Xero Review

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Sometimes, a business owner needs more than just invoicing capabilities. Between managing a business, and trying to manage finances, some bookkeeping services just don’t cut it. 

I know that as a business owner, it’s hard finding a software system that can help you “do it all” when it comes to the finances and back end of your business. That’s where I think Xero can come in handy for many entrepreneurs and business owners. 

Ready to hear more? Here’s my Xero review.

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Summary

Xero is great for small and medium-sized business owners who want to be able to grow with a system. Whether you’re service or product based, you’ll find some terrific features and options with Xero.

What Is Xero? 

Xero is an accounting software program that allows entrepreneurs and business owners to see the full picture in their business, including their finances.

The site is web-based, and also offers features that help business owners monitor the ins and outs of the financials in their business, plus other features like sending invoices.

Pros of Xero

Xero is one of the original players in the online bookkeeping software game. It’s been around for a while and has a pretty great rapport. 

A few benefits for Xero include: 

  • Can be used across multiple devices
  • User-friendly (if you have basic knowledge of bookkeeping systems)
  • The ability to add payroll via Gusto 
  • Offers a free 30-day trial 
  • Has multi-currency options
  • The ability to track projects
  • The option to reconcile bank transactions
  • Inventory management with built-in software
  • Asset management 
  • Integrates with project management software 
  • Integrates with over 700+ other online platforms and software products 

Xero only has paid plans, but they do offer a free 30-day trial if you want to test them out. Because the system is so robust, it also has capabilities to integrate with just about any other program that you may use (including Stripe, Shopify, Acuity Scheduling, and more). 

Cons of Xero

No system is completely perfect. But luckily, Xero doesn’t have too many cons. 

Here are a few cons that people have mentioned: 

  • Poor customer support 
  • A learning curve for people not used to bookkeeping systems 

Xero Features 

Xero has a ton of features, including features that other bookkeeping systems tend to lack. Here are just a few of the ones I think are the most beneficial. 

Cloud-Based

Xero is completely cloud-based, so you can take it anywhere as long as you have your login information. You can also download the app and use it for on the go. 

Attractive Dashboard and Features

Xero has a learning curve, but once you learn about the basics and what all it has to offer, you’ll be able to use it with ease. 

If you’re just starting out with a bookkeeping or financial system, just remember that it can take a while to find all that Xero has to offer. However, you can always look at their help articles, or Google any specific issues you may be having. If push comes to shove, you could try contacting them. 

Sales Overview 

I really like the idea of this feature. The sales overview is basically a graph that breaks down your invoices and estimates. In return, seeing these numbers can be motivating to streamline your sales process. 

Invoicing Capabilities 

Unfortunately, Xero only offers a single template for invoicing. However, what Xero lacks in beauty, it makes up for in capabilities.

For example, Xero offers the ability to use recurring invoices, automatic invoice reminders, bulk invoicing, copy and pasting invoices. And if your client or business that your invoicing uses Xero? You can send them an invoice even easier by using Xero to Xero.

When you send an invoice, your client will receive it as a pdf attachment. They can pay a multitude of ways, including PayPal, Stripe, and even by credit card. 

You can also create quotes, and convert them to invoices if a client is ready to move forward. This quote will be from the same template as your invoice. 

Client Portal 

Recently, Xero created a client portal. This allows clients and consumers to view, print, and pay their invoices online directly. Potential clients can also do the same thing with their quotes, including declining them or offering comments. 

Expense Tracking

Need to track your expenses? Xero has you covered. You can easily connect your bank info or credit card account directly to Xero. You can also manually import your bank statements. Xero has the option to categorize your expenses as well. If you’re familiar with QuickBooks, Xero’s expense tracking feature is pretty similar.  

If you’re on their highest paid plan, you’ll also have access to expense claims, automatic receipt scanning, and the Xero Expenses App that you can use while on the go. 

Fixed Asset Management

This is one of the features that sets Xero apart from other bookkeeping software. With this feature, you can manage fixed assets in your business. You can also choose between several depreciation schedules and add additional information like the if you’d like (including warranty info). 

Accounts Payable

Not only can you invoice in Xero, but you can also pay your company’s bills too. With the accounts payable feature, you can enable recurring bills and keep them up to date. You can also attach important documents to the bill or save copies in your Xero account for your records.  

Inventory Management 

Xero is great if you plan on having a product based business. You can add items, track inventory, and make adjustments as needed. You can also track important information with the notes system. With your inventory, you can keep check of stock levels. 

Time Tracking

On the established plan, you can track your time right in Xero. You can then add this time to projects and invoices. 

Reports 

Xero offers over 50+ reports, including: 

  • Profit and Loss
  • Account Summary
  • Bank Summary
  • Sales
  • Inventory Sold 
  • Budget Summary

Xero Plans & Pricing 

Xero has three different paid plans, from an option for a new business owner to someone looking to scale their business with multiple products or higher clientele. Each plan offers a 30-day free trial as well. 

Early 

The smallest tier option is the Early tier. This plan starts at $9 a month. 

For $9 a month, you’ll get: 

  • The ability to send 5 invoices and quotes
  • The ability to enter 5 bills
  • Reconcile 20 bank transactions
  • Access to all reports
  • Unlimited users

Growing

The middle tier option is the Growing tier. I believe this is the tier that would be fitting for many small business owners and entrepreneurs. This plan starts at $30 a month. 

