Accounting software like MYOB and Xero is great for automating tasks that once required hours of manual work. Franchise organisations use them to manage payrolls, tax returns, and other compliance requirements online, saving huge amounts of time and money.
But did you know that you can also integrate those packages with your Office 365 suite to provide collaborative tools as well as powerful business intelligence and analytics across every part of your business?
Let’s look at collaboration first. If you’ve ever had a project that needs employees to work together – even if only for part of the project – you’ll know the frustration that can come when information doesn’t flow freely and discussions are held up because people can’t coordinate their schedules easily. This can be especially painful when the team is spread across different offices.
Office 365 deals powerfully with those issues, allowing people to plan tasks and track progress while gathering, reviewing and discussing information together, regardless of where they’re based. Everyone can view progress in real-time, and see a full audit trail of activity if needed.
Integrating the Office 365 tools with your accounting software means team members can not only collaborate, but also make queries of Xero or MYOB via PowerBI as they work.
And that’s not all. Office 365 also allows you to take data generated by your accounting software and “interrogate” it to visualise new opportunities. The key word here is “visualise” – you can generate charts and graphs that make it easy to see into large volumes of information at a glance, tracking trends and discovering opportunities that could otherwise remain hidden or, at best, difficult to see.
Office 365 also allows your people to work better together by attaching emails, transactions and important documents to combine information as they’re working within your accounting software.
Next time you look up a contact in Xero and click on the Email tab, you can see your organisation’s email communications with that contact. That means you can see what customers have been asking from you, even if you weren’t the person they asked and respond appropriately.
If a contact has emailed a request for a quote, you can respond from within Xero – and it will attach the original email as a record. Once they confirm the order, you can create an invoice too. Workflow is simpler, and you can respond to customers faster.
If an email contains an attachment, you can add those to your contact’s record too. It’s easy to store attached documents – such as proposals and contracts – in Xero. This makes them available when you look up that contact’s record. Xero really becomes your system of record.
Used like this, Office 365 transforms your accounting software from a cost-saving and efficiency tool to a strategic tool for growing the business, while also increasing the efficiencies you’ve already been making.
We’re big fans of both Xero and MYOB, and if you are a small business/Franchisee then take a look at them, if however you are a larger operations or Franchisor, then make sure to check out Microsoft’s own market-leading Financial Accounting and Business Management software called Dynamics 365 – End-to-end applications across sales, marketing, field service, finance, distribution and manufacturing that work great on their own and even better together – Find out more at www.dynamics.com
Visit the Microsoft NZ Franchise Hub for more useful content on how to improve and grow your Franchise business.