So Xero has been turning the accounting world upside down for a while now always 2 steps ahead at every turn. When I first heard the name Xero some 7 years ago offering a cloud based accounting package that could be accessed from everywhere giving real time information my first thought was it will never catch on, having nearly 2 decades experience of more static systems I thought no one will buy into this preferring to think this is just some crazy fad I’m going to stick with what I know.
Now today Xero has over a million users worldwide and has completely revolutionised the small business world with over 700 apps now available on the marketplace they really do have an answer for everything.
So again I was a little perplexed (you would have thought I would have learned by now) when Xero announced they had acquired Hubdoc. I had seen them on the marketplace but had no interaction with them and was not 100% sure how they would help any of my clients, it seemed it was a luxury app and not an essential to a small business.
I then started researching the new Making Tax Digital legislation coming into force in April 2019, where HMRC will enforce all vat registered business initially but the plan will be for all taxpayers in the future to pay tax digitally and quarterly. It’s the biggest shake up of the system I have ever seen. Now Xero is the dogs bollocks for any small business with integrations, live feeds and real time reporting but there was something missing and I just couldn’t put my finger on it, then came the light bulb moment - Hubdoc was what was missing, Xero had blind sighted me yet again!
I spent some time speaking to the Hubdoc team and became an advanced certified Hubdoc Partner each time I use it I become more excited about the functionally of it and how it will ease the burden on business owners and make the new legislation less challenging.
Eating my words again, Hubdoc is definitely not a luxury app it is THE app for any business owner who wants to keeps costs down on their business, have reliability on the figures and wants more time to spend growing their business or to just take the dog a walk.
I can remember back to when HMRC requested that all businesses kept their records in a paper format for 6 years, some firms used to pay huge storage fees or pay for staff just to file and maintain records which seems absolutely ridiculous in this day and age. The current requirement for any business owner is that they must store records in a digital format for 6 years. Hubdoc will store those records for you so your hard drive space is yours and organise them in easily searchable folders. Your accountant/bookkeeper would have a read only access, similar to the bank feeds on Xero, increasing security for you and lowering the chances of your accountant/bookkeeper nagging you for a copy invoice - Win-Win I say.
On the other side of the foot, it’s really not fun for your accountant/bookkeeper to have to keep chasing you and sending you the “as per my last email” requests. We want to work with you and find other improvements and efficiencies while being a welcome participant on your journey. For me, this is what I love most about the job, not getting all the paperwork in order, it's seeing the numbers come to life and business owners really owning those numbers.
My mind has been blown over the last 20 years over how the accounting profession has moved on. The jobs I was initially hired to do and spent time training for are now mostly automated, we are now moving into a time where innovation and automation will be delivered on a global scale. Over the next few years, we will see code free accounting being employed by business owners, meaning there will no longer be a need for you to classify transactions manually.
The industry is now poised for the next generation of artificial intelligence platforms, I’m not going to worry too much about it as I’m sure Xero along with Hubdoc will have this covered.