The Xero accounting software is marketed as the ultimate alternative to QuickBooks. It's a tool that gives you a real-time view of your cashflow, along with various other modules and tools for you to keep your finances in check. It's possible you're utilizing either Xero or QuickBoooks already, but we wanted to take a further look in this Xero review to see just how well it works for ecommerce stores.
For example, I know that QuickBooks can integrate directly into some ecommerce platforms, so does Xero have the same functionality?
We're going to be asking questions like this, because you're bound to have to find an accounting software at some point. Expanding with an ecommerce site is enough work, so logging your reports in an Excel sheet or however you do it right now, is not going to fly.
Therefore, keep reading to learn more about the Xero accounting system, and use this to see if your online store could use the tools.
Xero Review: Features
The Cash Flow Interface
It doesn't really matter what type of business you run, because the cash flow module is by far the most useful and impressive area of the Xero system. The online accounting dashboard comes in handy at all times, and you can create budgets for estimating future income. My favorite part for online stores is the inventory management, where it lets you track sales and purchases for quick invoicing.
Invoicing Like a Boss
This mainly applies to companies that provide services or B2B offerings, but some online stores are going to utilize invoicing quite a bit. Therefore, it's nice to know that you can give quotes to customers, while also setting up recurring invoices for certain clients.
The invoice reminders are pretty nice as well, so that you never get a client who forgets about paying you.
Collecting and Managing Payments
The expenses section is one of the standout features for ecommerce businesses, since it lets you batch pay suppliers and manufacturers. Feel free to create and email custom purchase orders whenever you want, and utilize the copy to bill feature for payments.
Paying Your Employees
Do your employees like getting paid? If so, Xero has built-in time sheets that don't cost you any extra money. The combined payroll and accounting software has a sleek interface, and all of the calculations are done for you.
When tax season rolls around it's nice to have a tool that adds everything up for you. Xero allows you to export to tax software if needed, and you can prepare W2s and 1099s. Sales tax rates are automatically generated, while you can quickly file sales tax returns to make sure you're following the law.
Converting Data from QuickBooks
Since Xero is a direct competitor of QuickBooks, it makes sense that some customers are going to make the switch. Therefore, you don't have to worry about making the transfer, because all of your current QuickBooks data is moved over without much of a hassle.
Here's the primary section I wanted to look at for Xero. It's clear that the accounting software is solid, but how does Xero integrate with your online store? Well, the company offers an online marketplace with extensions, so if you'd like to combine with payment processors like Square, Stripe or PayPal, that's a possibility.
In additional, various ecommerce extensions are given to you as well. For example, you can choose from options like Shopify, Squarespace, Bigcommerce and more. Therefore, you won't have to go out and get a third-party integration tool or punch in all the data yourself.
Xero does offer a 30 day free trial, which is exceptional considering you don't have to put down a credit card, and you can play around with the interface to see if it fits in for your company. Xero also has a special six-month introductory period, but we're not a fan of that (way too similar to how cable companies screw people over,) so we're going to only focus on what your company will be paying after the first six months.
- Starter – For $9 per month you can create and send five invoices, enter five bills, reconcile 20 bank transactions, give access to unlimited users and get every feature in the software except for payroll, customizable purchase orders, federal and state e?file and e?pay, payroll direct deposits and checks, and multiple currencies.
- Standard – For $30 per month you can create and send unlimited invoices, enter and pay unlimited bills, reconcile unlimited bank transactions and you receive all the features from the previous plan. However, with this one you also gain access to payroll for five employees, and you can customize purchase orders, federal and state e?file and e?pay, payroll direct deposits and checks.
- Premium – For $70 per month you get everything from the previous plan, but the payroll is bumped to ten employees and you can also deal with multiple currencies.
Overall, the pricing with Xero is fairly simple. Although the promotional period is nice for saving money right off the bat, it's really just a promotional tool to get you to pay more in the long run.
Xero Review: Customer Service
Video guides and training events are commonplace at Xero. You can listen to some of the podcasts they recommend and create. They also have a solid blog for getting updates on the system and tips for how to use it best.
As for direct support, all Xero customers have access to the business help center, which lets you punch in a keyword or anything else you might be searching for. The community section is like a forum where you speak with other users and discuss your questions or difficulties.
Xero also has a presence on social media, but the true support comes through with the 24/7 email support line. What's strange is that I couldn't find a phone number on the website, so as of right now I have no idea if you can even call Xero to speak with someone.
Is Xero Right for Ecommerce Businesses?
Yes, Xero is absolutely a great choice for online businesses. I like the app integrations and the cash flow statements. Not to mention you can handle payroll and expenses.
Xero Coupons and Promotional Codes
- US: Special introductory offer – 30% off the first 6 months with code: XERO30.
- UK: Save 25% for 3 months when you buy now. Get started on Xero from just £7.50 a month with code NOVEMBER. Offer ends 30 November 2016.
- South Africa: Buy now & save 50% for 3 months. Get started on Xero from just $10 a month with code WEBOFFER. Offer ends 30 November 2016.
- Singapore: 50% off Xero for 4 months. Get started for only $10/month with code ACTIVATEONLINEH11. Offer ends 31 March 2017.