Does Your Small Business Need a CRM?

Have you ever stayed at a hotel and then returned, finding that they have stocked your room with everything you asked for the last time you were here?  Your special allergenic pillow was already waiting for you, you were asked if you would like a dinner reservation made just like you always do the first night, and there were even extra hangars because you always need extra hangars.  None of this would be possible for the hotel if it didn’t have a CRM, customer relationship management, system in place.

 

Would your clients be impressed if you remembered all of the details about your last conversation, their last purchase, or their preferences?  If so, your business might benefit from a CRM system.

 

Businesses that have more than 30 or so clients may benefit from a system that allows you and your employees to enter detailed information about each client interaction that they have.  It can work for both current and future clients, i.e., prospects.  A CRM is basically a great big customer database at its core.  It contains master file information on a customer or client, such as name, company, address, contact info, and custom fields.  It is also transaction-driven in that you can log activity such as calls, meetings, proposal dates, and more.

 

A good CRM system is also integrated with your other internal systems, such as your accounting or POS system or both.  In some CRM systems, you can see invoice and payment history, so that when a client calls in, you can also peek to see whether they owe you money or what goods they ordered that they may be calling about.

 

There are literally hundreds of CRM systems to choose from.  The gold standard for large companies is SalesForce.com; however, some small businesses use it as well.  SugarCRM is the largest open source CRM, meaning its programming code is available to the public.  ZohoCRM is one of the largest small business CRMs and offers a suite of products for small businesses.  And Act! is also very popular and plays well with social media.

 

Before choosing a CRM, decide what you want it to do and how you will be using it.  One of the most important aspects of profiting from a CRM is to make sure it gets used, and that takes some habit-changing from you and your staff.  Once you have your requirements, you can evaluate the software options available, and choose the one that works best for you.

 

When your clients start talking about how great your service is and how much attention you pay to the details they care about, you’ll know your CRM is paying off for you.

 

ALSO, don’t forget to Subscribe to my newsletter for information to help you make and keep more money.

Creating Bank Rules in Xero Beautiful accounting software

There are two types of bank rules in Xero

  1. Spend Money Rule – applies to debit transactions
  2. Receive Money Rule – applies to credit transactions

Spend Money Rule

We will now explain how to create a spend money rule in Xero that will divide an amount between two or more general ledger accounts. 

Let’s say you use your auto in your business and after tracking your mileage for the IRS in a log book, you determine the business use of your automobile is 75%.  Each time you buy gasoline at QuikTrip you don’t want to have to manually code the transaction.  You can setup a spend money rule that will automatically code 25% of the expenditure to owner’s draw, and the other 75% to automobile expense.

Click the “Go to banking” link from the dashboard, then click “Bank Rules”.  Click “Create Rule” and choose Spend Money Rule.

Line 1. When money spent on the bank statement matches [  ANY  ] of the following conditions…

Description,  Contains,  QT

Line 2. Set the contact…

Payee

Line 3. Automatically allocate fixed value line items…

no entry required

Line 4. With the remainder, allocate items in the following ratios…

Description = gasoline,  G/L Account = Automobile expense,  Percent = 75%

Add a new line, and input the following

Description = personal gasoline,  G/L = Owner’s draw,  Percent = 25%

Line 5. Set the reference…

Set this to either “from the reference” or “by me during bank rec”

Line 6. Target a bank account…

Choose your desired business bank account.

Line 7. Give the rule a title…

Name the rule something like “QT gasoline allocation”.

Next time a bank statement item is downloaded with QT in the description field, this rule will automatically code the amount to the correct general ledger accounts and percentages.  You just accept it and you’re done recording and reconciling the transaction.  It should save you at least 50% of the time required to do it manually each time.  You can setup bank rules for numerous scenarios and each time you setup a new bank rule, it saves you time from now on and the reconciliation process gets faster and faster.

Check back often for more ideas to streamline your use of Xero beautiful accounting software, or better yet subscribe to our newsletter.

Want to talk to someone about how Xero can help your business?  Call us at (918) 289-8212.

Cloud Accounting News

Cloud Accounting News
Volume 1, Issue 1

 
Three. Two. One. Xero.

Xero Certified Advisor Logo
 
As one of the few Xero Certified Advisors in the USA, we’re excited to debut our new monthly article designed to help you learn more about Xero, a hot new cloud accounting system that we support.  Today’s article will introduce you to the accounting software service and describe two of our favorite benefits. 
 
What Is Xero?
 
Xero is an online accounting application that is an alternative to using QuickBooks, Sage, MYOB, or another small business accounting software.  It allows a small business to invoice, bill, and track their bank balance, among other features.  The standard accounting functions of general ledger, accounts receivable, and accounts payable are included in Xero. 
 
You access Xero online, and all your files and the software are stored online.  There is nothing to install, no software to upgrade, and no files to back up or pass to your accountant since it’s all accessible as long as you have an Internet connection, a browser, and the account login credentials. 
 
The More, the Merrier
 
One of our favorite parts of Xero is they allow unlimited users at no additional costs.  You’re not penalized for having multiple bookkeepers, multiple employees, or just a lot of friends!
 
Both QuickBooks and Sage charge by the number of users, so this is a huge competitive strategy for Xero.  It makes sense when you think about it for an online product, because an increase in the number of users does not necessarily correlate with additional vendor costs.       
 
Beautiful Bank Feeds
 
The highest payback feature in Xero is its daily bank feeds.  Data entry is cut to almost nothing because all of your banking, PayPal, and credit card transactions automatically feed into Xero. 
 
You don’t have to pay your bank a software fee for this either.  It’s free.  Xero accesses the banking data either directly with your bank or (in the case of most U.S. banks) through a company called Yodlee which provides the feeds. 
 
The bank feed is super simple to set up.  All you do is choose your bank name from a drop down list, enter your user ID and password for your online bank account, and that’s it.  The transactions are entered automatically.  If something goes wrong with your bank or the feed, you can always easily import the transactions via a standard import file. 
 
Is Xero Right for Your Business?
If you’re already on Xero, congratulations.  Our future articles will include how-to’s and fun features about Xero and its family of add-ons.
 
If you’re wondering if Xero is right for you, then it’s best to discuss this with an accounting professional that knows your existing software system, your business needs, and the capabilities of Xero.  We’ll be happy to have that conversation with you. 
 
A few of the types of clients that are perfect for Xero include:
 
·       Clients who need very limited accounting features
·       Clients in services industries where there is no inventory
·       Clients that wait until tax time and get the entire year caught up in one swoop
·       Clients who hate the software they are currently using
·       Clients who are currently using Excel and re-entering everything
·       Clients who keep everything in a shoebox
 
If you fit into one of these categories or are just curious, be sure to reach out and give us a call at (918) 289-8212 so we can find out whether Xero is right for your business.