A simpler transition to e-commerce with A2X
Beckoffice Ltd helps clients pivot business during pandemic – and digital tools have been essential.
Beckoffice Ltd is a London-based bookkeeping and management accounting firm. They provide a wide range of services – general bookkeeping, VAT, cash flow and forecasting – right up to the trial balance with full reconciliations, which then get sent on to accountants.
Management accountant Joanna Prosser explains that as a cloud-based business, Beckoffice is all about automation: “We always take the view that if we can automate, it makes things more streamlined.”
When the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, restrictions forced a lot of the firm’s clients – many of whom are in retail and hospitality – to adapt quickly. They turned to more online selling, making digital automation tools even more important, Joanna says.
Manual reconciliation can take hours
Recently, a client’s system error stopped their automated reconciliation – an unfriendly reminder of just how time-consuming some tasks can be.
“It took hours and hours to find out what was going wrong,” says Joanna. “Not to mention the time it took to manually reconcile all the affected bank transactions and download the invoices to upload into Xero.”
The culprit was a third-party add-on the client had been using. Joanna sees this as a prime example of why it’s so important to use the right digital tools to run your business. That’s why she started using A2X with another client who is a Shopify seller. She knew it would prevent the same thing from happening again.
“I can only assume that if we hadn’t got A2X in place with our other clients, and the reconciliation didn’t work again, it could take a long time to sort.”
A2X “does what it says on the tin”
Joanna admits that when she was first introduced to A2X, she was a little hesitant. But, she says, it didn’t take long for her to be proven wrong.
“Once you know where you want things to end up, all you’re doing is basically matching your Shopify data to your accounts in Xero. Apart from going into the invoices every day and clicking approve, I haven’t had to do anything – it does it all.”
While the company got used to the new system, they would manually approve data before it moved from A2X into Xero. But A2X was so accurate so consistently, it was obvious they didn’t need to take the extra precaution.
“In some respects, I don’t have a lot to say about it because it just does what it says on the tin,” Joanna laughs. “It’s easy to set up and it integrates with Xero perfectly.”
Save time, focus on other valuable tasks
There’s no denying A2X saves time. Rather than manually importing and reconciling your Shopify transactions, A2X packages them into tidy summaries that match your payments. Joanna says being able to show their clients how their time-saving is a good thing – but the real value to clients is what Beckoffice can do with that time instead. They can focus on supporting clients in other areas of their businesses – a service that’s become even more important for hard-hit clients.
“Cash flow and forecasting have become even more important this year with things like bounce-back loans. We’ve had to do quite a bit more advisory work and we can do that because the automation is going on in the background.”
Leveraging technology and automation is key to being able to offer useful insight, Joanna says.
“With A2X, your transactions are going to be so much more meaningful because the data you’re looking at is up-to-date and accurate – there are no errors. You haven’t got 31 days’ worth of reconciliations to do at the end of the month.”
Invest in digital tools, optimise your time
In e-commerce, sellers often believe that working overtime is a necessary part of growing a successful business. Joanna disagrees.
“I would always say you need to try to optimise your time efficiencies as best you can, and if you invest the time in setting up these digital systems, you’ll see the results. You’ll save time, and it will be less stressful!”
And with A2X, the results are instant – meaning you can move quickly when important business decisions need to be made.
“I haven’t got stacks of invoices or transactions waiting to be posted. The information I’m looking at for our clients is updated on a timely basis – almost by the hour.”
To anyone ‘sitting on the fence’ about A2X, whether you’re a sole trader or a company, Joanna says “Don’t hold back.
“It’ll work seamlessly – and you won’t ever have to worry about end-of-month again!”