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Winding down Xero Personal in November 2014

We wanted to let you know we are discontinuing Xero Personal at the end of November next year. We know that is 14 months away but we wanted to give everyone plenty of warning. We are sending an email and messaging in-app to all Xero Personal customers.

[UPDATE After reviewing a range of options, we've arranged a great deal with PocketSmith. If you are a Xero Personal customer and sign up with PocketSmith by 31 December 2013, you will get the first 12 months at half price (NZD$59.95 vs $120). PocketSmith has live bank feeds (except for BNZ at the moment), as well as features you're used to such as a handy calendar view, cashflow projections and flexible budgeting. You can get your data across to PocketSmith in minutes with their Xero Express process. Find out more.]

Joel Hanna PocketSmith Tweet

We’ve seen huge growth in the number of customers using Xero’s core small business accounting and accountant’s tools. Unfortunately, by comparison only a small number of people are prepared to pay for an independent personal financial management tool.

Considering this, we reviewed the resources involved in developing and supporting Xero Personal compared with putting this resource into our business offerings. We then made the difficult decision to wind down the ongoing development of Xero Personal and shut it down on 30th November 2014.

On 30th September 2013 all annual subscriptions to Xero Personal at that point will be automatically extended from their expiry date until the service close down date at the end of November 2014, for no additional charge. Unless you receive a notification that you need to renew your current annual subscription prior to the 30th of September there is no other action you need to take to continue using the product through until the end of November next year.

If you are in trial and do want to continue using the product while it is available then sign up for an annual subscription before the 30th of September. This subscription will then be extended out until the end of November next year for no additional charge.

We appreciate this news will be a big disappointment for many of Xero Personal’s loyal customers, as it is for those Xero staff who have worked so hard on the product since it was first launched in March 2010.

Over the coming weeks we will send to our customers more updates on the wind down plan, information on how to get your data off Xero Personal before it is shut down and any alternative personal financial management services that you may want to consider transferring to.

We know that many of you will be disappointed and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Happy to take reasonable comments and questions below.

 

Read more about Personal, Tips (Xero Personal)

 

130 comments

Brad Fraser
28 August 2013 #

I am really surprised by this. Rod, Is there a reason Xero Personal wasn’t given more time to gain customers? With the big features like bank feeds for personal and a mobile app just coming out, it seems odd that now would be the time to drop support for the app when it just finished the main features required to gain customers.

Chris
28 August 2013 #

I expected this to come. It’s not in Xero’s wheelhouse and ultimately a distraction from what is their core business. Good decision – hopefully the response is measured and sensible.

Berend de Boer
28 August 2013 #

That is terrible news! Is there no way some company wants to take over the product? You guys obviously want to focus on the business side, but I think the personal product simply takes a longer time to put in the market (and hadn’t received that much love).

Chris
28 August 2013 #

@Brad – I think it was answered. Xero Personal is a consumer play, and consumers don’t like paying for much at all when it comes to web based services. Can’t see that changing anytime soon.

Berend de Boer
28 August 2013 #

Brad: “With the big features like bank feeds for personal and a mobile app just coming out, it seems odd that now would be the time to drop support for the app when it just finished the main features required to gain customers.”

Exactly. Especially for personal it should be a low maintenance product for end-users. Even today it doesn’t handle every kind of bank account, and still needs manual import for important use-cases.

Daniel Richardson
28 August 2013 #

Xero personal presents a huge opportunity for accountants to value add for their clients.

I think given time and some more effort to communicate the potential, you’d see great uptake.

Very sad :-(

MC Carter
28 August 2013 #

I understand the reasoning. I think it’s a pity from an advisor’s perspective who is advising the “whole of person” … i.e. helping them get all their financial affairs under control, not just their business (which is a large part of what we’re about, teaching firms). I always felt that Personal was a very “1.0″ product, lacking important features that other apps like Mint and Pocketbook have. I was looking forward to (hoping for) its evolution, as it’s simpler for advisors if they can have fewer apps to recommend to their clients — it would also help Xero ‘circle the wagons’ around the entire financial relationship, Business and Personal. But if it doesn’t fit the business model, no point dabbling. I posed the question to our ‘tribe’ and many accountants told us they didn’t recommend Personal to their clients due to missing features, and instead got their clients onto Xero Cashbook for their Personal finances. Perhaps the Personal numbers are higher than thought, if many accountants were advising clients along these lines?

Ben
28 August 2013 #

I don’t think it’s true at all that consumers won’t pay for personal web based services or for personal finance tools. I believe mint.com has/did do very well in this space. I feel like it’s a cop-out to blame it closing on not getting enough paying customers, instead would have been better to just say that it wasn’t up to scratch (it wasn’t), you didn’t have the resources to put into it (fair enough) and it wasn’t a core business focus (fair enough). Blame the tool, not the customers.

I for one was extremely interested in Xero Personal, but it always seemed like the unloved cousin of Xero for Business. I would have paid no worries when I felt it was up to scratch.

Cheers

rob
28 August 2013 #

I was a personal customer for a year, eagerly awaiting the pronised bank feeds. They never came. When they did eventually appear they were dodgy yodlee screen scraping feeds and even then my very large credit union was never supported. It’s a little rich to blame this on poor consumer uptake, I feel.

Dylan
28 August 2013 #

Decisions like this are so hard because you don’t want to disappoint those who use it and love it, but at the same time it’s hard to pour resource and energy into something that isn’t going anywhere, especially when such a large opportunity exists elsewhere in the business. Kudos to the Xero team for giving it a go, and for the longer than required wind-down period for existing customers.

Andrew
28 August 2013 #

Gutted. We use Xero across four business, and personal for ourselves. Something i’m very happy to pay for.

I’m wondering if i can run Xero business for perosnal. Though its just not really the right thing.

Simon
28 August 2013 #

Hi

I find this a little odd, its only really become a complete product in recent months with the addition of bank fees and app access. I was looking to promote it more with my clients going forward.

stuartm
28 August 2013 #

Congrats to the Xero team for making the right decision here. I was a Xero Personal subscriber for over a year, but got tired of waiting for the promised features to arrive, and for the annoyances to be fixed. It was clear that Xero Personal wasn’t a huge priority for Xero, and now you can focus on growing and improving your core product without the distraction of Personal.

Chris Hooper
28 August 2013 #

I totally understand this rationale. It’s not part of the core business and difficult to justify particularly at the current subscription rate.

Rather than shutting down, couldn’t the tech and the user base be divested or licensed to a startup in the personal finance space?

Anton Gerner
28 August 2013 #

For the first time ever you have made me ANGRY @xero.
Is this a joke?
What product to you expect me to use instead that I can push expense claims through to Xero?

Mr Rod will be getting an email from me. What’s his email address?

Kelvin Hartnall
28 August 2013 #

This sounds like a difficult but sensible decision. Xero Personal seemed to be a distraction for Xero, being a product in a completely different market to its initial SME focus. It didn’t have the same resources and hence seemed to be a poor product, and from my experiences with it it reduced Xero’s reputation. For a small company (and Xero is still a small startup) focus is critical. As a shareholder I am pleased to see the increase in resources and focus into its main SME product, and hope to see an increase in speed that new features are built into the core product set.

However, I do have a couple of questions:

1) I was always surprised that Xero personal was a completely different code base to the main Xero application. I assume that there is a lot of overlap between cashbook functionality and personal finances. In hindsight would this have been more sustainable and successful if it was just a variant of Xero cashbook?

