Reviewer guide to Xero

For software reviewers to understand what Xero does. See products, features and how we're changing the game.

Changing the game for businesses

We started Xero to change the game for small business. We believe small businesses make the world go round – they’re the heart of the global economy, forming around 95% of existing businesses and employing approximately 60% of all private sector workers globally.

Since 2006, Xero has become the platform that connects a global community of small and larger businesses, apps, advisors, banks and government – with beautiful online accounting software at its core.

Our beautiful cloud-based accounting software connects people with the right numbers and tools so they have access to their business – anytime, anywhere, on any device.

For accountants and bookkeepers, Xero helps build a trusted relationship with small business clients through online collaboration. Like all great challenges, we can’t do it by ourselves: we work closely with our customers, advisors and partners to push innovation forward, turning Xero into the online platform for small businesses.

Watch Rod Drury's Xerocon 2017 keynote

Three things small business accounting should deliver

Single ledger
Up-to-date information

Businesses should always understand their current profitability and cash flow position – how much money they have, where their money is going, who owes them and who they owe.


Quality advice

Accounting tools should help to connect businesses with accounting and bookkeeping experts, making it easy for them to collaborate in real-time.


The single ledger

Instead of accounting professionals manually collecting a business’ financial data to compile accounts – collaboration should take place, using one source at the same time.


10 key benefits of Xero

Xero continues to innovate at an unprecedented pace

Innovation with machine learning and AI is gathering pace following migration to AWS. But it’s nothing new – over 1,500 updates shipped in the past 12 months from Xero’s global product team. In 2014 and 2015, Forbes named Xero the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company. And in 2016, Xero recorded over $1 trillion across 450 million transactions.

Built in the cloud for a single source of truth

With Xero, one source of truth is accessible by everyone invited in, at the same time, from anywhere. New features are added automatically, based on feedback from customers. No more downloads, installs or desktop software updates. Sharing files is easy and version control issues go away.

Easy for accountants and business owners to use

Advisors can easily convert clients and collaborate with them from a single ledger. Business owners can get set up in minutes and collaborate with business partners, integrations with leading business tools are seamless, and visual reporting makes it easy to understand your cash position.

Live data helps accountants support clients in real-time

Accountant-client relationships have changed with Xero. We present a live view of the business finances – and the tools used to prepare client accounts – on one platform. By automating key business performance data feeds, extracting insights and displaying them on elegant dashboards, advisors can deliver proactive advice and services to clients.

Mundane tasks become magical experiences

Xero takes laborious tasks and turns them into beautiful experiences, done at the click of a button or even while users sleep (it really is magic). Automation and machine learning transform compliance into limited-touch processes that helps shift accountant relationships from compliance administrators to trusted advisors.

Connections that help businesses to succeed

Businesses with Xero have better survival rates. It’s all down to connectivity: 92% are connected to an advisor; 99% have an active bank feed; 40% have an app connection. And every Xero plan comes with unlimited users at no added cost. Colleagues can collaborate or invite financial advisors to view data remotely for valuable real-time advice.

An engaged community shapes the Xero product

The Xero community loves Xero... and Xero loves them back. Passionate users dive into the product and features in an open forum, sharing what’s working, what could be better and what they’d love to see. At the same time, product teams innovate at a rapid pace. The result is a platform that is continually evolving and improving to meet user needs.

Free support is available whenever it’s needed

Users get free unlimited email-based support from our award-winning global customer experience team and phone call-backs when needed. There are also video tutorials, online help, certified Xero advisors and an online community of engaged users. It’s all free and available whenever a user might need it.

Valuable insights help businesses make better decisions

Working with more than 1 million subscribers around the world, big data can be aggregated to help transform the way businesses and advisors work. Xero has processed more than $1 trillion in transactions to help fuel machine learning. And Xero delivers customisable interactive reports and budgets in real-time to accountants and businesses.

Designed to be a beautiful experience

Everything Xero does starts with design. The product has been designed to be easy to pick up and play, so the user experience is beautiful from day one. Far from the typical accounting software experience, Xero makes day-to-day tasks feel like magic – for accountants, bookkeepers and their SMB clients, it’s a pleasure doing business.

As a cloud accounting platform, Xero acts as a connector for the highly-fragmented small business market, helping owners derive true value from their data.

