Xero is an online invoicing platform where you can keep track of every financial movement within and outside your business. From managing payrolls to calculating taxes, Xero Invoicing offers a plethora of features to be your go-to platform for accounting. It has features like bank reconciliation, bill and expense tracking, project tracking, file storage, analytics, and many more. But no accounting platforms come with only benefits. You may face some difficulties while using the tool, and we wanted to give you an initial idea of how the platform works. Let’s find out its features, advantages, drawbacks, and pricing plans in this review.
Top Features of Xero
While Xero has tons of unique features, we’re going to cover the top features for small businesses in our review.
Paying bills on time is a big hassle for any business out there. Xero makes it easier by listing outstanding bills on top of the lists. Instead of paying bills one by one, you can pay in batches to save time. And the payment can be scheduled for your convenience. You can also track every bill easily.
Track and Manage Expenses
Xero eliminates the need to handle paper receipts of expenses. You can simply scan your expenses and upload them to Xero to get the expenditures approved. All the business expenses are carefully monitored on the analytic dashboard, and you can generate necessary reports. Accessing expenses from any device is possible.
Managing bank accounts now need no more additional hassle. You can connect multiple bank accounts to Xero to access them without exiting the platform. Every transaction in your bank account will be updated on Xero, so you can easily track incoming and outgoing cash flow. And the bank connection is very secure.
Take Online Payments
Collecting payments online is super easy, thanks to the integrations with Stripe and other payment methods. You can even add payment buttons to invoices so that customers can directly pay from their credit cards. This way, the whole process becomes so effortless.
We found this feature utterly helpful for freelance workers. You can easily send quotes or invoices for various jobs with project tracking. The tool also tracks time or locations to manage the cost of the projects. Anyone with almost no technical knowledge can set up projects on the platform. Collecting payments for projects and viewing analytics are also easy.
When you have a big team, managing payroll can be challenging. Xero offers integration with Gusto to handle payrolls much more easily. With this integration, payments are automatically calculated along with taxes and other deductions. And the team members can also access relevant information, which helps maintain transparency.
Updating financial information and transactions is a breeze with Xero. With bank reconciliation, all your transactions will be updated on a daily basis. And the tool will suggest categories for reconciliations, which you can approve or reject. Bulk reconciliation is also possible, but you need to be on high-tier plans for that.
Instead of checking all transactions of a specific contact one after another, you can have everything in one place. We loved the contact management system of Xero, where the contact details, transaction history, and other details of a contact is compiled together to get a clear view of everything. You can also group contacts as required.
Automatic Data Capture
Xero accepts various forms of data to update your transactions. For example, you can directly upload a document or scan a bill or receipt to upload it to Xero. The tool will automatically reconcile data without you needing to enter data manually.
Besides getting all the necessary tools, you get cloud storage to safely store your documents. You can access files anytime and share them with whomever you want. But the storage seemed to be a bit low for large businesses. It would be better to have more extensive storage.
You can use multiple readymade templates to generate reports on this platform. And these reports are fully customizable. Xero also lets you apply formulas to perform various calculations and share these reports with the people concerned.
Be it physical or digital products; you can keep track of your stock easily with Xero. Its inventory management software tracks everything in the inventory and gives you a real-time overview of sold items. Adding new products to the inventory or exporting product data is also easy.
Sending invoices is now a lot easier with Xero Invoicing. You can choose from a wide array of invoice templates and customize them as per your needs. The tool allows you to customize invoices with your business logo and other details. Plus, you can send automatic reminders for outstanding invoices. This feature is also available on the mobile app.
Global business becomes hassle-free with multi-currency transactions on the platform. You can send and accept payments in more than 160 currencies. So, paying an overseas contractor or freelance worker is no big deal. You also get updates about exchange rates. Even reports can be viewed in multiple currencies.
Online Purchase Orders
When you order something from vendors, purchase orders can be created and sent on the platform. Multiple templates are available to generate purchase orders. And when the products are delivered, you can convert these into bills. And Xero keeps track of every purchase order.
Create and Send Quotes
Before starting a project, you can create quotes and send them online for approval. Xero has multiple templates to create quotations. But we think the template collection is not too comprehensive. Whatever, these quotes can be converted into invoices when the project is done.
Sales Tax Management
Handling tax is one of the most challenging tasks for any business. When you have Xero at your disposal, the tool automatically tracks every taxable transaction and calculates the amount correctly. It can even create tax returns for hassle-free filing.
The best way to check how your business is doing is to go to the analytic dashboard. Xero presents all the critical information with graphics and charts to make the analytics more understandable. You can track various metrics on the dashboard to understand the financial health of your business.
From sales and expenses to bank transactions and taxes, Xero tracks everything to present a bird’s eye view of the business. The dashboard uses multiple formats to present information so that you can have a quick look at everything related to the business.
Fixed Asset Management
All your fixed assets can be listed on the platform to track and manage your finances. Importing or exporting this information is also easy. And you can manage bulk assets with Xero. Depreciation and other factors are automatically calculated to show the value of fixed assets.
Pros and Cons of Xero
Like most other invoicing platforms, Xero has its upsides and downsides. Let’s take a quick look at its pros and cons.
- Extremely user-friendly interface
- Payment and expense tracking in real-time
- Easy to accept payments online
- Bank reconciliation for easier bookkeeping
- Payroll management with automatic calculations
- Multiple integrations to increase functionality
- Upload or scan receipts and store them on the cloud
- Real-time reporting with advanced analytics
- Enhance safety measures to secure financial data
- The search feature should be improved
- Cloud storage limit should be increased
- Invoice template collection could be bigger
Xero Plans & Pricing
Xero has three pricing plans that offer different levels of benefits. Check these plans to determine which plan you want to go for.
- Early – starting at $13/mo
- Send quotes and 20 invoices
- Enter 5 bills
- Capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc
- Short-term cash flow and business snapshot
- Growing – starting at $37/mo
- Send invoices and quotes
- Capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc
- Bulk reconcile transactions
- Short-term cash flow and business snapshot
- Established – starting at $70/mo
- Use multiple currencies
- Track projects
- Claim expenses
- View in-depth analytics
Our Take on Xero
Xero Invoicing is an effective invoicing and accounting platform where you can keep track of all your expenses and income. The platform can be connected to your bank accounts so that the transactions are reconciled automatically. You can upload bills and receipts to the platform to keep track of everything. Sending purchase orders to vendors or invoices to customers is also easy. And Xero lets you collect payments online through multiple payment gateways and in multiple currencies. Managing contacts and viewing every action of a specific contact on the platform is effortless. The tool provides advanced analytics, and you can generate easily understandable and sharable reports. But getting all the features in low-tier plans isn’t possible. Though the interface is simple, you might face a hard time if your financial complexities are high. Xero pricing starts from $13 per month, but the features are very limited for this tier. You might want to switch to higher plans if you have a lot of transactions to track.