2) I assume there must be some value in the current product. Was it not possible to sell the product or spin it out in some way? Was BNZ not interested?

John
28 August 2013 #

Pathetic, but not surprising given how long it took to implement bank feeds, which still regularly have errors.
How about a supplying a copy of Xero Business to use for personal finances only for all the loyal customers who have a business and personal account with you?

Phill Coxon
28 August 2013 #

As a very long time Xero Personal user this is a frustrating decision but one I ultimately have to agree with.

Xero Personal has lagged far behind Xero Business and I’ve constantly been disappointed with it. Features like bank feeds on Xero Personal showed lot of promise but in reality have been extremely hit and miss :(

I’m not sure what I’m going to use as an personal finance solution but I’m happy that Xero have given us 14 months so we have time to explore alternatives.

Duane Griffin
28 August 2013 #

Sad, but not surprising. I was astonished to learn that the code-bases for business & personal are entirely separate. Given that, I think this step was inevitable. It makes no sense for Xero to maintain two parallel code-bases, with partially overlapping functionality.

I hope the resources that were devoted to personal are switched to working on making business flexible enough to support personal use. That would improve the overall product, ensure that sufficient resources and attention were paid to making it successful, and be a much more efficient use of development resources.

The business model would work itself out, I’d expect. The marginal cost for personal subscribers should be very low (I’m assuming the banks don’t charge per feed); low enough that Xero could hopefully provide free basic accounts. With a wide enough uptake you wouldn’t need a very high conversion rate to a paid pro account to make money. Then there is the value to be extracted from all that data…

Robbie Dellow
28 August 2013 #

I’m with ‘stuartm’ here ….. good decision which, in the nature of things, you can’t please everyone.
Will enable focus on the core business for SMB’s and free up skilled dev resources so a win in the long run. Better to make these difficult decisions now than later on.

Rod Drury
28 August 2013 #

Thanks for taking the time to write comments. Most of you seem to get it but as expected we have a few of you that think tarring and feathering is the most appropriate response.

Here’s a bit more info that may explain further.

Most people have accounts with multiple banks, especially small business owners. That means a bank lead solution doesn’t really work for the majority of the market. That points to an aggregation service.

If the service is independent, then someone has to pay for it. You either charge for it directly (and most people don’t want to pay) or you go to advertising based revenue models. That’s not our business and never will be.

Ironically, as we added automated feeds (and remember getting feeds from banks is tough enough with our business product), banks and our aggregation service want to charge us. It’s also a big investment to implement those feeds. The already low to no margin business is simply killed.

So PFM really is an impossible category.

We think we’re done the right thing by providing a very long notice period and expect that other niche players will step up and offer an alternative. We’ll facilitate that.

We also found the model of using Personal product as a way to get expenses becomes unsustainable with the cost of automated feeds. Over the course of the next year we’ll beef up our Expense Management to provide a better solution.

We obviously care deeply about our customers but hopefully our 14 month notice period and openness demonstrates our commitment to do the right thing.

Kirsty
28 August 2013 #

Really dissapointing. I’ve been a customer since the beginning and I’m not sure where to go next. Hopefully Xero can point me in the right direction. My business is too small to justify Xero Business but it’s been great to summarise annual home office expenses though Xero personal in about 1 minute flat to do my year end accounts.

Brad Fraser
28 August 2013 #

@Rod – Thanks for the info. Makes a lot of sense and I’m excited to hear that the Expense Management will be beefed up.

The openness and 14 month notice period is greatly appreciated, and I am happy that Xero takes this course.

paul rickett
28 August 2013 #

Good decision as Xero Personal sucks feature wise. Would rather user Xero Business for personal use so I can get a Balance Sheet and Income statement rather than some dumbed down bullshit stats Personal gives.

The make or break will be if Xero can price their Business functionality right for Personal use.

Ryan
28 August 2013 #

While I understand the rationale behind this decision – I certainly don’t agree with it. My wife and I have been using Xero Personal for about a year now and the features that currently exist are all we want. Considering it’s the only cloud based financial management software that has bank feeds for Australian banks I’m flabbergasted as to why you wouldn’t market the product more/better and get the user base up so you can afford to continue both products.

Xero will be leaving a gaping hole in this area of finance management now for Australians and NZers when there are no real alternatives and great room for development.

The only thing I can be thankful for is that you’ve actually given time for users to adjust – I just hope someone out there can develop something worthwhile like this by this time next year or else we will be out of options.

Ryan
28 August 2013 #

In response to Rod’s comment – I’m happy to pay for bank feeds. If $50 per annum isn’t enough then I’m happy for that to increase – obviously within reason.

Also, as an alternative option – is it possible that Xero Personal could still run beyond next year if you removed bank feeds? With all the development already made in the product, surely the maintenance of a non-feed based product would be manageable (obviously with a lower subscription cost)?

Nathan
28 August 2013 #

Terribly disappointing. Perhaps the “small number” of people using personal is down to the fact that any information about it is, and always has been, completely buried on the Xero website. Look at the home page – can you see it? I can’t. It’s tucked away under a “Do More” drop down menu, between training and support.

The personal accounting market is filled with mostly rubbish, and Xero Personal was the only one that has been decent enough to actually sign up for. Obviously don’t want my money anymore, so back to messy spreadsheets it seems.

stuartm
28 August 2013 #

For those looking for alternatives (Nathan, Ryna, Kirsty, and more) — you should check out PocketSmith (http://www.pocketsmith.com/) which is also a locally developed app and supports way more features than Xero Personal did, including unlimited categories, mortgage accounts, and rock-solid bank feeds.

Nick P
28 August 2013 #

I agree with Paul Rickett above. I already have 4 or 5 Xero Business accounts setup. I would be more than happy to setup another ‘Xero Business’ account for my personal spending – IF it were a cheaper price.

eg Why not just disable the GST reporting and offer it to people wanting to track their personal expenditure?

Berend de Boer
28 August 2013 #

@Nick P: Xero Business is way over the top for most people. Most people are not looking for an accounting program, but for an expense tracking program.

Nigel
28 August 2013 #

Interesting!

What are the other options, folks? Either SAAS, or installed applications?

I like someone’s suggestion that business users should get a free or token price cashbook version to use for their personal accounts – that would be an improvement, and a significant incentive to owner managers to sign up and stay signed up.

Come on Rod – cheer us up! ;-)

Amanda
28 August 2013 #

As a personal and business user I’m pretty fed up about this. Everything people have already said about bank feeds for personal is true, but the functionality was still good enough IMHO to make Xero personal worth the time and effort. And it’s the time I spent setting it up, learning it, sorting my goals, budgets etc that’s really hacked me off. Yes 14 months is a good long notice period, but how does that compensate me for the time? I’m neither an accountant nor a finance tech so it didn’t come naturally to me, and this sort of stuff is clearly necessary but bores me to tears though I thought it was worth the one off effort. Of far greater concern to me is that I spent a considerable amount of time persuading (for that read pushing) my business partners into learning and using Xero Business – principally because we’re a creative start up who are not co-located and very simple financial transparency was essential to the future of our relationship and therefore business. What confidence do they, (and I) have now that a similar thing won’t happen to Xero Business? Yes it’s possibly an emotional, irritated reaction, but hey, that’s how the markets rise and fall too.

Nick P
28 August 2013 #

@Berend – I agree it’s over the top, but Xero Business’s Bank Feeds, and “Rules” work brilliantly, and I know myself (and other’s I spoke to this morning) would be happy to use that for allocating expenses and keeping track of them month to month..

