Xero's basic plan, Early, comes with basic accounting features made to suit freelancers, including these:
- Bank account syncing and automatic reconciliation
- Online invoicing with billing and payment acceptance
- Receipt scanning and uploads
- Easy on-time bill payment
The Early plan imposes limits on how many of each activity you can perform: up to 20 bank reconciliations, 5 bill payments, 5 invoices, and 5 quotes.
That's not loads of bills or invoices, but it's comparable to FreshBooks' five-client limit with its cheapest plan. There's one key difference, though: with FreshBooks, you can send unlimited invoices to the same five clients throughout the month. If you're billing each client only once a month, Xero is cheaper.
To remove the billing and reconciliation limits, you'll have to upgrade to the Growing plan, which has all of the Early plan's features at $30 a month instead of $9. That's a big jump, but the price is worth it to access unlimited billing, quotes, and invoicing.
And while the Established plan is double the cost, it has the best features for bigger teams. For instance, it includes expense and project management, both of which help you keep better tabs on a larger cash flow and a larger team. It also lets you accept bills and send invoices in multiple currencies, a necessary feature if your business is big enough to operate in more than one country.
Other features worth noting? Unlike FreshBooks, Xero has a built-in inventory feature, though you don't have to use it. Xero syncs with so many third-party apps that you can almost certainly hook up your preferred point-of-sale and inventory management software.