Product Reviews QuickBooks Xero

Xero: A Quick Primer, Part 2

Written by Amanda Aguillard

Xero is attracting former Quickbooks users.

Group Invoices

A client may have the need to create identical invoices for multiple customers. Rather than creating many invoices, Xero allows a user to draft an invoice and automatically duplicate over a group of contacts. Again this is a base feature in Xero, while it appears to be available in QBO only at the Advanced subscription level.

Automatic Invoice Reminders

Xero’s automatic invoice reminder feature allows users to set a schedule by which emails are automatically sent to customers with unpaid invoices. This can be a number of days past due, or even a set number of days before an invoice is due. Each email is fully customizable so users can begin with gentle reminders, with tougher language along the way.

My understanding is that this level of automation is not currently available within QBO.

Find & Recode

Xero’s Find & Recode feature is similar to QBO’s Reclassify tool (available only to accountants) but more capable. In QBO, the accountant may search transactions by date, general ledger account or vendor. Once isolated, the accountant can change, in bulk, only the general ledger account or class.

In Xero, transactions can be searched based on not only the fields available in QBO, but also transaction type, status, bank account affected, transaction total, tax rate, the user who entered the transaction and invoice number or reference. Additionally, once incorrect transactions are identified, the user may change the general ledger account, either tracking category, contact or tax rate. The user has the option to recode the underlying transactions as if they were originally processed correctly or by having Xero calculate and draft a correcting journal entry.

In Xero, this is a base feature available to advisor level users. No additional platform is required.

Bank Reconciliation

When I come across Quickbooks accounting consultants who refuse to consider Xero, bank reconciliation is almost always the reason. Bank reconciliation in Xero is different, but once understood, more simple than in QBO.

In Xero, as bank transaction lines are coded, Xero creates a general ledger entry and matches the two. It removes the bank line from the queue and marks the line “Reconciled.” This is the first step of a bank reconciliation, even though it occurs throughout the month.

At the end of the month, users must validate Xero’s bank statement balance. This is done by running a Reconciliation Report and comparing the bottom number to the balance from the printed bank statement. If they tie, all is well and bank reconciliation is done.

Partner Benefits

It is worth noting that since its entree into the US market, Xero has endeavored to create a community of supportive partners. In its thirteen hyper-local markets across the country, Xero regularly provides education and group discussion with XeroHour, and each market is served by a sales team physically in the community. Xero support is in-country and while, it is email only, you can request a phone call from a support agent.

Depending on the number of clients an accountant or bookkeeper is advising, partner benefits also include $2,000 of marketing funds, free practice and workpaper software and additional subscription discounts.

Pricing

While at its highest subscription levels, QBO seems to have nearly all the features of Xero, the reality is that, in practice any comparison will be based on needed components at a given price level.

At the time of writing, the prices of Quickbooks Online subscriptions at retail are as follows: Essentials- $40 per month, Plus- $70 month, Advanced- $150 per month. Xero retail subscription prices are as follows: Early- $9 per month, Growing- $30 per month, Established- $60 per month. Additionally, Xero offers partner plans with limited features designed to be used for year-end write-up for $3 and $7 per month.

Click here to read Part 1 of this article.

Related Resources

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/pricing/

https://www.xero.com/us/pricing/

https://www.xero.com/us/partner-programs/partners/xero-communities/

About the author

Amanda Aguillard

Amanda Aguillard decided to become a CPA when she was 16, and never looked back. She started Aguillard Accounting LLC in 2012, committed to running a cloud-based practice from anywhere in the world.

In 2017, she co-founded Bluewire Strategy, a consulting group that empowers traditional accounting firms to fully embrace the cloud using process and technology. She has been a Hubdoc Top 50 Cloud Accountant for the last two years. She was the Xero Evangelist of the Year in 2016 and used her experience as an instructor of the Xero Certification course to co-found Elefant, a continuing education company for accountants and bookkeepers.

While she holds a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of Denver, she would much rather help other advisors leverage technology to build their dream practices. She regularly speaks at state CPA societies and industry technology conferences like Clio Cloud Conference and Xerocon. She spends any spare time cooking for her two kids and reading historical fiction. She is slightly obsessed with Penzey’s Spices and Chris Thile.

5 Comments

  • Great articles Amanda! One other thing I like about Xero is the ability to add a placeholder on batch invoices so the client can see the Month the services are for, regardless of the invoice date. No more “accounting services for next month”, I can say “June accounting services” and not have to change it next month to say July 🙂

  • Do you have a good resource or article to reference when considering changing an established QBO account to Xero? Trying to decide if this is a viable idea or even feasible for a business with years of data online at QBO.