Yes it will be a bit of a hack, but a worthwhile one IMHO

Louis Alech
28 August 2013 #

This is poor decision on Xero’s part. I go as far as to say that the only valid reason to shut down Xero Personal would be if the product would be threatening the existence of company itself which I assume is not the case.

Xero Personal should have been downgraded into “maintenance mode”. Shutting down services (no matter what is the reason) is the worst imaginable PR for SaaS company like Xero. Given Xero’s hype, there is especially a lot to lose here and I’m not sure they properly assessed the risks.

Competitors of Xero will be very happy to point this out years to come and no doubt this *will* hurt Xero’s fantastic growth so far. I’m still trying to figure out what was the management thinking.

Bruce Joy
28 August 2013 #

Being a software developer, I understand the decision. I agree with Nick P. We have 2 company accounts with Xero and I’ve been encouraging people to use Xero Personal. If there was a slimmed down version of the business one without the same reporting and GST (Aussie-centric response, I know) then it would be great – especially if it’s the same price as the current personal version. Just cut it back enough that it isn’t so fully featured that it cannibalizes the business market. The convenience for us users to have a complete business and personal solution that interoperates is a massive draw card of Xero today. You’re also benefiting right now from the fact that MYOB Live is rubbish! That may change so my hope is you find a way within a year to offer something to us that solves our accounting problems – not just our business accounting problems.

Sam
28 August 2013 #

This is a huge shame, but I have to say I feel like the outcome might have been different if the product had been promoted more heavily.

I looked around a few times for web-based personal finance software with a New Zealand focus; and yet the first time I ever heard of Xero Personal was when I saw a post on a blog saying how much of a shame it was that it was being shut down.

From the looks of it, it’s a service I would have been happy to pay $10 a month for.

Brendan Knowles
28 August 2013 #

Bugger! Will be really sad to see it go when it has just started delivering some real value for us (recent fixes and the iOS App were important here). Thanks anyway Xero team – guess you gotta do what’s right for your bottom line.

Guy
28 August 2013 #

Joined July 1 2013, still learning how Personal works, now told it’s winding down… why would I keep on with it only to source and relearn another in 14mths, which really is only 10mths as why would anyone extend past June 30 2014 end of tax year???? Xero should be refunding the newbie’s at least, and really everyone for this coming year if we choose to depart now … Xero support doesn’t think so though … not happy… not fair!

James
28 August 2013 #

Xero, this is a very poor decision and shows a lack of interest in your customers. If you can treat me like this as a personal customer, what are you going to do to me as a business customer. I believe this reflects poorly on your customer relationships. It is not true people won’t pay for a good product, readi the comments people are saying they will. I pay for Dropbox, and iCloud account and other cloud based products all for personal use. I am disappointed in Xero and this decision. I do not think they have looked at options to continue, and ey certainly have done nothing to grow their personal customer base. When I show this to my friends and business associates, most people are amazed the product exists as they have never heard of it, further they love the product and many have since joined up and paid their fee. Xero I think you should reconsider this move. You will make many of your business customers (myself included) very unhappy!

Alex
28 August 2013 #

Sad to see it go. Just signed up and was loving the product. Happy to pay the $49 per year it would have saved me many time that by allowing me visibility over all my personal accounts and finance. Hopefully they re-launch this product in the future.

Stephen
28 August 2013 #

Been reading the comments with interest and also the explanations provided by Rod in the Xero Blog

My view as a UK partner is that Xero personal was a product that didn’t gain enough competitive advantage and was a little too crunchy to activate ie setting up the goals etc, but at the same time was great for tracking expenses etc.

On the whole I am very pleased with the decision to give such a long notice period to provide a substantial amount of time for people to get / move to a replacement product. More importantly it allows the team at Xero to focus on the core product as compete it the market where they are best at – business finances

personal finances can be tracked using the Xero app for anything you pay on behalf of the business or using tools such as receipt bank

As with everything in life we all have to focus on the right things and I feel it is a very brave and sensible decision that the Xero team have taken here

I’m looking forward to the improvements that Rod has indicated in the expenses side on the key Xero tools and more importantly look at all the great improvements that have been made already in this ‘game changing’ software and encourage the team at Xero to continue to keep up the great work

From a UK partner point of view I’m looking forward to working with you for years to come and am encouraged by this decision to focus on the key products

Steve
28 August 2013 #

I’m a big fan of myprosperity.com.au. It’s free, links to all the same bank accounts as Xero personal and also gets values on property prices, car values, shares, etc so you can track your net worth!

Bob Harper
28 August 2013 #

Well done….big, bold and brave; when you know it the only option is to kill something off and hold your hands up and say you made a mistake.

Investors will like this and so will accounting partners because you can now get some features sorted on the business edition that the user base has been screaming for.

Lachlan
28 August 2013 #

@Guy – equally unhappy. I paid for Xero Personal on Monday, and it was shutdown less than 48 hours later. Xero Support responded saying they would not provide a refund. Seriously? I hadn’t even logged back in before it was shut.

Xero – please reconsider those who have paid recently. I am a business customer too. Its not the money but the principle.

Nathan
28 August 2013 #

What’s with the apologists applauding the move? Oh, they’re business users only who have only their own interests at heart and couldn’t care less if a product others rely upon is cut since they don’t use it themselves.

This is not a “brave” move, it’s a lazy one. They cite the small number of people using it as one of the reasons, yet how would you go about growing a user base if your own website acts like it doesn’t exist? Fact of the matter is that if you’re going to do software as a service, then you need to commit to it. If you aren’t going to put the energy into promoting it, don’t even launch it in the first place. To instead put it out there, and when it get’s oh so hard, yank it out from users is just incredibly poor form.

Lachlan
28 August 2013 #

My first attempt at posting a comment seems to have been moderated away. I will try again.

@Guy – I agree and am in a similar situation. I paid for Xero Personal on Monday, and by Wednesday morning it was shut down. Less than 48 hours, and I hadn’t even logged back in.

I contacted Xero support about a refund and was refused. “Sorry, no refund will be provided as Xero Personal will remain available until November 2014.”. I had already spent considerable time setting it up during the trial but why would I want to finish and use the product for a year only to have to switch? It is obvious that this extended subscription is of no value to those who are just starting. When I paid Xero would have known it was shutting the service, and if I had known I obviously wouldn’t have paid. I’m confident there is some legal claim here beyond the moral claim to refund.

Its not about the money as it is a trivial amount, but the principle matters. I have already wasted several weekends setting Xero up. At least acknowledge that and refund those who have just paid. I am a new business customer of Xero also and this is souring my perception of the company.

Not refunding? Poor form. Moderating unfavourable comments? Also poor form.

Jeffrey
28 August 2013 #

Hi,

Myself I have this a go when it first started, but since have become a student. I know $50 a year is not much, but $5 a month could a be a great rescue option. It would be a great help to manage the budget and things – this really is a product I always wanted to use, but unfortunately rarely could.

Di C
29 August 2013 #

Probably good idea. Xero personal was such a disappointment after xero and very clunky to use. Personally prefer the resources to be spent developing xero for small businesses, particularly in respect to add ons

Rod Drury
29 August 2013 #

Just to wrap up at the end of the day.

This has a very interesting case study that is worth examining.

I hope people understand that we at Xero are very caring of our customers and there was a lot of thought put into this. It’s a very hard call – much easier to do nothing. So when we made the decision we thought hard about doing the right thing. That included a super long lead time of 14 months, so that even recent customers got their year and a bit more, and it also provides plenty of time for others in the space to provide a seamless transition. We expect that a clear alternative will emerge over the next month or so and we’ll help with that transition.

