I work in a small Preschool where I am the only administrator. Doing the Preschool accounts is part of my job. I have no experience or training in accounting and with no one else here to learn from, I have just about “muddled by” creating the Preschool accounts with my pretty poor Excel skills over the 3 years. This has meant the process has always been rather confused, and as a result, when it came time for Boston House to do the year end accounts I had often made a lot of mistakes! Having said this, having used my systems for a few years I felt about as confident as I was ever going to, and my fear of looking foolish in front of people meant I was very resistant to change (just ask Andrew and Sarah!)
Andrew made me aware of Xero around a year ago, and to be honest, I kept hoping he’d forget about it!! But when it came to another year end, and another lot of confusion that things didn’t add up, I decided (with quite a bit of coaxing!) that it was time to give it a go. I went in for a training session with Sarah at Boston House on 18th September. I was there for approximately 4 hours, and in that time I managed to reconcile the vast majority of the Preschool accounts for 2017/18 – I could not believe how quickly it got done! I actually surprised myself by enjoying a day I don’t mind admitting I was dreading! Sarah reassured me I could call anytime if I needed help, as she can see Xero in real time at the same time I am working on it, and I left feeling that although I had a lot to learn it would be worth it in the long run. I came back to Preschool with several items still to reconcile for one of our accounts, and was pleased to find I could do most of it myself, and Sarah was so helpful on the other end of the phone when I got stuck. We decided I would go back to Boston House at the start of October to complete the previous month’s accounts and reinforce what I had already learned. This time when Sarah showed me how to import a bank statement to Xero I found it so much easier as it was already familiar, and made detailed notes as to how to do this back at Preschool. I was concerned about forgetting everything so Sarah advised a “little and often” approach and we agreed I would import a bank statement to Xero half way through October, rather than wait until the end of the month. I was able to confidently follow my notes and it was very satisfying to see the “Congratulations” message that our account had been reconciled when I’d finished!
Although I haven’t done it yet Sarah also showed me how I can use Xero to prepare finance reports for our Preschool Committee – it is so much more simple to compare time periods and to clearly see where our money goes for purposes of budgeting and I am confident this will make the accounts much more user friendly and easy to interpret in the future!
For anyone feeling nervous about learning Xero I would just say go for it – Sarah, Andrew and the rest of the Boston House team are so warm and friendly, and Sarah showed so much patience when I was struggling to grasp something. It is an ongoing process and I feel comfortable calling Sarah whenever I get stuck as it usually only takes a minute or two to sort out. In terms of my job it will make the accounting process so much quicker, leaving me more time to get on with other jobs which is always welcome! Thank you Boston House for taking the headache out of accounting!
Charlotte Adamowicz, Thorner Preschool Administrator
for John Queripel Associates Limited