If you own a business in the US, chances are you’re either currently using Quickbooks or you’ve used it once before. This go-to lower-end bookkeeping product from Intuit has effectively been the gold standard in the industry since it’s creation. Even today, Quickbooks owns the lion’s share of the market (90-95%) in this space.
We understand that. We know Quickbooks really well. We work with Quickbooks, we are Pro-advisors and we can guide you in your decisions and address any questions you might have.
However we have also worked with Xero and we do think there are many strong reasons why you should at least consider XERO.
The Cloud. In a nutshell – having your data on-demand, accessible from any device, and stored in a secure and scaleable environment is a bit like having a smartphone. You didn't miss it when you didn't have one but now you can't imagine functioning in any other way.
Yes, Quickbooks does offer an alternative - Quickbooks Online. However it is not as intuitive and really doesn't work as seamlessly as one would expect.
Client-centric. The Xero user interface is clean, it’s intuitive, and the terminology makes sense to accountants and small business users alike.
Design. It’s pretty important. Let’s be real – accounting, for most business owners, is not the most exciting part of the job. So if you’re going to be doing something you don’t love, it at least helps if its easy to navigate and easy on the eyes but yet does its job well. That’s Xero.
Flexibility. The Quickbooks way of working goes something like this:
Choose your version of the software, choose a computer to install it on. From this point on you are tied to that computer. Hope that your version matches your advisor's version.
Come time to work with your accountant, you play the 'version' game. First you wait to be able to set up a time to work with you accountant because they can't access your data - they don't 'see' what you see.
You can download a copy of your file for your CPA but then you have two options - you either completely stop working on Quickbooks until your CPA is done with the file and returns it to you, or you continue working on your file and the CPA's version becomes something like a 'read-only' document because they can't make any changes to your file. And really, doesn't that kind of defeat the entire purpose? Not to mention when you have multiple versions of your Quickbooks file floating around it is so easy to make mistakes.
When you work on Xero, you are Cloud-based. You can use it anywhere, from any device. You can works on PCs or Macs (Apple lovers, rejoice). No more "versions" to worry about; everyone is accessing the same system. At the same time. Once you try working with your CPA on a real-time basis, getting help WHEN you need it, resolving issues as they arise, you will realize what an invaluable tool this is.
But what about concerns of security? What about hackers? What about having your data 'up in the cloud'? That's a whole another post but we will get into it and address your concerns. Watch this space.
Is Xero the absolute right solution for every business? Maybe not. Are there some nice features about Quickbooks that don’t come out of box with Xero? Sure.
But if I’m starting a business and need to find a flexible, intuitive, and affordable solution for my accounting needs, there's not a better solution out there for your money than Xero.