It was also assumed that we did no marketing. We marketed XP direct and targeted. The response rate was very low and we learnt that without having go and do a big splash. So we avoided wasting money and we don’t spend a lot of traditional marketing with Xero Business anyway. It hasn’t been our model so far.

I thought we explained above that regardless of how many users there is little margin in the service – if any. We did actually wait until we have a mobile app and automated feeds which we think are key for a service. But banks and/or aggregators charge us for feeds. We may not have even recovered those feed costs. The banks do not have a standard way for us to get data so each bank is a big investment. So the commercial reality is that Personal Financial Management is an an unattractive business. Yes we get how it can be useful but by and large people will not pay enough for companies to invest in.

Our business has matured to be a balance of small business and accountant software. We have a very broad product set and we still have a large number of vacancies. So having a duty of care to shareholders we need to deploy our valuable staff on the highest value problems.

So the decision to wind down Xero Personal was compelling. We then thought how to do the right thing by those customers. We think a 14 month notice period and a willingness to work with others to migrate to a new service is a very ethical and reasonable approach.

We are disappointed, though not surprised, by some of the comments above. In the same way we try to put ourselves in our customers shoes perhaps those commenting could look at this through our lens and would see that our approach is logical and appropriate.

We are keen that others learn from our experience so I hope these additional comments are useful.

I reiterate, we all at Xero want to do the right thing by our customers. We think we’re doing that.

Again happy to respond to constructive feedback.

Tim Harding
29 August 2013 #

I’m delighted to hear this, Rod. I’ve always been concerned that Xero Personal was a massive distraction, that you were chasing the success of Mint. Makes me a very happy shareholder. Now we can have the whole company focused on the important, growing, part of the business.

Adam Fitzgerald
29 August 2013 #

While disappointed (haven’t found a decent alternative) I understand the move and a good clarifying reply their Rod. At the end of the day, you’ve got to do right by the company and it’s long term goals.

John Selden
29 August 2013 #

So many online PFMs have been shut down or EOLed over the past few years: Wesabe, Buxfer, Quicken Online, Adaptu, and now Xero Personal. Such a shame. I’ve been looking for a good online PFM so that I could switch completely over to my Chromebook, rather than having to continue running desktop personal finance software on my Mac.

Honestly though, after this sad string of service shutdowns, I think I (and anyone else) would be crazy to use an online PFM. The risk is just too high that the service will disappear.

Berend de Boer
29 August 2013 #

@John Selden: as long as there are export options, people can still take their data elsewhere. Pocket Smith will no doubt have an import feature soon.

Obviously you lose a bit of time learning a different product, but probably not much different than when a company changes its UI. There are a lot of players in the PFM as probably this is something where many feel it’s easy to create a product, but as Xero Personal exemplifies: it’s harder to make money.

Pete
29 August 2013 #

@rod I appreciate you taking the time to feedback on the reasons why xero has made the decision to close XP – if the product isn’t making money then it isn’t sustainable. I get it.

I do wonder though if there could have been a 3rd way? If the cost of the bank feeds is the problem then I for one would be prepared to pay extra for that feature. It’s easily worth $20/month or so to me to save the effort of manually downloading transaction data every week. For those that don’t want to pay the fee just let them do it manually – I don’t see any compelling alternatives the XP in the market so I doubt people would be leaving in droves.

I wouldn’t expect any business to sell a product at a loss but given XP is now relatively mature and you have obviously invested a significant amount of your shareholders money to get it to this point it seems a huge shame to discontinue it essentially because it’s being sold too cheaply.

Surely a change to the charging model is worth a shot before a straight discontinuation – what do you have to lose?

Wes Dart
29 August 2013 #

I agree with Pete here — surely a change to the pricing model could be explored? I am really disappointed that this service is finishing. I have been telling all my friends about Xero Personal and I think some may have already signed up. I guess I looked at Xero Personal a bit like Apple TV — probably still in the ‘hobby’ stage, but a cool product none the less. Apple has still demonstrated their long term commitment to Apple TV even though the size of the market hasn’t been as compelling as the Mac or iPhone. Apple TV still gives them a seat at the table. Xero have given up a seat at the table and thereby decreased their credibility in my eyes. When someone eventually ‘cracks’ this PFM market Xero will find it much harder to break in.

Glenn
29 August 2013 #

Extremely disappointing. The blend of business and personal Xero on an integrated platform was very useful and now what? I am very concerned that the users were not consulted at all. This worries me that at any time in the future at their whim, Xero could discontinue any aspect of any of their services, whether or not they have become important parts of peoples personal and/or business lives. Xero might not be big like Google, but they have exposed that they are prepared to use customer loyalty to test market viability and when viability is threatened, rather than try to sell, transfer, augment, re-price, etc, they just simply take the quitters route and discontinue the service .. and to hell with the customers! Very very disappointed.

Dave Rodley
29 August 2013 #

Can this replace Xero Personal
What I am asking the Xero team is a break in pricing for existing Xero personal uses
$29NZD PER MONTH SMALL
Ideal for freelancers and small property investors

ana
29 August 2013 #

Thanks for the heads up, but really disappointed as I invested a fair bit of time on the product and was quite happy with it.

I find you guys may have found more customers should you have advertise the product. I only found out about it because the accountant pointed out. I had not noticed before and have been with xero for a couple of years.

you should give another go.

Jason Leong
29 August 2013 #

We’ve been watching the PFM space with interest since 2007, and it’s fair to say it’s a niche that’s taking its time to mature – in part because the pace of innovation in the area is reliant upon what core banking systems have to offer.

@John Selden, many of those PFMs raised money to capitalise on consumer sentiment post-GFC. As you’re aware, most adopted a narrow feature focus and offered a unique twist on top of account aggregation without a revenue model – perhaps hoping for a rapid growth in user numbers and a quick exit.

Xero Personal and PocketSmith are two of a small number of PFMs that adopt a pure SaaS model without relying on ‘cleverer’ means of monetising off our customer base, like cross-selling credit cards for example.

As such the space can be a tough one to make money in, particularly when the lion’s share of potential customers resides in the US, where Intuit funds a free solution in Mint.com, skewing the market’s perceived value of a PFM. So we’re usually surprised when we hear of yet another startup creating a ‘simple PFM!’. The best of that breed already exists for free, so why would anyone pay for a close substitute?

Our strategy for growth is focused around offering a more comprehensive version of the basic PFM, and solving those tricky problems that the others don’t. It’s not rocket science, but it seems to be paying off: every month, we bring on board more ex-Mint users who have moved on from the free alternative to pay for what we have to offer. It means however, that we’ve traditionally served a subset of PFM users.

@Pete, our users range from those who have a base aversion to paying for a personal finance product, to those who have actively used their Premium subscriptions over the last four years. So our customers are certainly willing to pay for the right service, and our job is to simply keep our focus on them and listen to what they have to say. And we trust them to guide us – because, let’s face it, there aren’t going to be many competitors left to emulate ;-)

We have a letter for Xero Personal fans here: http://pocketsmith.com/xero_personal

Roger
29 August 2013 #

@Pete – yes, really good point. How can sites like myprosperity do all the bank feeds and categorisation for free? There must be other ways of making Xero Personal viable?

Kirsty
30 August 2013 #

As a BNZ customer I didn’t have access to bank feeds from my other banks or the new mobile app and I’m still happy to use the product with manual uploading. Couldn’t this option be kept on?

