Not knowing was making Julia panic.

Like a lot of business owners, Julia had appointed an account manager to do the bookkeeping. It was only when the account manager left that Julia realised that neither she or any other member of the team, knew how to use SAGE or extract the information she needed. With a VAT Return deadline fast approaching, Julia knew that she needed to do something and fast.

Julia is the owner of Crown Gardens, an upmarket holiday letting company that acts as an alternative to boutique hotels. With a bustling portfolio of holiday lets to manage and excited holidaymakers to keep happy, Julia needs a stress free and uncomplicated bookkeeping system.

A stand alone and complex accounting system like SAGE 50, was the wrong system for Julia’s business.

Doing the bookkeeping wasn’t the best use of Julia’s time and neither was it one of her key skills, so she was happy to let the account manager take over and create their own systems. Julia was able to obtain a general feel for her financials from her booking systems. So, if the booking system was full and there was money in the bank, everything felt as though it was going okay.

It was only when the accounts manager left the company, due to ill health, just before a VAT deadline, that she realised how cut off the bookkeeping was from her business. It had become a stand-alone department, with the system knowledge locked in someone else’s head.

Julia didn’t want to miss the VAT deadline, so began to try to work out how to use SAGE. The information within the system was making no sense to her; Julia couldn’t work out what had been done. So, feeling under pressure, Julia knew she needed to get help and contacted Fresh Financials.

Crown Gardens’ was set up on Xero a day after Julia accepted Fresh Financials’ proposal. The SAGE data was such a mess that it was going to be quicker and easier to re-start the bookkeeping from the beginning of the VAT quarter. This meant three months bookkeeping and Xero had to be fully set up and completed before the impending VAT deadline.

Luckily, we were able to piece together the bookkeeping using bank statements and the booking system. Doing this meant that the VAT deadline was met, and we could now begin to focus on integrating the bookkeeping back into Julia’s business.

To streamline the process going forward, bank feeds were set up in Xero. We also worked with the developers of Julia’s custom booking systems to create an API so this could also be linked to Xero.

Having both systems talking to each other enables Julia to get a full picture of her financial information. And using a cloud-based system, means that Julia can log into Xero where ever she is. As a result, Julia no longer feels detached from her financials and knows she always has the information to check her VAT when needed.