Xero is our top accounting software for tracking and paying bills since you can schedule payments, store bills and upload receipts. Perhaps best of all, the platform also offers highly convenient one-click payment tools.
Accounting software that makes incoming and outgoing payments a breeze is invaluable to businesses of any size. Xero does that and much more – it’s an ideal companion for accountants and bookkeepers. There are three plan options that cover businesses of all sizes. Regardless of which plan you pick, we found Xero to offer superior tools for tracking and managing bill payments.
9 / 10
With Xero, you can maintain excellent relationships with your suppliers and creditors because it helps you stay on top of bill payments. We especially liked how easy it was to pay bills, claim expenses and accept payments in one central location. If you take advantage of its features, costly late fees will be a thing of the past, and you’ll be able to make sure you don’t come up short when it comes time to pay. The platform’s dashboard organizes your information so you can view when each bill is due, see current and projected expenses, and stay on top of purchase orders.
Xero is our preferred choice for tracking profitability too. You can view costs as they happen in real time, then make instant modifications. This way, you can avoid unnecessary shortfalls and payment problems.
Xero’s dashboard is designed to facilitate timely bill pay that sustains vendor relationships.
Xero makes paying invoices simple, enabling you to pay directly from the invoice screen with whatever debit or credit card you prefer to use. Source: Xero
Xero is cloud-based, so you don’t need to download or install programs. Once you’re set up and are familiar with the dashboard, the functions are fairly intuitive to navigate. We found it helpful that Xero’s dashboard gives an immediate picture of your business’s overall financial position, which eliminates potential confusion and can help you stay on top of your bills and payments. We liked that each user can reorganize the dashboard and hide features they don’t use so they can home in on the features they need. The drag-and-drop panels were especially impressive as ease of use goes.
Xero’s dashboard offers a complete overview of your business’s financial situation, such as what’s in your bank accounts, outstanding bills and the invoices you’re owed. Source: Xero
Xero offers professional double-entry bookkeeping functionality, so your transactions will be entered as a debit as well as a credit. That will keep you on track without needing to take extra steps, as well as enable you to schedule upcoming payments and batch-pay suppliers in advance.
We also liked that Xero creates financial reports that you can customize for your needs and style. We found Xero’s step-by-step guide to developing and saving reports especially helpful for new users. These highly approachable guides reflect Xero’s goal of using everyday language in place of accounting jargon when possible, adding to the platform’s usability. You can also customize your invoices, adding your company logo so outgoing documents match your brand.
When compared to our FreshBooks review, another popular accounting software, Xero excels with its robust features and unlimited number of users. And while FreshBooks is great for freelancers and small businesses, Xero is appropriate for businesses of any size, so you won’t outgrow it.
You can track projects in Xero and keep tabs on what each task costs you as the project progresses. Source: Xero
Xero launched and updated many advanced financial integrations in the past several years, with features like multi-currency support, reporting tools, and expense and project tracking. We feel these features make it easier for companies to organize their financial information. Many of Xero’s recent integrations also allow for easier and more efficient bill pay by syncing accounts payable and receivable data with the accounting software.
With a focus on automating and streamlining financial processes, the software remains a top competitor in terms of accounting technology and keeps up with new advancements. Below are some of the most helpful features for companies that use Xero for bill paying.
Expense tracking and bill pay
Xero makes it easy to keep tabs on your expenses and manage your bills in one place, ensuring you can spot financial trends and plan for cash flow accordingly.
Whether you’re sending payments to suppliers or collecting payments from clients, all it takes is one click of the Pay Now button on an invoice.
Project management tools
Xero’s excellent project management tools allow you to track the progress of a project while also managing related expenses.
Financial reporting and data analytics
Accurate financial reporting and detailed analytics enable you to plan for your business’s financial health and longevity.
Xero offers advanced features for streamlining your bank reconciliation and expense coding.
No one wants to waste money on late-payment fees or sacrifice important relationships with suppliers and creditors by missing payments. Xero helps you track your bills and pay them on time, which also keeps your credit rating high. We especially liked how you can schedule payments and store all of your bills in one place so you never lose track of them. Xero also grants you access to automatic bank feeds to make sure you have sufficient funds to cover payments.
We also found that managing expenses is easy with Xero. All you need to do is snap a photo of your receipts and claim the expense, no matter where you are. It’s fast and paperless. You can make reimbursements immediately and claim mileage and expenses with the Xero mobile application. Plus, if you’ve missed an expense, you can enter it into Xero through the “quick add” button at the top right. This tool is also great for adding invoices, bills, contracts and other forms.
When you’re paying bills, all it takes is one click and filling out a few fields of payment information. Once your debit and credit cards are saved in the system, the process takes only a few seconds. Similarly, your clients and customers can send money immediately with the Pay Now button on your online invoices. This function is powered by the best payment transaction apps, such as Stripe and PayPal, ensuring speed and security.
This accounting software enables you to track all of your projects and jobs. You can prepare quotes, estimate prices, submit invoices and then get paid. With Xero, you’re able to track your time and expenses and then view your profitability on your dashboard. These tools can also track schedules and expenses for your own projects, such as redeveloping a property you own or opening a new location.
Viewing everything you need for a project in Xero is easy. Once you open a project, you’ll see a cost estimate, the amount you’ve invoiced and the amount to be invoiced in the future. You’ll also see time and expenses, deadlines, tasks and the time spent on each, and a tool for adding expenses, including from bills.
There’s also a timer for recording billable hours per task and tying it to an invoice. You can invoice by time entry or task, and you can mark up your prices based on your estimates in just one click. We liked that Xero makes it easy to manage your projects and make them more profitable.
