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Xero reliability

How much do you trust the software?

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I've been using Xero for many years, and found it reliable. However in the last 6 months we've had a whole day locked out of it and yesterday I spent over an hour cancelling duplicate bank items from a client's account that appeared from nowhere. Xero tell me they're working on this problem. I therefore assume it will come back at some stage until they've fixed it. Naturally I only found out about it when the client queried it with me.
I am not amused, and find it difficult to understand how they didn't have a foolproof way of stopping the bank error happening at least.

What are your thoughts on Xero?

Replies (18)

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By tracyannw
02nd Dec 2021 17:34

HATE IT! I only have once client live on Xero as I feel its the poorest offering of all the software out there.

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By tltodman
02nd Dec 2021 18:11

You're lucky it's the first time you've encountered duplicate transactions. I've had that multiple times - plus completely missing transactions. And don't get me started on how xero can import bank transactions dated at the weekend when the bank statement dates them on the Monday, constantly messing up weekly reconciliations.

Don't have too many clients using it (thank goodness as I find it deficient in several ways). And what happens to a client's accounting records if they ever want to leave and change software? How on earth does a client get copies of 6 years worth of sales and purchase invoices, not to mention anything else you've attached to transactions, when you stop paying for the service?

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Replying to tltodman:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
03rd Dec 2021 13:47

I second everything you say, esp the duplicate / missing bank transactions plus the weekend timing of the bank reconciliations.

Just recently setting up the extra security level took me forever. I certainly wasn't having the "app" on my phone as a quick google on the matter informed me of the tracking / monitoring capabilities of Xero's security app. Setting it up on a desktop computer instead requires all the application and perseverance of Itsy Bitsy Spider during monsoon season.

And another thing... you cannot get a simple transactional trial balance report for a period between two given dates.

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By Paul Crowley
02nd Dec 2021 18:32

Had a client with it for a year
They then went back to Sage
Have a client now with it, Hospitality all carp'd up and filing VAT late
Neither client chose to share their decision making with me before they did it, but then I am just the accountant, nobody important.

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By Ranse
02nd Dec 2021 20:51

over hyped software and charging a lots

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By Leywood
03rd Dec 2021 07:21

Wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.

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By creamdelacream
03rd Dec 2021 08:28

The only things Xero are good at is raising money and convincing people their product is good.

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By johnt27
03rd Dec 2021 09:19

My trust in Xero and other SAAS products is based on my assessment of risk, their longevity, hosting provider and numerous other factors.

The recent outtages Xero have experienced aren't exclusive to them - Microsoft, Facebook, Google and others have suffered similar. It's one of the perils of using cloud software but how many times have you suffered problems with data corruption or similar of Sage 50 back in the day? I'm not making excuses for them as it's incredibly frustrating - the first time might be forgivable but anything after that is down to poor implementation of updates.

As for issues with bank feeds, now that openbanking is in play, many of these issues start with the banks. Natwest/RBS feeds have been particularly bad of late but Xero do normally email if they detect problems, albeit if you're bookkeeping daily you'll probably see the issue before they do. Are other providers better - I don't think so as I'll experienced similar issues with QBO and SBCA.

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Replying to johnt27:
By Moonbeam
03rd Dec 2021 10:06

I agree with most of what you say. It was a Natwest feed that caused me problems the other day.
Sage50 problems took up a lot of my time several years ago, what with a client's book-keeper on the verge of walking out because of them.
And I find QBO's software quite unstable a lot of the time.
All that said, I will be watching for the next Xero problem with a jaundiced eye.

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By bernard michael
03rd Dec 2021 09:24

I can't believe that Sage would get a competitor in the downwards race but.................................!!

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By rmillaree
03rd Dec 2021 10:49

Could be worse sage does similar - also with sage the bank rec feature isnt as good as xero's (IMHO) - and sage has a habbit of mising the important details like who is being paid or the hmrc reference due to the fcat the pull through info is limited to x many characters.

Best easy way to find duplicated transactions (presuming the xero specific report to flag them fails) is export bank statement to excel from xero and select conditional format - highlight cell rules - duplicated values. Duplicates will stick out like a sore thumb unless you have many transactions for same value on the same day.

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By JD
03rd Dec 2021 11:12

For what it is worth QBO has an old school bank reconciliation process, so you are able to spot the duplicated transactions or mis posting of cash expenses and the like to the bank by the client fairly easily.

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By Catherine Newman
03rd Dec 2021 20:01

I and a client are looking into missing transactions in the excel download of bank transactions in Quickbooks online. I have asked him not to bother with online feed. There aren't many transactions and I would rather put them in myself but then I am old school. This all goes to show that digital isn't best.

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By Duggimon
09th Dec 2021 10:27

I've never seen a bank feed that was 100% accurate with no duplicates or erroneous transactions or wayward dates, regardless of which software you use.

If you use a bank feed for long enough, you will get errors, the real test of the software is first how easy it is to find them and second how easy it is to fix them.

Presumably things will carry on improving as the technology gets refined, just don't ever rely 100% on the newest bits of anything, check everything always.

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By Rgab1947
09th Dec 2021 11:58

QuickBooks same issues.

Mine managed to put credit card payments to sales receipts with the bankfeed and unreconcile a savings account by more than 10% of the full amount with very limited movement in the account.

AI is not what it's cracked up to be.

Interestingly Free agent works well (up to now).

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By TASG
09th Dec 2021 12:23

To be fair, back in the day when I used to use Sage, corrupted .001 files which had to be sent over to Sage for rectification were not uncommon. Nothing is perfect, and Xero is roughly as perfect as my internet based email, bank, and various other internet based services.

The bank feed duplication issue is something which may or may not be Xero's fault (or that of the bank). It has happened to me and was indeed irritating and time consuming.

Xero is expensive - too expensive for what it is.

Xero support is appallingly awful given what we pay for it.

The real beauty of the cloud is a seamless multi user environment working of one canonical database from anywhere in the world.

The search, find and recode, and import features are also attractive, as are the more useful integrations.

Finally, if you ask someone who runs their own business and has no accountancy training whether they find the idioms and layout of Sage or Xero easier to follow, I think most will find Xero more intuitive. Sage is wedded by its large existing user base to a UX dating from the 80s.

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Replying to TASG:
By Moonbeam
09th Dec 2021 13:36

@TASG I agree with most of what you've said. I think Xero support is better than Sage support used to be. Although you can wait 24 hours for it, their answers usually sort the problem.
In the last days I was using Sage (about 5 years ago) it was a good hour to get hold of support, when you'd often get a trainee who knew nothing. And often the reason I was calling was because of a bug in the software.
As you say, Xero is so much easier for non accountants to understand. I don't think Xero are charging too much.

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By adam.arca
09th Dec 2021 13:01

I passionately dislike Xero. For me, it's become the new Sage.

That said (and ignoring the recent outages which, frankly, should be unacceptable), I can't say I've ever experienced any reliability issues when I've reluctantly forced myself to use it.

And TASG is of course right. For whatever reason which I really can't get my head around, lay users seem to find Xero's look'n'feel much easier to use than say Sage. Perhaps Xero should consider two views: the current dumbed-down one for the man in the street and also an accountant's view offering all those features we can't do without (like audit trails).

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