We here at Flamingo Accounting love Xero and make no secret about that. We think it’s the best thing out there for businesses to run their accounts and taxes through and can’t be beaten for value, scope and ease of use.
But, Xero is especially good for those in the building and construction trades. The features and functionality it has make it ideal to solve the day to day problems those in the building industry face with financial reporting and maintaining records.
Here are our top ten reasons why Xero is the ideal accounting solution for those specifically in the building and construction industries:
Perfect for staying on top of your subcontractors
Xero lends itself perfectly to help you to manage your subcontractors. They can email their invoices directly into Xero so you have a digital copy saved along with your accounts and be easily processed. When paying them, Xero can create batch payment files for you to upload directly to your bank, saving you the manual entry. The payroll function allows you to enter the pay information, and show the CIS deductions that are owed to HMRC. Plus, with all their details saved in Contacts its basically a database of subbies!
Xero Touch – the free mobile app – keeps you informed on site
There is no need to go to the office to look at your figures and results, simply download the free Touch app to your smart phone or tablet, and you can view them wherever you are on site. Check your current bank balances, what money is due to come in and out, and create a sales invoice there and then – even email it to your client before you’ve left the job.
Capture your purchases on the go
Using the Xero Touch app you can use your smart device to upload your purchase invoices on the go. When you are out and about buying things take a pic of the receipt with the device camera, fill in a few details and then upload the information directly into Xero. No need to retain receipts or fill out expenses forms at the end of the month. You can even tell Xero which account you purchased it from or if it was out of your own pocket so Xero knows you need to be reimbursed. No more missing paperwork will certainly keep the tax man happy!
Tracking codes allows you to report on specific jobs
You can set up two tracking codes, each with unlimited options, to allow you to track progress on whatever it is you want to report on. For instance, you might want to track on sites, showing the sales and costs for each site, showing which jobs are making you money and which are costing you. Maybe you want to see which of your salespeople is performing best, so you can track sales made by each person, and easily calculate the commission they are due.
Auto chaser on invoices
Xero can be set up to automatically chase your debts for you. Once the payment deadline has past, email chasers will be automatically sent to request payment. You can set how often the chasers are sent – and how friendly the reminder is – as you get further and further past the deadline. So, there’s no need to remember to chase those retentions two years down the line – Xero will do it for you.
VAT – it’s easy to go between zero rated and standard rated
Xero can handle both your zero-rated new build work, and your standard rated jobs easily – even on the same invoice if needed. No need for complicated adjustments or calculations, Xero takes care of it all, automatically compiling the VAT return for you and putting the correct figures in the correct boxes – keeping HMRC happy.
Most building jobs will involve a quoting process and Xero is perfect for that. You can prepare your quotes with your logos and details, then revise and edit them as much as you want. Email them directly to your clients and update the quote with their responses before simply re-sending back to them. You have the ability to upload and attach files to the quote, which if you wish can also be sent along with the quotes to your clients. You can save your plans, budgets, staff details, etc all in one place and then easily access them from anywhere. Once the quote is agreed, you can simply turn it into a sales invoice so no need for duplicate entries, just the click of a few buttons.
Create as many purchase and sales codes as you want
If you want to break your expenses and sales down to minute detail you can do exactly that. In Xero you can create unlimited account codes to assign your sales and expenses to – so if you want to know exactly how much you’ve spent on cement, skip hire and portaloos in a month, a quarter or a year you can do just that.
When your jobs are drawn up and you’re ready to order your materials and equipment, you can use the Purchase order function. Email them directly to your suppliers, including different delivery addresses and instructions for your different job sites. When you receive the purchase invoice for the order you can simply click a few buttons and change the order to an invoice in Xero so no duplication of work.
The Projects module is a further step forward for Xero and builders. There is an additional cost for this module, but if you need to track time, bill in stages or take deposits on a regular basis then this maybe just the thing for you.
We here at Flamingo Accounting are Xero experts and have years of experience setting up and advising builders on how to use the system most effectively. If you would like to talk to us about Xero and how it can help your building and construction business, then please get in touch on the contact details above.