.

What Does It Do and How Does It Work

Is dedicated to providing auto workshops with the information they need to enable them to run a busy workshop and to become more efficient and work smarter using the Cloud It is powerful and economical

Tradesmen are excellent at their jobs they work long hours, extremely busy but time poor.

Whilst designed for the auto industry it is not limited, in fact it is suitable for bicycle repair workshops, the marine industry, tyre repairers and roadworthy certifiers to name a few of the services which come to mind.

Spanner Planner is another brilliant home grown easy to use eco-system software hatched out of New Zealand.

How does Xero work with Spanner Planner?

Spanner Planner is fully integrated with Xero in the following ways:

  • Create a client in Spanner Planner and it will be pushed to Xero.
  • Create a client in Xero and it will be imported into Spanner Planner
  • Create an invoice in Spanner Planner and it can be manually pushed into Xero
  • Create an invoice and a payment in Spanner Planner and it will be automatically pushed in the next Xero Sync
  • If an invoice has been manually pushed to Xero, and a payment made, Spanner Planner will import the payment
  • If you create a supplier in Spanner Planner then it will be pushed into Xero
  • If you create a supplier in Xero then it will be imported back into Spanner Planner
  • If you create a purchase order for a part or parts, then Spanner Planner will push Purchase Order into Xero
  • If you return a part or part(s) to the supplier then Spanner Planner will create a credit note
  • more with Xero


We have worked closely with Spanner Planner during their beta development stage and in turn assisted clients who have shown a genuine interest in using Spanner Planner, providing demos, support and shouting out on twitter how this industry is in need of an affordable yet functional solution.

We are excited to announce as from July 1 are able to assist with the implementation, support and training for those wanting to connect to Spanner Planner and Xero.

We are delighted to be working with Spanner Planner team and their clients to help provide the missing link of the jig-saw pieces for the motor trade.

With over 20 years in the automotive industry, locally here on the Gold Coast, in New Zealand and South Africa, we have an in-depth knowledge of the motor trade, whether it be parts procurement, job scheduling/costing, workshop time management right through to connecting with accounting using the beautiful accounting system Xero.

Our services and what we offer:

As a boutique software consulting and training firm, we are big on providing to our clients a personalised service and are available anywhere in the world 24/7.

We can tailor your package and customise training to suit individual company’s needs.

Simple Data Migration – Spanner Mate

  • Spanner Planner/Xero Set Up
  • Set Up and migrate data from almost any “on premise system”
  • Suppliers Stock/Non Stock/Clients/Vehicles
  • Train your staff using Spanner Planner and Xero

Advanced Data Migration – Spanner Premium

  • All of the above plus job/vehicle history
  • Spanner Planner product release training
  • Train your staff using Spanner Planner and Xero

If ever there was a time to migrate to the cloud this is it 2013-2014. So what are you waiting for?

Want to have a sneak peak ? check out their You Tube channel

May 30

A note from the Xero Roadshow

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Thursday, May 30, 2013

Attended Xero Roadshow Tuesday this week – huge response double clapping when Xero announced their upcoming releases.

Cassandra Scott, Jac Gallagher and myself invited to be part of a panel discussion on the Xero experiences we have encountered in our business. Accountants and Bookkeepers had different stream presentation – some were waving thru the wall to us. (lol) Worried missing out on the fun!

Apr 27

Ethnic Business Awards QLD State Luncheon 2013

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Saturday, April 27, 2013

 April 27, 2013

Today I was proud to attend the Ethnic Business Awards QLD State Luncheon 2013!

Indeed an honour to meet past & current finalists, hearing their inspiring stories fascinating insights.

All present received “Who Brought The Luck To The Lucky Country?

http://www.rdog.com.au/main.php?id=luckycountry

Mar 19

A great post from a happy Xero user!

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I received a heartwarming email from a wonderful client of mine this week. With her permission I’ll post it here, as it makes me feel great! – Gillian

I have used MYOB for many years and was sceptical about trying a new accounting system. However, I have to say that I was extremely impressed by Xero and the implementation that Gillian Rossouw was responsible for.

Xero is very user friendly particularly for people who don’t have an accounting background. My BAS preparation has never been easier. I love the speed with which you can access Xero on line as it is quicker than what I have seen MYOB operate at. The fact that you can log on anywhere and restrict the type of access for each user is fantastic for organisations that have staff in multiple locations and need to work away from the office.