Cara
30 August 2013 #

Very disappointed, am using the free trial and it only took a day before I decided I loved it… was going to pay the fee straight away but thought it best to wait until my 30 free days were up (lucky I did). I was also raving about it to all my friends, feel stupid for doing THAT now… such a shame

Kim
30 August 2013 #

@RodDrury

1. can Xero for business be used for personal finances?

2. If not, can you recommend alternatives to Xero personal

I loved your product and have a need its just that the business accounting solutions are of course overly complex for an individual’s finances. What was so nice about Xero personal is that it was simple and you didn’t need to know complex tax rules etc, etc. But if your company and indeed others can get a good return in this market, then it leaves the consumer who needs such a solution turing to the business editions. Can your business edition be tailored for personal use? And if so is there any information or documentation or advice on how best to do this (ideally without using an accountant)?

Thanks in advance for your response

Peter G
30 August 2013 #

sad to see xp go but appreciate the notice. tried out myprosperity.com.au and was suprised at number of features compared to xp. looks like same bank feeds as xp but property, car and asx feeds as well

Ged
30 August 2013 #

If the bank feeds killed the business case, then why not just charge per feed?
Maybe one feed included, then an extra $5 per additional feed.

Chris
31 August 2013 #

This information should be on your main page… I.e. stop freaking advertising for people to start using this product if you plan on discontinuing it in a year. I just wasted 2 hours of my life, trying to work out how it works and how to use it, decided that it was a worth while product – (Almost bought it, and then I found this). I would have been more than happy to pay for a full subscription to the personal version, however, there’s no point if it all ends in a year.

Nick
31 August 2013 #

Really annoyed that xeros discontinuing! I went to check out mint.com but it only seems to work for US customers. Myprosperity is a really good alternative for aussies!

Gayle Buchanan
2 September 2013 #

High 5, takes great courage to close down any part of a business that doesn’t deliver the core focus – thanks for the reminder btw

Taylor
2 September 2013 #

I am quite disappointed with this decision, other personal solutions like mint, pocketbook requires unselling to other services.

John Keane
3 September 2013 #

Hmm, disappointing, and a bit of a shock (given that recent release of iOS app (which is super) seemed to indicate that it was live and kicking). But not that much of a surprise all told, given that Xero’s focus is on the business side.

General consensus here seems to be:

* Business users – I’m glad you’re focusing on me
* Personal users – I’m disappointed you’re not focusing on me, Xero Personal was the best thing I’d found, and I’d have been happy to pay more (or to have less – even without automated feeds, this works well for me)
* Rod/Xero – it’s easier for us to make money out of business users than personal users, so we’re focusing on business users

That’s all fair, and absolutely reasonable that Xero should be trying to make money.

It’s a shame that they couldn’t make Xero Personal work though — I was delighted when it was born, because there simply aren’t any personal finance management options available in the UK (or at least there weren’t) – I switched to Xero Personal from MS Money 2000!! And I had faith that Xero could make it work, and had a higher objective of making financial management accessible to normal people – whether they’re in businesses and using Xero Business, or managing their own finances. Shame.

The 14 month wind-down period is generous, and appreciated, and I look forward to seeing what other options become available from other suppliers. I’ve already signed up for a free account on Pocketsmith to try that out.

Here in the UK, individual banks (and credit card companies) are trying to tie us into their own platforms with mobile apps and automated categorisation of transactions in their own online systems. I’m fearful that this is the way of the future: I’d much rather have my long-term financial reporting be independent of my banking provider. But I’d speculate that it’s this aspect of the economics which means that the bank charges for automated feeds make the space tough for independents.

Corrin Lakeland
3 September 2013 #

Please mention this on the Xero Personal site. I reviewed it some time last year and concluded until bank feeds it wasn’t viable. I tried it again yesterday and was in the process of really getting set up when I came across the EOL announcement. Had I seen just at sign-up that it was already scheduled for EOL I would have not bothered and saved myself some time an hour or two.

PS: I have no problem with the decision to discontinue it. My preliminary assessment was that unless you invest heavily then your competition will be a better choice for me. Also I strongly approve of the long announcement window – that gives me more confidence in your approach as a company.

Darren
4 September 2013 #

14 months notice whilst a nice long lead time is still 14 months away from not having a viable alternative. I understand you expected to receive some negative responses so I’m providing you my negative response. I found the personal product reasonably priced and would comfortably pay more.

Was there any thought to product going into support but no development mode? If IP already exists and I’m assuming infrastructure is shared between business users, what is the negative in having a product continue as is?

I spent multiple weeks manually editing split transactions I exported from Quicken Australia version to make them work in Xero.

So VERY disappointed.

Adam
5 September 2013 #

My Mrs tried Xero Personal as we use Business, she gave it a good go as we were keen on a SaaS solution but ended up reverting to a very old version of Quicken! We couldn’t even see how to schedule a repeating bill, perhaps we just didn’t get the best out of it but basically we didn’t think it was any good. That’s probably why the take-up isn’t as good as would be needed.

Fingers crossed the team working on Personal will help the Business team get some missing features out the door now, how about a working UK VAT system (when purchasing in the EU) and purchase orders! (please!)

Mike Block CPA
5 September 2013 #

Here is the fastest, easiest and least expensive upgrade from Xero Personal to the far better Xero Cashbook. It will be essentially free until June 2015. Here is why.

Xero Personal users will save $3 a month from September 2013 to June 2015 ($66 total). In December 2015 (sooner if you wish), we will help you start using the far better Xero Cashbook, with 2 free months. Only after that will you pay the Xero cost ($12 a month). It will not be until June 2015 that this uses up your Xero personal savings.

We will do this so you can see the terrific extra 0CPAs time and money savings (automatically save all entries, far better automatic rules and much more, including big tax savings).

David
5 September 2013 #

Disappointed and hope I’ll be able to find something that will replace.

justin
9 September 2013 #

Other cashlow bank feed softwares are moneysoft.
Money soft has like 200+ bank feeds – http://www.moneysoft.com.au/?

David
10 September 2013 #

This is a classic “cloud risk” scenario – give up your software freedom to someone else and this is inevitable. I’m sure Stallman would have a field day with this. Back to GNUcash for me then :-/

Adrian Shiel
10 September 2013 #

Not surprising as Xero Personal never really cut the mustard. I use and recommend Xero Business to a lot of SME’s but have never been able to recommend Xero Personal.

I know it isn’t cloud based but I still use MS Sunset edition of Money and I know quite a few of the people coming to the Xero site would have moved across if it had more of the features of MSMoney.

Natas Porter
10 September 2013 #

Rod,

although im disappointed to hear that you guys will be EOL ing Xero Personal, i do see an opportunity presenting itself..

as i think its still a very good product with alot of legs left in it..

are you interested in selling or licensing the codebase for Xero Peronal.?

Cheers

Natas

Chris
10 September 2013 #

We just start using Xero Personal + Xero Accounting and after get use to new system we got news about winding down Xero Personal. I’ve read some comments and I think Personal accounting need time and I hope XERO got budget to keep running this apps, but as I said to hotline need work a bit about functionality for Xero Personal on Apps to be more useful especial with placing bills into system on to go. We will pay today for annual subscription and we hope we can use Xero Personal after 2014 nov. Thank you guy, don’t give up with great products just keep going!

James Carrington
11 September 2013 #

So disapointed to lose Xero. I’ve tried alternatives and so far have had no luck – the bank feeds on Xero was the biggest pull for me.

