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Transfer of bookkeeping / online etc

Transfer of bookkeeping / online etc

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From my perspective this is a hypothetical question, as I only have three clients, and I do bookkeeping for them on VT.

However, I am looking to move to an online product (currently looking at QBOL, or Xero), or at least be ready if I pick up another client or so.

I can see that the relationship can be either 'client pays' or 'practice pays'.

I presume, if the client pays, he then provides the agent with some client of authorisation code to permit them access - which he then withdraws at a future date if he moves on.

If the practice pays, what happens when the client wishes to move on?

Also, if the practice pays and the client ceases to trade - presumably the client needs to take on payment in order to retain access to any historical records for the next X years - or do you instead to a massive printout job at that time?

Thanks,

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By Cloudcounter
19th Feb 2017 10:04

I can only speak for using Xero.

If the client pays, they set up a user login for one or more of our team. They can remove that whenever they wish.

If the practice pays, you can transfer the responsibility for the subscription to the client. They have to accept
this or it stays with you but I've not had one refuse. If they did I'd export the data and cancel.

If the client ceases we simply export the general ledger to an excel file and cancel the subscription. Takes less then a minute.

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By dom232323
19th Feb 2017 12:05

It's a very similar process for QuickBooks Online.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
19th Feb 2017 18:32

I'm in the same boat as the O.P.,and trying to choose between Xero (which I have used - I have a few clients who've set up accountant access) and QBO which I haven't used.

I'm leaning towards QBO (only because Xero doesn't have an audit trail). How do you find QBO dom? Why QBO and not Xero?

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By dom232323
20th Feb 2017 19:43

I initially used Xero when I was working internally for one company and then with a firm I was working with. The only reason I changed to QBO was when I moved jobs, the new place I worked favoured QBO and had most of their clients on it as part of the package that they offered. Personally I think they both have very similar features and both have their annoying problems that do need ironing out! When I first moved to QBO I was cursing it but this was more due to the fact of the change of platform and in what I was used to, like getting an apple phone when you are used to using an android...
The whole cloud accounting is in its early stage compared to desktop accounts software and I do think its a great revolution in how things are done nowadays. Im glad I am at least familiar with both of these softwares as If a client came along who was a firm believer in Xero I wouldn't want to force them to change simply because 'we only use QuickBooks'
One thing I can say is that I find the Xero help sources on the internet a lot more concise and easy to find than the quickbooks ones. Most things that I used to get stuck on in Xero there was a video or at least a forum discussion with the answer on. It was nice to be able to forward these videos to the client if they wanted to know how to do something as well. Thats not to say that QBO doesn't have this sort of help online but sometimes I couldn't find the answers and had to resort to the online chat support or phonelines.
Sorry to not be able to give a black and white answer on which is best or at least which I preferred but thats only because I guess I like them both!

Another thing - I've had clients on Xero who have no bookkeeping knowledge and have managed to pick up the program and with a little guidance been able to get their years accounts fully reconciled to the bank leaving only a few year end adjustments. Of course there are some mistakes such as creating a directors loan account as an expense account - to name one. But all of this can be fixed quite easily (and also reminds them why they still have to pay you!)

Another thing that bugged me with quickbooks is that you can't bulk upload invoices or bills from a CSV like you can in Xero. A useful tool in certain situations.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
21st Feb 2017 07:29

Thanks Dom, much appreciated.

Sounds like six of one and half a dozen of the other

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Replying to Cloudcounter:
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By snute2008
20th Feb 2017 10:12

Cloudcounter wrote:

I can only speak for using Xero.

If the client pays, they set up a user login for one or more of our team. They can remove that whenever they wish.

If the practice pays, you can transfer the responsibility for the subscription to the client. They have to accept
this or it stays with you but I've not had one refuse. If they did I'd export the data and cancel.

If the client ceases we simply export the general ledger to an excel file and cancel the subscription. Takes less then a minute.

Very interested in the "I will export and cancel". Do you have any best practice advice when exporting data from Xero as I have a client that no longer wants to use Xero and I want to ensure I have all the data and reports that I might need for the future.

Thank you.

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By Cloudcounter
20th Feb 2017 10:40

We'd already have TB, debtors and creditors and similar reports as part of our year end working papers. I also export the Xero general ledger each year, after I've put the accounts adjustments through Xero so that will agree the final accounts

Bearing that in mind, I would export the Xero general ledger, covering the whole period that Xero was in use, to an excel file. If there has been activity since the last accounting date and we aren't going to prepare accounts I might add pdf exports of TB, Accts receivable and payable.

I think that's enough, but whether it fits the description "best practice" I don't know. I can't see why not but there are always those who want to print out reams of paper.

My understanding is that Xero retains the complete data for a time in any event and you can reinstate the subscription provided that you pay for the missing months

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
20th Feb 2017 11:51

snute2008 wrote:

Very interested in the "I will export and cancel". Do you have any best practice advice when exporting data from Xero as I have a client that no longer wants to use Xero and I want to ensure I have all the data and reports that I might need for the future.

I've just been through that particular learning curve.

There's a useful page on the Xero Business Help Centre site at https://help.xero.com/uk/Q_DataOut$BK_Reports which recommends a number of "exports", although for my money the essential data you will need to back up using "Export data from these reports" is the "Export general ledger data out of Xero" link, because that should give you the option of importing into another accounting program (or even back into a rekindled Xero) should you ever be called upon to do so. I downloaded this as a .txt file. although I've yet to try a restore. As you will see, there are other optional export files for chart of accounts, invoices, contacts' data, and Fixed Assets.

So far as I can tell, the other reports under the "Export data from these reports" sub-heading (starting with "Trial Balance" and ending with "VAT Returns") are unnecessary as archived backups / for importing data into another program. Instead they are simply reports to support a set of accounts. Being more used to Sage / TASbooks here's how I improvised to pull off something akin to the reports that I wanted:

TB: unless I'm missing something, Xero elects by default to include brought forward balances in it's Trial Balance. Such a Period TB is no good for me, so I opted instead for a pdf of the General Ledger Summary (which serves as a Transactional Trial Balance for a period).

Gen Ledger: I opted for a Detailed General Ledger Report; no pdf option was available, so that download's in Excel format.

Journal Report: So far as I could tell, a pdf of the Journal Report is the nearest Xero can get to producing an Audit Trail.

Hope this helps - I've only done this once, so others may have better ideas to add.

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