Affordable professional level accounting software for small business
It's been easier to use Xero than I expected, but I had a nasty surprise at tax time when I realized the default accounts/descriptions for expenses did not correlate 1:1 to IRS categories. (I should have checked this more closely when I set up my accounts because it's a New Zealand company, and the previous product was local.) This means I will need to double-check all my transactions for 2018 and the IRS has my vastly overestimated tax payment until I can do that and file my return on an extension.
I've had a much better experience importing data from financial institutions because Xero uses a well-known importing service that is trusted by the institutions.
I like being able to match multiple invoices to bank deposits because I usually don't run to the bank for each check. This will be more valuable as my company grows.
I should probably find an accountant to assist me with this, but I haven't found an accountant who understands both craft businesses and Xero.
Professional double entry software at a very affordable price
Accommodates both cash and accrual accounting
Links to financial institutions to get transactions
Uses standard importer recognized by the financial institutions instead of just trying to log in remotely (and triggering fraud alerts)
Can match multiple invoices to a single deposit transaction imported from bank
Can keep using Xero as company grows
Pre-existing expense categories/descriptions don't map 1:1 with IRS definitions, so I'm having to go back to all my receipts to make sure expenses are entered in proper accounts because I didn't realize this when I switched
More difficult to focus on specific expense categories to check transactions
Have not been able to import historic data from previous app (possibly because it's not double entry) so I am still paying the subscription on that software to retain access to my data
No integration with Craftybase, so I have to enter supply purchases and customer invoices there independently
Accounting Software Design for the Business Owner
Xero give me, an accountant, a tool to provide my clients with that effectively gives them a tool for keeping their daily records in an orderly fashion make my job easier at the end of each month.
Xero have been designed to be used by non-account business folks. However, once the data has been listed an accountant has a great tool to use to finish the company financial records (Monthly, Quarterly & Annually). It is also priced at a rate that works for most business owners.
I really do not know of any areas within the software that I can list as "Least" liked. I do not know of any significant problems which I believe need correcting.
Absolutely love Xero
Xero has allowed us to get a real, detailed view on the financial situation within our company from one place. With a comprehensive setup, it can provide real value from day one.
Xero has transformed our financial management and provides us with all the real time data we could imagine, and where it lacks, integrations take over. While more "accountancy" friendly than some of the more simple products, once you work with your accountants to get this right, you won't regret it. The detail, features and holistic approach to managing company finances means that we are using this every day and with pleasure.
The interface is being updated, and it is needed as it is a little old fashioned in its design. That said, it is clean and clear and otherwise we love everything about Xero.
ACCOUNTANT WARNING DO NOT PARTNER - I was 2nd partner in Canada not a smart move heres why!
Not much to say here anymore, they pretty much used to be good and totally lost faith.
As an accounting firm I would be very cautious with using Xero or recommending it to clients. Outside of Xero billing for things that were supposed to be free, which after complaining they claim they will reconcile but I had to threaten with a lawyer to get that reaction. As an accounting firm it is a very risky move to partner with the Xero software platform. As a firm Your clients will know your using Xero and as a result will likely start to follow Xero using social media. When this happen your clients will receive advertisements about other Accounting firms partnered with Xero. The problem isn’t that you will loose your clients, but this makes you look really bad in front of your clients that you are recommending a software that recommends other accountants outside your firm. This actually happened to me in Canada, and the response of the Canadian Xero team was simply that they didn’t intend on these promotions to be received by the clients of my firm. They didn’t care, they didn’t apologize, they didn’t even acknowledge what they did was wrong, it was evident that they prioritized their growth over their existing partners, at least in Canada. Even The Canadian director of Xero comments where limited to telling me ” I understand that you need to make important decisions in the best interest of your firm”. To me this was a clear message that he doesn’t care. As a small business the software was historically leading, recently, many clients are having issues logging in
You are not in business if you do not use Xero
A few features I would love to have, but frankly the price and features are excellent. Makes it so easy to start a business.
Pretty, easy to use.
Love the bank reconciliation and VAT and PAYE submission.
Love being able to quickly generate P&L and Balance Sheets.
A few rough edges especially in allocating payments, inherited I think from originally trying to abstract away the accounting functionality.