Does Xero personal not offer another stream of potential business customers? (customers who might upgrade some day)

Was there no chance of just increasing the subscription price? I’d have gladly paid a little more.

Daniel
11 September 2013 #

Hi Rod

I’ve read most of the above comments with interest. I have been a Xero Personal customer for about one year. I am not a Xero Business customer. I am obviously disappointed in your decision. The goodwill I had for Xero (because it was and is a perfectly good product for my purposes) is now gone. You have failed to address some of the points above in your responses, namely:

1. whether you could provide an option to keep Xero Personal going without the bank feeds (this would be far preferable than stopping Xero Personal completely);

2. why people who have recently signed up and gone through the expense of learning the system, creating categories and rules, etc. should not be refunded. That is blatantly unfair on those people (I am excluding myself in this regard); and

3. the extent to which consideration was given to increasing the cost and/or dropping bank feeds to increase profitability.

I disagree that proper marketing of Xero Personal was undertaken. I regard myself as fairly financially and technologically savvy but had only in the last year come across your product. What marketing was actually undertaken?

Fundamentally, the fact that you’re willing to drop a product in this way has guaranteed that I will never sign up for a Xero product in my lifetime, nor will I recommend anyone to do so. I am so frustrated by the substantial time and effort that I’ve spent working with Xero Personal, and annoyed that I’ll have to waste that time and effort again working with whatever replacement system eventuates.

Regards

Daniel

Rod Drury
11 September 2013 #

Hi Daniel, I haven’t responded in a while but will comment on yours as you raise some points that others probably feel.

I’ll reiterate. This is a resourcing issue. We got doing a personal product wrong and it was tying up valuable resources that affects the vast majority of our customers.

So we made the hard decision to close XP down. Keeping it open is not an option but to show that we do care for all our customers we provided a very long notice period which gives us time to gracefully provide another option or for customers to move off.

To your questions.

1. No just keeping something running ties up resources and the product becomes less competitive and would generate more frustration. A clear signal that we are not investing further seems better. In the cloud we think a PFM should have automated feeds and we don’t like having a subpar product out there. It’s just not us.

2. The software is going for the next 12 months. Refunds are hard for any business so we decided to continue providing the service for at least 12 months.

3. Regardless, PFM’s are a hard model and do not create enough margin for us to invest in. We have to be responsible.

4. As explained we did a lot of direct marketing with partners which is far more effective than random marketing you would normally see. The response rate was not where we would need it to be and so it would be irrational to waste money on other types of marketing.

5. I think our willingness to be open about getting things wrong and sticking to our core (accounting software for small business) is a good sign to current and future customers. But completely understand how this would be annoying to you.

We’d love to make everyone happy. We can’t. We think we’ve done the right thing.

Rod

Tom Castleman
12 September 2013 #

Hi Rod,

Like many small businesses we have a significant number of business expenses paid with personal credit cards. To this end across 2 Business and 3 Personal subscriptions we make extensive use of the Xero Personal “Business Expenses” transaction category and the submission into Xero Business for processing and repayment. Obviously we can continue with this for 14 months however in advance of this we need to either:

1) find a replacement PFM which facilitates this or an equivalent workflow, or

2) you mentioned you would be beefing up the expenses management side of Xero Business which would perhaps offer a replacement workflow?

I’d be very interested to hear what Xero have in mind for 2).

Also whether any one else has any suggestions for 1) – Receipt Bank is an option for a receipt centric workflow, however we have a personal bank statement centric workflow.

Xero Business is an awesome product and I look forward to future developments here. Whilst I have been using Personal for years as a submission tool into Business for expenses, its other features have never quite cut it. I understand this decision and appreciate the openness.

Tom

Saul Brown
12 September 2013 #

I’m disappointed by this news. We’re using Xero for our business and wanted to start using the personal version too. This is too bad, hopefully someone will pick it up and keep this going.

Tom
13 September 2013 #

I’ve started using myprosperity.com.au and it’s been easy to learn and has all the bank feeds. Well worth a try.

Daniel
17 September 2013 #

Thank you for your prompt reply Rod. We will agree to disagree. You’ve probably done the “right thing” by your shareholders, but not this particular customer. It is refreshing to see a CEO of a publicly-listed company take such an active interest in, and respond to, customer comment; for that I am grateful.

Jenn
19 September 2013 #

Just make it free, please. I hope you get more business partners, Xero so you can offer Xero Personal for free. Many will use it, I’m sure. I really love this as oppose to Mint since I can’t even use Mint due to the fact that I’m not in USA and therefore have no american bank account to connect there.

Georgia
23 September 2013 #

They cannot make it free for obvious reasons. It’s a shame that such a seemingly popular service is being dropped but Rod is absolutely right- it is not the core product for Xero. Other companies will quickly step in to fill the gap and Xero will be able to focus on doing what they do best!

Rado
23 September 2013 #

How about creating a Micro version of the business plans. Such a plan would allow only the most basic functions, and remove invoicing and bills and employees, but would allow more reconciliations. Maybe AUD 9/m.

Robb
27 September 2013 #

I get the decision to close down XP. I get it. What I don’t get is not giving refunds to people who purchased the product 2 or 3 days before the announcement. “Providing the service for at least 12 months” is great for users who are already entrenched and have to migrate to another system.but it’s another thing entirely to ignore the consumer who in good faith purchased a bridge to nowhere. What difference does 14 months make to the user who just started? Why go through all the effort of learning a system and setting it up, falling in love with it even, only to know the patient dies just as you get going? The 14 month advanced notice is an awesome and thoughtful thing for long time XP users. Justifying the same notice to users who purchased a week before the announcement? Well— there’s a word for that but I’m not going to use it here. There are many words, actually, and none of them are good. Anyone who purchased XP up to a month prior to the announcement should be given a refund. Yes, “refunds are hard for any business”. There’s also something called good will to keep disappointed customers on your side when you buy a live fish on Monday and it’s dead on Tuesday. Sure, you can leave the dead fish in the bowl for the next 14 months–but is that something anyone wants to do?
I’ve only started contemplating using Xero for my business in the last few days. It wasn’t even on my radar but I really like what I’ve seen. The loss of XP has zero effect on me. But not giving refunds to the users who purchased XP in the days prior to the announcement gives me pause. That’s not how I ever would want to be treated as a customer and now there’s a precedent.

Ed Henry
28 September 2013 #

Well, I have really only just come across this thread.
Like many I was initially taken aback. However, there is no use “crying over spilt milk”. Rod has explained very clearly the reasons why XP is being discontinued and as a reasonably new entrant in to the Xero eco system I can get completely why the decision to close was taken. For me I would rather have Xero company resources and dollars put into finishing off the core product with Purchase Orders, Quotes etc as has been outlined than investing in a “poor cousin” product.
Personally I have immediately moved to the non GST Cash book at $10 per month. That is peanuts when I can walk in to my bank manager and give him figures as of today showing my bank accounts agreeing with those on his screen, a complete income and expense statement broken down for shares, property and salaries earned from my company, together with a balance sheet of assets and liabilities – the first thing any financial institution will ask for when requesting funds from them, whether it be a company car, an overdraft or a another mortgage.
I can tell you he was impressed. XP would not have done that in the same way.
I can now also add in Sharesight and maybe Pocket Rent or Re-Leased.
All I can say is, join me, understand your product and promote the features that you may never have used otherwise. Think what the opportunities are not the so called losses. Half full glass, not half empty!

