Is Xero the Best Accounting Software for NDIS providers?
Have you recently started a new business as a disability services provider registered with the NDIS? Congratulations on entering an exciting and rewarding field! No doubt you’ve been busy navigating the NDIS registration requirements, not to mention the complexities of opening a small business.
One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make revolves around accounting, including which software to use. While many options are available, Xero may well be the best accounting software solution for NDIS providers – here’s why.
The pros of Xero for NDIS providers
As one of the best-known names in accounting software, here are some reasons why NDIS providers choose Xero.
Xero offers three pricing plans all payable on a monthly basis, which helps to smooth out your cash flow. Each plan covers the accounting essentials (such as quote and invoice creation and reconciliation of back transactions), with the premium plan offering additional features like bulk transaction reconciliation and automated superannuation. They even have a payroll-only plan which allows you to comply with single-touch payroll requirements for one to four employees from $10 per month.
This means you have access to all the features from any device, so you can manage your business finances anytime, anywhere. For example, you can capture bills and receipts via email or on your mobile and store documents securely online for fast access. Automatic data extraction from receipts and invoices can save you a lot of time. If you’ve got a few spare minutes while you’re on the go, you can use the app to send invoices, create expense claims, or reconcile bank transactions.
Easy to set up
As accounting software that’s been specifically designed for small businesses, Xero is simple to set up. This article explains how to get started. They also provide 24/7 online support and have a wide range of articles and resources to answer your queries about the software, along with helpful guides for small business owners.
Most accountants know how to use it
With more than 3 million Xero users, the majority of accountants will be familiar with the software.
Integrates with many other platforms
Xero integrates with more than 1,000 third-party apps, making it readily customisable to your needs. You can also connect Xero directly to your bank account to automate bank feeds, saving time and effort.
Business performance tracking
Xero has data analytics capabilities that can give you an at-a-glance understanding of your business’s cash flow and profitability. You can also create custom reports to compare actual and projected data.
Potential cons of Xero
While Xero has many clear strengths for small NDIS service providers, it also has some potential downsides. While it’s simple to install, like all new things it takes some time to master. Make use of the vast range of resources and support to help with this.
Be mindful that the cheapest plan has limited capabilities, allowing you a monthly quota of 20 invoices, five bills and payroll for one person. Xero doesn’t have built-in ‘debtor chasing’ functionality, so you will need to follow up on unpaid invoices manually. It also lacks live phone support, which can be a drawback if you prefer resolving issues by talking to someone.
To ensure pages keep loading smoothly, Xero recommends using it for a maximum of 699 accounts. If you want to use it for more than 999 accounts, you have to add extra ones manually.
Is Xero NDIS compliant?
The short answer is yes. Xero allows you to create invoices that comply with NDIS requirements. You’ll need to make sure your NDIS invoices contain the following details:
Invoice number and issue date.
Your disability service provider details – including your business name, ABN and contact details.
The NDIS participant’s details – including the name of the participant (and plan manager if applicable), the participant’s reference number or NDIS number, and the participant’s or plan manager’s contact details.
NDIS service details – including the support item reference number and description, dates of support, type and quantity of support items, price per item unit, per-item GST (where applicable) and total price. Be sure to check the current NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits to ensure you charge items out accurately.
Payment Details – including the total amount, payment due date, and payment options.
To find out more about what to include on your NDIS invoice to get paid faster, and to download our free NDIS invoice template, click here.
How do I create an NDIS invoice with Xero?
If you’re using ShiftCare, creating invoices in Xero is simple. We have an API integration with Xero (and other accounting software including MYOB and QuickBooks). This means you can export your NDIS-compliant invoices directly into Xero, saving hours of time (not to mention the frustration!) of having to input data twice, while helping to ensure your invoices will be processed quickly.
In fact, by automatically generating NDIS invoices and uploading them in bulk, you can cut claim and invoicing time by up to 90%. ShiftCare has the latest NDIS pricing built in, so if your app is up to date, you can be confident that you’re billing the right amount.
For a simple step-by-step guide to exporting ShiftCare invoices into Xero, read this article.
The integration also allows you to share timesheet details seamlessly with Xero’s payroll, saving further time, ensuring your workers are paid correctly, and speeding up the payroll approval process. Additionally, your staff can easily upload any expenses incurred during their shifts, ensuring you can pay them back correctly.
ShiftCare and Xero are a powerful combination for simplifying and streamlining the financial side of your business. The easy API integration can save you time, energy and money, freeing them up to be spent on higher value activities – like developing your team, growing your NDIS client base and delivering ever-better care to your NDIS participants.
Try ShiftCare and set up the Xero integration in just a few clicks!