The Irony of Online Systems

Sitting here as I fly over Siberia I can’t help but think how one of Xero’s strongest selling points is also – presently – an enormous weakness!

The beauty of Xero is that it is an Internet based Accounting Package – meaning where I can connect I can view and work on my accounts.

With the start of our new financial year I finally converted my 4 remaining companies onto Xero. In one of my accounts I now have over 350 Bank transactions to reconcile.

While sitting here with not a lot else to do I can’t do a bank reconciliation.

This post is a little tongue-in-cheek really! While I will have to reconcile my accounts at some stage the one thing I enjoy about flying is that it does prevent you doing some things and therefore forcing you to do others such as read!

As I said at the start being online is what I perceive as one of Xero’s biggest assets. Being a central online system  is fantastic, especially considering how much I travel currently. The files for my old accounting system add up to 150mb which to continually copy backwards and forwards became a nightmare on poor connections and there was always the inherent risk of losing data if other people accessed the files in the meantime.

So thumbs up for Xero, I know in the near future I will have an Internet connection while flying and will be able to catch up on my accounts. But in reality while flying I enjoy not being able to do things more than I would enjoy being able to!

Top 5 Success and Survival Tips for 2009

With a New Year fast approaching and most economic news regarding 2009 being negative Xero have launched a great little thread on their blog.

Top 5 Success & Survival tips for 2009: tell us yours

There are so far only a couple of comments but I am sure over the next few days there will be lots of insightful advice.

My comment was:

Stay positive! I believe state of mind is all important. It certainly doesn’t trump all business advice in tough times but helps keep things in perspective.
Remember sometimes the best opportunities are available in tough times so don’t stop looking out for them.
Remember that business should be fun, why get out of bed if you don’t feel positive and full of energy!
On top of this remember to keep a constant eye on cash and expenses – but you should be doing that anyway!

While I appreciate being positive won’t make all the bad news go away it certainly helps. It also gives you perspective regarding all the tough decisions that may need to be made along the way.

Anyway, go add your comments now…

Xero at the London Apple Store

During my recent trip to the UK and Hungary I was able to fit in Xero’s presentation at the London Apple Store.

I had only been in the UK for 2 hours but decided it was the best way to catch up with Hamish and the team and see how things were going for Xero in the UK.

I have visited the Apple Store on numerous occassions but had never really appreciated how BIG it was till I had to find the presentation area towards the back of level 1.

I am continually amazed at what happens in an Apple Store – at one level it is basically a large, free, Mac based internet cafe. People check their email, update their Facebook and one guy was sorting himself a date on Polish Dating UK!

Anyway, back to the Xero presentation. Hamish and his team did a great overview and it was fantastic to see this NZ Company getting a great response and positive feedback to their innovative accounting software (who would have ever thought those two words would be used together!)

The Apple Store presents a somewhat difficult environment as it is hard to determine exactly how many of the people in the presentation area are there for the presentation and how many just are using it as seat and some timeout in an otherwise chaotic environment!

All I know is that Hamish believed the event to be a great succcess and is likely to do it again in the near future.

For any of you running a small business I definitely recommend Xero – currently available in NZ, the UK and soon AUS!

Google Chrome – Create application shortcuts…

Google’s new browser Chrome was released today and while I haven’t had a great deal of time to put it through it’s paces I have certainly found it fast and like some of it’s features.

While traditional applications still exist there are an ever increasing number of web applications available.

Google Chrome provides a nice feature to allow you to Create application shortcuts…

This allows you to browse to a web application – take Xero for example – and have a short cut produced for your Desktop, Quick Launch Bar or Start menu.

Once the short-cut has been created you now simply click it to launch the application in a browser window without all the browser interface (address bar, bookmarks etc)

All good!