Xero is a New Zealand-based company that was founded in 2006. The company raised $111m this year (2015) bringing the total amount raised to over $350m. The company was founded in 2006 in New Zealand and has offices in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The Xero product is an online accounting product designed primarily for small businesses and competes with on-premises desktop software like QuickBooks, as well as cloud software like QuickBooks Online, Accounting by Wave and to a lesser extent FreshBooks. It also has a suite of tools to enable accounting professionals to work closely with their small business clients.
The company entered the UK market in 2008, the Australian market in 2009, and the US in 2012. All of these countries have localized versions of the product. Customers in the rest of the world use a product that is called Global. There is an “Add-on Marketplace” with 400+ related products that can be integrated to extend the functionality beyond core accounting.
The company has made a number of acquisitions, notably payroll provider Paycycle in 2011 (for Australian payroll) and Spotlight Workpapers and WorkflowMax for compliance and workflow respectively.
|Best Fit For:||Small, service-based businesses|
|Most Compared To:||Sage 50|
|Rating Attribute||Xero Rating||# of Reviewers Contributing to Rating Average||Accounting Software Average Rating|
|Likelihood to recommend||8.3||22||8.1|
|Likelihood to renew||9.9||7||8.5|
|Xero Pros||Xero Cons|
|Excellent user interface design
UI is exceptionally clean and welcoming. Some even call it beautiful. Very easy to learn the application with minimal training required. However, the product does represent a novel approach and can be slightly disconcerting to people used to other products.
The check-printing template does not work well, and there is no check printing capability in the global version.
Xero comment: Check printing is available in the global version for Canadian customers.
|Integration with other products
Xero has a large ecosystem of add-on vendors providing additional functionality for use cases not covered by the core product. The API is exceptionally well designed and documented making additional integrations straightforward.
There is payroll support for only some states in the US (they are being rolled out on a state by state basis).
|Automated bank feeds
Bank feeds from multiple banks (although not all) are very easy to set-up, and bank reconciliation matching is very strong. A recent feature concerns bank coding which allows rules to be set up to handle recurring transactions that are then coded automatically. Several reviewers love this feature.
|Cash flow statement
There is no easy way to get an instant view of cash flow position. Several users describe the cash flow statement as poor.
Several users say that standard reports like Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable are accurate and easy to read and that the interactive dashboards are useful. However, there is also a consensus that there are few options available for more customized reporting. Several reviewers would like to see a report generator, which would allow users to build their own reports. The company is working on more flexible reporting.
Xero comment: New customized reporting is currently available with some but not all of the existing reports. It includes the ability to add/remove columns and rows, and create reporting groups and custom formulas inside the reports themselves. The reports have always had the ability to annotate and add content like schedules and other reports. The remaining reports in the new framework will be rolled out over the coming months.
Xero was one of the first accounting products to roll out a mobile app, which is generally popular, although some suggest that it's time for an update.
Several users mention that they would like to be able to integrate with merchant payment provider Authorize to handle recurring payments.
Xero comment: Authorize.net has been a supported payment provider since June 2014
Many users appreciate the fact that the pricing structure is per client account and not per user. Anyone within the client company is free to use the software.
Xero comment: Certain pricing plans include payroll while Xero does not charge accounting professionals to support their small business clients.