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Why the Single Ledger is still the most important innovation in business technology today

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Why the Single Ledger is still the most important innovation in business technology today
By Andrew Leighton, Business Development Manager

The introduction of the single ledger marked a fundamental shift in the way accountants serve their clients. And with accounting software moving into the cloud, this solidified the market need for real-time, up-to-date data for accountants and their clients. 

Behind Xero’s beautiful product experience and the audacious IPO was an innovation so simple that it’s hard to imagine any other way of working: the single ledger. 

The single ledger doesn’t need much explanation here, because if you’re a Figured partner you already get it. You  know that having clients on the same technology platform as the one you use to run your practice underpins huge gains in workflow efficiency, ensures the accuracy of the data you report on and creates an opportunity to shift from a backward looking view of historical finances to having a real time view of the current financial position of your clients. 

Figured is built on the same principles as this. By building one of the deepest integrations with Xero, Figured has become a natural extension of the Single Ledger concept for agri accountants and professional farmers around the world. Our integration gives farming teams not just visibility of their current position, but real insights into where they are heading and confidence in their ability to meet their business aspirations. 

Let’s cut back to you—the real authority on financial advice.

You’re one of the countries leading agri accounting firms; you’ve made the annual pilgrimage to Xerocon; you’ve made the shift to XPM and you’ve established Figured in your business. You’ve locked in the efficiency gains, and now you are ready to grow your advisory revenue by really leveraging the benefits of the single ledger. 

You also really respect your clients, you’ll support them on whatever client software they are comfortable with, especially if they have been using it on their desktop for the last 10 years, the term we hear regularly is ‘software agnostic’. As Gordon Selfridge said, the customer is always right. 

Problem is, Gordon Selfridge probably wasn't talking about accounting software, and being software agnostic might just be the biggest threat to both your clients success, and to the vision you have for your practice.

When you bought into the Single Ledger vision with Xero and Figured, you were going after a better model for accounting where manual data entry becomes automated data flow. Instead of spending hours preparing historical financial reports, you could focus on understanding the challenges and opportunities your clients will be facing in the future. You could use this time to help them establish a plan to navigate through the many variables that small business owners—and especially farmers—deal with on a daily basis. 

So when the software your clients use to manage their business doesn’t integrate with the accounting software you’ve chosen for managing your accounting practice, the value of the single ledger is entirely diminished, the distance between you and your client grows and the traditional business model of tax compliance remains the status quo. 

Right now, in New Zealand, Australia, the US and the UK there are agri management software businesses which are trying to migrate their clients from desktop solutions to newly developed cloud systems, this is to be expected, but turning a desktop product into a cloud product is not simple and the experience for your client will be bumpy.  

Because of this, we believe there is a unique window of opportunity for you, the trusted financial advisor to take a leadership position with your clients and show them an alternative, one which enables you to build long term financial plans with your clients, deliver an efficient advisory service, and future proof your vision for a single ledger practice. 

Want to find out more about how you can future proof your business by adopting a single ledger practice? Register here and we’ll get in touch with you.