Part of running any type of business, including an online business such as mine, is keeping track of business finances.
There are many tools you can use to keep your financials in order.
Some are free once you own the software but take a lot of work, like Excel.
Other solutions, like Xero, are online based and make bookkeeping a bit easier than reinventing the wheel yourself.
Today I want to share a bit about how to get started with Xero. Xero is currently offering a 30 day free trial for their software so you can try it out and see if you like it.
The best part is, their trial doesn’t require any payment info, so you don’t have to remember to cancel if you don’t like it. However, if it works for you, Xero is currently offering 30% off their services for the first six months.
Getting Started With Xero’s Free Trial
Here’s how the free trial with Xero works. First you can use this affiliate link (Try Xero for Free) to access Xero’s 30 day free trial.
Once at the link, you enter your first name, last name, email address and phone number to sign up for Xero.
The next screen will ask you to verify your email address, so you’ll need to check your email and click on the link within that email to continue.
After clicking on the link, Xero will ask you to set up your password. After entering a password, Xero will then take you to their software.
Basic Setup (Once Signed Up And Logged In To Xero)
Once you’re logged into Xero, the first thing you should do is link your bank account to the software. The process is simple by following the steps provided in Xero. You can also use the add bank accounts feature to add any business credit cards you may have to the system, which I highly recommend.
Personally, I added any financial account that has anything to do with my business so all of my information will automatically be imported into the system.
The next step is updating your organization settings so Xero can use that information to customize things like the invoices you send out to clients to get paid. Add in the basic information they ask for so Xero can populate this information in the necessary items throughout their software.
Another important item is setting up payment services, like Paypal. Simply input your payment service information and Xero will add an online payment option on your invoices for you. Xero currently supports Authorize.net, Braintree, DPS eWAY, PayPal, Stripe and custom payment URLs.
Advanced Setup (Once Basic Setup Is Completed)
Once you have the basics set up to get started, you can start working with some of the more advanced items to get the exact Xero experience you want.
The first area is creating custom themes for all of the documents you’ll end up sending to clients. You can decide what information you want to share with a client, such as your address and Tax ID number, as well as customize what titles you want to show up on documents. You can also add any terms or payment terms to a template, as well.
A quick and useful option to help make life easier is the ability to import lists of customers, vendors or suppliers if you have them. If you don’t, you can add these manually as transactions occur.
The next area you should seriously consider customizing is your chart of accounts. If you’ve never used accounting software before, you may be fine using the default chart of accounts.
However, if you’re transferring from a service like QuickBooks, you should definitely import your old chart of accounts or customize the Xero accounts to your liking. Personally, if you have no idea what a chart of accounts is, I highly suggest you use the next advanced setup option.
Inviting an advisor to help with your accounting books is one of the huge benefits of using an online accounting software like Xero. You can set up an account for an advisor, such as your Certified Public Accountant (CPA), so they can access your data.
Your advisor can only access what you give them permission to see within Xero. You can give your advisor as little or as much access as you’d like.
Some people prefer to let their advisor take care of everything within Xero while only logging in to check on how things are going. Other people may prefer to have their advisor double check their work. If you don’t have an advisor, Xero has a list of advisors you can choose from based on your needs.
All of the items covered above are in the Xero getting started menu once you sign up for the free trial. Simply click on the links to work on each task when you have time.
If you’re ready to give Xero a try, you can sign up for their free trial using this link: Try Xero for Free.
Do you use accounting software to manage your business’s accounting needs? Do you have any questions about Xero? Let me know in the comments below.