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The global pandemic has made the benefits of technology clear, and businesses that use the cloud have had significant advantages. Susan van der Valk, Audit partner at the firm, cannot recommend Xero and its unlimited benefits enough. By using Xero, you get time to do what is important in your business. This is why:

What made you decide to move MGI Bass Gordon into the cloud?

Long before a global pandemic and the thought of semi-permanent remote working, we had a vision to “improve” as a business of the future. It’s no secret that the future is digital… We worked closely with the Xero team to discuss our needs and where we wanted to take the business. From these conversations we realised there were a number of factors we could address:
  • Improve efficiencies for our staff
  • Move away from our ageing server and reducing data costs – having to connect to a VPN is unstable and uses a lot of data
  • Have more flexibility around where staff can work and ease of collaborating remotely
  • Find solutions that allow us to collaborate with our clients more seamlessly
  • And to be honest, to simplify life by working smarter, not harder. Taking advantage of what technology can do…

Since using Xero, how has it changed the business, what are the benefits?

Over the last year we have had the opportunity to get a good understanding of how Xero works and find many efficiencies in our accounting process. The bank recon works. Having the bank feeds setup makes sense and really does work intuitively with the matching to invoices and even learning what your allocations are.
 
Hubdoc is a great feature when we have numerous invoices to process but even just being able to attach invoices to transactions has been most beneficial.
 
We are excited to have the new Xero VAT feature roll out across all our clients. This is the first platform that will allow us to submit the VAT 201 directly from the system to SARS, after approval. One area that has always been frustrating with VAT on other systems is that we could not easily identify VAT transactions that had been processed after the last VAT period. Now on Xero, the late posting feature shows us that on the VAT recon.
 
As Xero uses CSV functionality on so many areas, this does give us flexibility and many efficiencies when processing and assisting clients. Who said importing isn’t fun!

So, has Xero simplified your/your team's life?

Is this a rhetorical question? It hasn’t just simplified accounting functions but has saved us so much time (tears and energy) on manual data entry.

In your opinion, which clients will benefit the most from Xero?

The platform is aimed at small medium enterprises and does have a “soft” limit on the number of transactions. This limit is around 1500 transactions per month. This doesn’t mean you can’t process more than this, it just impacts the responsiveness of the reports.
 
As we have worked with our clients that have made the move to Xero and understood their needs, we have been able to see what is available on offer. Xero has an app marketplace (apps.xero.com/za) which offers applications that can integrate with the Xero platform and make the accounting and business process even more efficient. We have been introduced to apps for manufacturing concerns, the hospitality industry, point of sale systems and more. We do not do the integrations ourselves but work closely with consultants who can assist us with this.
 
The platform won’t suit everyone, but we would love to start the conversation to see how this can support our clients.

Xero is an "external product". What role does MGI play if clients move?

The Client comes first!” That is and will always be the motto. As a trusted advisor, we have a duty to our clients to make recommendations/give advice that we believe will be in the client’s best interest. When we recommend Xero, it really is because the client’s business will massively benefit (I am an accountant, not a sales rep 😉). We do have a part to play in this process. Our role will be either one of two:
  1. Our dedicated team of Certified Xero Advisors will assist with the “physical move” and initial transition onto Xero, advising clients every step of the way and assisting with hiccups. Once settled in, the client will take full control and access of their accounting functionality. We’ll leave it to them to enjoy the everyday pleasures of Xero.
  1. Leave it to us completely. We have different service offerings within our advisory space and can either take on the full accounting function under our Family Office, which could even include us assisting with cashflows and payments for your operations. Or, we could assist with the processing and compliance matters only. The choice is yours.

What costs can clients expect?

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” I cannot remember when last I’ve experienced something to be too good to be true and then being just that. Xero’s value-add far out ways the price paid, which in all probability might even end up being a monthly saving for many clients.
 
Clients will need to select a specific Xero package based on their requirements. We take each client through this process and if we need to run a trial for a month to see what works best, this is where we will start.

Have you received any client feedback yet?

Yes, plenty! And I quote...:

“Sjoe, Hubdoc is amazing! Invoices were uploaded and I am now sending them through to Xero. I just wanted to tell you how excited I am.”
 
“I absolutely LOVE Xero.”
 
“Wow, nice new features added in Xero now.”
 
“My team have time they didn’t have before, so efficient.”

Will you say "I told you so" to all the happy clients?

In my head, maybe. I cannot take any credit for Xero or its amazing features, but I know it works! It’s like Uber, it just does!!!

Where do clients "sign up"?

Please get in touch with your MGI Contact Partner immediately or send an email to info@bassgordon.co.za and your inquiry will be referred to our Cloud Accounting department. My team of Xero Certified Advisors will be in touch to set up a meeting to discuss your specific needs. Ready, set, XERO!
 
            
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