A popular accounting system alternative for small and medium businesses is Xero, a cloud-based platform that uses a subscription model as opposed to a traditional software purchase. Xero has several strengths, most of them based on the nature of cloud computing: no software to install, no updates or file conversions to manage, access from anywhere with an Internet connection without the need for a hosting service, no worries about data file backups. Giving your accountant access is also simple, with no need to create and transfer files.
The complement to Xero’s cloud-based accounting is Xero Touch, an Apple or Android app that integrates with Xero and allows many basic functions—including bank reconciliations, invoicing, collections, and expense reporting—to be handled from a smartphone. The combination is ideal for mobile or virtual businesses and extremely handy even for those with a traditional brick-and-mortar office or storefront.
Managing receivables is simplified with Xero’s invoicing system. Since it is cloud-based, you are notified when a customer views one of your invoices, which should eliminate the “Oh, we never got that invoice” excuse you may often hear. Creating and applying credits is also easy, even on the go. Better yet, a payment link built into each invoice allows the customer to click and pay using PayPal or a credit card.
What about swiping cards?
However, one feature missing from Xero that is available in other platforms such as QuickBooks is the ability to swipe card transactions (that is, those not associated with an invoice, such as charging a customer on the spot). If you have spent any amount of time dealing with merchant processing, you know that keyed transactions are more expensive than swiped ones. Fortunately, one of Xero’s selling points is its integration with over 350 apps from third-party providers that fully integrate with Xero, and Direct Pay Systems addresses this problem by providing both a virtual terminal and a smartphone/tablet app that allows swiped transactions.
Lower processing rates
Card processing rates available through Direct Pay Systems using these apps reduces typical transaction costs by more than half. The two main competing options, Stripe and PayPal, permit only keyed transactions and are both priced at 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transactions. By comparison, Direct Pay Systems offers rates that start at 1.49 percent.
eCommerce Integration and Recurring Billing in Xero
The Direct Pay Systems platform has other advantages as well. One is e-commerce integration, which further streamlines your accounting processes if you sell online. Another is the ability to set up recurring billing, which is a great model for building revenue streams and is greatly simplified if it can be automated.
Flexibility in billing and payment methods is all well and good. Reducing card transaction costs is even better. But from an efficiency and time- and labor-saving standpoint, it is the full integration between these systems and Xero that really shines. Just as Xero simplifies bank reconciliations, having card transactions flow directly into Xero means no need for manual entry and much faster reconciliations. The alternatives—to spend your time (or pay someone else to spend theirs) on this aspect of your accounting or to ignore reconciliation and hope for the best—don’t begin to compete. Ease of use, full integration, and affordability win hands down.
Have Questions? Need Help?
If you have questions with integrating credit card processing into Xero, give us a call. In just a couple minutes, we can show you how to set up low cost payment processing that will allow you to use Xero as a complete system when it comes to your accounting and billing. If you are currently accepting credit cards elsewhere, we can even customize the pricing to save you money. To learn more, just give us a call at 866.949.7267 or click here to send us a message.