Xero is a cloud-based small business accounting software with tools for managing invoicing, bank reconciliation, inventory, purchasing, expenses, bookkeeping and more. Xero is the alternative to QuickBooks. It’s modern, small business accounting software that lives in the cloud. It’s accessible from any computer or mobile device, making for a smarter and easier accounting process.
The Xero dashboard presents users with a clear and concise overview of their financial situation. It provides small business owners with a greater understanding of their cashflow by highlighting bank balances, outstanding invoices, upcoming bills and expense claims in a visually appealing way.
Connects with 500+ business apps
Xero integrates with a variety of third-party apps commonly used by small businesses. Data flows directly into the Xero ledger, removing the time and effort required for manual data entry.
Simple bank reconciliation
Daily bank and credit card transactions are automatically imported into Xero and matched to their corresponding accounting transaction. Doing bank reconciliation is as easy as confirming the match is corrected and clicking “OK.”
Free unlimited users
Every Xero plan comes with unlimited users. No need to pay for extra licenses. Collaborate with colleagues or invite financial advisor to view data remotely and get valuable real-time advice!
Seamless, automatic updates
New features are added frequently based on feedback from our customers. Automatic updates occur every 3–6 weeks in the cloud, not on desktop.
Unlimited email support
Xero provides unlimited, around-the-clock email support from an experienced and knowledgeable staff.
Convert from QuickBooks and Sage
Xero will convert QuickBooks and Sage data for free when users sign up for a new account.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Xero is an online accounting software suite that utilizes a modern cloud network to fully accommodate the complete range of accounting needs. The app allows you to coordinate and manage all financial processes within an easy to use platform, accessible from all internet-enabled devices.
The software is geared towards small to medium-sized businesses looking to increase their accounting efficiency while at the same time adding a little fun to the process. The app also serves as a remote collaboration and advisory platform for accounting professionals, eliminating the need for client visits and unnecessary paperwork.
The user-friendly dashboard transforms the resource draining and time-consuming tasks of transaction monitoring, bill paying, invoice issuing, purchase order creation and expenses management - to name a few - into enjoyable activities that support accountants in their daily tasks and free-up business owners to get more out of their limited time. Xero also provides payroll management for users, customers or businesses in the US and Australia.
Xero’s main purpose is to transform the accounting processes into a more efficient and enjoyable experience for small business owners and their accountants. The app succeeds in doing this by allowing all team members concerned in financial operations to connect to the company’s financial database via their desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. This enables all stakeholders and the company accountant to track, collaborate on, and complete accounting tasks from home or on the go.
The benefits of using Xero to manage your accounting activity are evident in the enhanced accessibility of financial data, the collaboration opportunities, the transparent pricing and processes, and the unburdening of time and human resources.
Using Xero, small businesses who previously relied on spreadsheets, messy paperwork and dispersed files to manage their balance sheets, can rest in the knowledge that their financial data is more accurate and up-to-date than ever.
All financial transactions are automatically imported into the Xero database and linked to the corresponding accounting transactions. All the user has to do in order to confirm that the match is correct, is to press the “OK” button and the transaction will be reconciled in the system. Users who need to import feeds from more bank accounts, credit cards and PayPal accounts, will be happy to know that Xero can do this in a few minutes.
Xero also lets you reconcile more complex transactions, such as split payments, by defining your own custom rules. Furthermore, this feature includes fast cash coding, providing the ability to import and automatically reconcile pre-coded bank statements. This is the perfect tool for reconciling large numbers of transactions and for importing data from other systems.
The Xero dashboard is where business owners can get a complete picture of their key accounts, income and expense reports, upcoming bills and pending invoices. This feature provides a valuable overview that gives users a clear understand of all their company’s financial activities in a glance. Moreover, certain accounts can be watch-listed and monitored in greater detail by enabling notifications.
