In this piece, we examine how IRM moved its internal accounting system from MYOB to Xero with a minimum of fuss, and maximum upside. The move has delivered vast improvements to the business processes and efficiency, and has left IRM with an outstanding technology that will scale with the business.
Accounting had been managed via MYOB at IRM since the company’s inception in 2002. The IRM MYOB implementation was a typical very closed, top-secret system, controlled by powerful accounting staff, with its data hiding in a computer directory which was only accessible to accounts people or important executives. Security and passwords dominated. No way would the staff be allowed to see anything related to money, even the bills sent to the clients whose accounts they were managing!
Culturally, this didn’t fit with the current IRM business, which needed to provide the capability for Account Managers to actually manage the financial relationship with their clients, and where the financial performance of the company was something to be proudly shared amongst a number of people.
We sought a cloud solution that was available everywhere to all IRM staff (or at least those whose role demanded access.) We looked for integration with the banking system for daily bank reconciliation, and as much automation as possible in sending out monthly invoices and many other routine tasks.
We wanted constant improvement in the software by the vendor with no effort by us. We didn’t want to discover in another five years’ time that we were still running on five year old versions. We wanted to be able to share the company accounts with our advisers just by setting up a password, and we wanted to escape from the physical confines of the IRM office, and use part time, remote book-keeper people. We wanted to forget about software upgrades and backup copies of the data files.
We examined a few cloud solutions, and quickly opted to implement Xero. Implementation was quick and easy and Xero keeps adding new functionality that we don’t even realise will help, until it does.
How about now doing the staff superannuation fund contributions and lodgement of all those returns in about three minutes? And never having to log on to an industry fund employer portal again! How about doing the daily bank rec on the phone on the way in to the office? We can do it between two bus stops.
Sure, at $70 per month the software costs a bit more than our 5 year old MYOB system running on our own servers, but the improvements in efficiency and accuracy, and much lower use of staff time, made it a no-brainer. It’s important to say, we’re not on commission with Xero, but felt that if we were able to improve our business processes with such a minimum of fuss, after 13 years using the incumbent solution, it was worth talking about.