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Xero

By XERO  (Free)
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Xero is a cloud based accounting suite with numerous features, including superb invoicing tools, bank reconciliation and a comprehensive dashboard. Xero lets businesses coordinate and manage all of their financial processes from an easy to use platform that is accessible from all Internet-enabled devices.

Xero is geared towards business of all sizes, but it is particularly an ideal solution for small business owners, as it gives them the ability to manage their accounts independently, alongside their accountants.

A really great feature of Xero is that it has a very comprehensive, yet user-friendly dashboard, which can change the way managers view time consuming tasks of invoicing, transaction monitoring and expense management.

Dashboard
The Xero dashboard is the place where users get a comprehensive picture of their accounts, upcoming bills, pending invoices and income and expense reports. This key feature is really useful as it provides a valuable at-a-glance overview, which gives users transparent insight into their company's financial activities in easy-to-view snapshots.

Xero’s dashboard layout is easy-to-use and navigate. The intuitive graphs furnish users with a visual understanding of key data, which helps them compare account information in a simple way. The dashboard also lets users perform tasks such as adding accounts, and issue invoices by using the straightforward layout.

Invoicing
Xero lets users generate and customize professional branded invoices. There are many customization options including adding a company's logo, use foreign currency conversion tools, and the ability to save different templates for separate clients.

Xero’s invoicing system is a such a great feature of this solution as it can can issue invoices for payments from PayPal accounts, bank transfers or credit cards, with no country-related exceptions. A key area of Xero's invoicing tool is the notifications that alerts users when invoices have been opened by the recipient. This is very useful because it eliminates any confusion over whether the invoices are ’missing’.

If the payee happens to be based in a foreign country and uses a different currency, Xero’s invoicing system will automatically convert the invoice into the currency used by the client. This leaves the user free to work on other things other than calculating exchange rates. Xero currently supports over 160 currencies and can automatically update exchange rates hourly.

Bank Reconciliation
All of a business’ financial transactions are automatically imported into Xero’s database and then linked to the corresponding accounting transactions. The user simply needs to confirm the transaction match is correct, by pressing the ‘OK’ button. The transaction is then reconciled. Users can easily import more feeds from bank accounts, credit cards and PayPal accounts in a matter of minutes.

Integrations
Xero Marketplace is covers an ever growing list of more than 350 add-ons that are categorized by business needs. Popular add-ons include: BodeTree, Bill.com, Constant Contact, Square, Squarespace, Stitch Labs, Kabbage, and Zen Payroll, to name a few.

Pricing
Xero has a subscription pricing model that starts from $9.00/month, with a 30-day Free Trial Available (No Credit Card required). The basic starting plan that costs $9/month is limited to five invoices, five bills and 20 bank transactions. The next tier is the Standard package, which costs $30/month and gives users an unlimited number of invoices, bills and transactions. For businesses that have multinational clients, the Premium plan, costs $70 per month in total, but it supports multi-currency transactions and is aimed at larger businesses that have multi-national clients.

Bottom Line
Xero is a versatile platform that can be utilised by businesses of various sizes. Users can undertake and collaborate on all accounting and book keeping tasks from any internet-enabled device. The ability to integrate with existing applications via the Xero Marketplace, is really useful, as is the ability to generate various financial reports. The dashboard is both easy to use and intuitive, with an interface that can be navigated easily by everyone.

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