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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Quilt Cover Shop Gets its Competitive Edge

http://www.justbedding.com.au/
By Claudia Vilches of Just Bedding

The time-saving benefits of cloud-based services are no mystery to the majority of online retailers, though busy as we are, there are undoubtedly some areas overlooked within our businesses. As in our case at Just Bedding, a well-known Australian retailer of quilt covers online, where I’m charged with the accounts, amongst other things. Having recently brought a huge competitive edge to our business via automating all our manual accounting efforts, it meant I just had to direct some praise to those responsible and share our story with the uninitiated.

My workload used to build up at an alarming rate, manually balancing customer orders with bank transactions and supplier invoices. Keeping the books up-to-scratch consumed the majority of my work week and our MYOB software just wasn’t cutting it, requiring frequent bulk importing of transactional data to it from our Magento installation, a laborious task to say the least–enter Xero.

Designed thoughtfully enough to have done away with our hefty end-of-month reconciliation requirement–a task which would cost me at least 15 hours towards the end of each calendar month–Xero now allows me to no longer have to obtain manual copies of all statements and manually cross-reference each transaction with the entries created in MYOB the previous 30 days. Further to that, reports are now far more accurate than ever and available on-demand.

The next step towards further streamlining our accounting workflow was automating the way customer orders would import from our website into Xero. By this stage, we already thought we were doing pretty well, having spared ourselves a load of accounting hours, though this recent time-saving revelation left us wanting more. Automating more. This need was realised with the implementation of Carry The One, which automatically syncs customer orders from our Magento installation with our Xero account the very moment they come in. This little feat in automation gloriously resulted in a saving of about 1.5 hours of manual processing each day.

To top all this off, we recently began using Receipt Bank, a manual service that uploads all our invoices into Xero the day we get them. These invoices now only need so much as to be scanned and emailed to them - whereby they do all the manual data entering straight into Xero, under each respective expense account. Enlisting their service meant an added saving of 4-6 hours a week of uploading these invoices to Xero, creating or referencing each respective expense account, and then filing those receipts.

An unexpected benefit of these streamlining efforts, beyond saving time and money, is that we no longer have to hold paper invoices for taxation purposes. Digital records now suffice in this department–all ours are stored in the cloud and I now take joy in tossing all invoices in the recycle bin and the thought of how I recovered 18 hours from my work week and am doing that little bit more for the environment.

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