I often shake my head when I hear people sing the praises of Xero as being the greatest accounting package. I don’t shake my head because I think they’re wrong.

I shake my head because they’ve missed the much bigger picture.

Xero isn’t merely an accounting solution. It’s actually a new generation business platform.

The Xero platform changes the way small business operates. Only once a small business owner comes to grips with this concept will they start to realise the true benefits of the Xero platform and its ‘app ecosystem’.

The Xero app ecosystem transforms the way small business deals with suppliers, employees, customers and their advisors. It puts in the hands of small business the sort of technological smarts and automation that just a few short years ago was only available to larger businesses that could afford the investment in custom software development.

Now it’s point-and-click-simple for small businesses to build powerful business systems.

With add-on partners such as Receipt Bank and Invitbox removing the need for manual data entry, automatic downloads of bank statements through Xero, the ability to manage a mobile workforce with GeoOp, automatic debtor follow-up with Debtor Daddy and management reporting with add-ons such as Spotlight and Fathom, the way we can all do business has changed forever.

And these are only a small sample of the 300-plus add-on partners who provide specialist programs to help small businesses improve their business performance.

For the first time, small business has the opportunity to create a cost-effective customised business solution that meets 100% of their business requirements and avoid spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on in-house software development, or tens of thousands of dollars to buy an off-the-shelf package, or settle for a package that only does 80% of what the business needs.

It’s an exciting time to be in business.

Businesses who are contemplating upgrading or changing their accounting system need to look beyond the accounting functions and determine how they can improve the way they do business to create efficiencies and generate wealth.

Progressive accountants and advisers are recognising the massive opportunity to help add real value to their clients’ businesses through advice on the value-adding systems that deliver quantifiable benefits to their clients’ bottom line.

Xero’s tagline is ‘Beautiful accounting software’. I think that undersells it.

More like, ‘Beautiful business platform’.