Jesse Bennett-Chamerlain runs, a prestigious web
design studio based in Ontario,

"With Xero, I'm actually enjoying doing the books for my business, and because I'm doing the reconciliation almost everyday, my month-end is a very simple process."


Before Xero, what did you use?

Last year I outsourced a bookkeeper who used Simply Accounting to do my books. Before that I was using a 6 year old copy of MYOB... one of the few programs that worked in Canada on the Mac.

What problems did you have with your old accounting system?

The main issue last year was not with the program itself, but in having the books located offsite. Before last year, the main issue was that the software was getting quite dated and just wasn't working correctly any longer. There was no scrollwheel support, window minimization/maximization was broken, and printing a report always defaulted to 32,000+ copies!

How did these problems affect your business?

Because the books were offsite, I found myself not really staying connected with the numbers of my business, and actually found at the end of the year that I was paying for a couple of services that I thought I had canceled.

Before this year I would keep putting off doing my books because the software was so painful to use. Then I'd spend a full weekend trying to reconcile the last 4 months of books.

What made you decide to use Xero? Did you try out any other solutions?

At first I was going to use Simply Accounting with VMWare Fusion on my Mac... but after trying out the trial version, I started looking for alternatives. After trying Xero for a little bit, I actually found myself enjoying the application, and knew it was one that I would actually use. For me this was the main selling point. Not so much the feature set, but how much I actually enjoyed reconciling transactions.

What was your experience when switching and getting started with Xero?

It was way less painful than I thought it would be. Is was actually quite simple. After years of using MYOB for the Mac, I kept wondering if I was missing steps when reconciling my accounts. It was just too easy!

I contacted support a few times. One time was to make a suggestion on how the invoices were displayed. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the change I suggested was rolled into the application the next month. Overall I've been pleasantly surprised.

After trying out the reconciliation process on Xero, I was hooked.

Good accounting software for the Mac is hard enough to find, let alone software that works with the Canadian tax system. I was very close to purchasing a Windows based software package and running it in VMWare Fusion when I discovered Xero. The thought of booting up XP every time I needed to invoice a client or view a report forced me to look for alternatives. I'm glad I did.

How has Xero improved your business?

I think the main difference isn't just in the software itself, but with the "feelings" that go with it. With my previous software I used to loathe doing a reconciliation at month's end. It always felt like I was doing twice as much work as I should have to. With Xero, I'm actually enjoying doing the books for my business, and because I'm doing the reconciliation almost everyday, my month-end is a very simple process.

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