Automated Everything - Shopping Cart - Payment Gateway - Xero and more

Looking for the perfect business solution? Consider this:

  1. Use www.websitebuilder.co.nz shopping cart to manage your product catalogue and accept orders, in multiple currencies. Website Builder shopping cart also takes care of "stock levels" and "order fulfilment".
  2. Use www.paypal.com (and/or other payment gateways) to accept payment
  3. Your invoices will appear as draft invoices in www.xero.com. Xero requires a manual step to approve them, but so much quicker than copy/pasting all the details.
  4. Xero automatically syncs the invoices and payments... (including multi currency and online banking payments)
  5. Paypal is unique in that Xero will sync individual Paypal transactions, speeding up reconciliation with orders.
  6. Use www.xero.com to account for your expenditure and speed up the processing of GST returns.
  7. Perhaps use www.workflowmax.co.nz to manage your jobs and time following a successful order.
  8. A lot of businesses use www.ipayroll.co.nz to complete their time sheets.
  9. If you need to make overseas out wards payments, or receive payments to an overseas bank account, you can save a lot of time and money by using a 3rd party like www.currencyonline.co.nz ;  we use them to enable our overseas customers to pay us by online banking to a "local bank". We receive an email the next day telling us we have received money, and can then login online to complete the currency transfer.
  10. For email and calendar management, consider using www.google.com/apps which is hosted completely in the cloud, meaning it requires less IT administration, following setup and configuration by www.geeksonwheels.co.nz or www.needanerd.co.nz. And alternative solution is to use a hosted exchange service.
  11. For those of you where Google Apps does not provide enough "shared docs" features, then you might consider using www.dropbox.com to share your MS office documents between laptop, work desktop, home desktop etc.

We have numerous customers using this configuration, and we use most of these cloud services ourselves.

The similarity doesn't end there, many of us even use the same book keeping service, namely Katalyst office management. Despite the highly automated nature of the aforementioned cloud services, a certain amount of human interaction is still required. We have found them really great, and if you are looking for help with migrating from MYOB to Xero, then we'd really encourage you to contact them to get you up and running. We now outsource many of our accounting functions to Katalyst office management.

Following on from your chosen accounting system, you might also like to engage the services of http://www.waterstonerecovery.co.nz/ or www.cia.co.nz for debt collection services.

Some detailed tips you might like to consider:

  • the primary advantage of www.xero.com over other accounting software is the bank reconciliation, which is so easy with direct bank integration.
  • Paypal is treated like a bank account in xero and accounting for your transactions could not be easier. This includes separation of GST inclusive sales from GST exclusive financial fees, and accounting of multi currency and FX loss/gain.
  • all your orders/invoices from website builder automatically feed through to your draft invoices folder in xero. Its an easy task to approve them without having to copy/paste lots of data.
  • merchants with large numbers of transactions can now deal with them using Paypal's "cash coding" and "reconciliation rules" feature, bank reconciliation of a hundred transactions can now be completed in seconds. For example, if you use the order fulfilment features provided in Website Builder, then you might only want to code all the banking and paypal receipts as cash sales, bypassing Xero's debtors ledger. We have over 1000 transactions to deal with, and so far its working a dream.
  • one trick we use is a dedicated "deposits" bank account, which keeps all our online sales in one easily identifiable place, separate from other transactions. This approach has many accounting benefits.
  • another wise move we made was to use www.kiwbank.co.nz. The advantages of Kiwi Bank were that we could easily create a "user" who had read only access to our deposits account. Staff can then check on customer payments without having withdrawal access which might be a security issue. 2nd benefit is that Kiwi Bank shows some bank transactions on the same day as the transaction, enabling you to process orders more quickly. The 3rd benefit is the greater control over transaction descriptions, which gives you access to all 3 fields for both payer and payee bank accounts.

What other cloud services do you use? We would be keen to hear.

 

Posted: Thursday 28 April 2011

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