Cloud Accounting for the Tourism Industry

Business Insights

With the ever-changing tourism landscape and how we interact with each other, having cloud software for your tourism business today is key.

Cashbook and accounting software

cloud accountingXero has been a major player in the Cloud accounting software market for many years now. Founded in New Zealand in 2006, the program was one of the first to introduce bank feeds and true “Cloud” storage. In recent years, Xero has adapted to the Australian market and by late 2018 had nearly 1 million subscribers.

Much like MYOB, QuickBooks, and other accounting software, Xero has been designed for use by a variety of different businesses. Moving to Xero software brings with it many efficiencies such as bank feeds, paperless storage, and real time data.

What is an add-on and what is an API?

An add-on is a way to add services to your application that improves its features and value to your business. The providers of these add-ons are commonly referred to as “App Partners”. Xero currently has over 800 app partners and each of these is regularly tested and approved before Xero will allow them to connect with their software.

API is the acronym for Application Programming Interface, which in simple terms allows two applications to talk to each other. Many of the Xero approved add-ons will connect via an API that allows the data between the app and the cashbook data in Xero to be shared both by the app to Xero and by Xero back to the app.

Add-ons for tourism using Xero

Depending on your type of tourism business, you may find other specific add-ons that suit your business best. A good starting point for these are my top five recommendation below:

Checkfront - Online Booking Management System

cloud accountingThis secure back-office application provides a central place for you to manage your business, process reservations, and track customers. They offer several turn-key add-ons that allow you to offer self-service bookings direct from your website. Checkfront is for schedule-based businesses that sell activities, tours, accommodation, events, rentals, and more. It is ideal for services that operate in daily, nightly, or hourly allotments and is best suited for operations with a recurring inventory of services vs one-off single events.

Receipt Bank – Invoice Management System

Receipt Bank is the easiest way for your accountants and bookkeepers to get the information they need from their clients with no chasing paperwork and no data entry. You submit receipts, bills and invoices via their personalized Receipt Bank email address or on their handy mobile app, and their world-class OCR data extraction technology provides you with all the key information. All that is left to do is review and publish to Xero in one simple click.

It helps to reduce the amount of time needed for the data process and reduces the questions from your accountants around invoices.

Stripe - Payments

cloud accountingStripe makes it easy to accept debit and credit card payments from online invoices sent directly from Xero. Additionally, when using Stripe within Xero itself, you can be paid up to 14 days faster and can reconcile payments very easily.

Stripe also offers fraud protection tools powered by advanced machine learning algorithms to help you detect and prevent fraud.

Deputy – Payroll and HR System

Deputy is the ultimate employee management tool, connecting businesses and employees seamlessly through technology. By simplifying rostering, timesheets, tasks, team communication, and Award Interpretation via an app on your employee’s smartphone.

Connect Deputy and Xero to calculate overtime, penalty rates, leave loading, and salary costing with every shift, as well as saving hours in payroll processing time.

Each employee can access rosters and apply for leave via the app, leaving you with no need to chase up manual timesheets!

Futrli – Reporting System

Futrli Predict is the only next-gen prediction software that automatically generates live financial predictions by combining due invoices and bills with your historical profit and loss and balance sheet, to give a complete and accurate picture of your short and long-term cash flow and performance.

As well as looking at trends, seasonality, and growth patterns, Futrli Predict will also detect COVID-19 impacts where it can. With its customisable predictions and VAT/GST deferment options, you can ensure that any tax deferment and COVID-19 Loan repayments can be entered accurately to ensure you are clear about 2021 cash flow well ahead of time.

cloud accountingWill you get what you pay for?

Clearly, the more you use, the more you pay. Finding a solution to meet all your needs doesn’t come cheap. What is not clear when looking at price alone is the improvements in efficiency and placing a value on your time in the office should help you decide whether a subscription is worthwhile.

If you are using Xero only to reconcile your cashbook in order to lodge a BAS and satisfy your accountant, then the price of your Xero subscription alone is good value. If you are using Xero as the centre of an ecosystem of other software, the benefits will undoubtedly outweigh the cost. Being able to use that data to make good decisions that ultimately benefit your business is critical to the success of any tourism business today.


If you have any questions regarding cloud accounting for your tourism business, get in touch with your local RSM expert.