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When making improvements to your small business in an effort to help things run smoother, bookkeeping software is certainly among the top things to be considered. However, before purchasing and learning how to use new software, you’ll want shop around to determine which software works best for you. Whether you’re a bookkeeper Surry Hills residents know and love or a brand new accountant in Waterloo trying to get your business started, Xero just may be the perfect software for your company. Because of our personal experience with Xero, we love the service and want to share all the reasons we think you would love it too.

What Is Xero?

According to Xero’s website, Xero is “the emerging leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.” They also claim that Xero allows business owners to keep track of their financial position and performance in a way that’s easy and safe. It allows accountants to extend their services and is currently used by more than 180 countries. There’s a reason it was named Forbes’ Top Innovative Growth Company in 2014. But don’t worry, they’ve continued to expand and improve since then to ensure they remain on top of that list.

To explain it as simply as possible, Xero is an online accounting system “born in the cloud” providing client accounting that is available at any time, anywhere, and on any device. Additionally, Xero provides accountant tools necessary to allow your business to run properly.

How Does It Work?

According to Xero’s site, the software, which was founded in 2006, was created with the idea in mind that small businesses are “highly sensitive to shifts in their balance sheet and cash flow.” That’s precisely why it’s important for a small business to use a software that allows them to monitor their financial performance while planning ahead.

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How Much Does It Cost?

There are five scalable pricing plans available for purchase, starting at $9 a month. Keep in mind that no contract is required. Each plan includes unlimited users and 1GB of online file storage. Xero does offer a 30-day trial if you’re unsure of whether the software will work for you, and you can use the demo company that is already set up so you don’t have to use your own information in test mode.

There are several discounts available, including 25% off for nonprofits and 15% off for those with several companies registered on Xero. Xero will often run discounts and deals on their site as well, so you’ll want to be sure to check the site regularly for those.

For a better idea of the pricing, take a closer look at the available pricing plans below:

Starter:

  • $9 a month
  • 5 invoices
  • Expense tracking
  • 5 bills
  • Live bank feed
  • W2’s and 1099’s
  • Customizable reports
  • Reconcile 20 bank transactions

 

Standard:

  • $30 a month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Expense tracking
  • Unlimited bill
  • Live bank feeds
  • W2’s and 1099’s
  • Payroll for 5
  • Direct deposit
  • Customizable reports

 

Premium:

  • $70 a month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Expense tracking
  • Unlimited bill
  • Unlimited bank transactions
  • Customizable reports
  • W2’s and 1099’s
  • Payroll for 10
  • Multi-currency support
  • Direct deposit
  • Live bank feeds

 

Premium 20:

  • $90 a month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Live bank feed
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Unlimited bank transactions
  • Customizable reports
  • Payroll for 20
  • Direct deposit
  • W2’s and 1099’s
  • Unlimited bill
  • Multi-currency support

 

Premium 100:

  • $180 a month
  • Unlimited invoices
  • Expense tracking
  • Unlimited bank transactions
  • Unlimited bill
  • Live bank feeds
  • Customizable reports
  • W2’s and 1099’s
  • Payroll for 100
  • Direct deposit
  • Multi-currency support

 

Pros & Cons of Using Xero

Like any bookkeeping software, Xero has its pros and cons. Of course, the pros far outweigh the cons or else we wouldn’t be telling you how much we love Xero. One of the most commonly reported perks of using Xero is the inclusion of Payroll in its standard and premium plans. Most users are quick to point out that Xero is easy to use, which means accountants and bookkeepers can teach customers how to use the software with ease.

Additionally, Xero has a large feature section that includes payrolls and reports as well as extensive user permission settings. Users also had high praise for the software’s mobility, saying they really liked the mobile apps and the cloud-based software. It’s also worth noting that the more than 500 integrations help businesses run smoother, making accountants’ and bookkeepers’ lives easier. Perhaps the biggest pro that many people will be quick to point out is that Xero seems to work better and more efficiently than Quickbooks, while also boasting better customer support. That certainly says a lot!

As for the cons, several reviews of Xero mention that the software isn’t as intuitive as they hoped it would be. Simply put, there’s a bit of a learning curve when you get started with the program, but it’s important to note that no users thought it was an issue they couldn’t overcome. Other user reviews mention frustration with phone support and customer service, but made a point to say it still beat out its competition in comparison.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt Xero was created with small businesses in mind, but it was then upgraded and remodeled to satisfy the needs of larger businesses as well. That’s precisely why their various pricing packages are great, because they allow you to purchase only what your company needs. As with a lot of other software, not just those used by accountants and bookkeepers, how well the program works for you depends on both your expectations and your personal experience. All in all, however, it seems that Xero is the one program that individuals and companies are more than satisfied with, no matter their experience level. It’s up to you to decide whether you will love Xero as much as we do, but we can’t help but think you will.