The UK Payroll feature can get complex, but frankly not sure how they can make it any easier.
Miss an easy way of generating a remittance advice when paying .
All business functions and reporting including payroll and budgeting, invoicing and Key Performance Indicators on hand.
Xero is very user-friendly, and a dream to use.
There is nothing to not like about this product. It is constantly improving and evolving.
Analysis of the use of Xero in the financial sector
The company needs a new way that increases the efficiency of the accounting industry so that expenses can be tracked, and Xero has allowed the bank account to be directly connected to it. It provided instant credit notes to be sent to customers, making service faster and more efficient.
My team and I chose Xero because it has unlimited users, is well-suited for midsize businesses, and has advanced administration tools. It has wide compatibility with the most used browsers in the world. His accounting method is one of the most positive points he has.
The support provided by the company is not bad, but it is also not excellent and in my view this is a negative point. Its interface is not as simple during initial use, which makes the learning curve a bit longer.
Xero helped me to understand my accounts
I understand where the business is from balance sheet to profit & loss, and it makes my accountant's life easier too, which means we can spend more time working on strategy and business growth.
Simplifies accounting, from sales to purchases, bank reconciliation, payroll, digital vat returns, and all other making tax digital worries. We also use the built-in expenses module.
Auto invoicing for recurring billing, and auto chasers for accounts outstanding, along with statements, etc.
Integrates with capsule crm (and others) to show which accounts need chasing.
I literally can't think of anything, xero is one of the best solutions we use, and I recommend it to all other businesses looking for an accounts package.
Make company accounting easier with Xero
Overall, Xero has been satisfactory. We are getting by with it but it does make me wonder what the other companies are using.
Xero is a good starter accounting platform for small businesses. We are able to use Xero for managing company expense claims. With minimal training, employees across the firm can self-file expenses for education, health, and company transportation.
You will need to train your employees on the different company cost centers, especially as you scale. We frequently have to send back the expense claims for revisions as they used a different cost center or did not fill in the right category for the expense claim.
Managing the books of your small business or side hustle has never been easier
with a free month on signing up to sweeten the deal, this software makes accounting a breeze, it functions according to most tax standards making managing your books almost fun
although the software is excellent for start ups and small to medium enterprises, it does not quite work on large scale operations
Super Simple Accounting Software for Small to Medium Sized Businesses
As a small business our main priority is to keep our monthly book keeping tasks simple and quick. Since moving to Xero from MYOB we have found a significant reduction in our book keeping time input. We are NOT accountants or book keeping experts and Xero as an accounting system has definitely made this part of our business much more efficient. We are guided by our accountant as how best to use the software and have been able to develop a simple client - accountant relationship with Xero being the main conduit of information between us.
As a small business we found Xero to be a simple and very cost effective solution for all our accounting - book keeping needs. Xero is very easy to set up with your accountant and reduces the time you need to spend on book keeping tasks each month. With automatic bank feeds the time we need to reconcile our accounts each month is minimal. The audit trail features mean any issues that arise can be quickly found and fixed. Being able to notate any transactions enables our accountant to quickly respond to our queries. As a small business keeping our external accountant costs down is very important to us and by using Xero means the time our accountant has to actually spend on our accounts is less and therefore so are the invoices we receive from him!
Some of the automatic accounts Xero suggests you reconcile to are not correct so it is important to double check each transaction before reconciling. We had issues setting up some of the automatic bank feeds and still have one bank account that will not process the feeds so we need to enter those transactions manually. When uploading a file of transactions we also had some issues and found it quicker just to manually enter them into the software.
Xero makes reconciling fun
I use Xero in two roles in my life, one as an employee and the other for the accounting software for my husband's business.
In my work New Zealand schools use this software as it is relatively easy to learn, quite intuitive and uses cloud accounting, enables document uploads for accountants to view etc. Once well set up it is also fast to use on a day to day basis.
At home I assist my husband to reconcile our business transactions for our accountant. We don't have to go in to the accountant's office or email invoices etc as we can upload them to Xero for him to see. You can set up the dashboard to get an overall view of your business and how much money is owed to you, and bills you owe, how you are tracking month to month, and the balances of your accounts you have linked to Xero.
I like the ease of reconciling because once you get set up and code a few items it remembers them for next time for a faster job (you still have to check them to see if they are correct first).
