Xero Review

Xero Review: In-Depth Analysis and Pricing

by ComparisonX Editorial Feb 03, 2019

Xero is one of the most popular accountancy programs in the market today.  The system has won a wide following from small business owners and accountants for its easy to use features and accessible pricing.  In this article we provide a comprehensive review of Xero.  We detail the solutions main features and benefits.  We also provide information on Xeros pricing and summarize alternatives to Xero.

Read our in-depth guide to accountancy software

Xero Review

Xero is an accounting software system that is designed to handle the financial needs of small businesses, regardless of the industry in which they operate. The solution is particularly attractive to bookkeepers, accountants, and business owners due to its ease of use. It is often ranked as the easiest to use accounting program on the market today.

This simplicity does not mean that Xero missing important tools and features. Xero is a well-developed accounting program that offers just about any feature that a user might need in order to manage and maintain a company’s finances.

Key Features of Xero

Xero provides its users with many of key features, such as:

Automatic Bank Connections

Xero allows is users to connect their bank account to their accounting system. This means that when transactions occur in your bank account, it will be reflected in your accounting system. This feature makes bank reconciliations a breeze. It ensures that you will not need to spend several hours each month entering bank transactions.

Business Dashboard

When you are trying to get an overview of how your business is doing, it is a huge help to have all the information you need in one place. Xero provides you with exactly that. Its dashboard feature allows you to monitor your bank balance, cash flow, invoices, bills, and other key financial data with ease. No need to pull dozens of reports.

Easy Quotes

Before you do business with a new client, you may need to send them a quote. Xero makes this process easy. The system allows you to create customized quotes, track whether they have been viewed, and check if you need to follow up on the quote. If the customer is happy with the quote the Xero system will even allow you to transform that quote into an invoice with the touch of a button.

Multiple Currency Options

If your company does business in multiple countries, you may need to accept payment or pay bills in another currency. Luckily, Xero makes it easy to handle currency conversions and multi-currency accounting. Its system allows you to do business in over 160 different global currencies including USD, MXN, JPY, EUR, and CAD.

Easy Sales Tax Tools

If your business must charge sales tax on the goods or services that it sells, Xero offers an easy solution. Its software allows you to customize tax rates, record sales tax on your invoices and pull sales tax reports. When it comes time to settle your tax obligations at the end of the year, these tools become invaluable.

Intelligent Invoicing

Xero makes invoicing as simple and efficient as possible. When designing your invoices you can make use of Xero’s customizable templates. If your client hasn’t yet settled their bill you can prompt them to do so using Xero’s automatic reminder functionality. You don’t even need to wait for customers to mail you a check. Customers can pay their invoices immediately using one of Xero’s many online payment options.

Simple Expense Management

When running a business, it can be tricky to keep track of every dollar that you spend. Xero offers many handy tools to make it as easy as possible. The system allows you to snap a picture of any receipts you receive and categorize them later. You can also track and manage the expenses of everyone on your team and ensure that spending never gets out of hand.

Mobile Usability

Xero offers a mobile app that allows you to keep track of your companies finances while you are on the go. You can send invoices, approve expenses, and complete reconciliations without needing to turn on your computer.

Inventory Management

Without the proper systems in place, it can be difficult to stay on top of your company’s inventory levels. Before long you may find yourself overstocked on some items and understocked on others. Xero offers smart inventory management tools that allow you to better control your company’s stock. You can keep tabs on the quantity levels of specific items, pull detailed inventory reports and calculate the value of the inventory that you have on hand.

Pros Of The Xero Accounting System

As a business owner, there are a lot of benefits to using the Xero accounting system, such as:

Easy To Use

Xero’s simplicity is one of its biggest selling points. Even if you are new to the world of accounting or financial management, you are likely to find Xero very easy to use. You could also opt to have another member of your team handle the company’s accounting duties. They will likely be able to handle the role with a minimal amount of training due to the simplicity of Xero’s system. This could free you up to handle other aspects of your business such as sales or marketing.

Quicker Payments

When you manage your company’s finances on the Xero system, you can ensure that you get paid for your work on time. Xero’s intelligent invoicing system allows you to bill your clients and follow up if they haven’t paid. Xero also allows the client to pay their bill immediately by using the online payment system. With Xero, you won’t need to wait weeks for your customers to pay their invoices.