As our staff numbers grew, we upgraded to the medium sized business package which includes a free superannuation clearing house facility. This facility means that I no longer have to prepare superannuation contributions for multiple super funds and it is always processed before the contribution deadline. This feature is well worth the slight increase in fees as the time that is has saved is far greater than the extra cost.

I was extremely happy with the training that Gillian provided during the implementation phase and on an on-going basis. She was able to tailor her training to the knowledge level of the staff that she was training. The fact that she could log in to my computer to see what I was seeing and then provide instructions meant that any issues we were having were resolved very quickly. She also observed our first few payruns to make sure that we were following the correct procedures. Her ZenDesk application is great for recording questions and their answers so that future users can refer to it as a knowledge bank. Gillian always responds to our questions in a timely manner which is greatly appreciated. She has gone out of her way to find us solutions to other business needs such as a time recording system that could be integrated into Xero.

I would happily recommend Xero and Gillian Rossouw to anyone who wants a user-friendly accounting system that can be accessed anywhere anytime.

Sandra Schuetze
Accountant
Straddie Camping

Jan 05

2012 – an epic year for Australia’s #1 Xero Consultant!

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Saturday, January 05, 2013

Coming off a stellar 2011 in which Xero Consultant Gillian Rossouw – the eponymous Jill of All Trades – was awarded the Xero Knowledge Award, 2012 saw her take her presence within the Australasian Xero community to a new level.

Showing the boundless energy for which she’s famous Gillian attended XeroCon NZ in Auckland, XeroCon AU in Melbourne, and participated in the Xero Roadshow.

Mid-year Gillian’s multinational heritage was recognised when she was nominated and named as a State Finalist in the NAB Ethnic Business Awards.

Most significantly, in 2012 Jill of All Trades became the first bookkeeper in the world to be awarded Xero Gold Partner status – both a huge milestone and a tremendous accolade from the Xero organisation.

Roll on 2013!

Dec 22

So glad…

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Saturday, December 22, 2012

So glad that payroll is all done and dusted — never a dull moment when Xmas comes around and holiday leave needs to be calculated!

May 14

Introducing Quotient – A “really cool” quoting system

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Monday, May 14, 2012

I found an awesome quoting system recently: Quotient, a new addition to Xero’s beautiful suite of Add-on Solution Partners. Quotient is an online quoting system that allows businesses to create customised quotations in minutes. Images can be inserted in the body of the quote for more visual impact, documents can be uploaded and url links can be inserted to showcase a specific feature.

The web application has a nice look and feel once inside and on the dashboard, with a few clicks in Settings, creation and confirmation of default accounts are completed, templates stored and team members can be invited in and most importantly link to your Xero organisation.

Once the quotation is created and sent to the client via email, they can either accept the quote or engage with further discussions and comments within the quotation. Once accepted, with a single click the quotation is then automatically integrated into Xero as a Draft Invoice. But wait there is more … Quotient has thought of sharing more love ! The quote attaches itself to the invoice. So for future reference all one needs to do is search for the client and not only is the invoice found in Xero but also the quote.

Quotient at work

I’ve been using Quotient for my Gold Coast Xero consultancy for a few weeks now and am delighted with the quick and easy way to create quotes, simple and easy to use, I was able to install it and begin in just a few minutes. I’ve already set up a number of macros and templates, which I’ll use for regular type quotes. More complex quotes, which are generally more time-consuming, were also successfully created in minutes.

Quotient truly is an all-in-one system. I love the feature where documents and templates can be inserted. This allowed me to attach a confidentiality disclaimer, terms of engagement and an application form for setting up specifics the client wants me to assist them with.

When I log into my Quotient Dashboard I am able to do a quick quote or use a previously created one. There’s a neat little pull-down feature for more detailed information, where quantities and pricing can be added. These are part of the quote template, which can be set as required, recommended or an optional extra.

When the quote is complete and sent out to the recipient – my dashboard has analytics showing the quotes that have been sent – it records whether or not it has been opened. Once the potential client opens and accepts the quote, this in turn gets sent to Xero as a draft invoice. It really doesn’t get any easier.

As part of my software consulting services, it is beneficial for me to understand and work with a number of web-based applications, such as Quotient, who partner with Xero. Once I have learned how to use these applications, I can in turn offer this as an Add-on service to my potential clients.


