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Xero - Does anyone have any experience using this? Good or Bad?

Hi,

I have a client who is currently using Sage (YUK - his words, not mine) and is considering moving to another platform. One he is looking at is Xero. I have looked at their web site (which does not look to professional tbh) but was wondering if anyone has actually used it? If so, any feedback? Good or bad.

Thanks

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28th Jan 2012 21:44

use search

have you tried using the search box for Any answers?

You will see it is quite popular .... in my opinion its great - far better than sage

 

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Excellant

I have several clients using it and they all love it. As do I!

 

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28th Jan 2012 22:10

Me too

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar wrote:

I have several clients using it and they all love it. As do I!

 

 

My position exactly!

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By Locutus
28th Jan 2012 23:32

Really like ...
The ability to import bank data feeds direct into the system.

Also think it is quite user friendly for non-accountants, so it helps more of my clients do their own bookkeeping.

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30th Jan 2012 12:58

Bank feeds

0103953 wrote:
The ability to import bank data feeds direct into the system.

 

The import is fantastic when it works. Unfortunately I have a client with Lloyds all set up correctly and neither the Accountant or I can get the auto-import to work so I'm reduced to modifying and importing csv files which defeats the object of using Xero.

It's particularly good if there are lots of debit/credit card transactions. 

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30th Jan 2012 13:49

Why not QIF?

jjswjjsw wrote:

0103953 wrote:
The ability to import bank data feeds direct into the system.

 

The import is fantastic when it works. Unfortunately I have a client with Lloyds all set up correctly and neither the Accountant or I can get the auto-import to work so I'm reduced to modifying and importing csv files which defeats the object of using Xero.

It's particularly good if there are lots of debit/credit card transactions. 

 

Why are you using csv files?  Lloyds exports qif files which don't require adjustments and import smoothly into Xero.

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29th Jan 2012 06:56

All positive
Clients love it. Very intuitive.

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By Old Greying Accountant
29th Jan 2012 09:46

Have a look at FreeAgent

Also very good package, and very easy and intuitive to use (and can import movements directly from the bank too)

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29th Jan 2012 19:12

Xero is brilliant, absolutely brilliant - would never use anything else now... as for Sage, wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

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Leaves me moderately lukewarm ....

but the few clients who use it seem to get on much better than they have with previous products. To my eye it looks slightly amateur but as long as I can get out what I want at year end I don;t really care what they use.

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Depends

What do they want from an accounts package?

If your client is a small business who will benefit from having readily available information, that you as their accountant can access remotely, then great go for it - its very user friendly has great functionality and can interface with loads of other packages - payroll, stock control, time billing, CRM.

It also provides a very basic type of cost coding through the use of its tracking categories.

Support is excellent, there are loads of on-line tutorials and the product is being constantly developed.

So yes, another recommendation here - if your client is a small business with straight forward requirements.

As for the comment about it not looking professional, what were you comparing it to - not a crusty old garden herb that's been around so long it thinks it owns the place?

 

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Just my opinion!

To my eye it looks like one of those bank give away products that did the rounds a few years ago with gimicky (but ultimately meaningless) flash reports plastered all over the place. But as I said .. my view is unimportant as I don't have to look at it very often. If it is intuitive to the non-accountant then that is what is more important.

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30th Jan 2012 11:00

Highly recommend it

All my clients have now switched from SAGE to Xero.

MAke my life as an accountant much much easier. Honestly makes SAGE look like a joke (for small businesses that is).

SAGE is desk top bound so in order to check anything I have to go to the client or the client has to email printouts and copy invoices etc etc.

XERO is online so I can log on and check anything almost immediately. 

It also produces very user friendly reports that helps clients understand whats going on in their businesses.

There are no long term commitments either so if they dont like it all they need to do is cancel their subscription.

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30th Jan 2012 14:15

On-Line Accounting

If you want a really professional on-line accounting package, have a look at Twinfield. www.twinfield.com

 

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Xero + Job management

Apologies to the op for jumping in with my own question but does anyone have experience of Xero plus one of its partner's job management add-ons?

I have several clients on FreeAgent (as OGA says an excellent facility) where job accounting & time recording come as standard within the service however I may have a couple who need more sophisticated reporting and would be inclined to use Xero as I've yet to see a bad report about them.   So I'm interested to know whether anyone has seen one of the add-ons in operation eg Workflow max & Streamtime?

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By tuibiz
02nd Feb 2012 10:24

Workflow max and xero
Hi
We have loads of experience of using workflowmax and xero here in NZ and it works a treat. Oour chartered accountanting practice provides accounting, tax and business advisory services and the backbone of the business are these products. Leads are generated in WFM and we quote from that, turn approved quotes into jobs, execute and record time against jobs, invoice, submit Gst and tax returns to IRD and receive statementts back etc. Sales and financial analytics based on xero data are provided by other online products that help us focus our efforts in the most profitable areas. We should talk on skype as we believe there is a very bright future for these products in the UK and accountants that use them
Cheers
David Barton BMS, PMP, CA, CPP

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02nd Feb 2012 10:59

From New Zealand....poor for VAT

It's probably OK if you have clients who know what they are doing, but very inflexible for small clients.  It doesn't handle flat rate VAT and you can't do online filing for VAT.  Support seems to be based in New Zealand and unless you are lucky with timing it takes a day to get a reply.  If there are any errors it is very difficult and time consuming for us accountants to correct them - it would have been quicker for us to input everything from scratch on QuickBooks, or even on Xero!