The layout of the dashboard makes it easy to use and navigate, while the intuitive graphs provide a visual understanding of key data that helps users compare account activity in a more tangible way. The dashboard not only displays data, it also allows you to perform tasks such as adding accounts, bills and issuing invoices by clicking on the corresponding buttons.
Xero’s invoicing system forms an important part of the accounting suite letting you generate and customize professionally branded invoices. The customization options include the addition of your company’s logo, foreign currency conversion, and the ability to save different templates to be used for separate clients.
The online invoicing system can issue invoices for payments that come from PayPal accounts, bank transfers or credit cards, with no country-related exceptions. One of the key features of Xero’s invoicing tool is the notification system that alerts you when your invoice has been opened by the recipient, eliminating any confusion over “lost invoices”.
If the payee is based in a foreign country and using a different currency, Xero will undertake the task of automatically converting the invoice into the currency used by the client. This means that you never have to worry about calculating exchange rates. Xero covers over 160 currencies and automatically updates exchange rates every hour.
There are many activities related to running a small business outside of bookkeeping and accounting, however most of these activities are interlinked in some way. Many small businesses already use a number of other systems such as CRMs, inventory management tools, time trackers, receipt scanners and so forth. Importing all this data from multiple apps to Xero can seem like a daunting task, however this is made hassle-free through the some 500 plus add-ons offered on the Xero Marketplace.
The marketplace provides easy navigation and search options that let users find what they are looking for fast. Add-ons are listed across 15 horizontal categories and 11 industry verticals. The Xero Marketplace is your one-stop source for all integration needs, with seamless integration offered between Xero and any app you sign-up for on the marketplace.
For a system that holds strictly private information in the cloud, it is of the utmost importance to remain secure and impenetrable by hackers and other malevolent attackers. Xero developers are perfectly aware of this potential security threat and for this reason provide a dedicated security team whose job it is to keep your data safe on a daily basis.
As users go about their daily business, the Xero team are busy providing constant improvements to their service, adding small adjustments and new features on a constant basis. New features are added every 3-6 weeks to ensure that the efficiency of the app and your user experience are always at the most optimal level.
Integrations is an area that Xero has covered one hundred percent. As a business owner running multiple apps, having the ability to have your apps speak to each other is fundamental. For this reason, the Xero Marketplace is a stroke of genius.
The Marketplace offers an ever growing list of more than 500 add-ons categorized by the business needs they serve. Some of the most popular of these add-ons include: Bill.com, Constant Contact, Square, Squarespace, Zen Payroll, Stitch Labs, Kabbage, and BodeTree.
Further popular add-ons include: Harvest, Batchbook CRM, Vend, Evernote, PayPal, Xpenditure, Expensify, Unleashed, WorkflowMax, Spotlight, Magento, Podio, Eventbrite, Infusionsoft, and Receipt Bank.
Xero’s pricing plans differ according to region. Prospective users should consult the official pricing page of the corresponding Xero website for their location. In general, Xero is offered through 3 different plans. The most basic is the “Starter” plan that costs $9 per month and is limited to five invoices, five bills and 20 bank transactions.
The next plan is the “Standard” package that costs $30 per month and offers an unlimited number of invoices, bills and transactions.The “Premium” plan, costing $70 per month in total, supports multi-currency transactions and is thereby aimed at businesses that have multi-national clients and collaborators. A 30-day free trial of the “Starter” pack is available.
Below are some frequently asked questions for Xero.
Xero offers the following pricing plans:
Starting from: $20/month
Pricing model: Subscription
Free Trial: Available
Xero offers the following features:
Xero has the following typical customers:
Freelancers, Non Profit, Small Business
Xero supports the following languages:
Xero has the following pricing plans:
Xero supports the following devices:
Android, iPhone, iPad
Xero integrates with the following applications:
Capsule, Entryless, FIVE CRM, Loc8, Payment Evolution, ProWorkflow, Receipt Bank, TriggerApp, Vend, WORKetc
Xero offers the following support options:
Forum, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Video Tutorials