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In LonsdaleNET, we use the Xero accounting platform which I trialled shortly after it became available in the UK and found it very good - certainly a lot less cumbersome than Sage and with the added benefit of being in the cloud allowing those involved to access from anywhere. The files feature was a clincher for me as it allows us to scan in and attach each supplier invoice to the transaction meaning we can run a paperless office.

One annoyance I have found is the lack of an easy way to deal with payments from multiple customers that arrive as one payment. For us, this is Direct Debits. The vast majority of our income is small payments of £20-£50 but all these arrive as one payment in our bank account. Reconciling these was easy when we had a small number of customers but as we approach the 1,000 customer mark, it has become a chore to do this at month end.

We run our sales invoices from another custom built system that combines phone and broadband billing for our customers and import them into Xero. As you can search the sale reference on reconcile, we simply placed the date of the Direct Debit collection into the exported file Reference field ready to be imported into Xero - DD140115 for example. We are now able to search this field on reconcile and tick all boxes.

Xero does appear to have a habit of crashing when reconciling so many transactions against one payment but this has reduced as of late. I hope it does not present further problems as we have more grouped payments as customer numbers grow...

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I am a technology enthusiast living up in Carlisle, Cumbria in the UK and am the managing director of Its Elixir which sells Henna Hair Care Products and Ear Candles, Craig Brass Systems which creates and custom develops quality software and LonsdaleNET which delivers high speed wireless and fibre optic broadband in Cumbria.