Hi, I’m Donna. We just got back from Xero Con, and I am here with my colleague Marjorie Diephouse from Marlandale in Dallas, Texas. Well, we did new Orleans with the Xero Con conference. So we wanted to let you know a little bit about what we learned there. We had some cool things.
Donna: So what did you take away from some of the new things that they were gonna do?
Marjorie: Well, one of the biggest things I’m excited about, Donna, is Sift and the new reporting that’s going to help us give better financial statements and better information to our clients. The demo there was fantastic, and I’m really looking forward to really diving in with them and getting our templates done and working with our clients, just getting better information.
Donna: Yeah, there were some really cool things that we can bring back to replace some of the KPI indicators we used to use with Fathom and a lot better information that will help us really kind of help you tell the story of your financial information throughout your business.
We also had some exciting news. They introduced a new integration that’s coming within Xero for sales tax. Now sales tax is kind of a mixed bag because none of our clients are really on the accrual basis and meaning they’re doing like eCommerce or presenting invoices and collecting taxes.
Most of our customers are all cash basis where the tax part of it is very difficult to get an integration to work. But we talked with the folks at Avalara, and I’m going to be working closely with them. It will be in a beta test in the fourth quarter. And we are hopeful we may be able to make the system do cash basis tax filings for us. So fingers crossed on that one. We’re excited to see where that one goes.
Marjorie: One of the things that I was excited about too, Donna, was also all the new and upcoming bill pay services. As you know, I work with a lot of clients that are doing need instant checks or need bill pay. And they get limited all the time by the green team, as we say it, by limitations on how much they can pay. And there were several vendors there that would really fit the bill to make my clients just have an easier process in making those payments to their contractors.
Donna: Yeah, one of our goals here is to eliminate, fully eliminate the use of checks. Checks have got to go away from their antique processes now, and there are so much better ways to send money to your vendors and to make sure that all the tracking follows through behind it. So that was awesome to see. We look forward to bringing you some samples of those right along that same line. I know you may have heard of this before, but banking, you know, bank feeds are always the Achilles heel of the entire accounting process. If a bank doesn’t give us good information, our hands get tied, and it makes things a lot harder, but we spend a good amount of time with our friends over at Relay.
Relay is a neobank, which is a new-fangled bank that can do things online a whole lot better. And they have some really exciting things coming in the future. And we are working with them to bring you to the neobank. This would allow you not to have to deal with all these login issues we’re always pestering you about.
Marjorie: Well, and the great thing about that is you don’t have to give up your relationship with your local bank. No, you always wanna keep that relationship going for the line of credits and that type of thing, but Relay is a great, great system online. They’d set us a neobank, and it just eliminates a lot of the issues that we have with the traditional banks.
Donna: And it’ll also collect the W-9 for you upfront, eliminate that headache and get that taken care of. So you don’t have to worry about that.
Marjorie: Talking about easy bill pay. Relay is sweet.
Donna: Yeah, you can sync up your bills from Xero directly, or you can use it even without using Xero and pay your vendors. You can offer your vendors the ability to set up A.C.H. if they want to, you don’t have any of the headaches of that and your vendors will get paid faster, and they’ll be happier.
Marjorie: Well, and the other thing is, you know, a lot of people work have employees, and they’ll give them a card that they need to go down and buy supplies for. And Relay is an awesome system that you can assign either a virtual or a physical card just for them and put limits on it and instantly cut it off. It just adds so much more flexibility than a traditional bank.
Donna: And you don’t have to link it to the employee social security number or your personal social. It’s actually linked to the business’s federal I.D. number. And we talked to another service that was out there that was more like a credit card.
Ramp was doing some fun things with, again, going back to the credit cards, if you wanted to give employees their own credit cards, one of the problems is always that you have to give up social security numbers, and you’re relying the credit, but Ramp had a unique solution where they’re operating a credit card, giving you cash back one and a half percent.
Marjorie: Yep. That was great. And I haven’t heard of that anyone doing that.
Donna: Me neither. And they have some great ways where you can require your employees to upload the receipts right with their purchases to make sure that you have full tracking and that you don’t have any issues with controls. You can also turn the cards off instantly. Freeze them if you need to.
Marjorie: Put limits on dollar limits.
Donna: Awesome. Also, we had the underlying tone. If you know, I love automation, and I love to make things easier. Marjorie and I are always trying to make sure that we streamline all the processes and never have duplicate entries using that same data twice. If we can just push it from one place to the other, that speeds up all the processes, kind of an underlying tone. We were meeting with a lot of our friends and colleagues who are doing automation. We came back with some great ideas for what’s next on that platform.
Marjorie: But not only for us, but for our clients as well. To automate their processes.
