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Single Ledger, looking for love!

The Personals

Single ledger, looking for love, attention and companionship. See bio below:
? If you like one live accounting file, same data, same time, If you’re not into desktop, if you think cloud is prime, If you like collaborating in real time with all users of the file then I’m the software that you’ve looked for, write to me for a trial! ?
PS, I also like Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain 😉
Apply here if interested: Xero

Pina Colada cocktail drink with fruits on the beach

So I can hear you asking, “What on earth is this all about? Tongue-in-cheek?” Yes, of course! Just a little bit of frivolity to bring attention to a serious issue I face daily in my cloud-based practice. An issue which both confuses me and makes me just a little bit cranky:

Working with clients and accountants who have access to Xero subscriptions (or other cloud-accounting products) but refuse to even look at the files let alone transact in them.

Honestly, what is the point of having a cloud-based accounting subscription if you aren’t going to use it properly? You may as well send it packing and tell it to put an advertisement in the personals (hence, my little joke above). Here’s a tip: our little single ledger doesn’t like being single people – it wants some love and attention. It gets lonely!

Well, not really of course, but the main reason for using cloud-based software in the first place, is the single ledger and the benefits it brings to the client|bookkeeper|accountant relationship. The Xero company originally coined the term “Single Ledger”, citing such benefits as

  • single live view of business finances that is accessed by all members of the team at any time – client|bookkeeper|accountant
  • everyone sees (and works on) the same data, on the same system, at the same time
  • data is always current, not months old
  • less technical errors such as file corruption or disk failure
  • encourages continual collaboration between clients|accountants|bookkeepers
  • saves users time and money
Yet, time and time again, despite these benefits, I see clients and accountants treating cloud subscriptions more like desktop software.

By this I mean that they seem to have missed the point that everyone can access cloud accounting files, not just the bookkeeper. Clients purchase these subscriptions but don’t use them! They give their bookkeeper access to file and simply walk away, leaving the bookkeeper to do all of the work. If they want to know something about their accounts, instead of logging in and reviewing the data themselves, they ask the bookkeeper for the information. Some accountants won’t even touch the files at all despite being given access by clients. They prefer to get the bookkeeper to email reports to them and as far as making accounting adjustments in the file, well forget about it!

I think this is crazy!

Why even get a cloud subscription if you’re not going to use it for the purpose it was originally intended? The bookkeeper, client and accountant need to work together on a file, hence the single ledger thing. If this doesn’t happen, then you may as well just go back to spreadsheets or a desktop product because you’ll achieve the same thing:

Account data your accountant doesn’t use and you don’t understand

So I say, it’s time to show the single ledger some love and attention!

If you’ve previously purchased a cloud subscription, don’t ignore it and deprive it of love. Give it the attention it deserves – start using it! Insist that your accountant looks at it and actually transacts in it (and talks to you about it). Don’t expect your bookkeeper to do it all – ask for some training and start using your subscription to help you run your business. Work together with your bookkeeper and accountant and make use of the single ledger benefits mentioned above. You will end up with a set of accounts that you actually understand and this will help you to run a better business.

Do it now before it’s too late because your subscription might just get itchy feet and pop an advertisement in the personals section like the one above!

(Well, not really but you know what I mean ?).


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