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Accounting for Small Businesses

Published 06/05/2012 and rated Ratingstars5 5 out of 5 stars
by Mike Foster
What can you use the app for?

Xero is an online accounting system for small businesses. Based on Saas or software as a service concept, the application is targeted at those enterprises or businesses who want a robust yet simple accounting system. Xero (funny name to be sure) provides a dashboard where one can view all company transactions at a glance. The application also provides for a direct feed from Banks, giving instantaneous reconciliation of accounts. It also has an invoicing module for billing clients and organizations. As with any other web based application, Xero can be used anywhere with internet access.

When compared with other similar online suites, Xero has the ability to process online bank feeds which means almost real time information on the accounts. With online transactions and payments becoming popular, one can dispense with paper checks altogether. Cash payments and receipts can be managed online making such transactions easier. The expense account can also be managed from a single interface rather than using a separate application for this purpose. It also prides Google maps and Skype integration which can be useful for some users. Contact management tool can be used enterprise wise saving time and effort.

Overall, Xero is an online application which combines many applications and presents it in one single bundle. It has accounting, contact management, expenses, payments and related modules which can be accessed through a single interface.

Xero screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Xero is the brainchild of Rod Drury, a self styled technology guru and entrepreneur and Hamish Edwards, an accountant by profession and specializing in small businesses. Xero is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. According to their website Xero has offices in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and London. The present usage and client details are not available.

What are the differences to other apps?

Xero is an online application which bundles many different modules into one package. It has accounting, expenses, receivables, payments and contact management tools which can be integrated to provide a unified view.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

The look and feel of Xero is contemporary. The colors are muted and pleasant without jarring the senses. The user interface has large identifiable buttons for easy navigation. It has a well documented help tool which covers all the features of the application. Navigation between pages is smooth and the entire site has a unified look. Overall the frontend has been designed well and is ergonomic.

How does the registration process work?

The registration process is simple. The designers of this application have given a distinctive twist to the registration process by including a game for verifying the authenticity of users. After winning the no brainer, one is directed to the email address for authenticating the account. There is no need for providing credit card information while in the thirty day trial zone.

What does it cost to use the application?

There are several membership options at Xero. Freelancers and other small entities would be best served by the $19 per month membership, while medium or large businesses may make more use of the $29 or $39 per month memberships, respectively. Each rising tier supports more invoices and more business functions.

Who would you recommend the application to?

One should sample the application and make use of the thirty day free trial offer. Though the price seems to be on the higher side, one never knows if it might suit certain kind of businesses.

  • A single window to view the entire accounts. The dashboard view provides bank information, payments, receivables etc. on a single web page providing a quick assessment of the accounts.
  • A personalized invoice module to mange clients. The application provides for accepting payments through PayPal. Invoices can be sent as attachments through email.
  • The application has a expense module to monitor, accept and manage expenses. Expenses claims status can be viewed and adjustments made.
  • A contact module is provided to add, delete or edit contacts. Contact groups can be formed to provide a unified view to the group members.
  • Google maps and Skype integration is possible.
  • The reporting module can be used to generate and view reports. The reports can be exported to Excel with cell formatting and formulas. Comprehensive management reports can be generated with Xero.

Xero video

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Xero contact details

Telephone: +64 4 819 4850
Postal address:
185 Clara Street
Suite 100
San Francisco CA 94107
United States

Xero pricing

FREE - Permanently free version
Cheapest plan (per month) : $19.00
Most expensive plan (per month) : $39.00

Mobile versions

Iphone app

Iphone app




Xero on Twitter

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Link to app information

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