Xero: Cloud Accounting With Style

Xero is powerful and good looking cloud-based accounting system that allows you to manage your business finances wherever you are. It can help you out with everything from invoicing clients to reconciling accounts, creating expense claims, and filing receipts digitally.

Apart from the web version, Xero has a very good app for iOS and Android that allows you to do all of this when you’re away from the office. 

Xero is really well designed with a stylish, clear interface that’s easy to use. It allows you to easily see 
all of your bank accounts, credit card and PayPal balances, outstanding invoices, expense claims, contacts and other essential info at a glance.

Reports galore

Reporting is very well implemented in Xero with easy-to-read and informative reports to give you an overview of what’s going on with your company finances. Xero features over 40 basic and advanced financial reports, which include: profit and loss, balance sheet, management reports, tax returns, depreciation schedule, foreign currency gains and losses. Most of them require a few clicks to compile and display and you can easily change and filter results to isolate the information you’re looking for.

Xero has a minimalist interface which gives you a clear overview of your accounts.

Xero has a minimalist interface which gives you a clear overview of your accounts.

Xero takes the stress out of reports by taking rules you’ve created and then filtering transactions based on these. There are report snapshots to let you track changes over time and you can export reports to Excel, Google Docs, and PDF whilst keeping the formatting and formulas. This makes it easier to see how specific areas of your business are performing, such as departments, regions, sales people. It also helps you quickly prepare a comprehensive budget and compare performance against actual or selected periods.

Xero can also help you close your accounts at the end of reporting periods such as tax time or the end of the financial year.

Bank account integration

Xero supports online banking so that you can link it to your bank account and automatically transfer funds in and out of it. You receive useful alerts in the app when bank transactions have been updated, either from incoming or outgoing transactions.

Xero assures that all information stored online with the software is safe as it uses the same level of data encryption as internet banking sites. So even if you lose your phone or tablet device, your information can’t be accessed by unauthorized users and nothing is stored locally on them. You can also increase the security of Xero by creating a PIN code or by using a swipe touch ID on iPhone and iPad devices.

You can see over 40 reports with Xero and export them with a few clicks.

You can see over 40 reports with Xero and export them with a few clicks.

 

Invoice in a flash

Invoicing is also one Xero’s strongest features and you can approve and send invoices directly from your desktop, iPhone or iPad. You can take photos of receipts and upload them and the same goes for other expenditure and bills. The mobile app makes it easy to manage accounts on the move including calling customers, suppliers and saving notes.

Take the ache out of accounting

One of the great advantages of Xero is the way it automates much of the tedious work of accounting. There’s not much you have to manually input once online banking and alerts are set up. If you want an expert to make sure that things are running smoothly though, you can invite your accountant or bookkeeper to view your accounts and provide advice. You can also control other users such as each staff member’s level of access.

Xero has three different pricing plans starting from $20 per month for the starter package (limited to up-to 5 invoices, 5 bills, and 20 bank transactions) through to $40 per month for the premium package (which includes unlimited invoices, bills, and back transactions, and with multi-currency accounting).  Note that subscriptions automatically renew each month unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24 hours before the current subscription period ends. You can also try a free demo with limited functionality for 30 days to judge for yourself first.

Conclusion

If you like your accounting applications to look as good as they work, Xero ticks all the right boxes.

You can find out more information about Xero here, or compare Xero with other cloud accounting applications on our sister site, GetApp. Which online accounting app do you use? What do you love and hate about it? Let us know in the comments below. 


Summary

Slick, well-presented accounting solution for small business

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  • Looks very nice and impressive, IF you need to keep your financial records online for some reason. Otherwise, Gnucash is powerful and full-featured for individual and small-business needs, keeps your info safe on your own machine, runs fine on OSX, and is free :-)

  • Small typo on the first picture, says “Zero”, should be “Xero”. Other than that, nice article!

  • Xero also has a budding ecosystem of third party tools. Check out our own offering – MinuteDock (http://minutedock.com) if you’d like a Time Tracking tool that integrates directly into your Xero accounting.

    Also, if anyone has a bright idea for something that might be the Next Big Xero thing, feel free to contact me for help with the OAuth/APIv2 integration.

  • It is a very good construction accounting software, just go through it and you will know the importance and efficiency of it.

  • It is looking a good software and must meets the requirements of accounting professionals. Pictures present in the post looks very accurate and arranged.

  • Good article.

    You mention that Xero will import bank transactions but it goes a step further than this – you can set up a feed from your bank account so that all your bank transactions import automatically every day – great feature if your “old” way of bookkeeping was to log into yoiur bank account every morning, check for new transactions & them manually enter them into your accounts.

    Also there are lots of new features inXero with more being added all the time. So some (most?) users will find it worth talking to a Xero consultant to help with the install (and yes, I have a vested interest as I am a Xero consultant). But once you are up and running it is sooooo easy to use.

    And for my clients I usually have access to the file so can offer advise at any time.

  • From July 2010, Xero will receive bank feeds from 11,000 financial institutions in addition to PayPal. Coupled with “Rules”, Xero can automate and make superfast the coding of transaction lines. Xero is the product of choice for high volume transaction web-based busineses.
    By offering better collaboration between business owner,. bookkeeper and accountant, Xero can save everybody time and money.
    Need a hand setting up or want to knwo more, email [email protected]

  • Xero is a fantastic cloud accounting system that our clients love to use. I have not had anyone use it who has decided to go to another product like MYOB. In fact, most are/ or have made the transition from MYOB to Xero. They just love the whole user experience so much more.

    Yes I am a Xero Certified Advisor and proud of it.

  • Xero is very popular over here in the UK and we interviewed 3 UK companies using it for their accounts here.