Case Study: Setting up a UK based Australian small business on Xero

Case Study: Setting up a UK based Australian small business on Xero

When I was invited to set up a small business on Xero I expected to be able to do it with my eyes closed. When I discovered that the business in question was an Australian trust that needed to file their Q1 BAS, and they were only in London for the next few days, I knew I had to be on top of my game.

After first googling ‘Q1 BAS’ (so it’s a bit like a VAT return, but more complicated, yet simpler!) we set the organisation up via the Australian Xero website and selected ‘Australia’ in the ‘Where does this organisation pay it’s taxes’.

So far so good, and I was ready to play my first game of ‘Aussie Rules’.

Xero in Australia looks the same and feels the same as the UK Xero, but the labels to the boxes are a bit different, and there’s a few more of them (and a few missing or in different places). But I was soon filling them in, and as the session progressed I started to talk in dollars and GST and BAS and PAYG.

Soon it was time to reconcile the bank. How’s the bank feed going? Not set up yet. My heart sank. I usually ensure the bank feed is operational before my visit, so we can get cracking with the Xero training, rather than being knee deep in bank transaction CSVs and bank feed forms for the first hour. But this was an emergency booking and I’d not been invited into their Xero before the session.

So we clicked bank feeds…

What would we get next I dreaded: ‘bank feeds not yet available’, ‘please ring your internet banking’ ‘download, print, sign and post this form’

But that’s in the UK, and I was in Australia (Well, London, but you know what I mean) and they do things differently there when it comes to financial cloud connectivity.

I was overjoyed to discover the most simple process for getting a bank feed. A simple link to the bank website, which was a dedicated Xero and NAB ‘we love eachother and everything works’ page. Get Started link taking us to a simple internet banking login, choose your bank feed and ‘bugger off back to Xero’ (well, ‘navigate back to Xero’, but I am well and truly Australian by now!) We did the same with the credit card too, worked just as well.

Admittedly we still needed to import the early transactions, but had the luxury of the QIF option, so not a CSV in sight.

Needless to say the Xero training was a massive success, thanks largely to the ease in setting up the bank feeds.

I even set up Xero Payroll in Australian Xero! Took me a while to find where to enter an employee’s salary, we get a big red link in the UK, but setting up things like Superannuation was a breeze.

Closing thoughts? Xero makes running a business from anywhere in the world easy, and there are a network of Xero partners like me who can in theory help any business anywhere in the world. So whether you are an Australian start-up needing to file your Business Activity Statement while you’re in Europe, or a UK Limited Company in the Himalayas needing to file your VAT return and pay your staff, Xero makes this possible and actually quite easy.

Scott Bradshaw
scott@progressionaccountancy.co.uk

Co-Founder & Director of Progression Accountancy - Xero Expert, Fixing Xero for service and construction businesses since 2012..

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