What To Expect As A New Client Of Back Office Stars – Our Onboarding Guide
If you are a new client or thinking of becoming one, then this onboarding guide will help set your expectations about the steps involved.
The key to enabling virtual or online or cloud-based bookkeeping is the ability to exchange and organize documents via the internet in a secure and efficient manner. Cloud accounting systems like Xero and QuickBooks Online have a fair bit of functionality for this but we have found the best solution is to use Dext in addition to one of Xero or QuickBooks Online. In the rest of this guide, we'll refer to Xero but you can assume that Xero and QuickBooks Online are interchangeable.
The most basic setup (in which we don’t handle your payroll or your payables) looks like this.
The two key software systems are Dext and one of Xero or QuickBooks Online.
What is Dext and Why Do We Need It?
Dext, a cloud document collection and management system, acts as the central gathering place for all your documents. Any vendor account you have that provides you with a receipt or statement and that also gives you the ability to login with a username and password gets added to Dext. These would be accounts like your bank, PayPal, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google AdWords, Facebook ads, MailChimp, utilities, mobile phone, internet, municipal taxes etc. If the vendor is not one of the over 700 integrated vendors then you can setup a rule to forward the invoices via email or manually scan them with the mobile app.
Dext retrieves and identifies your receipts, invoices or statements and allows you (or us) to tag them for additional organization. It uses software to extract the key information like the name of the vendor, the date of purchase and the amount. It's remarkably clever and accurate.
Secure Integration With Your Accounting System
Dext is integrated into the leading cloud accounting systems, QuickBooks Online and Xero. This means it sends the transaction level data over to the accounting system, and instead of having to type it all in, the bookkeeper just has to check it. If there are ever any questions, the bookkeeper can easily refer to an image of the original receipt.
What Would We Do Without Dext?
Without Dext, you (or we) would have to log in to your different vendor accounts every month and download a PDF statement or invoice or we would work off paper invoices which we’d have to wait for (and which sometimes get lost by busy business owners).
We would then have to manually enter the data into the accounting system which is time consuming and more prone to errors.
The manual process is inefficient and generally leads to the bookkeeper having incomplete records to work with when they come to process your books each month which results in delayed or inaccurate reporting.
What is Xero and Why Do We Need It?
Xero is the accounting system. It takes in all the raw data and, with guidance and oversight from our bookkeepers, organizes the transactions into journal entries and categorizes them so that you can get insightful reports about your business and so that your accountant can easily prepare your corporate tax filing at year end.
Xero also has built-in tools for doing bank and credit card statement reconciliation that make the process much faster and more efficient than other systems. Xero pulls in a live data feed of transactions from your bank and then matches those up with documents from Hubdoc. Your bookkeeper checks everything and makes adjustments as needed.
Bookkeepers love Xero because it has a particularly clever approach to learning from past categorizations of expenses and then automatically applying them on future ones.
Xero then provides the business owner with all the key financial statements: Income Statement or Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow etc. It calculates your interim sales taxes owing for interim payments.
Xero can do everything conventional accounting systems like SAGE and ACCPac can do and it has all the benefits that come with cloud-based software:
- The bank and Dext/HubDoc integrations means you have very close to real time transactional data.
- You, the client, can access your accounting system at any time and can pull the reports you need for more accurate and timely decision making.
- You always have the latest version of the software which means you get new features faster.
- You never have to go through a complicated software upgrade.