I find it fun and satisfying to reconcile in Xero as it is quite visual, you see several lines waiting to be reconciled and then as you work through the transactions, coding them and clicking on the middle button, they disappear. Setting up bank rules is also a huge benefit, as they get coded automatically, ready for you to just hit the green 'ok' button. You can use this for your usual bills for example, electricity bill, local cafe, cell phone bill, internet charges. Although it does take time to set bank rules up to make sure all details are accurate, it saves time in the long run.
I like the fact that customers can upload documents into the files section of Xero and their accountant can see these documents immediately to work on them or code them.
I also like the search function as you can search for a particular number, or the first few letters of a name or business to find relevant transactions.
Being able to generate invoices and email them direct from Xero is great as it saves time.
It is not the software's fault exactly, but because reconciling is so easy there is a temptation to accept what Xero suggests for a transaction and reconcile to this account, instead of pausing and really checking if the code is the best one.
Xero is first and foremost a business accounting software, so the reports it can generate may not be exactly what other users of the software need, like schools for example, who may need a Xero add-on to get what they most need in regards to reports.
Xero truly puts powerful data in the hands of small business owners
I have been using Xero for a good number of years now and can only recommend it! The usability is fantastic, the ability to see really clearly how the accounts work is groundbreaking in its field. I love the bank reconciliation and the bank feeds. The automation of data is actually fun and linking it into the add-ons can make life a lot easier and save time and money. It is a great way to keep things simple and clear. I love the advisor features, that you can't break it (although you can make a real mess if not careful). For me the biggest benefit is the clarity of the data and the ability to drill down into virtually anything.
Don't use Xero in super complex scenarios and I would recommend that you employ a proper XERO accountant - who actually knows how to use Xero and uses the data when using it though or you will end up paying twice - once for entering the data to xero - and again when the accountant pulls it out into their own software. Overall I would absolutely recommend Xero for people who are more serious than working in spreadsheets but who are turning over £50k-£3m+ with a fairly simple process.
We have found that Xero does not work well in all scenarios but there are work arounds - the bigger the business and the more complex the processes the less it suits but then if you are bigger/more complex you should arguably be using something else!
Support is not awesome! It can take time and you are often met with unhelpful suggestions. There has been an increased number of 'blips' in the software in more recent months and the support has been almost useless in those cases and I have had to find workarounds. Conversation/instant message support should surely be on the cards?
Another thing that I don't like is the highly evangelical nature of the conferences! It borders on the cultish and if you are not 'in' then you are definitely 'out'! I have not found there to be any benefit to being on the 'directory' for that same reason.
Great, intuitive and easy to use bookkeeping software, lacking for accountants, NO customer services
It is so easy to use but support has to come from Accountants who are not customer service or techies and who are not adequately compensated for their efforts. It is enjoyable to use and definitely does the basics very well.
For bookkeeping, small and medium-sized businesses this software is a dream. It is the most intuitive and easiest to use of all the accounting software that we reviewed. As an accountant, it is easy to fix user errors and mis-postings. There is a proper audit trail and safety checks built in. There are so many time-saving features like find and recode, repeating bills/invoices/journals, bank rules. The move toward AI is exciting too.
The reports aren't GAP or IAS compliant so it is no good for reporting, final accounts production or tax. To get accountants interested and recommending Xero in the early days, they promised accountants that Final Accounts Production and Corporation Tax software was in their development queue but it never materialised and they burnt a lot of bridges with accountants when they announced that they had dropped FAP plans. This is why Quickbooks are getting such a big foothold and stealing market share from Xero.
The software is expensive for what it is and you can get a lot more and better for your money with FreeAgent and QuickBooks.
The biggest let down for Xero is that there is no telephone support, at all. Not even call back. You have to email and if you are on the opposite side of the world from New Zealand, it can take a full day to get an inital response and if there is any misunderstanding or info required, it can take days to get your problem resolved. This is really useless and a deal breaker for serious businesses.
Another major failing in Xero is the number of times that the Bank Feed just doesn't work. This is outwith Xero's control and so it can often take months to resolve. This is amateur and best and negligent at worst.
