Simply put, every small business should have accounting software to help keep track of financial details throughout the year.
It doesn’t matter if you run a small single-member LLC or a major corporation: all business entities need to carefully track their income and expenses to ensure compliance with taxation guidelines and to separate personal and business assets.
These days, you don’t need to hire an accountant to handle this aspect of your business. Instead, you can enlist the assistance of a reputable accounting software service to take care of it, saving thousands of dollars over hiring a CPA. But how can you determine which software solution is the best fit for your needs?
Xero is our top accounting software pick for small businesses that need a collaborative accounting tool with unlimited users. Let’s see if it’s the right choice for your business!
A Brief Overview of Accounting Software Services
What can business accounting software do for your company? For starters, it helps you with expense tracking and tax season preparation. In addition, accounting software can assist you in setting reasonable expectations for the growth of your business. It can also provide custom reports that identify which parts of your business provide the best return on investment.
Last, but far from least, using accounting software can help you prepare reports for investors. When you have clear and concise financial data at your fingertips, it’s easy for potential investors to get a snapshot of your business activities and decide if they want to invest in your business or not.
Xero can tackle all of these tasks and more, but is it the best accounting software service for you?
Xero Accounting Software Review
Xero is an outstanding option for any small business seeking a collaborative accounting platform at a reasonable price point. Let’s quickly run down some of its pros and cons before we take a deeper dive.
- Unlimited users
- Excellent reporting at all subscription levels
- Inventory management service
- Limited bills and invoices in base plan
- Poor customer support
The Details of Xero Accounting Software
Xero’s accounting software starts at $12 per month, a package which the company’s website refers to as “good for sole traders, new businesses, and the self-employed.” It also has a $34 package for “growing small businesses” and a $65 plan for “established businesses.”
Overall Pricing and Value:
We’re impressed by Xero’s $12 monthly base rate (known as Xero Early), as many competitors charge $15 or more for very similar accounting platforms. Xero Early includes bill and receipt capture tools, bank transaction reconciliation, and cash flow and business snapshot reporting. However, it’s limited to five bills and 20 invoices per month.
The $34 “Growing” plan adds unlimited bills and invoices, along with bulk transaction capability. Finally, the $65 “Established” package adds multiple-currency functionality, project tracking, expense claiming, and in-depth analytics.
All of these packages provide strong value, although we are always a bit disappointed by how limited the Early plan is regarding billing.
Xero is a New Zealand-based company that was formed in 2006. Today, Xero has more than 4,000 employees and 3 million subscribers. This is truly one of the industry giants and among the most popular companies in the business software marketplace.
We also found more than 6,000 unique customer reviews for Xero’s services, and we’re pleased to report that Xero maintains high average rating scores. However, we will note that there are companies that can beat Xero’s 4.1 out of 5-star average review rating.
We’re of two minds when it comes to reviewing Xero’s customer support network. On the plus side, Xero offers 24/7 support, which is a serious rarity in this industry. The ability to get support anytime you want is a big benefit for Xero, or at least it seems to be before you look into the details.
On the other hand, we were disappointed to find out that Xero does not allow customers to call its support team on the phone, and it doesn’t offer a chat function either. You can reach out to schedule a call ahead of time and Xero will call you within a four-hour window around the time you choose, but this is still not the same as being able to pick up the phone and call someone to help you.
In addition, Xero’s customer reviews have plenty of horror stories about scheduling a call and waiting for four hours only for Xero to never even call. Especially given the ridiculous four-hour window for a phone call, Xero scores quite poorly in this area. It’s a subpar system that allows Xero to cut corners and pinch pennies while still advertising “24/7 support.”
Ease of Use:
There wouldn’t be much point in using an accounting software service if it didn’t make the process of tracking your company’s finances significantly simpler. Thankfully, Xero does just that, with an easy-to-use interface and intuitive features.
We have always been pleased by Xero’s easy-to-use tools. However, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to navigate Xero’s user interface and find what you need, so we chose to dock a couple of points for this aspect.
What Are Customers Saying About Xero Accounting Software?
We found roughly 6,100 reviews for Xero Accounting on reputable online review aggregator websites, and the majority of this feedback is positive. By our count, Xero maintains an average rating score of around 4.1/5, which indicates widespread but not universal acclaim for its services.
Many of Xero’s positive reviews revolve around its strong value for the money and the ability to add as many users as you want. However, we also found plenty of complaints regarding Xero’s poor customer support, including many that said they scheduled phone calls only to never receive them within the four-hour contact window.
Our Final Thoughts
Xero is an excellent option for any small business owner looking for accounting software that allows collaboration with unlimited users while still keeping costs low. We also appreciate this company’s solid track record, although its customer support is a major drawback compared to some competing options.
If you’d like to take a look at your other options for accounting software services, take a look at our guide to the best companies in the industry.