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Why Xero is better than other accounting packages

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Using Xero in your business
Cloud Accounting
By
Stewart Lane
Stewart Lane
Business Services Manager
January 31, 2020
6
minute read

Discover why we recommend Xero as our accounting platform of choice

When it comes to choosing the right accounting software, you can’t go past Xero.

Designed for cloud accounting, this powerful platform provides you the tools and capabilities to streamline your business’ accounting, and save you untold hours every month.

Liston Newton Advisory are a Xero Gold Partner. Get in touch with us today to see how Xero will help you simplify your business accounting.

The leading software platforms

Xero

Xero entered the Australian market in 2008, and right from the start it was different. It was never available as desktop software, and was designed from the beginning as a dedicated online accounting platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

Performing purely as cloud accounting software gave Xero a first-mover advantage over its competitors.

MYOB

MYOB has been making accounting software since 1991. For nearly two decades MYOB was the dominant player in the accounting market, as it purchased and merged with a number of other accounting applications. This has been both a positive and a negative. While this means MYOB has many features, the downside is that it’s become very difficult to use without training and support.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a software platform that was founded in 1993. Similar to MYOB, it started as desktop software and quickly captured the US small business market. QuickBooks Online (QBO) is the online version, and has entered the Australian market to compete with Xero.

Ease of use

All three applications have greatly improved their ease of use over the years.

MYOB’s user interface has become vastly more intuitive over time. The MYOB Essentials product is designed for the non-accountant, and uses simple, understandable terms throughout. A downside of this is that it's sacrificed some features and reporting for ease of use, which detracts from the software.

QuickBooks is easy to use without being confusing. Many of the features are initially hidden so that the user doesn’t get overwhelmed when they first start. As you use the software more, you uncover more features. It has excellent reporting capabilities, with the ability to drill down into comprehensive details and analysis.

Xero is a simple, intuitive product that’s made with the non-trained user in mind. Essentially, if you can operate a basic internet browser then you can use Xero. Its features and reports are where you expect them to be; everything is logical and easy to find. Xero has excellent training options, user forums, and online videos to assist users having difficulty with the product.

Mobile capabilities and features

xero capabilities and function

Good functionality on mobile has become increasingly important, and is particularly necessary for business owners who spend the majority of their time out of office. Each of these platforms features a mobile app, of differing levels of use.

MYOB is the simplest of the apps with only three main functions: invoicing, contacts, and payments. Payments can be taken using an MYOB add-on and payment terminal.

QuickBooks Online is a highly functional mobile application. The QBO app allows:

  • quoting
  • invoicing
  • expense tracking
  • photos of receipts
  • sales receipts
  • bank reconciliations
  • financial reporting
  • review of recent activity

Payments can be made from a PayPal card reader or via the app itself. Overall, it’s well built, and great for the business owner on the go.

The Xero app is rapidly improving, and swiftly gaining on the QuickBooks app. It allows:

  • converting quotes to invoices
  • photos of receipts
  • sales receipts
  • bank reconciliations
  • invoice management
  • contact management
  • reporting

Overall, QuickBooks still maintains the lead, with Xero gaining every minute.

Add-Ons

Add-ons are a crucial feature for accounting packages, as they often have the specific features and benefits you need for your business.

For example, a professional agency may need a cloud-based CRM that allows it to track projects and their related expenses. This CRM would integrate with the accounting platform, enabling invoicing directly from the CRM, with a copy of the invoice transferring immediately to the accounting system.

Whatever your type of business, whatever your specific need, there’s likely an add-on designed for you.

When it comes to sheer variety and scale of add-ons, Xero leads the pack with over 500 connected apps, dwarfing QuickBooks’ 120 and MYOB’s 20 certified add-ons. The reason for Xero’s success in this area is because this is what they’re built for—cloud accounting.

Pricing

[table]
[thead]
[tr]
[th] [/th]
[th]Basic user[/th]
[th]Standard user[/th]
[th]Premium user[/th]
[/tr]
[/thead]
[tbody]
[tr]
[td]MYOB[/td]
[td]Essentials Payroll - $10/month[/td]
[td]Essentials - $27/month[/td]
[td]AccountRight - $70/month[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]QuickBooks[/td]
[td]Simple Start - 15/month[/td]
[td]Essentials - $30/month[/td]
[td]Plus - $40/month[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]Xero[/td]
[td]Starter - $25/month[/td]
[td]Standard - $50/month[/td]
[td]Premium 5 - $65/month[/td]
[/tr]
[/tbody]
[/table]


Customer support

Comprehensive, friendly, and available customer support is critical for a platform to build trust with its users. Whether it’s a simple accounting question, help with a particular feature, or troubleshooting, the strength of a platform’s customer support services can be a deciding factor in choosing their software.

QuickBooks supplies its users with phone, email, and live chat support from 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday. It has a wealth of forum categories, and a searchable FAQ section.

MYOB has a range of support options, including a 9pm-5pm, 7-day phone service, and a community forum that provides deep support on topics users may face. They provide online training videos, and documentation the guides users on how to best use their platform.

Xero provides free and unlimited online support services. They don’t have an inbound support phone line, but they can make calls out to users if they need extra support. Their active social media presence provides articles for users to interact with. Comprehensive community forums, plus training documentation and videos, fill out their customer service offering.

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