Xero Review 2021

With its affordable mid-tier plan and unlimited-user capacity, Xero is great for growing businesses that go heavy on the collaboration front.
Best Accounting Software
Xero
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4
  • Check
    Plans as low as $11 per month
  • Check
    Unlimited users
  • Check
    Inventory tracking with every plan
  • X
    Expensive plans

Xero’s cloud-based accounting software starts at just $11 a month, and unlike competitors like QuickBooks and FreshBooks, each Xero plan includes unlimited users at no extra charge. In other words, if your business is big on financial collaboration, it’s hard to do better than Xero. Interested? Keep reading—our Xero review lets you know if the software’s price, features, and support match your business’s needs.

Xero plans and pricing 2021

Plan name
Starting price
Number of invoices
Number of bills reconciled
Learn more

Early

$11.00/mo.

20/mo.

5/mo.

Growing

$32.00/mo.

Unlimited

Unlimited

Established

$62.00/mo.

Unlimited

Unlimited

Data effective 12/14/20. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Xero is best for collaboration

Unlike most of its competitors (most notably QuickBooks), all of Xero’s plans allow for unlimited users. That makes Xero a great fit for midsize or growing businesses with team members who collaborate on accounting tasks. In other words, if your business is large enough that you can’t (or don’t want to) send invoices, read reports, and reconcile bank transactions on your own, Xero is an efficient, affordable choice.

Plus, unlike many of its competitors, Xero includes Inventory management with every plan—with QuickBooks, you don’t get inventory tracking unless you’re paying $70 a month for the Plus plan.

Find Your Money—and Keep More of It

With plans starting at $15 a month, FreshBooks is well-suited for freelancers, solopreneurs, and small-business owners alike.

  • Track time and expenses
  • Create custom invoices
  • Accept online payments

Xero plans, pricing, and features

Each Xero plan includes these key accounting features:

  • Automatic bank account syncing
  • Easy-to-generate financial reports
  • Unlimited user access
  • Integration with over 800 apps
  • Invoicing and billing, including payment acceptance through invoices
  • Inventory tracking
  • Sales tax calculation and tracking

All of Xero’s plans also include improved data entry and bank reconciliation via Hubdoc. When you use Hubdoc to scan receipts and bills, the financial data will automatically sync with your software so you don’t have to enter the numbers yourself.

Xero is also one of the few accounting software providers with an accounting app for both iOS and Android. While Xero’s app isn’t as popular or well-reviewed as QuickBooks’, it still lets users securely send invoices, reconcile bank transactions, and check business finances from any web-enabled device.

Early

The Early plan’s main perks are its price and unlimited-user capacity. Unfortunately, it has a somewhat limited scope: you can send only 20 invoices or quotes and input only five bills. For most small-business owners, including solopreneurs and freelancers, these low numbers won’t be enough.

Of course, if you really don’t need to send more than 20 quotes or collect over five bills, the Early plan’s price is a steal. Just make sure you don’t exceed the limit; if you do, you’ll be automatically bumped up to the Growing plan, which is more than twice as expensive. The drastic price jump from $11 to $32 a month means Xero isn’t particularly scalable—another reason we’re more comfortable recommending it to midsize businesses rather than small ones.

Growing

The Growing plan is where Xero really starts to pay for itself. On top of unlimited users, you get unlimited invoicing, billing, and bank reconciling capabilities—and since most businesses large enough to value Xero’s collaboration are also large enough to need unlimited features, Growing is a much better fit for Xero’s primary audience.

Established

At $62 per month, Xero’s Established plan doesn’t come cheap, but it does add three crucial features:

  • Support for multiple currencies
  • Expense tracking
  • Project management (time and cost tracking)

With Xero Expenses, which is included free with the Established plan, your scanned receipts sync with the accounting software in real time. You can assign expenses to projects, create more complex reports, and get a more accurate look at how your business is doing financially.

Strengths
Pro Bullet Affordable plans
Pro Bullet 800+ apps for integration
Pro Bullet Solid inventory tracking
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Expense tracking with only the most expensive plan
Con Bullet No mileage tracking

Xero FAQ

Which is better, QuickBooks or Xero?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you need multiple users, choose Xero—each Xero plan includes unlimited users, while QuickBooks’ Simple Start plan includes only one user. Even QuickBooks’ most expensive plan, QuickBooks Online Plus, allows only five users.

Xero is better for inventory tracking too, especially if you’re keeping an eye on your budget; QuickBooks includes inventory tracking with only its most expensive plan.

But if you need features like mileage and time tracking, QuickBooks is a better choice. Plus, Xero’s mobile app is fine, but QuickBooks’ is stellar. If you frequently do accounting on the go, try each provider’s app functionality first—QuickBooks’ superior app could be a dealbreaker for you.

Luckily, both providers offer 30-day free trials (though if you opt for QuickBooks’ free trial, you won’t get the typical 50% off discount the company offers new users for their first three months). You can take both software programs for a test drive before you commit to one over the other.

Best Small Business Accounting Software
Xero
Best overall
FreshBooks
Best invoicing
Quickbooks
Most user-friendly
Wave
Most affordable
Zoho Books
Best automation
Learn more about our top brands.

Does Xero accounting have payroll?

Xero used to have a stand-alone payroll product, but the company has since rolled it back. Now, Xero advertises payroll with Gusto, one of our favorite full-service payroll providers. Gusto plans start at $19 a month (plus an additional $6 a month per payee) and include automatic payroll tax filing. Gusto’s comprehensive payroll is cheaper than QuickBooks’, so if you’re looking to save money, we recommend pairing Xero with Gusto over a QuickBooks Online + QuickBooks Payroll subscription.

How much does Xero software cost each month?

Xero’s pricing starts at $11 a month. However, the $11 plan lets you send only 20 invoices and enter only five bills. The Growing plan ($32 a month) is a better fit for most midsize businesses.

Does Xero have good customer support?

Customers seem to have a positive experience with Xero. On the consumer review site Trustpilot,over 2.5K reviews and an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.1

Xero's customer service comes in a few different forms. For one, the company offers 24/7 customer support via chat. Alternatively, you can search Xero’s help posts and discussion boards about common problems on Xero Central. While you can’t call Xero directly, you can request a phone call from the company, and a customer service agent will call you instead.

Does Xero work for accountants and bookkeepers?

Yes. You can search for Xero-trained accountants, bookkeepers, and advisors on Xero’s site.

The takeaway

If you want affordable cloud-based accounting with inventory tracking and expansive collaboration opportunities, Xero is your software. Sure, Xero could use a few improvements—a better mobile app, for one, and expense tracking for its cheaper plans—but with those features at that price, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than Xero.

Want to compare more accounting software providers before you make the final call? Read our piece comparing QuickBooks and Wave for two more accounting software options.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Kylie McQuarrie
Written by
Kylie McQuarrie
Kylie is an accounting writer for Business.org. Kylie spent two of the last four years writing for and with small-business owners—from dentists in Australia to plumbers in the Midwest. She spent the other two writing in depth about internet and security. She’s passionate about reading, hiking, and dedicating every spare second to writing for fun (at lunch, between meetings, on the train, before breakfast . . . ). Her content helps small-business owners tackle the logistics of running a business so they can focus more on their passions too.
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