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Ben Hamilton28/04/16 11:323 min read

Xero & MYOB Can Be Friends


Every training provider we speak with wants to automate because it's the key to reducing costs, improving productivity, and managing compliance.  One of the most common requests we hear at Wisenet is:

How can we best integrate student data with accounts?  

Automating invoicing and receipting with Wisenet results in improved cash flow because Leaners are invoiced on time.  Learners have easy access to their account information online in the Wisenet Learner App.  Money is easier to collect because Learners can pay online, and overdue Learners are easily identified and managed accordingly.

Of course you could argue that a system like Wisenet should have accounting functionality built in. My belief is that accounting is a set of expertise in its own right, well outside of the scope of a product like Wisenet, and is best served by experts at Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks, and the like.  Anyone who tries to convince you that their product has full accounting functionality is likely leading you on with functionality that falls short of a true accounting app.

Wisenet's approach is to integrate with applications like Xero, and leverage all the expertise that these great products encapsulate.  It's cheaper, carries lower risk, and is overall a better solution in terms of functionality.  We are big Xero fans and where possible, we recommend that our customers consider Xero to manage their finances.

However it may not always be possible to replace your existing accounts system.  Perhaps the legacy system is used by other parts of the business other than the training division, or maybe people like the status-quo because it just works.  The challenge then, is how to achieve integration and automation with non-cloud applications like MYOB.  

The good news is that you don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water.  You can have the best of both worlds: automation for invoicing and receipting, while keeping legacy systems in place.

If you are in the situation where you can't rip and replace the existing accounts system, consider using Xero purely for all or part of the INCOME side of the business, while retaining MYOB (or its equivalent) for the expenses, payroll, and all other accounting aspects.

In this scenario, Xero's role is the full double-entry ledger for all income transactions like student fees.  You get all the benefits of Xero like foreign currency transactions, bank feeds for easy reconciliations, plus full integration with Wisenet which delivers automation and productivity gains.

Here's how it works:

  1. Set up the same Revenue General Ledger accounts in both Xero and MYOB

  2. Establish a separate Bank Account  in order to record receipts.  Configure Xero Bank Feeds for this account which lets you automatically import account transactions into Xero from your bank or other financial institutions. Once bank feeds are up and running, you'll no longer need to download and import bank statements to get transactions into Xero.

  3. All student related fees and charges are invoiced from Xero.  All payments received are allocated against these Xero invoices.  

  4. At the end of each day (week or month) raise a single MYOB Invoice to a new Customer (let's call him Mr X) crediting the aggregate income from Xero for the period selected, with the cash received as per Xero transferred to the MYOB Bank Account, and posted as payment of this single invoice.  This process should take less than 10 minutes!

  5. Each month the two sets of accounts should be reconciled to ensure everything has been recorded accurately.

This is an easy process that takes only a few minutes - and you'll have saved literally DAYS of effort because of the high level of automation achieved.  Not mention the fact that cash is being collected sooner because its easier for Learners to access their account details and pay their bill online with Wisenet.

Using Xero and Wisenet together for the income side of the business can also serve as a stepping stone to a full migration to Xero - or not!  Of course, it's always your choice!
What other accounting system(s) do you use at work? Tell us more in the comments below! 
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Ben Hamilton

Ben is the CEO & Co-Founder of Wisenet. The self-professed Troubleshooter is passionate about human rights, education, and science and technology. Besides whipping up delicious meals that create food envy, Ben enjoys extracting real business value from new and disruptive technology, and his current work at Wisenet revolves around creating products and services that remove operational complexities. He is currently based in Singapore.