Xero - Leading the way to making accounting much easier for small businesses
I have been a Xero certified advisor for 8 years and actually returned the accounting profession because of Xero after deciding to leave because I felt the industry didn't understand delivering value to clients. Xero has been a catalyst for increasing the speed of change in the industry towards a value proposition model. Although like any system success with does come down to using it properly and being prepared to spend the time to understand how it works and to make the most of it, but Xero has been built so intuitively and they have
Great design, intuitive, great support files and videos, invoicing features are very good, being able to add files to transactions is a big time saver, the fact that it is a full accounting system is great in its price range, although for more complex features you may need an add-on application for example full stock management and stock control.
The way the contacts database has been developed could be improved to make importing and exporting data easier, that has improved recently with the addition of client codes field. Also greater flexibility of controlling features a user can access would be great.
The best at what it does
Full Disclosure: I am an accountant and I recommend Xero to many of my clients. When the expectations are in alignment with the capabilities of the software, then everyone is happy. People get into trouble with ANY software when they jump in thinking they know what it does and are then disappointed. All accounting and ERP software has limitations and Xero is no exception, but what it does, it does well. It provides payables, receivables, bank reconciliation and general ledger as its core functionality. There is a very capable estimating/quoting/order/ process that ties into AR invoices smoothly. But, the requisition/purchase/inventory side is very, very basic. In fact there are no requisitions and the purchase orders are so limited that I recommend you not use them. The inventory is only what is needed to make the sales side functional. So, if you need strong inventory support, you have to use a third-party add-on designed just for this purpose.
What is good about Xero are 1) Real-time bank feeds and bank reconciliation - this is what scared the pants off of Intuit and forced them to develop new functionality. 2) Xero fully embraces and enables third-party developers to provide niche solutions that have rich interaction with Xero. 3) The features keep getting better and better quarter after quarter. 4) Perhaps my relationship as a partner skews this, but I've had nothing but excellent support from Xero. I can call someone if I have to, but I almost always get issues resolved through technical support in a timely fashion.
Some of my favorite add-ons for Xero are GeoOp for field services, Deputy which integrates its scheduling, time and attendance functions with Xero payroll, and Float which projects cashflow. The new reporting and the tags are fantastic.
There are some features I would like to see "sooner," but they are on the roadmap for "later." People jump on Xero because of the price without having a Xero consultant evaluate their suitability for the application - that can create an expectation gap, and that inevitably leads to an unhappy customer. I just hate it when people let their wallet do their thinking for them and then blame the software because it "doesn't do enough."
The payroll is fine. I spoke to the VP in charge of payroll development and he is all about improving the functionality, so it will continue to improve. What is there now is very well designed to be comprehensive and flexible, but there are situations where a third-party payroll like Gusto will make more sense for your organization. They are the first ones to suggest you look at solutions like Gusto, ADP, Paychex and others that integrate seamlessly with Xero.
It is annoying that the tags are limited to two categories, and this won't be revised until they have their design for job costing completed. No word yet on when that will be.
Fantastic! I finally have the tools from Xero to drive my company to its greatest potential.
Understanding the numbers! I'm finally educated about my own business, which sounds ridiculous, but so many business owners are creative dreamers that never look at the numbers. Even ones that are successful don't look at the numbers because they feel like it's not necessary - and that's the biggest lie in the world. It's so easy to share the reports with people at all levels in the company, and I feel a fantastic sense of control with the numbers because of Xero.
Cloud availability, choice between manual or automatic accounting, incredible reports, easy to print, beautiful, fun to use, don't have to be an accountant to use it, fantastic break-down of categories and overhead vs. cost of goods. Shows great percentages - growth overall, percentage of sales per category and percentage of expenses per category - easy to understand the nuts and bolts of your business with Xero and make quick changes to your business model when a problem arises.
Balance sheet leaves much to be desired - harder to figure out than the rest of the software and difficult to understand in conjunction with the profit and loss. It's not possible to see a comprehensive financial picture - perhaps what makes it so great for non-accountants is its simplicity makes it hard at times to get into the nitty gritty. The billing aspect of Xero is atrocious, just really, really bad. Invoices on "repeat" stay in a strange ticker until you command them to be sent, it creates a lot of problems. Definitely have a separate billing software if you use Xero, especially if your clients are on subscriptions. I wish it integrated better with a growth planning tool - integrates with CRMs fine but doesn't help you look into the next couple of years, or present a future picture to investors.
