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Community > Using Xero Connected Apps >

Detailed Project Budget App that links to Xero

Started by Thomas Stokell -   in Using Xero Connected Apps

We run about 20-30 projects a year, each with its own detailed budget. We'd like to use another online app that links to Xero on which we can have a budget for each project. We'd then like the totals for all our projects' expenses to auto add to our direct costs on our Xero budget in Xero.

This way we can accurately forecast our direct cost expenditure in Xero, and we use Float to monitor cash flow. The alternative to an app is having all the project budgets on spread sheets that link to each other that total the direct cost amounts and then add these figures manually to Xero.

If anyone could point to an add-on app that links to Xero that would help us out here, I'd be very grateful.


Hi Thomas

Happy new year!

A few questions to clarify you requirements first:
1 - each project has costs that are added to common expense accounts. I.e. you may get Contractors expense for Project A and Project B, but they all roll into 1 Xero expense account (Contractors expense)?
2 - do you need this Project Budget to link with Xero Budget or just your Xero account? i.e. Do you want to use Xero Budget to compare budget vs actual performance at Company level (as I don't believe Xero can track projects)

We built a solution that provides cash flow forecasting - www.vistr.co

You can use it as a budget and can categorise things as you like, so you can budget out on project level. In fact, we have users (an architect firm) doing just that. Vistr auto syncs with Xero so that your data is always up to date. However, we do not write back into Xero Budget.

Let me know if you would like me to show you how you can use Vistr for project base budgeting. Oh, by the way, Vistr is free ...


Jeremy Kwong-Law  

I too am interested in what solutions are out there for tihs problem. SImilarly to Thomas we have dozens of project/job budgets that all need to be tracked, analysed and reported on.

Xero doesn't quite do project budget reporting and comparison well enough just yet so for the time being we're using Excel to do what Thomas has said - manage the budgets outside of Xero via excel, then import the figures into Xero to enable reporting on them...

Surya Rao  

We usually have 40-50 separate projects per year and I am also trying to figure out the best way to work on a project basis while using Xero for accounting. (We had used Quickbooks and it was easy to do using their software, but there are some things I like better about Xero. Quickbooks was NOT good at real-time budget status and cash flow forecasting.) I have been using Trigger for several weeks now, and it provides sufficient project budget tracking for our needs. I am not sure if you can transfer unbilled expenses to Xero, but you can create invoices in Trigger and bill them out in Xero. You can always see real-time budget status in Trigger if you use it for time and expense entry, which we do. I am still struggling with multiple projects for one client in Xero, but it seems like I should be able to track categories in Xero to handle that. Trigger is reasonably priced - you can find it in the add-on store.

W Dean Kaiser  

Hey Thomas, Surya, and Dean:

I found this discussion while doing some research on project-based budgeting and integration with accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks.

I'm working on a solution that aims to specifically solve the hassle for people who manage multiple projects and need to monitor and track budgets and expenses per project: separately from accounting but also be able to push data to accounting software eventually.

We've released the first version of Jellyfish (jellyfishlabs.io) with a nice set of features, including export of all expenses into a CSV file that can be imported into accounting.

We're currently working on real-time integrations with Xero and Quickbooks and would love to learn more what people like you guys need specifically so we're sure we're building the right tool.

Let me know if you're interested; we'd love to partner up with a few early-stage teams who could participate in shaping the product, and we would happily offer benefits for the help you'll be providing!

Joey Zeenny  

Hi Joey,
I'm interested. I couldn't make much headway with Trigger or Vistr.

Paul Regis  

I am probably not a good candidate for any beta because I just don't have the additional time available to communicate and deal with software in development. I would be interested when the software is no longer in beta, if it assumes the user is NOT an accountant.

As a classic U.S. consultant, what I need is project management software (so budget and timeline categorization and progress management). It should include time and expense reporting, expense reimbursement (preferably by paycheck), transferring unique user task descriptions from timesheet to invoice, and roll all necessary information seamlessly to Xero invoicing and payroll (time sheets and expenses). This would also apply to other service firms, such as legal or contracting.

I did eventually drop Trigger because I could not create invoices with unique task-by-task descriptions, which my clients demand. We are manually transcribing from Excel time sheets to invoices, which is not optimal.


Dean Kaiser

W Dean Kaiser  

Paul, thanks for reaching out! I saw that you signed up on our website, I'll be in touch and happy to get on a call to discuss in more detail.

Dean, also thank you for getting in touch. Jellyfish is not longer in Beta (with its current feature set) and it's definitely aimed at non-accountants! I can already think of a few ways how you could use it to manage your teams' project-related time and expenses, but we don't yet have a working integration with Xero.

At this point I believe we'd already be able to facilitate your entire process from budgeting (per project) to collaborative tracking of each project's work and expenses (each team member can log into their project and add their own expenses and time directly) and extracting billable reports (which replaces the hassle you manage on Excel). If it's part of your policy, you could even invite your customers as "guests" to their projects so they track their budgets directly.

I would love try to come up with a few scenarios to discuss with you for feedback on a call if you're up for it. If you're interested, don't hesitate to sign up here: http://signup.jellyfishlabs.io and I'll get in touch shortly after.

Joey Zeenny  

@Joey, We're looking for a solution that is project based not billable hour based. Just signed up to have a look at JellyFish but haven't received the emial to activate yet. Looking forward to seeing whether Jellyfish works for us. thanks Chris

Chris Whittle  

Hey Chris, I just checked and the email should be on its way! Let me know if you still haven't received it and I'll follow it up.

Joey Zeenny  

Hello everyone,

I just thought I'd update you that the latest release of Jellyfish, based on feedback that we got from Xero users, includes export as well as import of expenses in CSV format.

This allows tracking of company-wide accounts as well as project-based finances without the need for duplicate data-entry and unnecessary redundancy.

We're also working on a revamped pricing model to make Jellyfish much more accessible because we know that most of you are already paying for Xero or other accounting software - so be sure to ask for that!

As usual, don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any question - I'm more than happy to set up one-on-one demos to better understand your needs.

For more info about Jellyfish or to sign up, here's where you need to go: http://jellyfishlabs.io/

Joey Zeenny  

Joey, looks like an interesting product with reasonable pricing, but if you want customers make it easy to sign up for a trial. I don't want one on one demos or sales call. Let us sign up and trial it.

David Johnson  

Thanks for the feedback David. And you're perfectly right; we're planning on moving to auto-signup for the trial real soon.

Meanwhile, if you or anyone want to skip the demo and go straight to the trial, just let me know and I'm more than happy to set you up with one directly!

Joey Zeenny