Improved Security

Your company’s financial data is sensitive. You should always take the necessary precautions to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. When you use Xero you can be confident that your accounting software provider makes security a priority. Xero’s security and encryption systems ensure that only authorized personnel will be able to access your company’s financial data.

The Ability To Work Remotely

The Xero mobile app offers you the freedom to manage your company’s finances from anywhere you can get an internet connection. You can send invoices, approve expenses, and complete reconciliations on your phone or tablet.

Increased Efficiency

With some accounting systems, you will need to enter every transaction that your company makes each month. Xero syncs with your bank account and creates each entry for you. All you need to do is categorize them. This automated process makes the entire bookkeeping and accounting process much more efficient.

The Ability To Do Business Abroad

With the advent of the internet, it has never been easier to meet and do business with people in other countries. Many accounting systems still do not offer users the ability to work in multiple currencies. This makes it it difficult to arrange international payments. Xeros multi-currency functionality makes it possible for you to do business in more than 160 currencies.

Easy Communication With Your Accountant

Xero allows you to grant different levels of access to different users. Your accountant can have the ability to view your data in real-time through a cloud connection. This makes it much easier and quicker to seek advice and make business decisions.

Cons Of The Xero Accounting System

As impressive as the Xero accounting program is, there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before making any commitments.

Not Suitable For All Large Companies

Xero is designed with small and medium businesses in mind. The Xero system is not always suitable for larger companies. If a large business was to try using Xero, they may find that it is missing features that are important to them. Enterprise level companies may find more success by opting for a more complex ERP (enterprise resource planning) accounting system instead.

Limited Customization

Xero is designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible. As a result of this desire for simplicity, the system’s customization options are limited. For the vast majority of users, this won’t be an issue. In fact, you may not even notice. If your company has unique needs that need heavy customization, you may find that Xero doesn’t offer the solution for you.

Not All Banks Are Supported For Syncing

Xero’s automatic bank syncing technology can make life much easier when trying to stay on top of your bookkeeping duties. But, before you commit to Xero you should make sure that your bank can sync with the system. If you bank with a large financial institution such as Wells Fargo or Chase, you should be fine. If you bank with a smaller institution or even a local credit union you may not be able to directly sync your account.

Xero Training

Xero offers a host of courses, guides, webinars, and events that you are bound to find useful. These resources cover everything from getting started with the software to advanced use.

If you put the time into using the resources Xero provides you should be able to use the system efficiently.


Of course, no matter how many training classes you take you may run into a problem that you don’t know how to solve on your own. When this occurs, your first instinct will be to get in touch with customer support. Xero has a top-notch customer support team that has the knowledge and experience to help you. You can get in touch with their team via Xero Central. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ease of Use

When searching for an accounting program to manage your company’s finances, ease of use should be one of the main criteria. Many accountants are still using legacy systems that need extensive training and have limited support. This is an area where Xero excels. It offers an intuitive and modern User Interface (UI) that allows you to access all the features you might need.

The system is very simple and well-organized, so you are unlikely to run into too many issues with it – even as a new user. In the event that you do have any difficulties, Xero offers a vast array of support and training options to get you moving again.

Xero Pricing

Xero is available in three main pricing plans:

  • Early ($9.00 per month)
  • Growing ($30.00 per month)
  • Established ($60.00 per month)

Each of these plans includes the following basic features as standard:

  • Financial Performance Reports
  • Mobile Applications
  • Financial Snapshots
  • Bank Account Synchronization
  • Third Party App Integration
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Secure SSL Encryption
  • Regular Updates

If needed, users can also opt to add Gusto full-service payroll to their plan for $39.00 per month + $6.00 per month per person.

Now that you have learned a little bit more about what Xero’s pricing plans have in common, let’s take a quick look at the differences between each individual option:

Early – $9.00 per month

The Early plan is designed for small businesses with basic finance needs. In addition to the standard features mentioned above, this plan also allows:

  • Users to send 5 invoices and quotes
  • Enter 5 bills
  • Reconcile up to 20 bank transactions

Growing – $30.00 per month

When your company begins to move beyond its early stages, you may choose to upgrade to the Growing plan. With this plan, users are able to:

  • Send unlimited invoices and quotes
  • Enter as many bills as they need
  • Reconcile any number of bank transactions

Established – $60.00 per month

The Established plan is the biggest and most feature-laden plan available from Xero.

