There are some good vibes going around about Xero and it’s easy to see why. As an accounting package it’s very comprehensive but simple to use with a lot of the hard work usually associated with bookkeeping done automatically.
The invoicing function lets you create your own templates or use one of the many pre-loaded ones. These can be emailed or printed as a PDF. Multi-language and multi-currency can be handled with ease with the world’s exchange rates updated on the hour.
Getting paid is made easier with several options available to customers including credit card and PayPal. Customer statements can be generated and from the dashboard it’s easy to see who owes you money. I particularly like the receivables overview feature where due debts are shown on a graph. The name, amount and telephone number of the guilty parties can be revealed by simply hovering the cursor over the bar on the graph.
Expense handling is easy too with bank account and credit card data effortlessly imported. Automatic categorisation of items is done where possible and where manual creation of a category is required the system will learn and react for future entries. The flexibility of this function is good and should greatly speed up the previously time consuming issue of bank reconciliations.
The dashboard is at the heart of xero.com and from here you can see overviews of all relevant data and also drill down for the specific detail of any aspect. The clarity of the graphs and charts also let you see at a glance where the business is and where any attention should be concentrated.
A mobile version is available letting you keep up to date on the go. For iPhone and Android users you can also take a photograph of a receipt and send it up the line where it will be automatically added to expenses. For those of you who like a balanced approach you can use it to create and send an invoice too.
This is a very versatile accounting app with great looking features and a good level of automation. Anybody looking for more functionality such as CRM or inventory management can be quickly satisfied with a comprehensive list of add-ons available.