Case Study-– Graham Smith 

 channel central logo

Last week, Abacus were invited into the channelcentral offices, to find out exactly what it is about Xero, and us, that they love. Channelcentral is a Cloud-Based IT solutions company, which also embraces cloud-based technology for its own internal systems, and when we told them about Xero, they wanted to find out more about how it could help their business.

The reason for this case study was to find out the positives of Xero in our clients’ businesses, and to see whether it has really helped them save ‘Time, Money and Stress’.

channelcentral previously used Sage, and felt that it was outdated, hard to use, inflexible and wasn’t working and adapting within their business structure. The accountancy systems and processes in channelcentral needed a major overhaul.

How has Sage compared with Xero?

Xero and Sage are like ‘Chalk and Cheese’. You get everything you want and more with Xero and it does everything we want it to for our company. Xero is based in the cloud, which is great for security and back up. In contrast, Sage is installed on a local server or pc/laptop, which means that if somebody comes in and steals a laptop/computer, then all of the data is lost, which is a security worry. Furthermore, if the laptop breaks, you have the cost and difficulty of recovery from backups. With Xero, you can simply log in anywhere with an internet connection and access your company accounts, with all of the information safely stored into the cloud.

If something goes wrong or there is an error in Xero, there is 24 hour built in support entirely free. Xero are always extremely helpful with getting back to us and answering our queries and the problem is always fixed quickly. You are always able to update and change information without hassle or worry, and everything can be undone easily as well if a mistake is made.

However, if we need an immediate answer we know we can always pick up the phone and speak to one of the team at Abacus. When Xero is undergoing any system maintenance or updates, we are always told on our Xero page days before it is due to start, and it normally happens at very convenient times, so we are never disrupted.  Any extra support through Sage costs money and we had to keep buying license fees for each user license, so the costs eventually mount up. Therefore, as Abacus’ ‘tagline’ suggests, they can save you money, through switching to them and the Xero software.

What are the main things you like about Xero and how has it helped your business?

The compatibility of Xero add-on partners is great because there are so many that links in with Xero- e.g.- CapsuleCRM, E-way for credit card payments, and Go Cardless for direct debits which means we can really focus on being a cloud-based business and linking all of our software providers together. Credit card payments and the integration between Xero and ‘E-Way’ is “fantastically simple”, and can be done at the click of a button- great for both us and our customers.

The repeating invoices option in Xero means that there is less admin and no worries or stress because of this, freeing up time that can be implemented in other ways in the business.

Another thing we really like is that Xero can be accessed anywhere in the world that there is an internet connection, which is great if we are on holiday around our year end in July, or if we need to reconcile the bank when we are away from the office.

With Xero, you do not need ‘proper’ training. It can all be self-taught through a demo company and Xero TV and help guides. It’s just really straight forward and simple to learn, and to teach others in the company. However, if there is anything we are stuck on, Abacus holds free Xero training sessions in their office so we can brush up on our knowledge and make sure everything is always up to date and refreshed.

The software doesn’t feel like it is made just for accountants, it is comfortable for a business to be able to use and not feel scared about clicking buttons and delegating different user levels for those in the business- for example, giving our sales person a basic invoice only level, meaning it spreads the workload more evenly and eliminates stress from those who used to have to deal with it on their own.

We wouldn’t go back to any other accounting software now that we’ve used Xero because it does everything we need as a company and more.

Do you feel Xero and Abacus combined have saved you Time, Money and Stress?

Xero is a ‘piece of cake’ to use, it means we are less stressed, we save money in our business and frees up time as well. There are no longer stacks of paper work everywhere, and we can also focus and put money into other things in the business, such as marketing and sales, etc. The support we gain is from both Abacus and Xero, so we are never stuck with a question or unable to use the system. The accounting side of the business is really good, we are always on top of it and there are never any worries or issues. Also, Abacus offers a monthly subscription service which is great for cash flow and you can always keep on top of payment without worry- not a lot of accountants do this!

Abacus has embraced the ‘paperless office’ and it now means we are able to do this as well. All expenses can be done at a push of a button, instead of filling out endless spreadsheets and bits of paper, allowing a clear office and mind, eliminating stress.

Our company, ‘channelcentral’ is based on cloud IT services and this integrates really well with both Xero and Abacus- as they both embrace and provide cloud-based software, meaning it complies with our business model. Xero was originally built for the cloud, and therefore works a lot better, quicker and more efficiently, and Abacus have recognised this as an accountancy firm and embraced it.

Using Abacus and Xero combined has definitely saved the company time, money and stress- and we have never looked back.

Feel you want to learn more about how Abacus and Xero can help you and your business? We’re happy to help and talk you through everything. Just give us a call today, or drop us an email!