Christian
1 October 2013 #

Perfectly udnerstand the business need to shut down XP. You are a business, you need to make money. However, not giving refunds to people who purchased the product some days before the announcement doesn’t make sense. In my case, I bought the service on the 18th August. You did the announcement on the 28th August. You debited my account on exactly the same date of the announcement. I don’t believe it was a coincidence. Your customer service was very nice explaining there’s no refund. However, I still find it unfair. If refunds are operationally a mess, go through the mess anyway. That is the right thing to do.

jared
2 October 2013 #

I am a little disappointed, I was looking forward to using Xero Personal. if you change your minds, let me know. I am willing to pay for it.

Szilvia
2 October 2013 #

I am really disappointed that I’ve just joined Xero Personal within the last month and nowhere was this mentioned on the website. I took lot of time to set it up, sent emails back and forth with your staff and still nobody mentioned this. Now, that I wanted to pay for it, I was told I can’t and it is going to be turned off form me on the 1st December 2013. “Glad” I put lots of hours into setting it up. Is there a way I could use it at least until Nov 2014 now to give me a bit more time to find another solution?

Also, I have been using Xero Business for over 2 years now for several clients and I never got a direct email introducing XP. If all of us using the Business version would have received a email introducing it, I am sure quite a few of us would have joined. To agree with everyone before me, I am happy to upload the statements manually as well (automatic bank feeds don’t work so I am actually doing them manually now and not a problem at all). If it could keep the service going that would be great. Thanks

mikeredes
9 October 2013 #

will there be a way to convert the personal to company without losing all the data?

Tina
9 October 2013 #

Rod – gutted to hear as this was a great product, flaws and all. But I think you’ve read all that many times over now.

I understand your business decision and that commercially you don’t want to pursue this market segment (I suppose it is a bit of a nerdy niche!)

BUT think you’re missing a trick here – what about all that goodwill and future customer base you’re turning off? You know people talk and people also like to spread hate.

Rod – be a hero and do something philanthropic! Get one of your marketing team to assemble a list of suitable alternatives (which of course you have if you’ve been analysing the market) and send this out to your disgruntled customers. That would at least appease us and leave us with a wee bit of warm love for Xero.

James
9 October 2013 #

How about offering a discount to the business software. If only a small percentage of XP users switch surely it’s easy revenue generated. I doubt XP users are heavy users so the resources required would be minimal.

I am heavily invested in Xero with business use so keeping it all in one place makes sense.

Please, please, please give a discount offer to existing XP users to the business plan so we can stay around. Even if it’s the same price as PocketSmith it would be worth it.

jeremy
9 October 2013 #

Setting up xero personal as a separate code base was a poor decision, however closing it down without refunds and only because the banks insist on charging customers again for access to their own data is also a poor decision.

You could have setup up a personal service as a subset of the business code base, put your prices up, and passed on all feed fees from banks to customers as a separate charge while making it clear this charge is outside your control and customers should take it up with their bank.

Essentially the banks have scuppered profitability in the cloud based personal finance world by charging customers for access to their own data. Xero should be leading the revolt rather than giving up. Press releases along those lines would get you oodles of free publicity, at least in the UK, where bankers are rated only marginally higher than criminals, at best.

Now that would be customer service.

Dan
13 October 2013 #

I’m not surprised xero personal has failed as it continually avoided the one key feature the vast majority of users wanted – automated bank feeds – an option they provide so seamlessly on the business side. They missed a trick and once cheaper (and in many cases) free alternatives arrived xero had blown their monetization opportunity for this product. The feeble attempt to add bank feeds recently (with only a few banks supported) while still hoping to charge customers was the nail in the coffin

Brendan
15 October 2013 #

I do pay for it and am happy to pay $50 a year, even without automated bank feeds, I don’t use them anyway. It’s not hard to upload an OBX or CSV file every week or month. Seriously, for that price it does quite a lot for the basic home budgetter. To offer a service and then pull it out when people are just starting to get used to it and use it is a real pain in the arse! It’s a good basic offering and is quite easy to use, please re-think this decision.

Jamie Lyford
17 October 2013 #

The principle weakness in the go to market strategy for this product and hence the poor customer reception is the bank feeds not being live – without this the product is next to as good as a spreadsheet. If this was operational and you sold the benefits of people not having to enter anything then I believe the level of interest would be much higher (the laziness factor for consumers cannot be ignored). The pricing however is a different point – this would clearly need to be much lower than the commercial product and accordingly the commecialisation model different – advertising and customer promotion linked to relevant consumer behaviour information would perhaps need to be added (much as I hate this stuff in products I use and why I like the clean interface of Xero as it is now but would understand the need if commercial viability was a issue). In any event I hope you reconsider this decision and give the product more time esp. if you turn on the bank feeds and also in light of recent funding announcements.

James
17 October 2013 #

A credit from xero personal fees towards $10 xero cashbook adapted to personal expenses would go a long way towards repairing some of the goodwill – especially as we had been referring clients to it right up to the announcement of cancellation.

Richard Spofforth
20 October 2013 #

I’ve tried a number of products over the years including microsoft money and money wiz. Either they get withdrawn or dont do the same as Xero personal. Why oh why do Xero have to withdraw such a great product. Surely you can reconsider?

Mary Moore
21 October 2013 #

Xero offers a version of the business edition (without the ability to add invoices) called “cashbooks” which is only available through Xero partners (generally bookkeepers and accountants). The non GST version is much cheaper than the business version and I personally find it ideal for tracking our personal expenses…and it would be especially great for those of you who already use Xero for their businesses. Any NZ-ers posting here who are interested, please contact me via my website accounts2u.co.nz and I’d be happy to provide a quote.

Faz
22 October 2013 #

Why not open source the project and have that model? at least then the project can continue to be maintained and developed upon, and at some point you may find it viable again to support it commercially (for prosumers) ?

Olga
22 October 2013 #

What a shame! If bank feeds were in place it would be an optimal tool for our family. We are using Xero small business and I would have paid for the personal tool too.

Leighton Raphael
23 October 2013 #

Hey everybody! Please read the comments by Ed Henry and Mary Moore above.
I too used xero personal, but found it limited. By moving to the $10 per month non GST cashbook version, i now have a fully functioning xero ledger for my own finances.
So now I can offer xero to my individual clients, not just my business clients. This is a huge opportunity. Look beyond the square!!!!

Pre Wedding
8 November 2013 #

Can you guys suggest any other alternative products.
This was the best product out there in the market and I was always happy to pay for it with all the savings we were getting from managing our finances better.

Elben
15 November 2013 #

I too only got to grips with Xero Personal recently and love the tools for personal application… Please rather sell this to a company or review your business model it will be truly sad to see this awesome app go. I know most web app consumers don’t like paying expensive annual/monthly fees but surely by the responses so far you can see that there is a market for it. Even if it can be a subsidiary business to Xero like Workflow Max but just with an unique approach to personal book keeping.
All and all we love your product but will be sad to see it go :(

Derek Draper
16 November 2013 #

Our firm uses the Cashbook product for many of our individual clients and it works great. Some minor differences from Xero Personal but with the right configuration, its a powerful personal finance management tool. We’d be happy to help out any Xero Personal users who need to make the jump but want to stay on the Xero platform.

Marcel
18 November 2013 #

I do not think that is a smart idea.
Until five minutes ago, I was not even aware of the fact that Xero Personal did exist.
I think you guys just did not market it well enough.. is there a clear link from anywhere to the Xero homepage to this?

I think you give away a market without a reason and it will be regretted for sure.

