Xero September inceses & alternatives

Xero's newest increases are rapidly approaching unaffordable. Alternatives?

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Xero has yet again signalled another price increase. They have also omitted any detail relating to their partner plans which is another cause for concern. 

Has anyone found any alternatives that they find sufficent quality matches to Xero? Preferably not SAGE or Quickbooks that are up & coming? 

Is the answer just to push the costs onto new clients on sign up? It seems that this isn't providing particarily good advice. I have heard good things about freeagent, but I am not sure if it includes the same bank feeds intergrations & the like. 

Replies (20)

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By rmillaree
04th Jun 2024 09:44

i wander why accountants are so anti certain companies - for some of my clients sage cloud is perfect choice - some quickbooks does fine - for some xero can bring alot to the table.

So for example if we have one man band it contractor or small builder - why are you ruling out sage as a solution? - if they will be much more ameneable on pricing.

We have plenty of clients happily using sage cloud - it does have its issues but its not as if its not an imporving service.

In some respects for old school accountants brought up on sage 50 - sage cloud now is what i would have dreamed of having 10 years ago - bank feeds - auto scanning of supplier invoices - bank rules - auto matching of invoices to payments.

i actually quite like the simple layout of the trial balance and debtors/creditors aged debtors reports too.

in my experience sage are also better at providing reasonable deals than xero if you can evidence to them that you want to be serious with clients using their platform.

Note any mass entry system where you may need "find and recode" ref items or vat rates and xero is obviously more up to the task - sage is best when its "done right first time"

have you tried freeagent ?

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By Rjjmorg
05th Jun 2024 08:40

I'm usually anti-SAGE, because they have typically in prior years raked people the very same way Xero are doing now. However I appreciate your candor & will certainly look into this. Tell me, do you find the 10 pound or 25 pound option more usable for your smaller clients?

Our practice does have history with freeagent yes, it is perhaps one of the choices; it is just generally very annoying that we have now had to consider switching after so many years getting use to Xero.

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Rob Swan
By Rob Swan
04th Jun 2024 09:56

There are some good British optionis if it's cloud you're looking for - like QuickFile and My Tax Digital (was Portico). Have no direct experience of either other than I use My Tax Digital free bridging for VAT (very easy) and a supplier of mine uses QuickFile which, as a customer - electronic/email invoicing - is impressive and easy.
There may be others. I have no personal interest in promoting either.
May be worth a look.
Hope this helps :)

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Replying to Rob Swan:
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By carnmores
04th Jun 2024 14:51

God i hated quuckfile in the early days about 12 years ago. It didn't balance and reports were dodgy and was meant to be free. I am assured that it has improved all round

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Replying to Rob Swan:
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By Rjjmorg
06th Jun 2024 08:50

Hi,

I really appreciate you providing these choices. I am going to have a look at them in due course. Thank you!

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By Sandnickel
04th Jun 2024 15:02

I've seen loads of similar posts on LinkedIn. Coconut was one that came up fairly frequently, also Hibooks keeps cropping up, Nomi also is one that gets mentioned.

I've not looked at any of these but there do seem to be plenty out there to choose from.

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Replying to Sandnickel:
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By Rjjmorg
06th Jun 2024 08:51

Hi,

I really appreciate you taking the time to lay these choices out to me.

I will have a look in due course, thank you.

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By stewarthurd
04th Jun 2024 17:21

Happy to have one of the FreeAgent team answer any questions you have, I am confident our bank feed capability is one of the best in the UK marketplace for Accounting Software and we are working really hard on embedding ourself in the ecosystem better than ever before.

We have launched/updated 6 integrations so far this year and with a number more on the horizon we may already work with the other tools you have or be in discussions with them.

If you choose to speak to the team we can run through who we integrate with and who we are in discussions with and hopefully answer any other questions you have.

Thanks
Stewart

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Replying to stewarthurd:
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By Rjjmorg
10th Jun 2024 14:08

Hi Stewart,

Can you pm/dm me with the details of how we can link up on this?

Thanks in advance.

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Replying to stewarthurd:
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By Rjjmorg
10th Jun 2024 14:07

Hi Stewart,

Can you pm/dm me with the details of how we can link up on this?

Thanks in advance.

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By FrankTax
04th Jun 2024 23:35

In fairness Xero's proposed simple plan now named "Ignite" will allow entry of 10 bills per month rather than just 5 which may allow some of our small clients to drop down a level.

The change in payroll add on is annoying though.

