Business Solutions update: Build your own cloud accounting App Stack

Published: Monday 28 November 2022

Every small business should have access to reliable, insightful data but, for many, going paperless can be a fairly daunting process. However, by utilising the new suite of cloud accounting apps available instead, you can delve deeper into your business data with ease. Kate Edginton, Senior Manager in Hazlewoods Business Solutions team, explains how you can drive your business forward with insights from the apps you can add in to your business today.

The cloud accounting platform Xero boasts several useful apps to complement their own suite of helpful tools. These apps range from giving you the ability to dispose of the paper documents clogging up your office, to chasing invoices, and providing cashflow forecasts so you can plan ahead with confidence. Simply choose which apps you need and they will seamlessly sync with Xero's existing functionality.

Hubdoc is your filing cabinet in the cloud. Long has it been the bane of business owners having to retain deteriorating records due to HMRC’s seven year rule. Hubdoc can help your business go paperless, by storing your data on their secure cloud servers. You can simply take a picture of an invoice and send it to Hubdoc where it will be securely stored, accessible with only a few clicks. Like it’s your own personal assistant, Hubdoc will even extract key information from your data and create receipts, invoices and bills.

ApprovalMax is a tool to ensure your financial documents are approved on time. This useful app streamlines workflows and replaces the need for messy ink stamps or numerous emails to achieve the simple goal of approving accounting documents. Management can establish the task to be accomplished, the number of approval steps needed and the details of the individual(s) who are responsible for each step. This can all be achieved both on a browser or from ApprovalMax’s convenient mobile app.

Xero itself is a great accounting platform to house such apps, the integration is seamless and complements Xero’s inbuilt functions. Both Hubdoc and ApprovalMax streamline lengthy data entry processes. Once the data is held in Xero lots of useful reports are available in the software which can be used to drive forward your business and allow for analytical review. However, for some there is a need to go further.

Enter Fluidly. Forecasting, planning, invoice-chasing and funding in one solution. With instant syncs to Xero, Fluidly converts raw data into useful insights that are easy to digest. Fluidly analyses your regular transactions to predict future payment patterns, allowing you to plan ahead with confidence. Fluidly’s scenario planning further allows you to look into the future to consider the impact that major business decisions will have on cashflow. Fluidly will even give recommended finance options when funding requirements are identified in your business, all with no further obligation.

Perhaps you feel Fluidly is not for you, that your business is not quite big enough to fully utilise these tools. Xero Analytics or Analytics Plus may be your answer, driven from a belief that every small business should have access to reliable, insightful data. Xero Analytics allows you to see future cash flow, check financial health and track metrics. Xero Analytics is included in your Xero subscription and shows how upcoming bills and invoices could affect your future bank balance over a seven or 30 day period. Xero Analytics Plus goes a step further, using technology to predict future recurring cash transactions, extending to 60- and 90- day forecasts. The Business Snapshot included in Xero Analytics neatly highlights the business profitability, efficiency and cash position. Xero Analytics Plus allows you to tailor the Business Snapshot to your individual business needs, providing the data most useful to drive your business further.

If you would like advice on what apps would be most useful for your business, and how to integrate them into your existing accounting package, then please get in touch with the Kate Edginton at or 01242 6237661.

Testimonial from Ryan Hill, MD PRB Systems (UK)

"Hazlewoods offered me professional, expert advice with everything from book-keeping, year-end compliance, VAT returns, but also Kate was brilliant at actually walking me through how to use Xero more efficiently to process purchase orders and invoices, and simplifying excel so that I can spend more time focusing on the business itself."

Content image: /uploads/team/unknown.jpg Kate Edginton
Kate Edginton
Associate Director
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