CASE STUDY

Simon Edwards | Precision Bookkeeping

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“Who doesn’t want to spend less time on their accounts?” says Precision Bookkeeping

This UK accounting and bookkeeping firm reveals how it’s using A2X to eliminate 10 hours of manual reconciliations per month. With automated processes, its clients have more time to enjoy growing their businesses.

The seamless integration between Xero and A2X provides accurate sales summaries across different eCommerce channels, without the fuss of manual data manipulation.

Automation is the key to precise bookkeeping

After six years working at an accountancy firm he joined straight out of college, Simon Edwards was ready to branch out. The cloud revolution was just getting started and as a self-proclaimed techy, Simon welcomed the move away from manual processes with open arms.

That was over a decade ago, and today, his firm, aptly named Precision Bookkeeping, helps small businesses spend less time on their accounts and more time doing what they enjoy.

“My goal is to make the job as simple as possible, with few repeated actions. For me, automation is the gold standard,” Simon says.

Adding a layer of eCommerce complexity

In the past four years, his client base has expanded into the realm of eCommerce sellers. Coincidentally, Simon also started his own online store. While he jokes the store isn’t a major breadwinner, it’s “been a great move for my accounting business” because he understands the complexity of eCommerce intimately.

One of Simon’s more established eCommerce clients is a UK-based handbag manufacturer and retailer that sells its merchandise all over the world through its Shopify website.

“It was this client that got me on to A2X,” Simon explains.

Before: old system a labyrinth of functionality

Simon’s client had been using Brightpearl, a retail operating system for multichannel retailers and wholesalers. While the system was good, it wasn’t an affordable option for a small business, and “just did too much,” Simon adds.

There was one little problem. The client was used to detailed sales information it was able to extract from the old system, and any new solution would need to offer the same.

Simon was also having trouble with reconciling sales from his eCommerce channels, predominantly eBay. While he only deals with a few sales a day, it involved a lot of heavy manual processing that could “take an hour or two.” It’s a task he loathed and would put off until he couldn’t procrastinate any longer.

“Clients need detailed sales information, and we were finding there was always a battle between wanting to stay updated, but not wanting to spend hours analysing and manipulating a month’s worth of data.”

After: simple integration eases workload, helps increase sales

Luckily, Simon didn’t have to look far for the right solution. It was a simple matter of browsing Xero’s app marketplace, where he says “A2X came very highly rated.”

Between his eCommerce business and his clients, Simon estimates A2X saves him approximately 10 hours per month, significantly reducing the time it takes for him to get reports ready for clients.

“These days, I go in now and then, approve all the invoices, match them off to the bank, check the VAT, and happy days!”

Simon also believes that A2X has played a major part in the growth of his eCommerce business.

“I think my eBay has maybe doubled since I started using A2X. I mean, there are other factors as well, but it all builds into the decision-making.”

Digital tools help Simon and his clients reach new heights

In many ways, Simon’s eCommerce journey has mirrored that of his clients’, and it’s made him a better accountant for it.

The firm exclusively uses Xero as well as Dext (previously Receipt Bank), and that trio of accounting tools gives Simon and his clients “a clear run at things.”

“When Precision Bookkeeping started, it was very manual, so we’ve kind of been on the journey with our clients and tried to find apps and tools that work for us,” Simon says.

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the right tech, but they’re an absolute game-changer when you do find what you’re looking for. We all want to spend more time growing our businesses or doing the things we enjoy – and A2X helps you do that.”

Simon says it doesn’t matter whether you sell 10 items a month or 1000, setting your back office up for success from the beginning is critical.

“I don’t know what people’s charge-out rates are but given the price of A2X, it’s well worth an hour of someone’s time for that integration, and the bigger the company, the more you’re going to benefit from it.”

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