5 Great Xero Features

There are heaps of great Xero features.  I couldn’t fit them all into the space of this column so here are my first 5.

  1. Cloud Based – This was the game changer Xero introduced to the market. Placing the records in a cloud based server allows multiple parties to access the same information in real time.  This makes working with clients to fix minor accounting mishaps and checking their GST returns nice and easy.  While most of my clients can do their own GST a quick check over every couple of months keeps my ‘head in the game’.  We keep the records nice and straight for management reports and the yearend accounts.  This also puts me in a better position to offer advice, help my clients make better business decisions and head off difficult issues.
  2. Repeating Invoices – Invoices for regular services can be set to repeat when required. There are settings to send automatically or just draft awaiting your approval. Either way this is a great time saving feature and reduces the risk of forgetting to send out your invoices on time.
  3. Invoice Reminders – We all seem to have a few clients that forget to pay us on time or misplace the invoice. Xero’s invoice reminders let you automate a reminder to be sent either before the due date, after the date, or both, with multiple follow ups.  You can include a link to the original invoice and exclude reminders for minor amounts.
  4. Phone App Reconciling – Got a few minutes to kill. With a swipe to the left to scroll down or a swipe to the right to scroll up, it’s a little like tinder for business. OK to accept the match, Xero’s suggested coding or creating the correct new entry can all be done from the phone. Keeping the reconciliations up to date is a breeze and keeps your accounts receivable and payables current.
  5. Apps Marketplace – With over 500+ add on applications that integrate with Xero, there are plenty of opportunities to bolt on time saving or feature rich applications.   While you could build you own software to integrate with Xero, why reinvent the wheel when it is quite likely someone has already done it for you.

 Happy to give a demo and see how Xero might fit for your business.

Getting your Hospo business humming

Hospitality industry is not for the faint hearted, it can mean long hours, hard work and require thinking quickly on your feet.  If you get it right the reward can be the smiles on your customers faces and a good financial return.

  1. Top of the list – This is what the industry is all about. Just meeting your customers expectations and they will likely come back.  Provide exceptional service and they may tell someone else (this is how you grow your customer base). Provide poor or bad experiences and they will tell a whole bunch of others.  The latter is even more prominent today with social media and rating sites.
  2. Staffing Critical to creating that great customer experience will be your team. Getting your rostering right is equally important, wage costs are often the biggest variable cost.  Having too many staff will cost your bottom line, being short staffed and the customer service will suffer.  Keeping an eye on your figures will help make good decisions.  You should be reviewing your wages as a % of sales at least weekly or even daily.  When working out rosters start with your prediction of daily income for the week then roster team members to meet the expected demand. Keep an eye that the overall cost % is in line with your target.
  3. Food & Beverage costs Know your cost of sales on each item you sell and overall average based on your sales mix. For beverages simply divide cost by the selling price (make sure to exclude GST). Plate out meals, measuring and pricing the ingredients. The same goes for baked items. Divide the cost by your sale price to get the cost of sales %.  Knowing what your cost of sales are will help with setting your pricing.  This is also where you can get creative, work on putting together fantastic food that looks, smells and tastes great but doesn’t rely on expensive ingredients.
  4. Breakeven and overheads Review overheads systematically to trim out any unnecessary cost creep. If you know your wage and food % costs are it’s relatively easy to work back to your break even sales point to cover your fixed overheads.  Remember to build in some return for your hard work too.


I started my career working in the Hospo industry.  I enjoy working with passionate hospitality business owners and helping them make good business decisions. Give me a call sometime for a chat and coffee.

Greg Verhoef Chartered Accountant