The Established plan offers all the features found in the Growing plan, plus:

  • Multi-currency functionality
  • The ability to capture and manage expense claims
  • The ability to track project time and costs

Alternatives To Xero

Xero is by no means, the only accounting program on the market today. These are the other solutions ranked highly by ComparisonX:

Zoho Books

Zoho LogoMuch like Xero, Zoho Books is an accounting system that is designed with the needs of small businesses in mind.

Zoho allows business owners to handle the most important aspects of finance:

  • Creating and sending invoices
  • Manage cash flow
  • Receive payments
  • Run detailed reports

Pricing for Zoho Books begins at $9.00 per month.

Zoho Books prides itself on being easy to use. When you begin using the system, the first thing you will notice is how well-designed and thoughtfully laid out all the various tools and functions are. For people who are new to the world of accounting Zoho Books is an excellent option.

One drawback that Zoho Books has is its lack of integration with third-party systems. While Xero can integrate with a vast array of external applications, Zoho Books is a little bit more limited. This is because the system was largely designed to connect with other Zoho-made products rather than work with external software.

Highlights of Zoho Books

Some of the main features that users like about the Zoho Books system include:

  • Automated Bank Feeds: Zoho Books can sync with a bank account to record any business transactions. This can make your life much easier throughout the year and during tax season
  • Automated Payment Reminders: Zoho Books has the ability to send personalized and customized payment reminders to customers. You won’t need to give them a call to follow up
  • Invoice Tracking: With Zoho Books, you can track every invoice that you send to your customers. This allows you to know if they have opened it or if it is still sitting in their inbox
  • Project Management: When your company is managing a project, Zoho Books will allow you to track the time that you are spending on it and record any expenses that are associated with it. This ensures that you can tell how successful the project was
  • Mobile Usability: You can use Zoho Books on your traditional desktop computer or through its mobile app
  • Multiple Languages: Zoho Books is available in a wide range of different languages. Aside from English, you can also use the system in German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Brazilian, and Swedish


Quickbooks_logoIntuit QuickBooks is the most widely used accounting system among the world’s small and medium businesses. Every day, the platform is used by huge numbers of bookkeepers, accountants, and business owners across the globe. Its popularity is largely due to its vast array of tools and features that make managing a company’s finances a breeze.

QuickBooks has the power to help you manage just about every financial aspect of your business. Whether you want to process payroll, manage your inventory, or run detailed expense reports – QuickBooks has got your back.

All these tools are available starting at $10.00 per month.

It is worth mentioning that QuickBooks’s greatest strength may also be its greatest weakness. Its huge selection of tools and features mean that is can have a relatively steep learning curve for new users – when compared with more straightforward systems such as Xero.

Highlights of QuickBooks

Let’s take a brief look at some of the features and tools that are popular with QuickBooks users:

  • High-End Security: QuickBooks offers users a number of intuitive and intelligent security options to keep their company’s financial data safe
  • Real-Time Reports: When you use the QuickBooks system, your accountant will be able to pull and review reports in real-time. This means that as soon as you enter a new sale or expense on your end, it will be reflected on your accountant’s end. This tool is helpful when dealing with last-minute changes at tax time
  • Mobile Usability: Much like Xero and Zoho Books, QuickBooks offers users the ability to use its system from just about any mobile device. No need to open up your computer
  • Detailed Reporting: QuickBooks places great emphasis on ensuring that users can pull in-depth reports on almost anything they might need to see. Reports can even be customized and saved if necessary
  • Instant Payments: When you send an invoice with QuickBooks, it is possible to include a button which will allow your clients to pay their bill instantly online. No more waiting for the check to arrive in the mail
  • Ability To Grow: One of the best things about QuickBooks is its ability to grow with your company. As your company expands, it is easy to upgrade to a new plan that includes features that will help to ensure your company’s continued financial success

Oracle NetSuite

Netsuite LogoSystems such as Xero, QuickBooks, and Zoho Books were primarily developed for use by small and medium businesses.  Oracle NetSuite was specifically built for larger enterprises. It is designed to handle large company accounting including multi-national and multi-subsidiary operations. This allows companies who do business under multiple brands and locations to consolidate their financial management into one central location.

