Xero down under and everywhere else - Our take on this cool cloud accounting software
Updated February 25, 2015

Xero down under and everywhere else - Our take on this cool cloud accounting software

Neethu Stephen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

Xero Partner Edition

Modules Used

  • Pretty much everything on the software

Overall Satisfaction with Xero

We use Xero for our company accounting as well as for client companies for whom we do bookkeeping - we're a small team but we handle between 50-100 accounting clients with varying needs

Xero was the first cloud based software we experimented with, the results were very pleasant and positive. The main reasons why we use Xero so much is the hazzle free set up and maintenance overall. 75% of our clients are SMEs and most of their accounting needs are met through Xero. So we really don't go looking for many others
  • Xero has a global version, so it's easily adaptable to a specific region. Most of our clients are based in Singapore. But we also use it for bookkeeping needs of companies that are geographically located in other regions like Taiwan, India, AU etc
  • The built in payroll option in Xero is a plus plus. I totally love the fact that I don't have to rely on excel sheets and word documents to make payslips - from that stage to generating payrun is quite easy - complete with options for CPF (Singapore) and other related deductions
  • It is easy to build invoices and expense bills through Xero. We often encourage non accounting clients to do it themselves after we set up a Xero account + custom videos for them. Many have come back and told us it is easy to use.
  • We use the Xero App on our smart phones quite extensively and it's totally great to record transactions on the go. As an avid iPhone user, I love the Xero app and the summary options it offers. I can login and check figures on the go - love that!
  • I'd like to see Xero come up with "expense tagging" features. In our industry, we have many payments which we make on behalf of our clients. E.g - Fines we pay to government agencies. We pay this and often forget to invoice the clients. If there was an option where I could record the fact that the expense is being paid on behalf of a client that would be great. What would be better is that the "expense" item comes up automatically when I invoice my client the next time.
  • Xero does not have live bank feeds in Singapore now. It has been in "beta testing" stage for sometime. This is a put off - clients often ask us why would we want a software were they have to still ensure all the bank transactions have to be recorded via uploading excels/manually. If this works, we have a winner on hand
  • We are unsure of the real extent to which Xero can integrate with inventory management tools. Better scalability in terms of the volumes that can be handled could make a difference
  • The software integrates well with a lot of add ons like receipt bank - what would be one step higher is to have the capabilities offered by add ons built into the software.
  • 85% of our bookkeeping clients are on Xero. We manage them all under one company umbrella. So far we have had minimal issues managing them and for a bookkeeping service provider, its a great comfort that we have all our clients under our bracket.
  • It has definitely contributed to reducing the time spent on chasing Excel sheets and papers to understand client transactions. Most of our clients use Xero for invoicing, expense claims etc and we directly pick these numbers from there. By using Xero, an overall analysis would be our document chasing time has reduced by 20-30%. This is significant given that as bookkeepers, 80% of our time is spent collecting information and 20% acting on them
  • Almost forgot this one - Xero has put us on a partner edition, so for all the clients we add, we are able to give them a discount of 25%
Overall Xero is a great and adaptable accounting software for most SMEs. I would say very cost effective for the features it offers. Xero also has zero down time, I've never in 3 years encountered a situation where our Xero was inaccessible or down for some reason. I don't have much knowledge of IT systems, but I think this is a good thing.

It is advisable for all potential users to go through Xero's website in detail and think through different scenarios that are applicable for you.

We usually ask our clients these questions (it is not an exhaustive list) before we set up Xero for them,

  1. What kind of inventory do you have? What is the inventory management system used? Custom made POS / other inventory systems may not integrate very well with Xero.
  2. Does the client have very sophisticated budgeting needs? Are they planning to use Xero for budgeting?
  3. How long are you planning to use the software? For most of our "SME" clients it is a forever scenario and we respect their needs before deciding the best course of action for them.
  4. Have you used any cloud based software before? If you are starting with Xero,there may be items to take care of. Like if you lock transactions, what will you do? How much revision can you do on your numbers?

Using Xero

Simplest answer - it works for us. For our own company, I don't think we are looking for any options other than Xero right now. Everyone in our company uses it - Finance uses it for bookkeeping and follow ups, Sales for quotes through to invoicing customers, we all use it for individual expense claims. So far so good! No reason to change.