The 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!
About 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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