Recent product updates

Xero HQ

Xero HQ

Xero HQ makes it easier for accountants and bookkeepers to prioritise their workflow. Using customisable and personalised alerts, they can view all clients in a single integrated list and explore client insights such as the apps used and how they relate to their client's industry.

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Tracking categories

Tracking categories

Tracking categories in Xero’s reports allows you to see how different areas of the business are performing - such as departments, cost centers or locations. This helps businesses and their advisors make proactive expenditure decisions or recommendations.


Stripe and Paypal integrations

Adding Stripe and PayPal as payment services on invoices gives invoice recipients the option to use their preferred credit card via Stripe or Express Checkout via PayPal, a quick and easy way to pay invoices. Xero customers with a ‘pay now’ option on their invoices spend less time chasing payments and get paid faster.

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Advisor directory

Advisor directory

The advisor directory helps businesses connect with a local Xero-certified partner who specialises in their industry.

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Assurance dashboard

Report templates

Accountants and bookkeepers can customise and build report templates for use across their entire client base, streamlining client reporting and saving hours in the process.

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Report templates

Assurance dashboard

The dashboard surfaces Xero’s in-built controls to monitor the accuracy and integrity of client financial data in real-time, highlighting errors and potential fraud early.

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Contact + Office 365

Xero contacts + Office 365 integration

Seamless integration with Microsoft Office 365 allows subcribers to view email messages – ‘to’ or ‘from’ their contacts – alongside the relevant transactional history in Xero.

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Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI analyses data and shares insights. Business owners can monitor their business and get answers quickly with rich analytics available on every device.

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Game-changing features

We’ve reinvented traditional small business accounting software with the following incredible features.

Multi-currency accounting

We built our core accounting engine with multi-currency right in the center. Xero lets you calculate and display real-time gains and losses on-the-fly. And you can do so in both the profit & loss report and the balance sheet – something even large-scale ERP software doesn’t do.

All foreign currency transactions are converted into the local currency in real-time. With foreign exchange rates updated hourly, you instantly know exactly how gains and losses are affecting your cash flow.

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Bank reconciliation

Xero transformed the bank reconciliation from a painful monthly, quarterly or annual catch-up process – to an addictive daily activity. The connection of bank feeds into Xero and the revolutionary workflow of the bank reconciliation process have powered this transformation.

Financial transactions are automatically imported into Xero and linked to the corresponding accounting transactions. All the user has to do, in order to confirm that the match is correct, is to press the "OK" button and the transaction will be reconciled. Users can import feeds from multiple bank accounts, credit cards and PayPal accounts in minutes.

You can create custom rules to match bank transactions automatically to invoices, bills and purchases recorded in Xero – which makes reconciliation seamless.

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Bank reconciliation

Cash coding

Cash coding allows the rapid coding of a large number of transactions from imported bank statement lines or bank feeds. As well as being fast, cash coding ensures greater accuracy. You can select accounts and tax rates for multiple statement lines at the same time, so items are coded consistently. And when you save and reconcile, Xero creates a matching spend or receive money transaction. This means fast and accurate processing – in bulk.

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Cash coding

Find and recode

Find and recode is a power tool for accountants and bookkeepers, giving you the ability to update up to 2,000 line items at once. Accounts, tax rates, tracking and contacts can be easily updated on both paid and unpaid transactions. Xero does the work and shorten hours of effort into a few simple seconds.

Find & Recode

Machine learning on invoice creation

As of March 2017 Xero introduced machine learning to a pilot group of customers that automatically suggests the account code on an invoice when it’s created.

Our customers may all use the same accounting system, but each has a unique setup and business process. There are more than ten million different account codes in active use by Xero customers and our solution is tuned to learn account code preferences for every single individual customer.

It notes any mistakes recognised by accountants or bookkeepers and learns the corrections. Our approach is 15–20% more accurate than the best ‘rule of thumb’ models we came up with and reaches 80% accuracy after learning from only four invoices.

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Invoicing and payments

Online invoices and payments

Xero data shows customers that use online invoicing with a payment service attached get paid faster than those that don’t, so businesses spend less time chasing unpaid invoices and have a healthier cash flow.

Shifting from paper and PDF invoices to online invoices is a more secure and transparent way to invoice. You simply email customers a link to a live invoice, which shows the most up-to-date details including payment status, history and a Pay Now button for taking online payments via credit or debit card – or PayPal. Xero lets you see the when the invoice was received and opened and sends automatic invoice payment reminders on outstanding invoices.

