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Xero tops Software Shortlist review

Posted 8 years ago in Xero news by Tim Wright
Posted by Tim Wright

We’re pretty excited about being ranked the top accounting software by Australia’s Software Shortlist. Xero was the only software to be rated 5 out of 5 stars in a list of 10 that includes most of the well known names around the world such as Clarity Accounting, Clearbooks, Kashflow, MoneyWorks Express, MYOB AccountRight Standard v19 (nee MYOB Accounting), Peach First Accounting 2010, Quickbooks Accounting, Saasu and Simply Accounting.

Software Shortlist has produced a Review Pack that looks at all 10 products for things like as ease of use, cost, reporting and feature set. The reviewer worked systematically and independently through a testing process involving a trial version of each software product, and a consistent set of user scenarios. These were designed to mimic the actions of a typical small to medium business, and provide a solid basis for the reviewer’s comments and ratings. The chart below shows how Xero scored.

Here’s what Software Shortlist said about Xero.

Product Review

An online accounting product that is leading the field. Xero is a well-designed small business product that is easy to use and delivers world-class functionality. Compares very favourably against MYOB & QuickBooks, and an ever-growing range of online accounting solutions.

What we liked: You don’t need to look any further than the sophisticated banking module. With the ability to integrate directly with most major banks, providing direct transaction feeds, Xero has changed the bank reconciliation process forever. Our favourite aspect of Xero is the design of the user interface- simple and classy. Hands down the most user-friendly accounting software in our view. Multi-currency transacting further strengthens its feature set. The budget function, while basic, is very simple and allows for easy management of budgets and associated reporting. Xero further includes an expense claim module that makes it easy to enter staff expenses and pay them. A simple addition that is incredibly useful for small businesses. Finally, the help documentation includes video tutorials and demos which, in our humble opinion, is a much more effective way to communicate with their community.

What we didn’t like: Hard to fault! The biggest complaint is what they haven’t got to yet. Functionality-wise, this includes stock management. Further, Xero has chosen a partner model to deliver support (other than online), and direct support lacks any phone option which can be frustrating. Xero is also probably the most expensive online accounting solution around. And, finally, there are limited options for invoice look-and-feel, so if you are want your own invoice layout design then this will frustrate you.

Whilst we’re delighted with the review, we acknowledge that the reviewer didn’t like everything. For instance the look and feel of the invoice is something we’ve been working on and this will be revealed in our next release.


shilpo adhikary
June 24, 2010 at 6.40 pm

Hey..Xero can turn into a revolution in the online accounting solutions..thanks a lot for the effort.

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June 24, 2010 at 8.56 pm

[…] picked up this story from Xero who posted a similar analysis of their […]

Andrew Haynes
June 25, 2010 at 12.50 am

Well deserved. What impresses me most is the attitude of actively listening to your customers and continuously improving the product.

Samantha Smith
June 30, 2010 at 2.11 pm

Awesome work guys! Very well deserved and if they’d had an extra category of listening to your customers you would have blitzed the others on that alone. Congratulations!

Chris Dawes
July 12, 2010 at 12.50 pm

xero is the best… two stars for value tho…

Richard Francis
July 14, 2010 at 1.14 pm

Well done. 2 stars for value is harsh – $49/mth to have usable, accessible and well presented and up to date financial data! Bargain.

Richard Seager
August 22, 2010 at 8.50 am

It’s an Australian review and it’s hard not to notice that Xero is the most expensive in this market being about 30% more than it is in the UK, NZ and US. Xero?

Wayne Schmidt
August 22, 2010 at 10.31 pm

Hi Richard

Xero’s pricing between different country versions are within a few dollars of each other based on the long run average exchange rates. The exception to this is the Global version, which is priced from US$19/mth. This is a little below the equivalent Australian, New Zealand and UK country versions, reflecting the fact it does not offer the same level localisation such as sales tax and annual reporting provided by these country specific versions.

Richard Seager
August 25, 2010 at 4.45 pm


sorry but that one doesn’t fly. The prices in AUD of the different country versions are;

Australia 64.00
UK 41.87
NZ 51.20
Global 44.31

I think we’re being hard done by here in Australia don’t you?

Richard Seager
August 25, 2010 at 4.47 pm

That’s for the Large version in each country btw, exchange rates as of today.

Wayne Schmidt
August 26, 2010 at 11.05 am

Hi Richard,

A couple of points about your calculations. The Australian version pricing you have quoted is inclusive of GST, which is how we present our pricing so as to be compliant with Australian pricing legislation. Pricing for Xero in other regions is quoted exclusive of any sales tax that may apply, so this will be skewing the comparison in prices. You also appear to be using the current AUD exchange rates, which are at or close to 5 year highs against most major currencies, certainly the GBP.

In setting Xero’s pricing we want to ensure it will remain consistent and sustainable throughout the inevitable exchange rate fluctuations that occur over time, hence we reference pricing to the longer run average rates.

If you use an AUD exchange rate averaged over the last 3 years the price plans for the different country specific versions are within 10% or less of each other. The Global version is between 15-20% less expensive than the country versions – reflecting that it does not have the same country specific functionality as mentioned earlier.

I hope that this addresses your concerns.


Richard Seager
August 26, 2010 at 8.57 pm

Well that goes someway in explaining it Wayne, but I still think you could reduce the AUD price a little. It has also made me think a little on our own international plans.

I shall give Xero a spin over the next month or so to see how it performs. Love the idea of a cloud based system.

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December 16, 2010 at 8.03 pm

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