The countdown to the UK and EMEA Xero Awards 2021 is well underway, but there’s still time to enter. This year, more than ever, we want to celebrate those who truly went the extra mile in a time of adversity.  

The Xero Awards recognise and reward service excellence among our accounting, bookkeeping and app partners. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the vital role you’ve played in helping small businesses adapt and thrive in the UK, Ireland, and South Africa.

To help put the final touches to your application, we’ve spoken to some of our judges to get their top tips on what makes an entry stand out:  

John Coldicutt, Marketing Director (UK & EMEA)

John is an experienced software executive with over 20 years of B2B experience. He’s held global leadership roles in both private, early-stage, and large public companies – building teams that drive brand awareness and efficient revenue

Strong cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. In 2020, it’s never been more important to manage what’s coming in and perhaps more importantly, what’s going out. Xero Small Business Insights found that in August 2020, small business revenues were 12.6% lower than a year ago. This means managing cash flow is a huge challenge.

There are some things you can do to better support cash flow management. A good place to start is to look at how you are processing and paying supplier bills.

Historically, paying bills has been complicated

Recent research commissioned by Xero found that rather than taking advantage of tools which streamline business performance, many businesses learn to manage their bills through trial and error. So eventually, they find a process that works for them. This means many businesses are spending a staggering 4.8 hours per month managing bills. Additional frustrations include, entering bills and

Small businesses have had a demanding year already due to the coronavirus and measures to contain its spread, but further challenges – and potential opportunities – lie ahead. What’s more, Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU are ongoing. This is having an impact on small business confidence. But nimble small businesses have already demonstrated that they are able to stay ahead of the curve.  

At Xero, we are monitoring the situation closely to see how we support our 600,000+ subscribers as they adapt to change. Here are some of the developments that you need to know about. 

Government support

The government is stepping up to provide support to small businesses for both COVID-19 Brexit. 

In terms of coronavirus support, the government has announced measures to allow businesses to pay back deferred VAT, as well as extending temporary VAT reductions for the hospitality and tourism industries. The Bounce Back

In this series, we uncover honest personal accounts of the heartbreaks, trials and triumphs that have made up 2020. By charting the full scope of the small business experience, together we stand to come back stronger than ever.

Having grown up in a single-parent family on Mer Island in the Torres Strait, Nornie Bero knows firsthand that innovation is often born out of hardship. So when Mabu Mabu, her Indigenous cafe and catering business in Melbourne’s Yarraville, had to close its doors following the arrival of the pandemic, she knew where to look for inspiration: her father.

“We lived in a little brick house built by the government and our electricity came from generators. You needed to buy petrol to get power – and petrol was expensive. Dad needed to come up with something fast if we were going to survive.”

Luckily, Nornie’s father had a deep love for

Negotiations between the EU and the UK on Brexit are still ongoing – meaning that a no-deal Brexit is on the table once again. Unfortunately, the new complicating factor of COVID-19, and the economic hardship it has brought with it, leave small business owners with plenty of unknowns and challenges still to face.

Strong cash flow management is the cornerstone of business health. We know that 65 percent of small businesses fail because their finances aren’t up-to-scratch. Still, it can be a real challenge to understand where your business stands and what it needs to do to improve – especially with external variables shifting so quickly. 

Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, it’s worth thinking about the steps you can take to safeguard your business. To help, we’ve outlined five ways you can future-proof the cash flow of your business.

Improve visibility

While it can be hard to fully grasp