What is Xero?
For a long time, it was Intuit QuickBooks that almost had a monopoly on billing software for small business owners. Xero was developed in-house from the ground up, with a clear remit to provide digital support for all required elements in a double-entry accounting solution – payroll, inventory, acquisitions and sales. The Xero software incorporates many advanced features that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) require, including the ability to generate clear reports on all aspects of their accounts. Xero accounting software is also built to integrate with more than 700 third-party elements, which we’ll go into in greater detail shortly.
It is said that the number of small businesses using the Xero bookkeeping platform now totals well over one million. If you need another endorsement of the reliability and capability of the Xero app, it’s worth us pointing out that more than 16,000 accountancy firms worldwide use Xero on behalf of their own clients. If it’s good enough for chartered accountants, it’s good enough for managing the books of your small business.
One of the biggest compliments you can give Xero accounting software is the fact that even business owner-managers with no accounting knowledge find it easy and intuitive. Let’s delve deeper into the nuts and bolts of the Xero platform, so that you’ll never need to find more Xero reviews again!
Pros of Xero
There are plenty of benefits attached to the highly robust Xero platform, all of which have helped spark impressive growth rates among users in Europe, North America and Australia:
Dynamic solution for SMBs
As we’ve already touched upon, the intuitive nature of the Xero software means that even small business owners with no accounting expertise can get a clear overview of their cash flows, transactions and account details wherever they are in the world. Xero is also a hugely dynamic accounts solution for SMBs as it can provide a direct link between businesses and their trusted financial advisors, giving both parties an immediate insight into a company’s financial position.
Responsive mobile platform
Xero is one of the most accessible bookkeeping platforms on mobile devices in the marketplace. There’s not just one dedicated Xero app, but three. The first is an overarching Xero accounting app, designed for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Meanwhile, there are additional mobile apps catering exclusively for the handling of business expenses and project management, called Xero Expenses and Xero Projects. All of which allow business owners to see their accounts online in real time, with the ability to distribute invoices, approve expenses, input receipts and carry out reconciliations.
Time-saving auto-invoicing and recurring payments
With Xero accounting software, you can let the system do all the invoicing legwork for you by setting up automatic recurring invoices. Small businesses are heavily reliant on cash flow as their number-one lifeline and automated invoicing can save your in-house team time chasing payments. Automated invoice reminders keep your clients on their toes and you can get total visibility of whether a customer has viewed their invoice and how often they should receive payment reminders.
Xero is designed to make it simple and straightforward to combine all existing accounting data into one cloud-based portal. Xero makes it easy for new users to import bookkeeping records, transactions and any other business-critical data via its direct-conversion function. It doesn’t matter whether you already have files saved in .CSV or .TXT format for data such as invoices, contacts and your inventory, as Xero recognizes all of these file types too.
If you’re desperate for an accounting platform that makes light work of crunching the figures and producing financial reports, Xero is a great option. You can view and share interactive financial reports and budgets for your business in real time with colleagues, which offers a quick and direct way to get an accurate picture of your company’s performance. These reports can also be tailored based on your business’ unique key performance indicators (KPIs).
Want to drill down deeper into the efficiencies of your business? Xero offers simple time tracking functionality for logging time against specific projects and tasks, ensuring accurate invoicing. Via the Xero Projects app, you can create timesheets for monitoring work hours, thus enabling your business to invoice fully for all the hours your employees work. Xero Projects is synchronized fully with Xero accounting software, directly feeding tracked time and costs into invoices and reports.
With Xero, you can spend less time paying your bills and more time doing what you do best – running your business. Xero’s accounts payable software minimizes admin with the ability to pay multiple bills in one easy transaction using the platform’s scheduling functionality. Xero has a great range of graphs and charts which help to display upcoming invoices that are due for payment, avoiding late payment fees or interest and maintaining trusted relationships with suppliers.
- Intuitive, secure client dashboard
- Easy contacts book
- Direct bank reconciliation
- Easily attach files to your financial data
- Simple claims procedure for expenses
- Generate financial reports
- Clear inventory reporting
- Multi-currency support
- Payroll functionality
- Quick, straightforward 1099s
- Send and receive invoices digitally
- Fixed assets
- Responsive mobile functionality
- Receive bills
- 24/7 access of your accounts
- Create ‘smart’ segmentations of contacts
- Log in anywhere in the world
- Purchase orders
- GST returns
- Unlimited customer support via email
In terms of the cost of using Xero payroll and Xero invoice software, businesses must agree to a monthly subscription fee. Businesses are never tied to long-term contracts. It’s possible to cancel your agreement with just a single month’s notice.
Xero pricing plans
- Early - $9 per month – allows you to send five invoices and quotes, submit five bills and reconcile up to 20 bank transactions.
- Growing - $30 per month – allows you to send unlimited invoices and quotes, submit unlimited bills and reconcile unlimited bank transactions.
- Established - $60 per month – allows you to do everything in the Growing subscription plan, as well as get access to Xero Expenses and Xero Projects and multi-currency support.
- Subscription-based (monthly payments)
- Freelance professionals
- Business start-ups
- English only
- Open API
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As part of your Xero accounting software subscription, you are entitled to free, unlimited email support. That’s largely because Xero does not operate a telephone helpline. If you have landed on a site purporting to be Xero and offering phone support – perhaps at a cost – leave the site immediately as this is not the legitimate Xero site.
Xero also offers a great range of client support articles in its Xero Central hub. This knowledge base is also accessible for free 24/7. At the end of every support article in Xero Central, you’ll find a contact button to prompt a member of the Xero support team to email you directly if you still require further assistance.
Xero bookkeeping software is a great entry-level piece of kit for all growing and ambitious small businesses and freelancers. It’s not restricted to businesses in certain industries, and it’s also partnered with a string of alternative accounting systems and third-party applications to make exporting sensitive financial data to your new Xero platform seamless and painless.
Put simply, even for the monthly cost of Xero’s Established subscription plan, it’s well worth the investment to help get a real-time understanding of your company’s finances, wherever you are in the world.