Speaking of profitability, we were especially impressed with Xero’s project profitability tracking tool. You can easily view your project’s profit, cost and invoice amounts, with clear graphics and numbers to simplify your understanding. You’ll also see the value of your time, tasks and expenses, as well as your time recorded and your profit margin. Plus, when it’s time to shell out the cash for these costs, Xero makes bill pay easier than any other software we reviewed.
Every business needs up-to-date accounting reports. With them, you can monitor profitability, prepare for future expenses and analyze your business’s growth potential. Xero gives access to custom, ready-to-use, exportable financial reports when you need them, as well as the educational tools you need to create the reports you want. Plus, you can favorite reports for easy access.
Xero’s reporting features allow you to easily compare your budgets against actuals and provide you with an accurate understanding of your business at any given time. You can also create several budgets, including regional budgets, in Xero. You can add data directly from these budgets to your profit and loss (P&L) statements. Once your statement is open, you can drag and drop columns to rearrange your report and add formulas to determine each cell’s value.
We also liked the “top customers” graph available from the accounting drop-down menu at the top of the Xero dashboard. When you open this graph, you’ll see one bar per customer, with each bar indicating the revenue that the customer brings you. This way, you can clearly compare customers and direct your efforts accordingly. This was the most direct revenue-by-customer reporting we encountered as we reviewed accounting software platforms.
Another reporting feature unique to Xero is the ability to compile reports into a “report package.” Through this tool, you can assemble balance sheets, P&L statements and top-customer graphs into one document with a cover page and table of contents. The resulting file makes for great supporting documentation as you apply for a bank loan or seek investor funding. No other accounting software we reviewed even came close to offering this highly compelling feature.
Among the many accounting software platforms we reviewed, Xero offered some of the strongest bank reconciliation tools. Auto-matching and bank rules based on transaction conditions primarily power this reconciliation technology. Should either of these tools struggle to categorize your costs, Xero’s intelligence learning setup will identify similar previous transactions. It will then tag your current transactions accordingly and ask for your approval. Xero’s AI also examines transactions across all customers to improve its accuracy.
Additional bank reconciliation tools that we liked include bulk reconciling and quick bank rule creation. Both of these features give you the power to further streamline your reconciliation. We also liked how easily you can switch between checking and savings accounts when reconciling transactions.
Alongside all of this, you can access a “find and recode” tool from the accounting drop-down menu within the Xero dashboard. Through our testing, we found this tool is ideal for correcting errors or reviewing the work of your less experienced accounting staff members. You can recode contacts, accounts or tax rates in one fell swoop, improving the accuracy of your reconciliation.
In the rare event that your bank doesn’t integrate with Xero, reconciliation is still possible. Through Xero’s bank statement extraction tools, the platform can convert a bank statement PDF into a CSV with all the values Xero needs. Just upload the CSV into Xero, and you’re all set to start reconciling your transactions.
You can try Xero for free for 30 days with access to all the features. After your trial period, you can decide which plan is right for you and your business.
Xero offers three plans:
All plans offer Gusto payroll as an optional add-on, starting at $40 per month plus $6 per person per month.
The initial setup for Xero accounting software isn’t difficult but requires a fair amount of information. Gather all your business’s details before setting up.
Once these steps are complete, you’re ready to use Xero as part of your regular accounting process, though we recommend hiring a financial professional as well, such as an accountant or bookkeeper.
Xero does not have a customer support phone number. Instead, it offers free and unlimited online customer support, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, at Xero Central. You can request a callback, however, by providing your phone number.
We liked how easy it is to pull up Xero Central from the Xero dashboard. All you need to do is click the question mark button at the top right, then search for the topic on which you have questions. The most relevant Xero Central article will then appear.
For self-guided education and troubleshooting, Xero offers support articles in Xero Central. If you have additional questions, click the “Contact Xero support” button at the bottom of any support article, and Xero will contact you by email.
However, we were disappointed to find there was no direct customer service phone number, in contrast to other accounting software solutions, such as the one in our Intuit QuickBooks review. Instead, you must create a support ticket to receive Xero assistance. A Xero representative told us that the company has customer service staff available 24/7 to respond to these tickets within two hours. We appreciated this speed but still wished a customer service phone number were immediately available.
That said, should you need phone assistance, you can request a phone call or screen-sharing support session through your ticket. Though it’s not quite as immediate as a direct phone call to Xero’s support team, we felt that this was a passable alternative.
If you want to chat over the phone with a customer service representative to talk through issues or switch plans, you’ll need to take extra steps. We disliked having to create a support ticket to set up a phone call rather than just being able to call at any time.
Additionally, we found that Xero’s lower-cost plans lack some key features that businesses may find useful. For example, the project management tools that really impressed us are available only to users who subscribe to Xero’s most expensive plan. Similarly, the lower-cost plans don’t include Xero’s multiple currency features, which makes things difficult for businesses that work with freelancers, clients or suppliers outside of the U.S.
When we searched for the best accounting software for tracking and paying bills, we looked for software that made it simple to track bills and expenses, quickly pay outstanding invoices, and offer clients easy ways to pay what they owe. After much research and analysis, as well as analyzing competitors like Zoho Books, we recommend Xero as the best accounting software for tracking and paying bills. We spent several hours reviewing Xero and comparing it to other top accounting software platforms. We went through all the steps of setting up and using the software for the first time. We also conducted online research and examined customer reviews to find out more about real users’ experiences with Xero.
It is not necessary to have an accountant or bookkeeper to use Xero, but the company does encourage small business owners to use a professional along with the software.
Yes. More than 1,000 third-party apps integrate with Xero’s accounting software.
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