Episode 24 – Laura Taylor
Why Construction Companies Are Moving To Xero – Empowered by Cloud
Laura Taylor is the director and founder of Empowered by Cloud. Laura’s aim is to empower small construction and trade businesses (turning over between £500k-£10million a year) to understand their finances in an easy to digest way, with the power of Xero and automation.
Why is Xero the choice for construction companies?
As a product then, Xero, in your opinion… I presume you’ve got some experience with Sage, Sage 50, QuickBooks, stuff like that?
In relation to the direct competitors, what does it do better?
Now, I don’t have as much recent experience of these other packages because we have, for the last two years, we’ve been on a path. But from history, when I’ve been using these packages, Sage, for example, was a desktop package. They have went into the cloud a little bit, but they were a little bit slow to catch up, and just processes take a bit longer. I always think that it’s… Accountants can like it because it talks to you in accounting language, whereas Xero talks to you in business-owners language, and that’s a lot nicer.
With regards to Xero and QuickBooks online, was there a huge amount of difference in terms of what they do? Probably not. But I think it comes down to what you like and what you’re most familiar with. I always think QuickBooks is a bit more Americanised?
Whereas, Xero’s got a lot of the market share in the UK. So, people in the UK, generally, if I was to talk to somebody and show them both, generally, they’ll veer towards the Xero site.
Yeah, absolutely. That plays into it. What you touched on then is the suite of add-ons; you’ll find a lot of them are UK based as well. Given that the other add-ons are QuickBooks, a lot of the time are very American-based there and fully-
I think that when app providers are looking to integrate with a software program in the UK, they integrate with Xero first, and then they go to QuickBooks as a second. So, there tends to be more add-on apps available for Xero.
3 reasons why construction companies should consider Xero
We touched on a few things there, like Xero has add-ons, Xero is UK based. I suppose if you were to summarise that and bring that right into a point, can we have three reasons why construction companies should consider Xero?
I think that it will help them to get a handle on their cash flow, it doesn’t do cash flow forecasting but once you have apps added to it, it will help with cash flow forecasting. It will help them manage retensions and give them somewhere where they can go on and see when the retentions are due so that those don’t get forgotten about. And it will help them with job profitability as long as they use an add-on app with it. And I guess those are the three of the main things that we hear over and over and over again. “We want to get a handle on these things and is there a program out there that can enable that to happen.” It’s a no brainer.