I posted a year or so ago that:

the distinction between personal and business finance is pretty blurred

It was a call for micro and small business accounting vendors to offer a personal finance service in the acknowledgement that most micro businesses have an increasingly blurred line between personal and business expenses. As I said at the time:

Almost all micro businesses I know use a personal credit card for business expenses – sure that can be solved via expense claims but that’s not really in keeping with the actuality. Similarly most micro businesses that require funding achieve it by using their personal equity to guarantee debt – again removing personal finances from this business finance model ignores this fact.

I was pleased to see then the other day that Xero’s (see disclosure) new personal finance offering really addresses this issue in the most logical way – giving users the ability to post business expenses incurred on a personal bank account through to the business.

It works like this:

As a personal finance user, you categorize a transaction as a business expense and then you’re given the option to send a receipt to whichever particular organization it may relate to (yup – believe it or not people are involved in multiple businesses):

personalexpenses_1 

You’re then able to choose the organization the invoice relates to and include some information in the description field:

personalexpenses_2 

You hit Send Expense Claim and now a draft receipt will be in your business organization:

personalexpenses_3

Your transaction will also update inside Xero Personal to show that your claim has been sent:

personalexpenses_4

So simple but so enabling – it’s little things like this that can save lots of time and effort for SMBs. Of course it would be even better if one could split expenses – ie 30% of my power bill become a business expense. So many use cases, so little time….

Friendly contacts have ensured that I’m part of the beta program – I’ll be taking it through its paces and, once it’s ready for roll out, I’ll post a detail review.

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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