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Xero-5The earli­est known writ­ing dis­covered by archae­olo­gists takes the form of tax accounts. Egypt and Meso­pot­amia were keen on hav­ing their fin­an­cial ducks in a row, and records found date back to 3300bc. As gov­ern­ments and cit­ies were built, account­ing became a necessity.

It wasn’t until the Renais­sance that mod­ern account­ing star­ted to be shaped. In the 15th cen­tury, Bene­detto Cotrugli inven­ted double-entry account­ing and Luca Paci­oli intro­duced journ­als and ledgers. These two meth­ods revolu­tion­ised the account­ing world and their cre­at­ors are fre­quently referred to as the fath­ers of mod­ern accounting.

Do you think that a sim­il­ar thing might be said for Rod Drury and Ham­ish Edwards, two men who sim­il­arly joined forces to build a revolu­tion­ary tool for accounting?

Every­one knows Xero. Many people love Xero. “It takes the pain away,” exclaim some. Oth­ers have sug­ges­ted to me that they don’t need a chartered account­ant any­more. Of course, I dis­agree there, but it has to be said that Xero, which was engin­eered in our city, is now mak­ing waves on the glob­al stage, too. It has cre­ated hun­dreds of jobs; it has helped people reduce the amount of time they spend on the fin­an­cial side of their busi­ness. So with these bene­fits in mind, will Drury and Edwards be known in years to come as the fath­ers of really mod­ern account­ing? Possibly.

But is Xero the only option? Of course not! Xero is right­fully pop­u­lar, but this mat­ters little if the data your busi­ness enters is incor­rect to begin with. All account­ing soft­ware is only as good as the accur­acy of the inform­a­tion entered and the inter­pret­a­tion of that inform­a­tion. The annu­al accounts for your busi­ness are more than just a record to send to the IRD. Your GST return car­ries far more weight than a cal­cu­la­tion of your busi­ness income and expenses. The stor­ies that come from both of these are what are really import­ant. And those stor­ies, when inter­preted by your chartered account­ant, can be the main indic­at­or of what you should do next in your business.

As a chartered account­ant, my exper­i­ence with Xero has been pos­it­ive. It is beau­ti­ful account­ing soft­ware that does exactly what it says on the tin. Most import­antly, it allows us account­ants to do what we do best – work along­side you to advise you of the best steps for­ward based on the stor­ies your account­ing soft­ware has pro­duced. It also means that pro­du­cing data for annu­al com­pli­ance can be done eas­ily, with no nasty sur­prises. How­ever, as a nat­ur­ally social per­son, I won’t be quit­ting my friend­ships with MYOB, Quick­Books or any of the oth­er soft­ware pro­viders to recom­mend only Xero. Mix­ing it up is good!

Peta Walker

Peta is FishHead's enterprise writer. A born and bred Wellingtonian, Walker is owner of BW Chartered Accountants and a long-term business adviser - she is currently fighting all the usual accounting stereotypes.. and winning. Loving long walks in the hills, her long-term ambition is to walk the entire Te Araroa walkway: at about 100 kilometres per year this is a 30-year project. She lives on a Makara lifestyle property that is also home to Pester and Lester the chickens, and cows French, Door, Blue and Vein.

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