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Xero Overview

Xero launched back in 2006 and is an all-in-one accounting platform geared towards individuals or small businesses.

It offers everything one would expect from accounting software alongside a range of useful additional features that can be used to help manage various aspects of a business and is easy to use.

Notable features include automated statements, invoicing, billing calendars, expenses, and a vast number of third-party integrations. It also allows for the management of customer, supplier, and employee data. 

The platform supports a wide range of integrations, making it possible to bring together a multitude of business tools into one platform.

Xero caters to those just starting with their “Early” plan, to those already running a successful, “Growing” or “Established” business, aiding in managing client information, due dates, and important financial information. 

Table of Contents

  1. Features
    a. Dashboard
    b. Client Overview
    c. Automated Bank Statements
    d. Billing Calendar
    e. Invoicing
    f. Inventory Management
    g. Expenses
    h. Task Management
    i. Contacts
    j. International Payments
    k. Integrations
  2. Pricing
  3. Pros and Cons
  4. Customer Support
  5. Is Xero Suitable for My Business?

Features

Dashboard

The highly customizable Xero dashboard lets one analyze business finances; it shows information such as bank balances, transactions, pending invoices, upcoming bills, and more.

Overall, the user interface is very intuitive and is accessible to anyone, regardless of technical knowledge.

Client Overview

The client overview feature is one of the most notable of the platform. This feature makes it very straightforward to access client details; it is easy to view information such as outstanding payments and even request documents from clients. 

Further on, Xero also allows reviewing client information to see which banks, industries, and apps they are using. Studying clients' business relations in advance could make it easier to organize and process a more seamless transaction. Doing business more professionally, in a more organized manner can leave a positive impression on clients, potentially improving return customer rates.

Automated Bank Statements

Xero's ability to collect information about transactions makes it easy to see bank statements on the go. Additionally, transactions are updated automatically, allowing for more efficient budgeting and aiding in the prevention of overspending.

Billing Calendar

The billing calendar is helpful for scheduling payments ahead of time. Moreover, it allows users to submit outstanding payments and request payments, providing a detailed summary of transactions between a business and its clients at the same time.

Invoicing

Xero also offers a great selection of invoice templates. Highly customizable, it is easy to create on-brand, well put together invoices. They can also be made in advance and scheduled to be sent at a specific interval. All invoices are also fully responsive, meaning that they look great on any device.

Payments alerts are also customizable, which includes the timing and frequency at which they are sent out. 

A very notable feature of Xero’s invoicing is their "instant pay" option; clients can instantly make payments, online and on the go. 

Inventory Management

Xero offers built-in spreadsheets that collect data based on inventory input and output, making restocking and managing sales efficient and easy. Everything from importing large documents of inventory data to uploading photos of specific products is possible.

Expenses

Xeros’ expenses section helps to keep track of all outgoing payments in one place. In addition, this section can be used to store important documents and receipts. 

Some of the features include being able to attach photos of receipts and bills and upload them to a database called Hubdoc, which stores and protects the information. In addition, editing, viewing, accepting, and uploading privileges can be granted to certain employees and trusted business partners, further adding to the platform's flexibility and security.

Task Management

Task management allows for the organization of information regarding specific projects and builds. This feature will enable the budgeting of expenses, create more personalized invoices, and observe project reports; it is an overview of everything from staying within budget to meeting deadlines and sending invoices on time. This feature also provides an overview of prices, time, and materials, and there is also a stopwatch tool for recording times for specific tasks.

Contacts

Xero also includes a contact book within the app, allowing businesses to hold information about partners and essential connections in a centralized, cloud-enabled database. Networking is a vital tool for any successful business, and users' ability to create groups based on relationships with clients and partners is innovative and insightful.

International Payments

This feature allows users to complete foreign transactions without the hassle of currency conversions and difficult international bank wait times and holds.

Integrations

Xero is compatible with various third-party app providers, allowing for the integration of other platforms. Integrations are beneficial for expanding the functionality of the base platform and it is recommended to use them to integrate with other business applications.

At the time of writing, Xero currently integrates with other 1000 third-party apps, including Shopify, Stripe, and Salesforce.

Pricing

Xero offers a few different pricing options, each of which provides a different range of features. Therefore, it's essential to review each of the pricing tiers to ensure that it offers all of your required features. 

The pricing shown is based on a monthly subscription. Currently, there is no option to pay annually.

Early

  • $11 per month
  • Unlimited bank transaction overview and management
  • Upload receipts and statements to Hubdoc
  • Limit of 20 invoices
  • Limit of 5 bills

Growing

  • $32 per month
  • Unlimited bank transaction overview and management
  • Upload receipts and statements to Hubdoc
  • Unlimited invoices and bills

Established

  • $62 per month
  • Unlimited bank transaction overview and management
  • Upload receipts and statements to Hubdoc
  • Unlimited invoices and bills
  • Multi-Currency
  • Task Management
  • Budget and Billing Overview

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great UI
  • Mobile and desktop versions
  • Automation
  • Integrations
  • Invoicing

Cons

  • Lacks phone and chat help
  • Mobile app could use some work
  • Expenses handled in separate mobile app

Customer Support

Xero offers customer support through email.

Unfortunately, the platform lacks support options such as live chat or speaking to an agent over the phone. However, their knowledge base, a superpowered version of “frequently asked questions” is pretty extensive and should be able to help with most issues.

The community forum provides an excellent alternative to official customer support. The forum is pretty active and an excellent resource for troubleshooting any queries or looking for ways to get more out of the platform.

Is Xero Suitable for My Business?

All in all, Xero provides an all-in-one accounting solution that is suitable for many businesses. The platform provides a detailed overview of a company's finances while offering additional features such as contact management, invoicing, inventory management, straightforward international payments, receipt and document storage, and integrations. 

It has been described as a quick, easy, automated, on-the-go business management tool with a friendly user interface, offering much-needed features, and some that clients did not know they needed.

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