In May 2016, I had not heard of Xero Accounting, let alone knew what it was or what it could do for a small business. I had not really considered looking at, let alone trying, any web-based accounting programs. Come July, I was offered a job to assist a remote client in getting his Xero accounts caught up and reconciled back about a year and a half. As soon as I started roaming around the program, and using it, I LOVED it! It was so easy to get into, and to figure out.
For a small business owner, this is a very user friendly program. The following is my review of the Xero accounting software.
When you first log into Xero Accounting, you see the Dashboard, which provides you with any and all bank accounts and credit cards and Menu with everything you would need. For me, everything about Xero seemed very easy. Very obvious.
What I like about Xero Accounting:
- The Dashboard and Menu across the top makes sense. There was never much question, for me, “How do I find this?” or “How do I do that?” Any question I had was easy to find the answers for within the help centre, and I did receive very quick support the one time I had to send a question off to an actual person.
- Linking banking, credit cards and PayPal accounts was very easy and the feeds are usually good to come in.
- The layout within the those accounts, with the transaction feeds coming in, is really nice with the transactions that come in on the left, and the ability to find and match with a previously entered transaction, or create a new one on the right.
- Once you “Ok” the transaction, it is considered “Reconciled”, there is no “Monthly Reconciliation” to be completed with Xero. If you are in the transaction log, and see there is an item that was missed, you can add it and then reconcile within that same screen, and still see everything. You do not have to go to another page to add the transaction and then find your way back to the transaction log to make sure that transaction was reconciled.
- The option to add discussion notes to the transactions. This feature is great, if there is more than one person working within the program, as you are able to put notes and save them, onto transactions to assist the others in recording properly. Because my client is remote, if I have questions on transactions, I put it in the discussion, and he will answer. Or if there are expenses to be billed to a client, he makes those notes, so I know to assign those expenses.
- Assigning expenses is very easy to do, and you can even allocate to different clients within the same transaction.
- The reports. There are so many options, and ways to create and save custom reports that you can tailor specifically for your business. Xero provides great videos and tutorials that will show you how to customize your reports, most of them only five minutes long.
What I don’t like about Xero:
- It may not be an issue for some, but payroll is not an included feature for Canadians but is available in most U.S. states. If you are in an area that doesn’t support payroll, there are other payroll applications that can be used with Xero. To date, I have not looked into that option, and am hopeful that Xero adds this to the Canadian site soon.
Xero Accounting, I believe, is definitely worth the price point, if you are looking for a clean, easy to navigate program that doesn’t keep you asking yourself, “I wonder how I do this?” This is a program that I have truly enjoyed learning my way around and working with. Highly recommend heading to their site and trying out the 30-day free trial. You just might have some fun.