xero accounting software

Xero Accounting Software Review

Xero is an accounting software that you can use to simplify your accounts. In this article we will talk about the cost of Xero, if it is easy to use and how it provides reports and its integrations.

Pricing of Xero

This package is $20 per month for the entry version ( Starter ) which only allows you to enter 5 invoices and 20 bank transactions.  The next version is $30 per month for the middle version ( Standard ) which does not have multiple currencies and the reporting is quite limited.  The is a version called Premium which can handle multiple currencies which is $40 per month.  All three can handle stock.

Is it easy to use? Is it jargon-free?

There are a lot of standard accounting terms in Xero. Invoices, Bills, and the screens are difficult to navigate through according to our non-accountant guinea pig.  For power users, we see that the template for getting many invoices into Xero at once is large and there are a lot of fields to fill in, although most are not compulsory.  This is basically where you copy invoices from a spreadsheet.   Being picky, the templates you have to copy into Xero are quite cumbersome and you have a lot of detail that you don’t have to fill in on other packages.

You have to fill in the amount/number/price per unit on every invoice which is redundant unless you are keeping stock and very time-consuming if you are processing a large number of invoices. 

Integration with other packages

Xero links with other packages, and also links to the main banks.  You can link to the expense scanning programs like Auto Entry and Receipt Bank which link straight to Xero.  In fact, over 800 packages are in there that connect to Xero.

There are no final accounts packages that link to Xero – so you can’t do statutory reporting using this package.  You have to have an accountant do that for you that has the programs to convert Xero files to the legal formats required.

Is it useful for your accountant?

Most accountants are familiar with Xero, and the reports are acceptable.  You can export to Excel and also import from Excel.

Like all cloud-based packages you can have your accountant log in and as many people as you like to the package.  You cannot lock last year so that you don’t inadvertently put a transaction from last year, so you can miss out on getting a deduction from your taxable profits, which is a major drawback.  There are not many accounts programs that do not have the facility to lock a period, so this is disappointing.

A lot of accountants use Xero so if you adopt it for your business then you will have no shortage of professional advisers to help you.

Reports

The reports are acceptable, but it seems hard for the non-accountant to customise them.  In keeping with our normal approach, we asked a non-accountant to review the package and they struggled with this aspect of the package.

There is a reasonable amount of adjustments to do to get local sales tax reports from Xero like VAT in EU countries.

Customer Support with Xero

We didn’t have to look for support on this package which speaks volumes for the package.  In fact, a member of the team from Xero phoned our non-accountant to see if they could offer help, and in fairness to try to sell the package to them.

Xero Cost – explanation

The prices above are the long-term prices, there is a free one-month trial which we consider the minimum where someone is buying a package like this.  There are a lot of add-ons in terms of pricing so for projects for every additional user you pay $7 per month extra, and for expenses, you pay an extra $4 per month per user.  We found Xero to be one of the more expensive packages on offer in the market and not necessarily worth it.

We recommend Sage for small and medium-sized businesses.

 

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