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Xero Business Community

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Not suitable for larger businesses

Started by Luke Burrell -   in Tell us how we're doing

Generally Xero is time consuming (except reconciliations), poor UI for quick glance info and some basic reporting, missing basic features that are part of nearly ALL other desktop and online competitors. Just read feature requests to get an idea of it's lacking features in more specific detail.

We have recently converted from QB to Xero... frustrated and disappointed. It's really not suitable for larger or complex businesses. So many small but crucial features are not there, are not suitable, time costly or faulty. We've invested to much in the change over and feel it would be too hard to now go back. I really hope Xero picks up the ball and makes changes quickly. The recent update was appalling with very little real progress. I see a big future for Xero, but only if they can fill in these holes.

PS. Even writing this comment is difficult as the text box is only 2.5 lines high. It's difficult to review your comment and make changes when you can only see two lines.
While we don’t profess to be the accounting solution for everyone it is disappointing to hear that you have so many frustrations with the product. We specifically target Xero at small business and as such our features are certainly designed for typical small businesses which tend to have low to medium complexity.

We continue to develop and refine the product delivering regular improvements, new features and enhancements. Not every release will hit the spot for all customers however the recent release did have a number of smaller improvements that have been well received by our customers.

We continue to grow our product team and release major updates on a regular basis. We have robust processes that prioritise the makeup of releases based on feedback from customers, market research and our feature plans. While we would like to release software that addresses the entire backlog of customer feature requests we need to ensure we take a balanced view of the priorities.

We understand a number of your requests from other posts however if you would like to discuss these or other issues then please email our support team on support@xero.com with your contact details marked to my attention and we will get in touch.

The forum text box size issue is scheduled into an upcoming release (and I agree it is hard to use at the moment).

Duncan Ritchie (Xero Staff)  

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Customer service is an area that Xero excels in!

I wish I had discovered that so many essential small accounting features were missing before porting over. I had assumed the premium price tag would come with the basic features required to do accounting properly.

Features are either essential, its appalling that they do not already exist (eg. remittance advice, payment terms, AR report by date etc), very helpful and time saving (eg. HTML email, email templates) and should be done soon and nice to have but not essential for account (eg. quotes).

I REALLY REALLY hope that Xero completes a bunch of the most requested features VERY soon so we (and many others) are not crippled.

Where I am most confused and mentioned a few times before is that Xero is very well backed and funded and have the premium price but just lacks SOOO many features that your competitors (online and offline) have. It would be great to see the premium price deliver a premium product.

Luke Burrell  

Perhaps you should also make it clear that it is not suitable for medium/larger (small) businesses on your website. Perhaps a list of features that Xero does not support would be helpful to avoid disappointment.

Luke Burrell  

LB do you seriously expect a software provider to list the things the product doesn't do? You really need to do your own research before committing to a software change. You could have been poorly advised of course which is a different matter but you can't blame the product for not being what you thought it was.

Chris Dixon  

hahah, thanks Chris, I realise that. Just making a point as Duncan had said the product is targeted to small simple businesses.

I spent days and weeks trialing all different software. Opted for Xero as it was built for Aussies and had good big boy backing. I spent hours on Xero trials, but it was not until real life use that I realised it was missing so many little things that we require for business.

To be honest, it's so close to be a great all round solution it's a shame so many small balls have been dropped. I just hope that they will be rectified over the coming months (somehow I think it will be years at the rate I have seen progress). If QB's offered an online version as powerful as their desktop version... ouch. Xero are smart getting in first, but the trick will be ensuring they dont get overtaken by the latecomers who could pound them with their large existing market share.

Luke Burrell  

After talking with enough QBO devs, it is going to be years, a lot of years, before they get QBO to even near rival the Win Desktop. Even the Mac Desktop is better than QBO and it is light years behind the Win version. QBO is working with a legacy system they are forced to re-engineer each and every module, and that has to be done before they can even dream of advancing it beyond the current state.

Xero's got a lot to grow into depending on which choices and directions they take. Hopefully a blend of their desire and the communities.

*Edit* I removed a chunk of commentary because I can't read..

Cloud solutions are still in their infancy and should be looked at as definitely under development. Feedback, need requests, etc, all help and if your needs aren't met then you're right a new door will open to be traveled upon in these rapid developed saas solutions. Desktop solutions exist but if you're virtual more than physical we all know how multi-user is near crippled. You take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and then you have the facts of life. hah ;-)

+1 for the thought on small forum text boxes, hehe, scale as is typed or let me drag it to a size I want.

Andy Ciordia  

LB I can't believe that you just wrote EXACTLY what I came here to say.
We are a medium sized business I guess (20employees) and we converted from Quickbooks. I find it very labour intensive with all the manual record keeping we have to do. We supply earthmoving machinery with operators and we can negotiate our hourly rates with individual customers. In quickbooks it was simple - you could have a custom list of prices for an individual customer, therefore taking out the human error factor and ensuring you keep up your professional imagine by always charging what you agreed on.
We have just renewed our contract with a major customer and their pricing structure is extremely intense. I don't even want to think about that one at all!
The remittance advice thing just blew me away and I wanted out as soon as I heard that! But like you I've spent the last two months crying into my coffee while setting up this system and to go back to quickbooks now would be a nightmare aswell. Although I am seriously considering it. A bit of short term pain for long term gain?
I like the batch payments etc, but I'm sure we could do that on quickbooks, I just never got into it because we are a growing business and never had the need before - although now it would save me alot of time.
I also want to be able to input supplier terms for the suppliers we use regularly so that there is no human error to paying bills. Also to have this feature for customers would be good - as most are 30 days from EOM but sometimes we have customers who we want to have on 14 days.

