Xero is a popular accounting platform and is used for bookkeeping, payroll, and other day-to-day applications necessary to run a business.
But it also has two powerful project management tools available, which provide efficient and effective support in managing and monitoring your projects and financials at the same time.
In this article we discuss what Xero Projects and WorkflowMax can offer the user, and how these two tools will benefit businesses of all sizes.
Whether it’s support in setting up your software, advice on the right features to use, or Xero Projects training and troubleshooting, Liston Newton Advisory is here to help. Contact us today to speak to one of our Xero accounting specialists.
Why you need project management integration
Your accounting software is there to help you track your numbers and stay on top of your business’ profitability.
But there’s more to your bottom line than one simple figure.
Your business’ profit is made up of a number of different streams, with different projects within those streams.
Take the example of a residential building company. They’re busy building multiple houses and complexes throughout the year, so knowing the individual profits for each of these discrete projects is critical in understanding their overall profitability.
You probably already have project management software that achieves part of this for you. You might also have accounting software that manages your financials. But does your accounting software provide you with the project reports and data you need to keep your projects on track?
It does if you use Xero.
Let’s look at the two project management tools that Xero offers.
Xero Projects is an add-on feature to your standard Xero subscription. It’s priced per user, and provides you with a platform for quoting, invoicing, and managing your projects, all in one user-friendly interface.
You can create multiple jobs for your existing clients within the platform, then assign various tasks and cost estimates to those projects. You can track your staff’s actual time and costs incurred on each project, and monitor the profitability of each specific task, enabling you to highlight potential quoting or productivity issues.
As each project moves through its different stages, you can raise and issue progress invoices for your clients. This amount is updated against the quoted cost, so you always know how much is left to invoice.
Xero Projects is a great system to quote and track your job profitability, and is a strong starting point for new businesses. It’s easy to set up and easy to manage, and you can access your client details directly from your main Xero account.
We recommend Xero Projects for any small business looking for an efficient platform to manage their projects and financials within the one system.
WorkflowMax is the bigger brother of Xero Projects. It offers similar concepts, but is more advanced, and has more features available to the user.
You can track different tasks within discrete projects, but with the added power of a workflow management tool. This can be used to estimate timelines within project deadlines, and deliver these deadlines to your staff.
Each user has a personal built-in dashboard where they can quickly view their current jobs and manage their workflow themselves.
Similar to Xero Projects, WorkflowMax comes with quoting and invoicing capabilities, but with additional features and functionality. This allows you to generate more detailed quotes, and even build templates into the software to improve its efficiency of use.
Another great feature of WorkflowMax is the leads module. This enables your business to get accurate and reliable data about the leads you produce, and those that you convert.
One area where WorkflowMax really differs is that it’s a standalone piece of software, not just an integration. This means you need to input your clients’ details again. However, you might find some value here if you use WorkflowMax as your primary CRM, and its customisation is far superior to what you can get from Xero.
On the whole, the overall reporting functionality of WorkflowMax takes that of Xero Projects’ to the next level. You get a more granular interaction between staff users, as they’re able to manage their own timesheets and job statuses. So, understandably, the monthly subscription for WorkflowMax is more than Xero Projects.
How to choose your project management software
When choosing between these two platforms, the thing to think about is your business. What are your needs, and where is your business likely to grow?
For businesses just starting to track projects using project management software, who only have a small number of employees or limited client roster, Xero Projects is a great starting point. It’s easier to use and more straightforward than Workflow Max, which means you’ll be more likely to use it and benefit from its features.
The bigger, more developed, and more complex your business, the more likely you are to need a detailed project management package. In this case we recommend WorkflowMax.
Yes, there’s more setup involved, more time required to manage the software, and a greater monthly cost. But this is all necessary to get the detail and additional functionality required from this platform.
Get support from a Xero Gold partner
Liston Newton Advisory are Xero Gold Partners. This means that we know and love using Xero, and have been hand-picked by the platform itself to deliver expert advice and support on how to use this software.
We help you understand how to use Xero Projects and WorkflowMax, and even organise Xero Projects training for you and your teams.
The final word
If your business is looking to streamline your project management and accounting software, we recommend switching to Xero. The platform itself is simple to understand, easy to use, and provides you with an effortless way to do your accounting and bookkeeping.
And when you’re ready to manage your projects more effectively, Xero Projects and WorkflowMax are ready and waiting for you to get started.