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Replying to FrankTax:
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By Rjjmorg
11th Jun 2024 12:57

I think Xero is good, but the prices themselves are making me wince.

Thanks for your input!

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By Mr_awol
06th Jun 2024 17:05

So they are adding payroll to the bureau plans, but then again i doubt many accountants using bureau plans use Xero payroll so that's probably no benefit. They are, however, adding about 30% to the monthly subscription. And that's only for existing plans - all new ones will have to pay full price - so an increase of 370%?

And they do it just after accountex so they (or their staff) dont have to face the music. I suppose you could say that was a wise move as it wouldnt have been fair for the reps to cop all the stick.

I'm not being funny but the software isnt even that good. We really need to start voting with out feet.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By FactChecker
06th Jun 2024 17:56

What have you got against pedestrians?

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By Mr_awol
06th Jun 2024 18:20

They're almost as bad as cyclists.............

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Mr_awol
06th Jun 2024 18:26

Update to my post as a user has asked a question about Bureau pricing and may or may not want it out here, but it might add context to others (or help me work out if i have got the wrong end of the stick).

The email from Xero about the pricing plans says that in September sometime all our Bureau plans will go up a few quid a month. It'll be a bit toppy, but still at a bearable level that i wouldnt have cancelled over.

I can still buy Bureau plans up to and including the migration date, and they will get the 'cheap' price.

After the migration date, i read it that i wont be able to order any bureau or 'cheap grow' plans, and therefore assume I'll have to pay the full £33 per month for new licenses used for internal bookkeeping purposes. I suspect they will then try to close the gap each year by increasing the cheap plans by more than the full priced ones. Or they might just withdraw the cheap plan once there arent a significant number left.

All in all, it looks very much like Xero want us to pay £33 per month, per client, for licences used internally. That is completely [***] ridiculous.

I know we all have different pricing structures, depending on volume and partner status, so i havent shared my costs* - but ultimately i think the 'right' price for bureau is about a fiver, and the maximum price is a tenner.

* in fact im not sure why we dont all just post our Bureau prices - with or without indication of volume. It's a little bit odd that even now I'm going to respect their pricing confidentiality whilst they continue to milk us!

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By SouthCoastAcc
10th Jun 2024 09:24

Fellow accountants on LinkedIn have also spoken out about Xero quietly dropping the Bureau plan.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By SouthCoastAcc
10th Jun 2024 09:24

A year or two ago I was quoted £10.50 a month for each client but I had to buy at least 25 licences, which wasn't an option for me.

I can see at around £10 a month, plus £5 ish for Dext etc you don't really need to think about other options for all but the smallest client.

That now is going to change. Perhaps I'm an outlier but £33 for Xero and another £16.50 for Dext, £49.50 a month isn't insignificant and I don't view my clients' as cashcows to be milked.

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Replying to SouthCoastAcc:
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By Mr_awol
10th Jun 2024 10:30

I agree and have just made that exact point to the user who PM'd me.

We had Dext on unlimited basis - so treated it as something of an overhead and as long as we had x clients on it, were happy. Now, as you say, it is about £16.50 per licence.

Xero is currently less than £10 for a bureau licence for us. By winter it will be £33 (less our margin). Ultimately, however, like you say, it is nearly £50 per month for the software. £150 per quarter. If you have a fairly small client then you need to charge that to cover software outlay, then add something for your (or staff) time on top as the automated output will be raw/poor without oversight.

Now, this is automation. The future. Most of us, however, still have to pay our SAGE desktop subscription to be able to read incoming backups etc, and we might still use it for some clients (we certainly do, for clients where Xero etc just isnt up to the job). As such, since the SAGE sub is an overhead and wont go up with usage, how much is a junior(ish) member of staff going to cost, per hour, including holiday/NIC/etc costs to manually post stuff. How many hours of manual posting can you get for £150 per quarter? Is that more or less than the software.........?

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By PAMDILL
12th Jun 2024 11:15

We still have a lot of our clients on Sage 50, mainly ones who really don't want or need regular access to their data as we find it more cost effective than paying monthly fees per client for cloud software.
We also have Autoentry at a fixed monthly cost per client (much less than Dext's fixed fee), we find Autoentry is a lot more flxible than either Dext or Hubdoc.
Between Autoentry and the bank feeds in Sage 50 we don't find working with it any slower than any of the cloud software, in fact, in some cases where the client is set up with Hubdoc and Xero or Quickbooks the cloud processing is slower than on Sage 50.

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