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‘We Had a Mess’: How Collaborative Cloud Accounting Transformed a Business

By March 25, 2014No Comments

Tax season in 2013 was a costly nightmare for Chuck and Lin Marie Carey of Healthy Homes Radon Education in Illinois.

Spending most of the year focused on their growing business, accounting was pushed to the side. Chuck spent most of the time handling the bookkeeping, but specializes in graphic design and marketing. He did the books simply because somebody had to do it.

To get by he had part of Healthy Homes’ financials in a Quickbooks Desktop system and other pieces were kept in an Excel spreadsheet. He kept receipts and invoices in folders and hoped he at least would have most of what their accountant needed at tax time.

So when tax time came, Chuck shuffled documents back and forth. The accountant needed to see more, so he scrambled to provide it.

All in all the process was long, stressful, difficult and took focus away from the business, which was doing quite well and needed attention.

“We had a mess.” Lin Marie said of their system. “Quickbooks wasn’t user-friendly and we couldn’t keep up.”

The Careys found themselves in a situation many business owners can identify with. They are not accountants. Bookkeeping is not their goal or passion. But it has to be done. So you do what you can and rely on the accountant to clean it up.

Is there a better way?

The Careys stuck with their system, because they were unaware of any other options. Fortunately, today there are a variety of options – not only with efficient software products – but more importantly, with ways for small businesses to affordably get the help they need to ensure the bookkeeping is done right. recently published an article with the headline, “Why Your Company May Dump Quickbooks This Year.”

Despite the attention-grabbing headline, the article was not meant to trash Quickbooks, but point out the variety of innovative new options. And even more relevant is the author’s prediction that whether you choose Quickbooks Online or another alternative, all businesses are going to soon be making the shift to cloud accounting.

“In the next few years it’s inevitable that you’re going to replace your on-premise QuickBooks system for something cloud-based,” the article said. “You won’t have much of a choice.”

Why Cloud Accounting?

With the cloud, your data is online, which means it’s backed up and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. In today’s mobile world, this brings a lot of convenience.

The list of reasons businesses love working with cloud accounting is long and includes:

• Live bank feeds
• Invoice on the go
• Real-time financial information
• No more storing receipts and paper
• No installation, backups or upgrades

The list goes on and on, but one piece of cloud accounting makes all the difference, and changed everything for the Careys and Healthy Homes.


Rather than stumbling between “do it yourself” and “done for you,” the Careys were able to get signed up with Xero, the company leading the cloud-accounting charge, and have a “done with you” approach that simplified everything.

With Xero’s cloud-based platform, businesses can connect with accounting advisors who work with them throughout the year (not just tax season) to ensure their bank reconciliations are complete, they are set up correctly and they get the reports they need every month.

All of this happens without email, without data exchange and without sharing paper. Chuck looks at his Xero dashboard, and while he is on the phone with his advisor, she sees the same screen and can provide immediate feedback.

Xero is not the only platform available, but PC World and Mac World both recently agreed it is “Best in Class.”

There are several others and the list is sure to continue growing. Quickbooks Online, Wave and Less Accounting are some of the others who are stepping into the competitive cloud accounting world.

Your business will likely make the venture into cloud accounting within 5 years. That may seem scary, but it shouldn’t because when you change you will have help and collaboration like you’ve never had before. Chances are, once you change you’ll be frustrated it took so long.

“Moving our accounting into Xero with Kahuna has been revolutionary for our business,” Lin Marie says a year later after switching to Xero. “The ability to turn our mess into something we can use to secure funding has been a blessing and our tax accountant was blown away by how fast we got everything we needed.”

See how Kahuna helps businesses seamlessly transition into the cloud


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