John Trial

Xero Accountancy
Single Product Review

Everything you need to know about Xero and whether it’s the best accountancy software for your company. 


Developers often refer to Xero as the ‘beautiful accounting software’ and rightly so as it is one of the market’s preferred collaboration apps and is listed high up on the list of leads within the accountancy groupings.

Xero was designed for the needs and requirements of small businesses – whatever their industry and has often been quoted by accountants as being the ‘handiest asset for managing financial activities.’

Many interesting comments have been made about the value that Xero can bring to a business. From sole proprietors to companies, all have stated how they like the way that Xero provides all the functions that they need all with user experience at the forefront.
Xero transforms some of the most complex and standardized financial concepts into a pleasant journey, and even those with little or no accounting knowledge can utilize it.
The question is though, is Xero really as usable and friendly as it claims to be and more importantly is it suited to you and YOUR business?

Well, to help you make up your mind, I have reviewed what exactly Xero has to offer and have also included who it is suited to. So, if you’re ready, get comfortable, grab a cuppa and let’s get on with it!! 

We’ll put Xero through our rigorous testing and will look at the following aspects. 
Performance: How does Xero perform and what features do they offer to help create the perfect accounting solution? 
Usability: Does Xero offer everything necessary that users expect from an accountancy solution?   
Support:  Does Xero offer quick customer support solutions and help, and can users count on them when it matters most?   
Support:  Does Xero offer quick customer support solutions and help, and can users count on them when it matters most?   
Cost:  Does Xero offer the best pricing in the marketplace? And more importantly, what deals are available that can help users save money?

Performance   4/5  

Xero is packed full of time-saving features by way of automating processes. In addition to its standard accounting capabilities, it also offers invoicing, bank reconciliations, purchase orders, inventory, and mobile access and is great for Mac users.

Usability   4/5

Xero is incredibly easy to use, even those with no accounting knowledge will find it easy to manage, and it transforms some of the most complex and standardized financial concepts into a pleasant journey.

Support   4/5  

Xero’s customer service is available 24/7 but doesn’t offer telephone support. It does operate primarily on email support and response times are usually quick and under an hour. It also offers additional resources including live chat, in-software help button, community forum, help center, guides, Xero TV, podcasts, blogs, and social media.

Cost   4/5

Xero offers five scalable pricing plans together with a free 30-day trial.




Xero was established in 2006 and is a web-based accounting system designed for both small and growing businesses. What Xero does, is connects small businesses with their trusted advisors as well as provide business owners with an immediate overview of their financial position.
Xero is a web-based solution and is easily accessible via any devices that have an internet connection. Xero has robust accounting features which mean that small businesses can view their transactions, cash flows and account details from any location, quickly and easily. Click to Tweet.
Bank transactions are automatically coded and imported, and with their online bill pay feature, businesses can keep on top of spending and up to date with any bills that are due
Personal expenses can also be managed with Xero using mobile review and approval of each receipt. The software also offers unlimited user support together with integration amongst several systems including, Vend, and ADP.

Xero comes with a 30-day free trial so that users can test the product and feature evaluation.

#1 Accounting Features

The great thing about Xero is that because it is a web-based solution it can be accessed from any device that has an active internet connection. Because of its robust accounting features, Xero allows small businesses to view their account details and transactions as well as their cash flows, whenever and wherever they may be.
All bank transactions are coded and imported automatically, and by using online bill tracking, users can keep on top of their spending as well as any bills that are due.
Xero also offers integrations with a variety of systems which include, Vend, and ADP as well as unlimited user support.
But, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Let’s have a look in detail at what features make this accountancy software stand out from the rest. Are you ready? Good, then let’s begin….
Xero does include a rather robust selection of features – for which it is often praised. So, for the purpose of this review and to make things easier, I have listed the features together with a brief description, to help you make up your mind.

The Dashboard

The dashboard is fully customizable and includes a user interface which is aesthetically pleasing along with graphs that display any invoices owing, the user’s bank accounts, expense claims, bills that need to be paid along with other graphs regarding the businesses performance.


Xero includes several necessities which are real time savers, including automatic invoice reminders, recurring and bulk invoices, default payment settings as well as previous invoice replication. Now, I must admit that when I first read about this option, I was rather excited – until I saw it. The problem was that Xero only has one single invoice template. There is the option for users to design and upload their own templates, but in all honesty, I was expecting more.
Don’t get me wrong, the feature does the job, but it would be nice to see Xero improve and increase their template design.
Payment gateways are available for invoices and customers can receive invoices and estimates via pdf attachments.


Xero’s estimates feature does get the job done, but it is basic and only provides one estimate template. Default terms and conditions can easily be programmed in, and estimates are quickly converted into invoices.

Contact Management

Now, this is where Xero shines. It includes some of THE best contact management features that I have seen. Naturally, users can add the standard basic contact information which includes sales tax and a default discount for customers.

Now here’s the kicker…

Xero takes things one step further via smart lists and contact groups!! What smart lists do is act in the same way as marketing tools and allow the user to target a specific group of contacts. These could include creating a loyal customer list or listing customers in a particular order to offer promotional deals. These lists can also be used to invoice entire groups at the same time. How neat is that, eh?

Accounts Payable

The creation of invoices is very similar to adding bills. Purchase orders and recurring bills can easily be created as can batch payments.

Bank Reconciliation

Now, this is where Xero is really cool. Its smart categorization remembers any past transaction categories that have been used, then categorizes new transactions automatically. The strong bank rules feature means that it is a breeze to split transactions and payments when necessary. There is a minor downside which is that to approve any transaction, it must be individually clicked on. Bank statements can either be manually imported (remember to connect to the bank account first), and live bank feeds created.

Chart of Accounts

Xero creates a default chart of accounts automatically for its users which are based on the industry type and organization. The default accounts are fully customizable, or users have the option of importing their own account charts. Users are also able to run depreciation or create fixed asset accounts.


The following information can be stored with items, including price, item code, tax rate, account, and image. There is an option to ‘track inventory’ which records average purchase costs, stock levels as well as the number of items that have been committed to quotes. Xero doesn’t allow tracked items to go negative and there aren’t any email reminders to alert to low stock

Payroll (Standard & Premium Only)

Xero payroll is only available in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia as well as 37 YS states (keep in mind though, that only seven of the states have electronic tax payment and filing options). Customers love the payroll feature as it is extensive but easy to use. Pay schedules can be customized, and users are able to keep track of deductions, benefits, bonuses, sick days, overtime, employee earnings, time-off requests and paid holidays – all from one place.


Xero offers its users 65 reports (with 20 being specific to payroll). Everything is included from detailed budgets, depreciation schedules, aged payables, and basic balance sheets. Click to Tweet. Those who are looking for a statement for profits and losses – stop looking now, as you won’t find one, what you will find is an income statement report which displays similar information. Again, all reports are fully customizable and are able to run across various time periods. Favorite reports can be ‘starred’ for quick access, and journal entries can also be included

Default Emails

These are everywhere and can be set for just about anything – I found this to be a huge time saver.


With Xero, users can set up two tracking categories with each category housing 100 options. What these categories are is basically a way of organizing the information.

Expense Claims

Xero enables users and their employees to file expense claims and admin has the capability to approve and view all the claims which are more advanced than some of its competitors which normally only allow the deduction of mileage.
Still not sure, got a question, I’ll be personally replying to comments and questions that come in.

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