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Xero Overview, Review & Alternatives 2014

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Xero, an accounting based software designed for small to medium sized organizations, has been under limelight in the financial market since a couple of years. It is majorly used for expense reporting, payroll management and other tasks pertaining to billing and invoicing. Xero is observed to be fully compatible with cloud and more than 180 applications related to business operation: CRM, POS and inventory management. It supports multiple currencies, and also makes your financial transactions automated, which can be customized by tweaking its rule sets, as per your business requirements.

Features of Xero

Dashboard: The dashboard lets you have a look on the complete financial condition of your organization. It also allows you to use its classification of supporting documents along with your organization’s bank balance, purchases, fixed assets, expense claims, sales reports and bills. The help section also helps you easily find the answer to any of your questions related to software usage. If you need to keep a track on the balance of your various accounts, you have an option to get them displayed on its dashboard through the “Account Watchlist” feature

Inventory Management: Its inventory management system brought a smile on our face because of its simplicity. But, it is suited to only those companies that have small or medium inventory database. The navigation for setting up purchase plan, supplier management, monitor inventory level and lead time is hassle free, which can certainly quicken up your work-flow. On the other hand, we found it to be a genuine double-entry system, as it was really working well with forms-based transaction entry as well as journal entries. Its integrated system of accounts receivable and payable lets you approve and disapprove financial transactions from the application itself.

Calculations: Xero is also coupled with a feature of cheque printing, which can be scheduled for your monthly/quarterly payments. It has tools for the compilation of financial reports, and also lets you export your financial data onto various tax applications. We also measured this software on the basis of sales tax and VAT calculations with the help of its Tax Rate settings features, and found it to be pretty good.

Mobility: The Xero mobile application – Xero Touch works brilliantly with iPhone, iPad and other Android based devices. The mobile application very easy and quick to use. Its account payable graph showed us pending bills along with their due dates, and we could also schedule our payments accordingly.


Xero comes with various versions including “Starter”, “Standard” and “Premium” that vary on the basis of file storage, bank transactions, multi-currency support, etc. The basic plan starts from $20, and can be used for unlimited users; but, it does not include multiple currency options.


Alternatives of Xero



In the first glance, the Freshbooks interface turns out to be clean and tidy. The user can easily navigate to various features through tabs. The new design of FreshBooks helps you quickly perform all of your accounting tasks, and also lets you switch to classic view, if required. This app is smart enough to save your client’s generic information such as currency, language preference, and quickly calculates taxes and discounts etc. FreshBooks app can be used by iOS as well as Android users.


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Quickbooks is an accounting software better suited for double entry and developed for small businesses as well as accountants to let them organize business finances with ease. Some of its newly added features facilitate the user to simplify their accounting related tasks such as sales receipts, inventory records and tax forms etc. QuickBooks is a fairly easy to use software and one can easily learn the features as well.
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Zoho Books

The name has been present in the market for more than 12 years. This cloud based software supports double entry book keeping, and lets the accountants add manual adjustments for depreciation and other expenses. Supported by a multiple currency option, this software is extremely helpful for time tracking of projects that involve multiple users. You can also make use of its role based access to define the roles of your employees, which keeps data integrity issues at bay.



Wave is compatible with cloud, and designed to bring the amalgamation of speed and accuracy in the accounting of small/medium businesses. It is compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux, and works well with various latest browsers including IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc. One of the reasons of its popularity, is its futuristic mobile application. It has an option to view simple cash flow analysis along with a notification center to keep the user updated with all the happenings in his/her business. The software has been used by more than 1.5 million users, and has won awards too.


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