This time around we fire six questions at our internal bookkeeper.
Sometimes new things come into focus with a change of perspective, which is why from time to time we’re asking some of our team members to offer their reflection on the Xero journey. If you’re considering whether Xero can work for your accounting firm, you’re almost definitely going to want to find out how it copes with your practice accounting.
Lauren Degnan wears a lot of hats at Dewings. She’s the kind of person you can pretty much throw anything at – we often do – and you know that it will get done well. She manages all of those regular practice management things that need to be done in order for us to function, she remembers when things are due and frankly, she helps to make people like me look more capable than I really am. We don’t want to say she’s perfect – just that we’re yet to to find any kind of fault. In short, every firm should have a Lauren.
One of Lauren’s responsibilities is management of our internal bookkeeping. She makes sure that all the data is in so that our practice reporting and planning can get done. Lauren also prepares our budgets. So naturally the transition to Xero affects her directly – we now run our practice accounts through Xero and this means that Lauren has to get all the information in there.
Our first ‘Six Questions’ post looked at things from the product champion’s perspective. We directed those same six questions to Lauren, and here’s her response. Hopefully there’s some encouragement here for anyone considering the impact that Xero will have on their internal accounting processes.
- What do you love about Xero/WFM so far? Once all the setting up is done, everything is more automated which will make doing my jobs much quicker and will also allow me to keep on top of everything.
- Is there anything you hate? I don’t hate it, but the timesheets are a bit harder and more time consuming to use for someone who does lots of small tasks during the day.
- Can you see it making a difference to the way you work? It will make my job quicker and easier because all the facets of our accounts are now in the one package which means less reconciling between information from different software and sources. As mentioned before, I will also be able to keep on top of things more, rather than having a busy start to each month, my workload will now be more evenly spread over the month.
- If you could only make one enhancement request what would it be and why? I’m not sure that it’s really an enhancement, but speeding up the rate that the screen refreshes each time. When I’m working quickly through things, the pause that I get while the screen refreshes can be a bit annoying.
- Is there a moment on the journey so far that stands out for you? Probably the point when I had everything finally set up for the accounts and started using it on a day to day basis. My workload is so much more even now because instead of having to code hundreds of transactions at the start of each month, I now code the entries daily as they come in through the bank feeds. Has taken the pressure off the start of the month for me..
- Overall, if you had to choose, old system or new system? Once all the setting up is complete, new system.
Lauren, the screen refresh can get a little tedious at times if you have a large amount of data-entry going on. I find that when I am entering AP invoices for clients with the doc attachment needing to upload, it can take quite a while per entry (especially as I am in a regional area with no fast broadband available!). I tend to have 2 or 3 tabs of the New Invoice screen open at a time & whilst I am waiting for one to upload, I am entering the next one in the next tab. Tends to quicken the task for me quite a bit. 🙂
Thanks for the tip. Certainly sounds like a good way of speeding things up, as you are productively entering more data in another screen (or 2) while waiting for the first screen to refresh, rather than sitting there impatiently waiting.
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