One stop Accounting solutions for Small to Medium organisations.
- Brilliant design and straight forward full accounting system yet detailed enough to allow user to create management reports.
- It allows direct bank feed letting the book-keepers not to worry about importing bank statements and processing detailed bank reconciliations.
- It also integrates with third party softwares to import direct feed which helps automation possible helps save time.
- It also offers partner programs for external book-keepers and accountants to work on different client books which is a new features other softwares have failed to offer.
- Great price.
- Payroll function is capable to deal with straight forward payroll matters. when dealing with complex calculation, Xero seems limited in its functionality.
- The tracking categories are limited to only two lists. It would have been great if it would have had an option to increase the number of categories to suit individual need.
Good Accounting Software, but lack decent reporting and live chat support
We switched from QBO to Xero due to several issues with QBO. However, the migration to Xero is clunky as you have to use a middleman called MoveMyBooks - Xero will pay for up to 2 years books to be moved but any more you must pay. But, things like Employees, Payroll, Expenses etc will not be migrated so you end up spending weeks manually (Yes, Manually) created Expenses yourself all over again in Xero. Very painful and cost my business thousands for false advertising a simple switch,
Easy to use, easy to input data and there's often little popup boxes to explain what elements are. It's cloud managed, so no need to download any software or store anything locally.
Support is a bit, there isn't a live chat support like there is with competitors and it lacks the aesthetics of products like Quicbooks and the same level of reports.
Xero is an easy and economical replacement for Quickbooks
I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with the Xero sales rep when determining if I would switch from Quickbooks for Mac (because they decided to no longer support the version I was using). I was trying to decide between Quickbooks Online and Xero and in the end, Xero won.
Their price point was spot on and they offered the features I needed without being overly complicated or fancy (I am not an accountant and do not enjoy the bookkeeping / accounting aspect of my business). Xero makes it easy to manage my cashflow, expenses and revenue quickly and easily.
Xero offered a payroll option that was not expensive and easy to use. That combined with the ease of use and the cloud-based accounting is why Xero is my go to choice for small business accounting / bookkeeping.
Being able to connect your bank account with Xero and import transactions makes it much easier to keep your books up to date. I used to wait all month before entering my transactions into my checking account and it became a big pain in the butt. This is so much easier!
The fact that you cannot have more than one business in your Xero account is a real bummer. I happen to have more than one business but I'm not willing to buy a subscription for each business. I use one for my most active business for now.
Also, if you don't have payroll for awhile, you are no longer able to submit your tax forms as they are not generated, even though I still need to submit them to the taxing authority.
There is also a headache when it comes to adding in credit card processing fees to invoices for accurate cash accounting. It's awesome that Stripe is integrated and payments are automatically marked to their appropriate invoice, but to get the fee out of the invoice I have to delete the payment, edit the invoice to include the fee amount, and then add the payment back in.
Xero or MYOB?
Xero & MYOB. I love them both - for different reasons. If you're a MYOB lover, do not be afraid of the transition. Simply view Xero as different and you'll be fine. Don't expect to find things in the same dropdown tabs - as it's a different set-up. Once you're familiar, you'll love the ease of use.
Very user friendly, not overcrowded on your pages with too much writing, easy to see information (card files for clients) all on one page - very easy to read and find the information you're after.
Give Xero a try - I know you won't be disappointed.
Love the ease of access. We have a team based in Australia, India, & South America - so the online platform is brilliant.
As a previous MYOB user (& lover of MYOB), I was surprised with the ease of transition from MYOB to Xero.
I also really enjoy how easy it is to link client card files noting the company directors, primary contacts, banking details etc. Very easy to view all the information in one place! Love being able to send the BAS' from Xero as well with a click of the button, and being able to modify & tweak great templates is a MUST.
One thing that is very challenging, is if the Xero team are not getting back to you as promptly as you need, there is NO phone number to talk to someone. This (for the accounting industry) can be a big let down at times. Normally, the Customer Help is very prompt.
Still trying to find an adequate solution so that if I upload a file in my XPM, the rest of my team can view these files. Despite trying and following Xero's suggestions, my team members are still not able to view the documents I've uploaded. We'll get there in the end I'm sure.
