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Xero For Dummies – a guide to cloud accounting

Xero’s Sue Pak is excited to get her hands on a copy of Xero for Dummies

We’re excited to announce that the first Xero For Dummies e-book is available in Australia and will be progressively rolled out to other regions. The print version of this guidebook on Xero’s cloud-based accounting software is available for pre-order and will arrive in Australian and New Zealand book stores from 1 July and in the UK and US soon afterwards.

Pre-order the book, or if you are in Australia, use the iTunes link to download an electronic copy.

Xero is easy to use, however we still get numerous requests from customers for a Xero ‘manual’. We know that everyone learns differently and while we offer video tutorials, webinars, comprehensive help, even training partners for personal assistance, some people prefer to reference a printed book.

With more than 250 million books in print and more than 1,800 titles, For Dummies is the most widely recognized and highly regarded reference series in the world. Their educational books are written with a fun, practical approach and I’m sure many of us have read one at some stage. We’re thrilled to to be involved with Xero For Dummies and know it will be a great way for people to learn about Xero and accounting software in the cloud.

You may be interested to learn the story behind the first Dummies book DOS For Dummies which was released in 1991. Wiley recount it as follows:

“New technologies were popping up all over the place. But computer manuals were dull and difficult to understand. A frustrated customer in a computer store, was looking for a simple, basic book about the DOS operating system. ‘Something like DOS for dummies,’ he suggested. We knew the man’s frustration was shared by many other computer users so we set out to do something about it. Thus, the For Dummies phenomenon began.”

I remember learning some basic DOS commands to install desktop accounting practice software, and it felt like I was learning another language. Xero is so much more intuitive and easy to learn!

The Author, Heather Smith, is a writer, speaker and advisor on all topics small business. She is a Xero Certified Advisor and Chartered Certified Accountant. Heather says Xero for Dummies covers all you need to know to sign up and use this cloud-based accounting software solution – from the basic set-up to implementing daily routines, end of period procedures and generating useful reporting information. Understanding what you can do with Xero – how you can use its many features – can enhance the productivity of your business and give you a clearer idea of exactly what is going on within it.

Xero For Dummies is a perfect gift for friends and family – even those who haven’t yet made the switch to online accounting. We’re sure that many people will love having this resource to help them up-skill and learn about Xero. Pre-order or purchase here.



Gayle Buchanan
4 June 2013 #

Super congratulations Xero – Heather, look forward to checking it out I hear there are some super heroes mentioned inside.
How exciting for the end users – that’s awesome

4 June 2013 #

Awesome. Hope you haven’t printed too many copies though – Will be out of date next month!
Is there an opportunity to get Universities/Schools on board using Xero for assignments? eg. A teacher sets up a free ‘demo’ account with some curly transactions and clones this for all their students. Then marks the assignments via the accountant view. Train an army of new recruits!

Sonia Cuff
4 June 2013 #

Well done Heather! And great move, Xero. The Dummies format is awesome – more engaging than a standard manual, that’s for sure. It’s wonderful to see a guide written by someone with practical business experience, so the end product is structured by ‘what you should do & when’ rather than ‘here’s a big list of everything the software can do’.

4 June 2013 #

I’m ecstatic to be involved with this project and to see Xero for Dummies finally in print!!

Thank-you Sue Pak and Rod Drury – for your ongoing support.

Jane Crews
4 June 2013 #

Good to see this publication has been released.
Adds to the training tools provided by Xero.
Thanks for all your hard work Heather Smith.

Cassy Small
4 June 2013 #

Congratulations Heather on such a fantastic achievement. This book will make so many lives just that little bit easier!

Lisa Martin
4 June 2013 #

Woopie I have bought a few copies for my besti clients – that was a quicker shop than buying a car and much more worthwhile – thanks you !

Gavin Bottrell
7 June 2013 #

Congratulations Heather!! Great idea

Sharon Pocock
7 June 2013 #

Brilliant Heather! Can’t wait for the UK version!

7 June 2013 #

Hi Sharon,

I am a UK trained accountant so it was nice to be able to write about accounting software – I always consider debits and credits to be a universal language – it is just compliance that gets in the way – however we have completely covered all UK idiosyncrasies in the book! I thought you can get the e-book now – it is just the physical book you can’t get now. I am really looking forward to the book being released in the UK too!


2 July 2013 #

I was expecting a bit more especially in the payroll side there is not much information if any on this and leads you to a web link that doesn’t even work. A bit disappointing

Stuart Docherty
21 October 2013 #

I am a dummy when it comes to zero, so this was a must for me. However, I feel the searchable index could do with attention… Being a dummy, initially I don’t know what I don’t know. gradually I come to know what I don’t know and go looking for answers, if you follow me. To this end, I would expect the searchable index to cater to the book’s demographic, but when I search for “add ons” for instance, the result is: no matches found…
I got this on several such searches…

Santosh Menon
21 January 2014 #

is there any book for developer also ?

Heather Smith
27 March 2014 #

Hello @Daniel

There is a free global payroll guide : Appendix D: Mastering Your Pay Run scroll down to ‘Click to Download’.

There is a separate book for Australian payroll : Mastering Australian Payroll with Xero In A Day For Dummies for purchase.

Hi @Stuart,
If you are new to Xero, Part I Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 which covers getting to know Xero would be a good start, then I would move to Part II Daily activities, and work through the activities you would need in your business. When you say you are searching – what platform are you using?

Hi @Santosh,
What would you like to see in a developers book?

Thanks for your feedback,


Steven Noble
28 January 2015 #

Is it written for Australian users? (I want to ensure I get the GST/BAS right.)

Heather Smith
30 January 2015 #

Hello @Steven for specific tax advice you need to speak to a BAS or TAX agent. The book is will show you how to set up tax in all countries, it shows you how to generate the BAS, but not tell you how to code anything.

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