Xero - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

David Chang
Reviewed by David Chang
Last updated May 18, 2018

As exciting as it can be to run your own business, managing the cash flow and balancing the books are often painful. Accounting is a complicated, tedious task, filled with all sorts of unfamiliar terms. You want to find accounting software that makes the task simpler, so that you have more time to focus on your business. Xero is one such option.

Xero is a cloud-based accounting system designed for small and growing businesses. With plans from $20/month and an interface similar to other web apps you likely already use, it's easy to pick up Xero without breaking your startup's budget or sinking too much time into bookkeeping.

Xero's well designed dashboard presents a clear overview of your financial status. It shows cash flow, listing incoming funds and outgoing expenses in charts. Bank balances, outstanding invoices, upcoming bills, expenses, and other financial information appear here as well. The dashboard strikes a balance between showing you the info you need and not overwhelming you with too much. When you're not at your desk, Xero's mobile apps let you keep an eye on your business's finances by showing similar data summaries.

Manually entering transactions is one of the most time consuming parts of accounting, so Xero simplifies it. You can automatically import bank and credit card transactions into Xero's database by connecting the app to your financial accounts. Once loaded, Xero matches them to their corresponding accounting transactions. You can also import statements manually from other accounts by uploading supported files (such as CSV, OFX, QBO, QFX, QIF) to your Xero account. When it can't figure out how to reconcile something on its own, Xero makes it easy for you to review and confirm the correct details. You can also create custom rules to reconcile more complex transactions, such as partial invoice payments. A fast cash coding feature lets you import and automatically classify and reconcile transactions in bulk from other systems.

If you need to send out invoices, you can pick one of Xero's templates and customize it by uploading your logo, changing the typefaces, and adding titles, tax, currency conversion, and so forth. Your invoices can include a direct payment option via credit card or PayPal so that customers can send you funds immediately upon receipt of their invoices with just a few clicks. Xero lets you customize and save as many invoice templates as you need for different customers.

Xero also has automatic payment reminders and invoicing notifications to keep you and your customers aware of every outstanding payment. If your customers are based in other countries with different currencies, Xero will automatically convert the invoice amount to your default currency, with rates updated hourly.

Xero also offers payroll features, including options for managing tax deductions in 36 U.S. states.

Your business is likely already using other tools to organize contacts, manage inventory, track time, and more. Xero gives you the ability to integrate with many other popular business apps.

Dozens of options exist among accounting software solutions. Xero is different because it combine pleasing aesthetics, ease of use, and great functionality. It can automatically manage your business's books, by paying employees, sending out invoices, and tracking your expenses and revenue, letting you focus on running the other aspects of your business.

Have any feedback on this overview, or something we should change? Let us know!

Xero Features

  • Manage invoices, expenses, payroll, bills and other bookkeeping matters
  • See an overview of your business's finance picture via Xero's dashboard
  • Import bank statements or manually enter expenses and manage inventory
  • Handle multiple tax rates and currencies with exchange rates that update automatically
  • iOS and Android apps available

Xero Pricing

  • $9/month for Starter plan that includes five invoices, five quotes, ability to enter five bills, and reconciliation for up to 20 bank transactions
  • $30/month for Standard with everything in Starter plus unlimited invoices, quotes, and bills, and payroll support for up to five people
  • $70/month for Premium 10 plan with everything in Standard plus payroll for up to 10 people and multi-currency support

Added Payroll support available for Premium plans: 20 people for $90/month or 100 people for $180/month

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Xero is an accounting app that lets you track businesses expenses and accounting with intuitive mobile apps and web interfaces for point-of-sale, ecommerce, time-tracking, and more.