Sharing makes for good business practice

Last night I tweeted to Quotient how cool I thought their system was. This morning I received an email from a client asking me about some of its features and if I could set them up on Quotient. This proves just how effective one can be at creating and engaging potential business. Not only was I able to implement a tool that allows me to create invoices within minutes, by sharing my excitement about Quotient I also attracted new clients.

An essential tool for the modern bookkeeper

Quotient is the type of Add-on Solution that I refer to as “best of the breed”. Rather than small businesses having to make do with an antiquated, one-size-fits-all application, Quotient allows businesses to customise the product to best suit their needs. Affordable and easy to implement, Quotient helps “The Modern Bookkeeper” streamline their quoting processes and save time.

Businesses ranging from a large accounting firm to a small furniture business have already expressed their interest in using Quotient after testing it.

Why Quotient?

100 % browser-based and hosted in the cloud, Quotient’s online quotes detail everything from company details, line items, options, pricing, notes, terms and conditions, dates sent/valid through to a question and answer system and comments function. It also allows businesses to customise their quotes with their company logo and details, as well as attach images and files.

May 05

Xero at work behind the wheel with CorporateCar City Car

Posted by Gillian Rossouw at Saturday, May 05, 2012

As a Xero consultant I always have a wonderful sense of satisfaction when I see first hand the difference using Xero Accounting Software can make to a business. The most recent case in point being Luke of CorporateCar City Car, a Brisbane-based transfers and airport limousine services company.

My first dealings with Luke came about after he read a blog I had authored on an application I was reviewing and using in my own business. The purpose of the call was to ask me how I was finding the application, he asked me to explain to him a little bit more about the features and how I was using it in my business, saying he was testing it for his business.

Over the following months we built a friendly rapport and he by chance came across PeopleMine logo on my website and asked me about this application. I recommended he sign up for trial and said would introduce him to the development team in New Zealand, who in turn gave him assistance and guidance around implementing their application for his business.

Luke’s Bio

Luke established his business in 2005. Initially trading under the name Brisbane Limousine Transfers, earlier this year the company underwent a rebrand and re-launched as CorporateCar City Car Service. Servicing both corporate and private clients with a focus on reliability and professionalism, his fleet of luxury cars provides services spanning transfers and tours through to weddings and special events. It’s the type of business that requires a high level of record keeping (mileage and frequency of trips, distances covered, costs etc.) for taxation purposes to meet best practice and compliance standards.

Given the nature of the industry he operates in, Luke was seeking software that would help simplify and streamline his accounting processes. After much research he decided to invest in Xero Beautiful Accounting Software and a couple of Add On Solution applications which he found on Xero’s website. A decision that has revolutionised the way he handles his bookkeeping and administration.

Luke's Quoting System

I sat down with Luke to chat about Xero and how he was coping with the task of record keeping and compliance issues. It is tremendous to be able to keep in touch with clients and listen to “their story telling” about how new technologies are streamlining standard business tasks.

Where It All Happens

Gillian: When did you first come across Xero?

Luke: The first time I stumbled upon Xero was in mid-2011. Before the cloud I was using Excel spreadsheets and manually calculating the GST on hundreds of transactions each month. I now use a range of applications including Xero Accounting, Xero Touch, Shoeboxed, Evernote, PeopleMine, Campaign Monitor, Capsule CRM and Vend POS.

G: What effect has Xero had on streamlining daily tasks?

L: When I first started, manual paperwork took days each week and Sundays were often spent stapling and filing. These tools have reduced it to hours each week and eliminated clunky folders, piles of receipts and paper trail headaches.

G: How has the implementation of Xero and Add On Solutions helped you self-manage the accounting aspects of your business?

L: We use PeopleMine and Campaign Monitor to keep in touch with our customers. This has automated a lot of business tracking, which used to be either impossible or time consuming. Since 80 per cent or more of our business is from repeat clients, PeopleMine was ideal as it takes the guesswork out of clients who we haven’t seen in a while, so we know precisely who and how we communicate to our database.

Your data + PeopleMine.

Other important tools we use include Google Enterprise – for email, docs and calendars – and Capsule CRM. We’ve also played around with Vend as a future POS system in the car.

Corporate Car’s success

Corporate Car is a working example of how small and medium enterprises can benefit from using Xero Accounting, enabling business owners to take the complexity out of managing their own accounting with the assistance of software and new applications.

After the interview with Luke, he asked me to cast my eye over his accounting and was able to give him a few pointers on how he was processing the GST coding on a couple of entries and gave him that lovely “green tick” of approval.