For $30 a month, you’ll get: 

  • The ability to send unlimited invoices and quotes
  • The ability to enter unlimited bills
  • Reconcile bank transactions – unlimited
  • Live bank feeds
  • Access to all reports
  • Unlimited users

Established

The top tier option is the Established tier. This plan starts at $60 a month and is the most expensive option. 

For $60 a month, you’ll get: 

  • The ability to send unlimited invoices and quotes
  • The ability to enter unlimited bills
  • Reconcile bank transactions – unlimited
  • Live bank feeds
  • Access to all reports
  • Unlimited users
  • Expenses + Expenses App 
  • Project management tools
  • Multi-currency support
  • Unlimited users

Gusto Full-Service Payroll

This is a totally optional add-on product that you can add to any tier of Xero. Gusto integrates with Xero and offers the following deal to Xero users. 

For an additional $39 a month (base) and $6 per employee a month, you’ll receive: 

  • Full-service payroll in all 50 states
  • Automated payroll filings
  • Unlimited payrolls
  • Direct deposit
  • Federal and local taxes
  • Multiple schedules and pay rates
  • Online employee set up
  • Payroll on Autopilot®

The biggest perk with the Gusto integration is as a Xero user, you’d get two free months of payroll services. 

Xero Support 

Xero doesn’t seem to have the best customer support, and that is one of the cons mentioned before. 

Here are the options you have as far as customer support:

  • Live Chat: This is really only available if you have a sales question
  • Email: For when you have a question about features or your plan
  • Help Center: This includes do it yourself how-to articles and common troubleshooting issues. At the bottom of each post, you can send in a question or email.

Alternatives to Xero Accounting

Xero is the perfect system if you have a good handle on bookkeeping software and need something that can fit your needs from payroll to asset management. However, if you need other options, or if you just want to know what else is out there, here are my recommendations: 

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is my favorite software and is pretty comparable to Xero. It is the software I personally use, so I highly recommend it. 

Here are a few features of FreshBooks: 

  • User-friendly 
  • Invoicing capabilities 
  • Has multiple tiers that can grow with you based on your client or workload 
  • Customizable invoices 
  • Easy to use client portal 
  • Ability to send estimates and proposals 
  • Isn’t free but it is affordable 

You can read more about FreshBooks here.

Hurdlr

Hurdlr is a tool used to organize and track your business income, expenses, and taxes. 

Here are a few of Hurdlr’s features:

  • User-friendly 
  • Monitors income 
  • Tracks mileage 
  • Estimates your taxes
  • Offers a free plan
  • Doesn’t offer invoicing options like Xero, and also can’t send estimates or proposals 

Read about my experience and thoughts on Hurdlr here.

HoneyBook

HoneyBook helps you manage projects, book clients, send invoices, and get paid on time.

Here are a few features of HoneyBook: 

  • User-friendly 
  • Beautiful dashboard 
  • Invoicing 
  • Project and task management systems 
  • Offers client portal 
  • Expensive! Plans start at $40/month

Read more about HoneyBook here

QuickBooks Self Employed

QuickBooks is another great alternative to Xero, and many people compare the two in terms of usability and how robust they are. 

Here are a few of the features:

  • Offers you the option to pay taxes right through their site 
  • Generate profit/loss statements with just a few clicks
  • Has a bill tracking feature for any bills that you owe
  • Doesn’t have a free plan, but does have some affordable options (and offers a free trial too)
  • You can easily track expenses 

Read more about QuickBooks Self Employed here.

Wave Accounting 

Wave Accounting is a free software that helps you invoice clients, track expenses, and even get bookkeeping help if you need it.

Here are a few of Wave Accounting’s features:

  • User-friendly 
  • Invoicing capabilities 
  • Expenses tracking 
  • Offers payroll 
  • Offers bookkeeping support 
  • Free to use
  • Client credit card storage

Read more about Wave Accounting here.

Bench

Bench is another great alternative to Xero. 

  • Offers bookkeeping support
  • Offers tax support 
  • Is a great option if you don’t want to handle bookkeeping at all
  • Offers catch up bookkeeping for a small fee 
  • Does not offer invoicing capabilities
  • Doesn’t sync with other bookkeeping services (like Quickbooks or Freshbooks)

You can read more about Bench here. 

These are just a few of the alternatives to Xero that I recommend, but you should choose the software that best fits your needs.

Xero Review: Do I Recommend It?  

So, do I recommend Xero based on what I’ve told you? Yes! If you’re looking for something more robust, or if you need more finance capabilities, this is the system for you. 

I think the biggest perk to Xero is that it can integrate with so many other websites and platforms. You can seamlessly connect almost all of the tools you currently use so they’re more efficient, which in return can save you time and money. 

While the higher cost tiers may be a bit much for a budding entrepreneur, they’re right in line with the price points of other bookkeeping services, although Xero offers so much more in terms of features. 

If you’re willing to troubleshoot and test out all that Xero has to offer, you might find yourself in love with the program. Plus, it can give you peace of mind to know that the software you use can take care of multiple aspects of your business. 

Why Xero Is A Great Option 

Overall, Xero is great for small and medium-sized business owners who want to be able to grow with a system. Whether you’re service or product based, you’ll find some terrific features and options with Xero. 

Still on the fence about Xero? Because they have a 30-day free trial, you can test it out before you commit to the monthly price! 

Xero is a great accounting software option for anyone who wants more out of the backend of their business. Whether you’ve got a lot of clients or just a few, Xero has a plan for you.  

Have you thought about using Xero? What would make you switch?

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