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Invoicing and payments


Files puts your filing cabinet online so you can always access it, wherever you are. Compliance record keeping is taken care of so lost paperwork and managing endless back and forth with customers and suppliers becomes a thing of the past.

Files lets you store contracts and other documents either in a general library or attached to a particular transaction. 

Documents can be uploaded or emailed directly into Xero. For example, attach your terms and conditions to an online invoice or quote – or attach a photo of a product or completed job. With a central repository for all important files, in the context where they are required – you eliminate the paper chase and related stresses.

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Xero files


Xero reporting changes the way accounting businesses provide reports to their clients. Reports that previously took hours are now completed in minutes. Xero recognised this bottleneck in financial account production and released Xero report templates, giving advisors the tools to make client reporting fast, simple and dare we say – fun.

Report templates remove the long-standing issue of multiple charts of accounts in your client base by introducing one standardised mapping system called report codes. With report codes, you can continue to maintain separate charts of accounts or generalise as you please at the client level.

Every account in your client’s chart is mapped to the relevant report code and your reports are then built using the report codes, standardising the data within, regardless of source.

For example, one client may have ten sales accounts, another may have three. In all cases, these would be mapped to a single 'revenue' report code or you can offer more detail – such as mapping to 'construction revenue'. But Xero’s report codes work in a hierarchy. Even if you map to a higher level of detail and set your report to summarise only – the totals will still sum up to that tier.

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Assurance dashboard

The dashboard surfaces Xero’s in-built controls to monitor the accuracy and integrity of client financial data in real-time, highlighting errors and potential fraud early. For example, accounting professionals can:

– Confirm if any suppliers have duplicate bank account numbers or if those accounts have been recently edited.

– Drill into invoices or bills that have been backdated or edited.

The assurance dashboard complements the traditional audit, strengthens compliance and serves as a value-added service to clients.

Assurance dashboard

Xero app marketplace

With 700+ industry-specific apps, seamlessly integrated with Xero, all businesses are bound to find one that suits their needs. With advanced solutions for payments CRM systems, time tracking, inventory management, point of sale, ecommerce and more, these integrations remove double handling, improve productivity and make businesses much more efficient.

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App marketplace

Unlike other accounting software, Xero has built a clean engine that respects basic accounting principles and reinvents traditional approaches to core workflows

Feature checklist

Main dashboard

The Xero dashboard is where business owners can get a complete picture of their key accounts, income and expense reports, upcoming bills and pending invoices. This provides a valuable overview of all their company’s financial activities at a glance.

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Receive payments

Get paid sooner with online payments. Accept debit and credit card payments or PayPal on every invoice to speed up payment time. Xero is integrated with leading payment services including Square, Stripe and PayPal.

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Business performance dashboard

Get the information you need, now. Charts and graphs track business performance across a wide range of standard business metrics such as gross profit, net profit on net sales, and debt to equity. Add metrics to your main dashboard so your favourite measures are right in front of you.

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Track inventory, control stock and report on the performance of your products and services, and use the information to make the right decisions on ordering and pricing.

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View your customer’s transaction history including invoices and bills, most-purchased products or services, and drive sales based on purchase history.

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Get paid in over 160 different currencies. All foreign currency transactions are converted into your local currency in real-time. With foreign exchange rates updated hourly, you instantly know exactly how gains and losses are affecting your cash flow.

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Send beautiful, professional quotes quickly, get instant acceptance of quotes online and easily turn quotes into invoices.

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Bill payments

Schedule payments, batch pay suppliers and manage cash flow with visual graphs that show what bills are due for payment.

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Purchase orders

Create and email purchase orders, convert purchase orders to bills or invoices, and stay on top of supplier costs.

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Partner tools

Advisor tools inside Xero

Work faster and more efficiently using Xero's advisor tools designed for use by accountants and bookkeepers.

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Xero HQ for accountants

Xero HQ connects your practice with all the information and tools you need in one easy-to-access place.

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Partner products

Make life easier with a suite of connected apps, specially designed for accountants and bookkeepers.

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Xero wins awards

Financial Product of the Year

Real Business FD's Excellence Awards: Software Vendor of the Year

Best Bookkeeping Software and Best Payroll Software


How Xero stacks up in reviews

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