There are a LOT of accounting packages out there for a small and growing business to consider. While researching accounting platforms, it’s likely one or more of these questions have crossed your mind at one point or another:
“Do I use QuickBooks? Seems like most people are?”
“Do I use Wave? It’s free…”
“Do I use NetSuite? I hear about it all the time on the radio.”
“What about Freshbooks, Sage, Zoho, or any of the other newbies to the scene?”
For over 15 years now, we’ve watched the fintech and accounting app space grow and shift. We’ve seen them all, we’ve tried them all. (It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… 😆). At the end of the day, Xero has consistently been the top choice for an SMB accounting platform out there for our clients.
So what does Xero bring to the table that the other folks don’t? Here’s how Xero excels vs the competition:
Our clients love that Xero feels thoughtfully designed. The layout is far more minimalistic and less busy. If accounting and reports full of numbers already create a little stress or anxiety for you, why use an accounting system that adds to that stress with a busy and crowded interface? You’ll appreciate how intuitive things are and there’s a general “calm” clients have described using Xero that just doesn’t exist with most competitors. But that’s not all, we’re just getting started!
Early on in their company story, Xero made a really conscious choice that they weren’t going to try to be everything to everybody. (We’ve seen this strategy with some of the competitors on this list, and it generally leads to being mediocre at everything.) Xero aims to create an elegant and human-centered accounting experience, and they’ve opened their system up to integrate and work very closely with a broad ecosystem of partner apps and add-ons.
Whatever the specific solution is you need, from payroll and time-tracking to inventory management or project billing… there’s a tool for that in the Xero App Marketplace and it will work seamlessly with Xero to create the customized solution you need. We love this “partnership” model because it’s exactly how we feel about our clients and our vendors–we want relationships where we all work together to help each other grow.
Beyond tightly integrating with other specialty apps, Xero has created a truly collaborative experience in several key ways. First, they’ve gotten rid of “additional user fees” or “per person per month” billing, which often has the impact of trying to be strategic with your limited licenses (as you would in QBO for example). Instead, Xero invites you to grant access to anyone in your organization that needs it and customizes the level of access to suit their needs and your security.
You’ll also have the option of connecting your file with a Xero Certified Advisor (like Revel 😇) and that gives the Advisor the ability to jump in and see your data in real-time, make suggestions, or help you troubleshoot issues. You’ll even be able to add comments on a transaction using the “Discuss” tab, letting your team or Advisor weigh in on how something should be categorized.
Most non-accountants might not care about this as much, but years back when Xero came on the scene they literally rewrote the script on how bookkeeping works in accounting apps. Single, cloud-hosted ledger accessible by everyone. Trading in the two-monitor bank statement vs reconciliation screen and ticking items one at a time for bank-feed-driven reconciliation and smart logic “bank rules.”
Has the competition copied these advances in their own systems now? Sure. But do you want to use the system that’s slow to change and lacking innovation or the folks who pioneered new approaches and continue to lead in tech advances?
Whether you need to access Xero on your computer, or phone, or tablet… you’re covered. Xero has mobile apps covering everything from their core financial product to time tracking and project cost management. You’re always seeing the same data, updated live from wherever you are. And wherever your team is too for that matter. Our clients often tend to be geographically distributed teams, or even just on the road a lot, and having access to their financials no matter which side of the globe they’re on makes a big difference.
What’s the bottom line?
When you compare Xero vs QuickBooks Online — or really any of the other platforms out there — Xero presents such a great value at its price point that it’s our go-to recommendation for all the clients we serve month in and month out. And when you factor in that we have access to free migration services that bring all your old QBO data into Xero for you for free, the decision is really an easy one.
Are you curious about making the switch? Reach out and let us know! We’ll be happy to talk you through the decision.