I used Xero for reviewing clients' invoices and checking our collectibles.
I used to be the marketing and accounts assistant for Expert360, and use Xero together with our accountant based on Pakistan. Xero makes it easy for us to send an invoice to our corporate, medium and small business clients. It allows us to view the overdue invoices, which enables us to follow-up on those payables. We were able to see the money that we had collected and the money that still needs to be collected. It also allowed us to track the payables to our consultants. Over all, Xero is an easy-to-use accounting software. It's user-friendly functions and features allows you to instantly view the cash flow of your business.
One thing that I noticed on the platform is it doesn't allow to create multiple entries from one company. Like we have client A and they have lots of projects with us. We wanted to create like client A1, A2, A3 in the contacts info so that we know who's the one in-charge for each project. But our accountant told us that it would appear in the invoice as client A1, A2, and A3 in the invoice instead of just client A only. He said it would create confusion on the person in-charge for the payments since it's not their usual company name. We contacted Xero about that and they said they will work on the feature and hopefully it will be added in the future. Where you can entire Client A with someone as the contact person and Client A with someone as the contact person. The last time I know you can really just create one contact entry for each client.
Overall great. Recently, shocking!
Overall, it's a good product. Easy to use. Simple UI though quite dated. It does everything we need it to plus more.
Until recently, there wasn't much I didn't like. I probably couldn't name anything, apart from the somewhat dated UI - but that's a stretch.
Recently however, Xero have taken a core feature (Expenses) and starting selling it as an add-on, on top of the monthly subscription fee.
Expenses as you may know, and would expect, is 'included' in the monthly subscription and formed part of the core software. There was no additional charge. They've recently updated the Expenses feature (which they should be doing anyway) and now believe that because they've updated it, that warrants it being pulled from core and sold separately as an add-on.
As a current subscriber, I signed up for the all inclusive package. Having features ripped from the core package and charged for in addtion to the monthly subscription is not on. Especially when no discount or reduction of the monthly subscription cost was offered.
As a SaaS provider, any and all future updates, regardless of how big or small they are, should form part of the monthly subscription.
Choosing an accounting package is a big decision and once you're committed, it's difficult and often costly to change. With Xero now employing this kind of model, I'd caution anyone considering Xero to think again, think hard.
Today it's Expenses, tomorrow it could be something else.
These disgusting tactics employed by Xero are unacceptable.
Best for MultiCurrency Needs
I love how easily it helps me keep my accounts in order. I've done some complex book keeping / accounting for one firm as well as some extremely simple work for another with this.
It works well with both.
Their support is really great. They reply quickly and have some great documentation as well.
They have started some spin-offs from their product at a per user license fee. I think this way it can quickly become costly for some new users. Luckily i've been using this for over 5 years now, hence I don't come under such restrictions.
Overall great, but one flaw to be vary of
I have been using Xero for a couple of years now and am very happy with it. I was with MYOB but had a bad experience when they upgraded their systems to include cloud computing. I have had a look at their new systems, and while they are much improved and worth exploring for someone starting from scratch, I will still stick with Xero.
My accountants use it extensively so it makes my work and their work integrate so easily which ultimately saves money. Reconciliation is a very labour intensive exercise and Xero cuts a huge amount of time out of this process.
On its own it is quite cheap too. I have an expensive plugin (Tradegecko), but the functionality of that pays for itself. Xero creates the framework of my entire business system.
If you have a business where you have a large number of transactions coming in for the same value, e.g. if you have magazine subscriptions all for $5 a month each then Xero is not a good option, at all. I did have this problem and it was a total pain. I have corresponded extensively with Xero on this issue and they do not see it as a priority and have said directly that they have no intentions on making improvements. This surprises me as their customer service is generally quite good. There is quite a large thread on the support forums on this topic.
If this is a potential issue for you then here is my advice. Set up a trial account with Xero and MYOB and test both for this important reconciliation feature. If you know what you are doing it shouldn't take too long (or ask someone who knows what they are doing). These systems change and evolve so quickly that by the time you read this review one of them might have improved their system. MYOB has been beaten badly by Xero in the past few years but from what I have seen (I recently exhibited next to them at a show) they have come a long way since I stopped using their system.