For the last two weeks I was even considering creating sub accounts within my Xero business account to manage my personal finances… then I found an article about Xero Personal… and now I read you want to close it.. I think this is a very premature decision!

Peter Lodge
18 November 2013 #

A 25% price hike after 4 – 5 months live running, with a month’s notice is unacceptable – you must have known about this. We also made the mistake of implementing Workflow Max at the same time and I wonder how long it will be before you increase this price as well. What an effort! What a cost! What an unhappy customer.

This is no big deal really. We use the Xero Cashbook for our personal clients and it is more functional and works well for $10 a month it really couldn’t do a better job.

Chrisgrey101
26 November 2013 #

yeah I’m totally gobsmacked by this decision, my entire family have been using and supporting Xero personal for 3 years and happy to pay for it! I’ve not found another tool that is so easy and convenient to use. Sorry to see it go, wish there was a another Kiwi made product we could use. Any ideas?

Sara Goepel
27 November 2013 #

For those who didn’t see our message yesterday we sent out details of an alternative to Xero Personal – Pocketsmith. PocketSmith has live bank feeds (except for BNZ at the moment), as well as features around cashflow projections and flexible budgeting. More details here http://psmth.to/xpoa.

Frank Bailey
28 November 2013 #

I’m guessing the offer doesn’t apply to MoneyMap users as I didn’t receive the email about this offer. Disappointing but not surprising.

Sara Goepel
28 November 2013 #

@Frank, as a MoneyMap user you can sign up for Pocketsmith and take advantage of the deal, however Pocketsmith doesn’t have BNZ bank feeds.

Warik
12 December 2013 #

Thank you for supplying us with a alternate tool, but Pocketsmith just isn’t as clean and easy to use.. There was something about your GUI that makes XP extremely addictive.

Bernie
30 December 2013 #

I use xero for both personal and business and I’m extremely happy. I desperately want to keep using xero personal. Please please please let us use xero somehow for personal use?

Colin Adams
31 December 2013 #

Consistent with the Mint experience in the US, I believe that online personal financial management (PFM) in Australia will become a big growth area and provide considerable business opportunities. The comments above suggest that there is considerable consumer demand for a comprehensive PFM. The challenge is to implement the PFM with the right business model so that it is financially viable.

I have many years experience in developing financial planning software for professional financial planners. Based on this experience, I believe that the “software sales” model adopted by Xero Personal was highly unlikely to succeed and has most likely resulted in its demise. Having said that, I believe that if the PFM is tightly integrated with product and service offerings as done by Mint, then a profitable and viable business is achievable.

I have developed a prototype online PFM which enabled customers to gain a single view of their financial services product set, including everyday accounts, savings accounts, investments, superannuation and retirement, credit cards, home loans, personal loans and insurance.

The PFM provided a suite of online personal financial management tools; accommodated entities such as Companies and Trusts; generated a comprehensive and compliant Fact Find; and also facilitated the convenient provision of financial advice. It has also been designed to include the features planned for ASIC’s personalised money guidance service as detailed in the National Financial Literacy Strategy Report (March 2011).

Unfortunately the PFM did not make it to market due to a lack of funding. I am happy to discuss this with anyone who is interested in taking this prototype to market.

PK
21 January 2014 #

I use xero for business and myprosperity.com.au for all my personal affairs. i own a couple of rental properties and a holiday house so like the property info. from what i can see it does everything xero personal did like linking bank accounts etc.

Damien Metcalf
4 April 2014 #

I gutted to hear that Xero Personal was winding down.

My wife and I recently got back for a 1year trip around the world with no debt, it is a trip that was only made possible by the ease which Xero Personal gave us to manage and stick to our budget.

Admittedly we are not actually fantastic at budgeting but it goes to show the strength that this tool had. And the incredible help it was to it’s users. Had Xero still be going now I would happily go back.

I have as advised turned to Pocketsmith.com (which I paid to use aswell) and have found it a more than sub par tool for managing a budget. It misses the very thing that made Xero Personal Brilliant. They put all their focus on forecasting and leave you with a watered down budgeting section. The very section that if done right allows the user to maximise his available Cash and ultimate hit the savings goals which every user is aiming for. Such a big thing and such a big miss. At the end of the day, I am prepared to spend time using the system if I can meet my savings goals and manage my buget to get there. But I feel restricted.

Then there is getpocketbook.com a lovely looking tool but really only a tool for those who want to spend as little time as possible doing their budget it lacks a lot of features and I quickly found my self having out grown the tool.

I think it is evident that people want to budget and get the finances in order. And Xero Personal was certainly the best at this, although I do think the price would have put people of and certainly a lower entry point would have attracted bigger numbers of people, not to mention getting the word out a bit (but I get it wasn’t a priority Xero is screaming and I take my hat off to them). But the true tragedy of the loss is that there is no successor the market is wide open and those that try seem to only go half way. My hope is that somewhere out there, there is a few college kids or a couple of bright minded individuals working after hours burning the candle building what they know will be successful, because there is a market desperate for a tool to fill the shoes of the giant(in my opinion) that was Xero Personal.

Thanks fro a great product and enabling my wife and I to reach our goals.

To systems mentioned above, I’m sorry to give you a hard time, you are close but I know you can do better and I hope if you read my comments you see it as critique that might push you forward.

Jon
6 April 2014 #

I have known about Xero as a small business accounting alternative which worked well but just recently realized there was something for personal use which from what I can tell would be a great value to me and wouldn’t mind paying a fair price for. What I am trying to say is that I am sure there are a lot of individuals who simply don’t know the product exists and through much searching on my part there is a need for something better than Mint or other personal finance management software.

Andrew
9 April 2014 #

Bummer for us, we thought you did a great job with the personal software! Being self-employed the personal and business accounts were somewhat intertwined and our accountant had one place to see them all.

However I understand there’s a big difference between private and corporate sectors and your desire to just focus on doing one of them really well. So it’s all good, we can handle it :)

Jon Jenkins
9 April 2014 #

For anyone reading this late we have moved our personal finances to Pocketsmith and we are in the UK. It is a far superior to product to Xero Personal as the forecasting has allowed us to make much better budgeting and money management decisions. It can be quite difficult to get up and running but worth sticking at it.

Even my long suffering partner now has a grasp and understands not only where we have been but where we are going.

David
12 April 2014 #

I have been using XP with BNZ and love it, it does everything I need. I see NAB offer Money Tracker in Australia and it is free to customers. I am wanting BNZ to bring this application to NZ and offer it to its customers. I appreciate Xero has dropped the ball but hope the bank can step up and offer a smooth transition.

Garry
12 April 2014 #

I realise open source this was mentioned earlier, but if that’s not an option, hand over the source on a commercial basis with a small royalty stream coming back to Xero if the incumbent can make a go of it? Think of it as investing in a startup (like you guys were once), except instead of cash, you provide them the start of a great product? I’d love to champion this..

Gareth
15 May 2014 #

I have used Xero business for years and only today have I just found the perfect app for me on the app store, Xero personal. It is exactly what i need. How did i know of this is before today just by chance. But hang on, i cant set up a profile and apparently its being discontinued. That is a great shame. I would of loved to have a Xero personal app after enjoying the great things that come with Xero business. Please reconsider, I am sure there are plenty of people who would valuably pay for Xero personal. And i bet most of them will all be customers or users of Xero business.

Mike Catton
22 May 2014 #

I love xero for my business. Was so looking forward to using xero for my personal accounts. Was just waiting for the bank feeds etc to automate. Would gladly pay for the service!

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