Now we love Xero. A bit strong maybe, but we decided some time ago that we were going to be a 100% Xero practice. Mainly due to the fact that we wanted to be really, really good at using just one accounting package which we could heartily recommend to our clients.

This has several benefits.

 

  • Our clients know that we’re experts at using it and getting the most out of it.
  • Our team doesn’t have to use different accounting software which helps them to build on their knowledge and better serve clients.
  • It also keeps our team happier, as using more than one accounting package was one of their grumbles before we focused on just one.

So why Xero? Well, there are several reasons and here are the key ones:

  • We think it’s the most user friendly software on the market.
  • It’s an open package, which means third party software providers can develop apps to plug into Xero. The third party market is growing all the time and is one of the most exciting parts of the accountancy profession. This means small companies are increasingly getting access to high powered apps to help them scale. These were previously the preserve of large companies with big IT budgets.
  • Similarly, because of the open nature of the software, the most innovative apps focus on how to dovetail with Xero first (shout-out to our friends at Clarity-HQ, a great platform to bring the raw data in Xero to life)

So to be clear, we think that it’s a) very, very good and b) the best on the market.

But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Through our extensive use of the software, there are some areas we’d like to see developed:

  • You can’t bulk delete purchase invoices. This is painful if you’ve accidentally imported a high number. Although they do go into draft first, before you confirm you want to import them, so Xero does give you opportunities to check the data. That doesn’t prevent those occasions when you have multiple invoices needing deleting. Oh, and doing them one by one is painful! However there is a Chrome extension which will bulk delete purchase invoices – currently £79. It does seem like an omission on Xero’s part at the moment though.
  • If you download an accounts payable report into Excel, the report doesn’t give you a total. You have to manually add this in.
  • The standard P&L report has the most recent month on the left hand side. We prefer the months to run in reverse order, with the latest on the right-hand side. (You can change this by creating your own bespoke report, but we think it would be sensible for the default report to be right-to-left, not left-to-right.)
  • Sometimes the menu bar disappears. It’s not a browser issue, it’s a software issue.
  • Occasionally, their technical support could be more helpful. More often than not, they’re great, but sometimes their responses are a little threadbare.
  • They could do with providing more technical support capacity at peak times, such as month end payroll for example.

So there it is, a warts and all appraisal of the heart of our ‘App-Stack’.