Also it's annoying that you can't see customer's draft invoices from the contacts section. I like to work from this area alot and it's frustrating to always be thinking that you haven't charged out something, when you have it's just INVISIBLE!

I know Xero has some awesome features I am not denying that for a second and they are ingenious in some areas (especially marketing!) But perhaps there should be ALOT more focus on getting back to bascis and building a fantastic accounting program before getting too carried away with videos on the Flight of the Xero. The person who did that is clearly a genius, so put them to work on these items that need immediate attention.

Perhaps my advisor has bought a bucket load of shares and now needs to get customers on board to make it a viable investment for him..... hmmm

Humphreys Anita  

Oh and I did think the Cloud based idea would be a major winning factor for me - but as it turns out not only can I not get mobile phone service where I live, there are no more phone ports available. So my dream of working from home at nights when I need to catch up is looking less likely! But that's telstra's drama and I will be sure to take it up with them too!

Humphreys Anita  

We are using WorkFlowMax (before it was acquired by Xero) and it allows us to set different rates per customer which is great. But has loads on other intergration issues due to shortfall with Xero. Main one being multiple contacts per company. WFM does this great but Xero has no ability what-so-ever. Seriously! Just stick another couple fields in Xero, done! Copy the code from WFM, done!

The amount of holes in Xero in the most basic area's just blows my mind. And like I've said before, so many competitors have these features (minus some other great Xero features) I dont understand why Xero with is huge amount of funding cant get the basic requirements right.

Let sit, wait and hope that one day we can do accounting not only beautifully but efficiently and orderly. I don't believe this is to much to ask for $50-65 per month.

Luke Burrell  

PS. Workflowmax is fantastic! Great tool for businesses with teams and the intergration between them is not too shabby

Luke Burrell  

Hmm some harsh comments but unfortunately true. It's the 'little' features that often make the difference for our clients who are used to other systems. Some other little things that MYOB does that Xero does not (yet): Quotes; Discounts on early payment at the invoice level;
Commissions by staff; Repeat invoices with no scheduled date; Emailing documents to multiple people for the one client; simple job costing

Kirsten Blake  

How can this system not have some basic features:
No Cash disbursements journal
No Cash Receipts journal
No sales journal
On Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss accounts are listed alphabetically even if it makes no sense (they have Common Stock, Current Earnings, then Preferred Stock).
Technical support is very very slow

Karen Kaplan  

I agree with the above comments. I could go on all day about it but most of it has been covered already by other comments.
I think it all boils down to one thing, Xero never finishes anything before starting something new. There was mention recently about starting work on inventory function, which is all well and good but not before basic features like Receipts and better reporting.
It feels like our options are go with Xero which is 90% brilliant and 10% terrible or go with a different vendor which is 100% average yet has the basics covered.

Philip Duncan  

We moved from MYOB to Xero (advised by account) and i wished i had seen this before moving across. Xero is great in some respects but terrible for a medium size business that is producing large invoices.

Peter Ward  

Sorry but I have spent hrs working on a few problems with Xero and I have come to the conclusion that I would not recommend Xero to small business owners. After 18 months I am not not happy I spent more money on the accountant than previously and pay XERO a fee. More time & money for no gain. I will have to consider dumping Xero but once your in the change is difficult.

James Gorrie  

The major problem is unallocated cash receipts from customers. Is a big pain with Xero. I am not going to recommend Xero unless this is resolved. see Karen Kaplan above

I cannot see a all bank receipts and payments when in cash coding. 70 items shown (but there are 113 transactions) how can I get xero to show more as it is greyed out. I want see them all. There is a button show more but is greyed out.

Jeremy Choo  

Yes, I have to say that I'm in a similar boat. Switched to Xero based on marketing, trialled and recommended by various road shows and accountant, but some big holes I wasn't expecting. My main issue is reporting. We're a 30 person social enterprise and run multiple projects in various departments, each with its own budgets. I can't (easily) produce p/l against budgets for a chosen group of projects which was so easy in QB. It's just hard work in Xero, and I would have thought would be standard reports. Also we require job costings, and a range of indepth reports for exporting to other addons which we can't do in Xero. Sigh. We held off for so long because of inventory and then we switched when it seemed inventory was up and going, but again for a small but complex organisation with $4M turnover selling lots of kit, it doesn't really cut the mustard. But we can't go back...

Phil Squire  

Phil, taking a read of your thoughts (thanks for stepping these out), a lot of what you want can actually be done. The new reports can take time to set-up, but once done, and saved as a custom report, they're pretty fantastic. I've added this quick example to show you some of what you can do, lots more available though - so please do take a look at our Help Centre, or reach out to Support who can explain in more detail.

We are also working towards Job Costing - you can stay updated on the progress here.

Brittany H (Community Manager)