Donna: Yeah. I’d love to know if you have a headache where you are finding that you have to take information from one system and repeat it and enter it in another. Or if you were having to pull information from multiple places to pull it into one source, to get the information, those are perfect opportunities to look at automation. And we’d love to help you take a look to see if we can build a custom automation for you. We’re in the early stages of doing that for clients. And we’ve done a lot of it internally, but we’d love to hear what your problem areas are to see if we can help you solve those.
Marjorie: Absolutely. So one of the big things that I took away from there is that Xero Con is really built into two separate groups. We got the new users and the people who are coming over from the grand team and realized how efficient Xero is over the competitor in the U.S. And that was very eye-opening and realizing how far ahead of the curb we really are.
Donna: It was amazing.
Marjorie: Compared to our colleagues, and there’s a small group that we work with that is up with us, but wow. I was really surprised.
Donna: We found people who were still worried about how to enter things in QuickBooks desktop, which is a dinosaur really terrible. And a lot of people who were just made us feel like we were superstars being light years ahead. But that’s what we aim to do. We aim to bring advanced systems to our clients, not just your grandfather C.P.A.
Marjorie: Get rid of those ledger books.
Donna: Yeah. We could put away the calculators and pens and paper. We have a lot better solutions for that. We ended the conference on a really cool note. We had a keynote speaker from Buried life. His name was Ben Nemtin. And he talked about a journey that he went through in his life where he went through sort of a depression era. Once he got out of high school and college, he missed the boat on a couple of things that were really big in his life.
Marjorie: Big big things. Yeah, like the world soccer team big.
Donna: Yeah, rugby. But it, it was a really eye-opening journey that he talked about in his life. And he brought it to the table. One thing that we always preach to our clients is to make sure that you enjoy life along the way. And his journey was about his bucket list. And he and his friends had some unique things. They just thought we’re just gonna write it down just for fun. We probably can never achieve these things, but let’s give it a shot. And they had things like, talking, being interviewed or interviewing Oprah Winfrey and playing basketball with the president, and traveling across the country. They bought an R.V., which I wonder who does that, but we learned a whole lot about the bucket list.
Marjorie: Well, and part of their journey was not only having them accomplish their bucket list but helping other people across the country achieve their bucket list. And everyone came together as a community to help each other out to achieve these bucket lists. So the whole story was very moving. You know, me, I cry at Folger’s commercial, so they had one where they helped a lady get a young girl get a bionic arm. Who’d been born with all the arm and of course, you know, I’m waterworks, you know. But it was really; it was really great to bring back. What we always talk about is moving your business forward and not only enjoying life, but writing things down, not only in your business and your business goals, but writing down your personal bucket list and knocking those things out. And if you don’t plan to do ’em, you’re never gonna do ’em.
Donna: We’ve talked about the old way of living was to work hard for many years so that you could retire and then enjoy life, but you never know what life brings you. So you can’t wait until you retire. And nowadays, who knows when you wanna retire? That’s a whole different theory there. But their big question was about what are the things you wanna do before you die? And you can’t just wait.
Marjorie: Right, if you were on your death bed. What’s the one thing that you would regret? And you know, you and I talked about this yesterday, about what? I mean, we’ve been very fortunate. We’ve been able to travel. We have great families, great supportive spouses, you know, great business, really what is on our bucket list. And for me, I wanna see the Redwood forest, Redwood national forest. I’ve never seen it. My parents have told me all about it. It’s one of the top things that’s on my bucket list. So in the next year, guess where we’re going.
Donna: Yeah. Gotta get it done, right? Yeah. We’re all about getting things done and not just hanging out and having dreams that are not achievable. You can achieve those things, and your business doesn’t have to be work. It doesn’t have to be the stopping point. It should be the facilitator in helping you solve those bucket list items. So we constantly preach that you have to have fun in life. Life is way too short to just be a business owner. It could be a lonely job being a business owner, but it doesn’t need to surround yourself with people who are similar to you, who care, and who want to enjoy life. And our friendship has resolved revolved around that for many years. We both have that same theory to get out there and enjoy life. Don’t just wait for it to happen to you.
So Xero Con, I give it a thumbs up. Definitely. We’ll be there again next year. And we also forged some great relationships and continued some great relationships with the upper management at Xero. So if there are things that you see that you need, we are your eyes and ears. So let us know what we can do to help out. And we wanna help you make your life great and your business great. And your whole world will revolve around happiness. So check it out. We’ve got some great things happening. Keep an eye out for the future, and let us know how we can help you. Enjoy your life.
Marjorie: Go enjoy your day.
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Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Campground Accounting
What happens when you send two C.P.A’s out into the relaxing outdoors to camp? You get CampgroundAccounting.com. Donna and Chad have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial C.P.A’s. They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams. They camp and travel across the country every chance they get, so it’s just a natural fit that they focus their CPA skills on helping campground owners throughout the USA grow their businesses and minimize the impact of taxes. They understand the key performance indicators and specialized issues that face RV park owners every day.