Xero: My Favorite Accounting Tool

I admit it – accounting is not my thing.

As a business owner, we know that we need to keep track of our numbers, but it can be a huge pain in the butt. If you don’t like numbers, or you don’t understand double-entry accounting, managing your books can feel like you’re speaking a foreign language.

This was how I felt when I tried (many times) to use Quickbooks. I would start off with gusto, then get to a point where I wanted to tear my hair out. And I’d quit.

I was frustrated. There had to be a better way

So after going back and forth more than a few times, I started looking for a real solution.

I tried a bunch of different programs, spreadsheets, paper systems, etc. but they were all missing something. I had used Freshbooks for my invoicing for a number of years and liked it, but it didn’t have the accounting features that I needed, and managing two tools felt really inefficient. I wanted to get as much as possible all in one place.

I also wanted to be able to manage my books without depending on an accountant or bookkeeper. Though I do have an accountant and believe that every business owner should have one, I wanted to be able to handle the day-to-day on my own.

Having accounting, invoicing and a payment gateway all in one place didn’t seem like a huge demand, yet I couldn’t find a tool that worked the way I wanted it to.

Then I found Xero, and everything changed

Xero is a cloud-based accounting solution that looked perfect. The interface made sense, it was inexpensive and had all the features I wanted. So I jumped in.

Getting started was easy

It takes a little while to get used to anything new, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to set Xero up.

I was able to connect my bank accounts for auto-import with just a few clicks. Then I connected my PayPal and Stripe accounts so I could send invoices and my clients would have a choice on which payment method to use. Xero also allowed me to add my logo and business branding to my invoices for a professional look, and customize the templates and emails that were sent to the customer.

I had it all set up within a few hours, without any headaches. Now for just $30/month I have a complete accounting system, and my accountant has her own access so she can go in there every now and then and make sure I didn’t mess anything up.

The reporting is fantastic, too. I can easily run reports to track my business performance, and when it’s tax time, I just click a few buttons and I have everything I need.

Now I actually enjoy doing my bookkeeping

I’ve been using Xero for about two years now, and I haven’t even once considered moving to something else. I use the mobile app pretty much every day to reconcile transactions and send invoices. The only thing that I wish the app had was access to reporting, but other than that it’s got everything I need to do things on the go.

Here are the main features that I use

  • Send quotes
  • Generate Invoices
  • Collect payments
  • Full-feature accounting
  • Awesome reporting
  • Generate tax forms for subcontractors
  • Bank account integration and auto-import of transactions
  • Mobile app

And if you need payroll, Xero has that too. I don’t need that for my business at this time, but it’s there in case I do in the future. I can also generate forms for my subcontractors at tax time, which is awesome and saves me a ton of time. Xero makes the calculations for me so I just have to file and send out the form.

So if you’re looking for a solid, easy to use, affordable accounting system for your business, I highly recommend Xero.

(the links in this post are partner links, which means if you click on them I may receive a discount or commission, and you get a discount for the first six months. You can be sure that I only recommend things that I actually use, love, and can honestly stand behind.)