We are asked “why we chose Xero for our customers’ outsourced accounting and bookkeeping” almost daily. In fact, we made a decision when we founded Basis 365 back in 2012 to utilize Xero as the core accounting platform for all of our customers.
Our decision surprised and confounded our accounting peers. They’d never heard of Xero and wondered why we didn’t just use the accounting application everyone else uses … Quickbooks. I must admit, we were a little hesitant in our decision. Could Xero handle full accrual accounting for multi-million dollar businesses? The answer, of course, is an absolute yes! We’re a 100% Xero shop and have never looked back.
We thought it would be useful to business owners for us to document some of our favorite features and benefits of Xero. We’ve polled our accounting team, who live in Xero every day, and our implementation specialist, who helps establish accounting workflows which often times requires integration between multiple online applications (e.g. Bill.com, Gusto, WorkflowMax, Harvest, FUTRLI, Spotlight Reporting and Dear Inventory). We hope this will help others feel comfortable in selecting Xero as their accounting software application.
Here’s a list of many of the features or benefits our team has found with Xero:
- Ease of Use – The UI is pleasing to look at and easy to figure out. For non-accountants, that’s key. Do you want to have to figure out how to use a complicated accounting application or intuitively jump in and start processing your transactions. For our team of accountants, getting up to speed is super quick. Most have never used Xero but have experience with SAP, Oracle or Quickbooks. Everyone comments immediately how easy and fast Xero is to use.
- Bank account and credit card feeds – Xero will automatically feed in account activity directly into the accounting system so you don’t have to manually create transactions for all your income and expenses. That’s huge! Only online applications tend to have this feature.
- Auto-populating and rules – Not only will the activity feed in, Xero will remember how you coded transactions in the past and auto-populate the fields to save you time. Getting even more advanced, you can setup simple and complex rules to code transactions based on conditions. Amazing!
- Support – Although Xero has a simple interface, something will come up where you need help. Xero has a responsive email support team which is critical for any SaaS company. Their help database is also quite extensive and, more importantly, useful. Most SaaS companies help systems rarely ever have what I need. Xero’s help system answers most of our questions before having to even reach out to their support team.
- Integrations and Add-Ons - The Xero Marketplace has a massive amount of software applications that integrate with Xero. This is one of the primary reasons we choose Xero as our core accounting platform. No matter what a customer throws at us for their business needs, we can find an application that gets us most, if not all, of the way there to an automated solution. This speeds up our reporting capabilities and reduces the chance of error from our accounting team
- Find & Recode – One of the most amazing features is the one you hope you don’t need to use. This tool allows you to mass edit transactions and keeps a history of what you changed, allowing you to undo it. Well thought out by the development team.
- Save Receipts – Xero files allows you to attach receipts to transactions so you can refer back to the detail when you need to. Paperless is the way to go!
- Xero is Mobile – mobile apps for on-the-go accounting allows you to keep things organized no matter where you are.
- Lots of Reports – Data isn’t of much use to your business if you can’t slice and dice it as needed. Xero has a ton of reports which you can customize and export to Excel, Google Sheets or PDF. Income by Contact or Expense by Contact are some of the unsung heroes in the reports section. The Cash Summary is another great one. Be sure to dig around to find what works best for you.
We created a high-level page about our Xero experience. We’ve spent a lot of time with the Xero team over these years to provide feedback and find out what’s coming next. They’re at the forefront of machine learning and AI research to automate even more for their customers. We look forward to what’s to come.