Before I first used Xero, I was wary of all the hype.
It’s got a bit of a cult following in the accountancy world, and it’s all too easy to get swept along with the enthusiasm when everyone’s singing the software’s praises, tweeting about Xerocon, and wearing the branded T-shirt.
It’s just accounting software, after all. How life-changing can it really be?
Then, when I tried it out, I realised I’d been missing a trick. It’s so easy to use, jargon-free and, I honestly believe, is making the difference between success and failure in many small businesses.
The beauty of simplicity
‘Beautiful business’ is Xero’s tagline, and one of their most distinctive features is the look of the software – it’s clean, minimal, and easy to use.
This isn’t just a superficial preference. When your software is appealing and enjoyable to use, you’re naturally going to want to use it more.
Even the most practical, feature-rich software will end up ignored and forgotten if it’s clunky or confusing to use, but with Xero, you’ll find yourself checking in on your finances or completing bank reconciliations like it’s second nature.
Instead of overwhelming you with technical jargon, it gives you the information you actually need as a small business owner to get your accounts done and manage your finances.
And the more often small businesses use their accounting software, the better their results are likely to be. By having an eye on your cashflow at any given point in time, and consistently creating reports to analyse your financial position, you’ll be in a better position to reach your business goals.
When you’re just starting up, you don’t need all the features a large, established business needs.
The great thing I’ve found about Xero is you don’t have to pay for those things at the start – its three-tier pricing system and flexible range of added features gives you the freedom to pick and choose.
And whichever plan you’re on, there are no limits to the number of users you can add to your account. That’s something my clients are often relieved to hear, as they can grow their business and add new members of staff without worrying about hitting a limit and suddenly facing higher fees.
An app for everything
Another area where Xero really stands out against the competition is its huge variety of add-on apps.
Xero’s App Marketplace gives you the choice of more than 1,000 third-party apps that connect to the software, allowing you to carry out just about any business task and seamlessly link it to your accounts.
That might include expense management tools, which allow you to capture and store your receipts and invoices as you receive them, or tools to keep track of your inventory, important documents, and customer details.
If you run a retail business, you can connect your point-of-sale software with Xero – or if you’re in construction, you can use industry-specific tools to deal with subcontractors and the construction industry scheme.
In other words, the wide choice of integrations means you’re not just getting the basic features built into the software. You’re getting the tools to build a modern and connected business, to increase efficiency and boost your profitability in turn.
To find out how Xero could help your business, get in touch.