However, as you might expect from software that is as detailed and complex as Oracle NetSuite, it is not at all unusual for new users to struggle with the system at first. With so many tools, options, and features to choose from, it can take a while to figure out where everything is and what each button does. Of course, once you do get the hang of the NetSuite program, you will see that it is about as well-designed as any other system on the market.

Highlights of Oracle NetSuite

Is Oracle NetSuite the best accounting system for your company? Let’s take a look at its highlights to help you make your decision:

  • Built-In Dashboard: Oracle NetSuite features a built-in business dashboard that allows you to track your company’s real-time metrics and data.
  • Easy Auditing: Whenever an edit, deletion, or addition is made to Oracle NetSuite, the system keeps a detailed log of the event. This ensures that if mistakes or mismanagement occur, it is very easy to find the issue and resolve it
  • Automated Billing: Billing your customers is easy with Oracle NetSuite’s automated billing tool. Simply tell the system when to bill your clients and it will take care of the rest
  • Multi-Subsidiary Management: Less powerful systems might require you to run multiple parallel accounts to manage your subsidiary accounting Oracle NetSuite allows you to manage everything under one roof. This makes things a lot easier and quicker during tax season
  • Multi-Country Accounting: Trying to manage a company’s accounts in multiple countries could be a nightmare without the right tools. Luckily, Oracle NetSuite provides you with the features you need to stay compliant and up-to-date in multiple countries and currencies
  • Detailed Reporting: When it comes time to drill into your company’s numbers, Oracle NetSuite has got you covered. Its system is capable of pulling up just about any piece of information you might need
  • Quote-Based Pricing: Unlike many of the other players in the accounting software space, Oracle NetSuite doesn’t operate on a package-based pricing system. Instead, Oracle will provide you with a quote for exactly the services that you need. This ensures that you won’t have to pay for tools and features that your company doesn’t use


FreshbooksDesigned especially for self-employed and small businesses, FreshBooks offers just about everything a small company will need. The system offers invoicing, quoting, expense tracking, and project management capabilities – to name just a few. FreshBooks is available for just $15.00 per month.

One of FreshBooks’s main selling points is its ease of use. Its straightforward and intuitive design ensures that even relative newbies to the accounting world will have no trouble managing their finances . Of course, if you do happen to get stuck, the well-trained FreshBooks customer support team is just a quick phone call away.

Highlights of FreshBooks

There are a lot of reasons why FreshBooks is so popular among the small business community, such as:

  • Mobile Usability: With FreshBooks, you can manage your company finances from just about anywhere. The dedicated mobile app means that you can send invoices and track expenses from your tablet or smartphone
  • Easy Time Tracking: If your company bills your clients on an hourly basis, you will be pleased to note that FreshBooks has a built-in and easy-to-use time tracking tool. This ensures that your billing is always accurate
  • Easy To Use: Freshbooks simple design is perfect for new users
  • Optimized Expense Tracking: As a small business owner, it is vital that you keep a close eye on your expenses. FreshBooks tools and features make this as easy as possible
  • Regular Updates: FreshBooks regularly provides its users with updates to its system. These updates come in the form of better security, small bug patches, and sometimes even completely new features
  • Automatic Billing: To save you some time each month, FreshBooks includes a handy automatic billing feature. This ensures that your clients get billed on time every time
  • Easy Reporting: When you want to take a look at how your company is doing, FreshBooks makes it easy. With just the push of a button, you can view your balance sheet, profit and loss statements, or just about any other data that you might need

In Conclusion

Choosing the right accounting software for your business is an important decision. It is a good idea to carefully consider the options that are available to you. In the case of Xero, you can expect to receive an easy-to-use and intuitive system that features just about all of the tools that you might need to manage your company’s finances.

In order to make your decision a little easier, Xero offers a 30-day free trial period of their product. During this month, you can analyze the system and its options to decide if it is the right option for you. If it is, you will then be able to sign up for a full Xero plan for just $9.00 per month. That’s a lot of technology for such a low price.

Of course, the primary goal of any accounting software should be to make your life easier. Hopefully, this review, coupled with the 30-day free trial, will have helped you decide if Xero can accomplish this task for you. Happy accounting.

ComparisonX Editorial

ComparisonX articles are written by a panel of independent experts. If you would like to join an expert panel or submit an article for consideration, drop us a line at hello@comparisonx.com. We welcome users with a range of experience. Key for our readers is having people who actually use the products we are reviewing on a daily basis.

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