Would we recommend using Xero accounting software? Absolutely. Why? Because, as long-term client Glenys Thompson explains below, spending time with the grand kids is much more important than filling in spreadsheets.
Q. Tell us about your business, what do you do?
We’re primarily potato farmers, but we also diversified a number of years ago into the fishing business. We now have a successful fishery called Mere Lane Fisheries which has four fishing lakes.
Q. What was going on for you when you approached SBCA for help?
I started doing the accounts about 30 years ago and I did it the old-fashioned way, with ledger. I’d switched over to using spreadsheets about 10 years ago and then, with tax being made digital, I knew I had to start using some kind of software. SBCA had already discussed with me that we would have to change the way we did our accounts. It was a bit daunting really. I’m self-taught on the computer – so the thought of using new software was a little bit scary.
Q. What was the solution?
SBCA listened to my concerns and recommended Xero software. They said that they were going to run some training sessions as well, which was a big relief. At the moment I’ve had three training sessions, with a further three to take as and when I want to. The training takes place at SBCA’s office which is only 10 miles away. The staff are most helpful.
Q. What’s working well for you?
The good thing about Xero is that the accountants can log in as well, so if I’ve got any problems such as raising an invoice, or reconciling something, they will log in to my account and see what’s going on.
Q. Are there any other features that you’re finding helpful?
It’s saving me so much time. It’s unbelievable how much time it’s saved me. Because I’m a farmer’s wife, life is very busy. I’m often required to work on the farm hands-on, I’m also a mother and grandmother to three grandchildren!
Before I started using Xero and I was doing accounts on the spreadsheet, it was a couple of days really to do the accounts and VAT returns every quarter. Whereas now, I can log into Xero on my smartphone – even if I’m sat having a coffee somewhere – and get things up to date. Also, I used to have to do our invoices on the computer and then email or send them in the post. With Xero, I just have to raise the invoice and email it straight over. I can automatically see how much is owing and what’s been paid. It’s just so much easier.
Q. What one word would you use to describe your experience with Xero?
Q. If you couldn’t use this service, how would it affect you?
It would be more time-consuming, more stressful. It all balances now! Before I was having to balance things each quarter, balance my set of accounts with the bank statements. Now it’s all in one.
Q. Overall, are you happy with the service from SBCA?
More than happy. Whenever I pick the phone up with a query there’s always somebody there to help me out. For example, a few years ago I had to switch over my payroll software and again SBCA stepped in and advised me on a suitable payroll system even helping me to set it up. Now, if I have any queries I can just pick the phone up and speak to Becky who deals with all that, and she’ll sort it for me. They’re very approachable, efficient and easy to talk to.
Glenys Thompson and her family run Mere Lane Farm and Fisheries in Lancashire. For more information visit the following link >> Mere Lane Fisheries