Small Biz Breakdown: Is Xero Right for Your Small Business?

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Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions about money from my newsletter subscribers so I’m beginning a series of posts about specific apps and programs that can help your small business grow. Ready? Let’s get started!

In my mind there are four major bookkeeping programs for small businesses: Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Outright/GoDaddy Bookkeeping, and Xero. Of course you can do it old-school style and just use a spreadsheet, but as your business grows you’re going to realize that you’ve dug yourself into an accounting hole that’s going to be a PITA to get out of come tax time (and yes, speaking from experience).

For me personally, I’ve found Quickbooks to be too daunting for small business owners to manage without an accountant. I’ve used GoDaddy’s bookkeeping software, and it was alright. But my two favorites thus far have been Freshbooks and Xero. Why? Well, let’s break Xero down and talk about why I like it and if it’s right for your small business.

My friend Callie Sitek got me into Xero earlier this year. She’s a bookkeeping guru and usually ends up moving her clients over to Xero from other platforms. When I asked her why she loved it so much more than Freshbooks, here’s what she had to say:

I recommend Xero for literally every small business that comes to me. It is much more versatile than a program like Freshbooks and more straight-forward than a program like Quickbooks Online. Hands down it’s the fastest system. I can get done in 30 minutes what would take me an hour in Quickbooks Online or Wave. All around, it’s simply the best accounting software on the market right now.

Straight out of a money makers mouth! Now I’m not a math person, so I can’t say what’s best in terms of numbers and things when it comes to businesses, but let’s break down the pros and cons of Xero so that you can decide whether or not it’s up your alley:

Pros of Xero:

Free trial (booya)

You can give them a shot by using my affiliate link and try Xero for free.

They really seem to care about small business owners

Xero offers small business resources and seems to really focus on helping entrepreneurs grow where other companies seem to think of us as an afterthought and really target bigger companies. Xero seems to understand how important it is to get started on the right foot, so they really cater to small and growing bizzes.

Their pricing is totally reasonable

Want to just get started and see how this cockamamie idea of yours will work in the marketplace? No worries, get the cheapest plan for $6.30 a month. WHOA, you got a big mag feature and now need more tools and abilities? Boom, welcome to the upgraded plan of $21 a month. If you’re a ginormous company with more than 5 employees, they gotchu too at $49 a month. Compared to what you’ll pay Quickbooks…I mean, it’s a no brainer.

It really is pretty software

You don’t think you’ll care about aesthetics until you see their interface. Then you’ll wonder why you’ve been wasting your time looking at ugly spreadsheets all day. Check it:

Xero example

You can have your accountant use it…without you

One big upset to GoDaddy’s Bookkeeping software is the inability to add users and pull data. Since we’re all about automate, eliminate, and delegate you know how important it is to make sure your team has the tools they need to succeed so having accounting software like Xero allows you to take yourself out of the picture and let the pros do what they gotta do.

Okay, Megan, enough with the sales pitch. What sucks about them? 
Read on, kimosabes. The secret word is “grow”

Cons of Xero

You’re going to need to grow up first

Xero isn’t the best for businesses that are brand new and may feel overwhelming if you don’t have an accountant or bookkeeping background. It’s going to feel a little cumbersome getting things set up on your own, especially if you’re not into this kinda stuff in the first place so make sure you’ve got the help you need beforehand.

Won’t grow with you

Let’s be real here, if you’re planning on having your very own empire, Xero will only be a stepping stone and won’t be with you forever as they’re really geared towards small business owners. Based on their premium plans, they seem to have taken notice of this and are working on growing their potential, but your accountant might want you to break out later down the road.

Your stuff is in the Cloud

It’s up to you whether you feel this is a con (I am pro-Cloud myself) but your data is not stored in anything that would be described as “locally.” Xero is cloud-based accounting software, so if you have any qualms about that, Xero probably won’t be for you (though you’re going to have a tough time down the road, as many programs and apps are moving towards total Cloud-based storage)

Overall verdict: It sure is pretty, gets the job done, and best of all…your accountant will be happy. Give them a shot and get the first 30 days on me.
Want me to break down an app or program you’ve been checking out? Tweet me at @meganpluscoffee and give me a heads up about it!

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