Basically, not much better than Sage in my view.  The only plus point is bank downloading as far as I can see.

For small clients I prefer Kashflow - more user friendly for the client, good response times from support, not too bad at handling/filing VAT and most importantly a bit easier for us as accountants to sort out if anything goes wrong!  Has limited bank downloading I believe (I've never used it though) and can import from Paypal (now a free module I think).

For a desktop system we prefer QuickBooks for clients who are reasonable at bookkeeping, especially with the much improved VAT handling which helps minimise the risk of clients going back into past quarters and making changes that can affect past VAT returns. 

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02nd Feb 2012 11:15

Correction

I might take some issue with the 'poor for VAT' comment - while the ability to file VAT returns online is coming, Xero's UK product was the first online accounting product to pass the ICAEW's stringent certification in 2008, it does handle Flat Rate VAT and also has safeguards to ensure VAT returns are accurate even if users subsequently make adjustments to prior VAT quarters.

We also have a UK based support team and generally receive excellent feedback about our response times from our thousands of happy UK customers.

Happy to get feedback on where we need to improve.

Gary Turner
Managing Director, Xero
@garyturner

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By chatman
05th Jan 2013 11:34

Xero and Online VAT Filing

garyturner wrote:
the ability to file VAT returns online is coming

Gary Turner
Managing Director, Xero
@garyturner

I am sure it will happen one day, as will everything, but is there any indication of when? That post was nearly a year ago. I think it is a bit disingenuous to say it is coming when there is no idea of when it is actually expected.

I think it would be fair to say it is coming if, for example, it were near the testing stage, but if Xero merely have the intention to introduce it one of these days, I don't think think they should imply that they are.

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By MrHopko
02nd Feb 2012 11:07

My Xero experience

We have been using Xero as a practice for about 6 months now and I have had good and bad experiences with Xero.

The good is its ease of use, it's intuitive approach to accounting and the excellent bank feeds and reconciliation facility. It is easy to navigate and enables you to drill through from online report to transaction. The practice management side is easy to use. You can add companys, clients and staff very simply.

The ability for you to log on to the client's data is the same with any online package and is very useful. Every accountancy practice needs to get their head around this idea fast as it is such a huge step forward in how accountants can support their clients with no added cost.

The bad is the lack of report writing, the limited functionality of the existing reports and report packs. The reports that are in Xero look good and the export to excel functionality is fine. There are some simple reports that are missing however from an accountants perspective that make it frustrating - Day books for example and the equivalent of a nominal activity (the existing transaction reports exclude too much detail). Despite that, I would recommend Xero over Sage to any small client who does not need a SOP/POP or any sophisticated reporting analysis. Infact I would recommend a slap in the face over Sage but that's because I'm bitter.

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02nd Feb 2012 12:05

Small business user

Great experience with Xero over last 2.5 years. Our traditional Sage-based accountant was invited to view  our Xero account (no charge) and was happy to produce our accounts from there.

However, I'd recommend a small business to look for a "Xero accountant" who can get a bit more involved.

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02nd Feb 2012 12:15

Online VAT is coming

I don't use Xero regularly because I'm not very keen on it, in my opinion there are better products both online and desktop.  But as far as I recall Xero doesn't actually automatically calculate the Flat Rate VAT, it is some sort of manual adjustment.  Kashflow does it automatically.  As with most software Kashflow isn't perfect, but it is easy to use and more flexible than Xero.

The ICAEW's certificate isn't that meaningful - as with most things ICAEW.  I prefer to go by my own experiences and in my experience Kashflow has the edge by some margin over Xero.

I expect a lot of business users can wait 24 hours for a reply, but as an accountant I need faster response and Kashflow support often comes back within an hour or so.

I'm not bashing Xero, I expect a lot of users will find the bank feed useful and from the comments above there are happy users, but as an accountant working with it and trying to sort out client errors it is a pain to work with.  We spent hours adjusting errors and it would have been quicker to input from scratch if we'd known how difficult it was to make changes.  Nor am I particularly supporting Kashflow, it  isn't perfect and there are probably other programs which are equally good or better, I'm just using it as an example.

I agree with the comments re poor reporting, the same applies to Kashflow to some extent, QuickBooks has the best reporting (but desktop based).

As for online VAT filing being in the pipeline, that's quite poor really, given that online VAT filing has been around for some time and most packages already have it. 

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02nd Feb 2012 12:38

Flat rate VAT

Xero does flat rate VAT!

The only problem arises if you want to change from flat rate to standard VAT (or vice versa). In that circumstance, you have to manually change all your expense accounts from VAT-inclusive to VAT-exclusive - which is a pain.

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