MST is a silver partner with Xero. Xero is the primary accounting system we recommend to businesses. Over time, we've had a many ask why we chose to utilize Xero so heavily in our accounting services over the many other products that are available. The reasons are numerous, but I will hit some of the main points below;
1) Xero is completely built as a SaaS based product
When comparing Xero to many of its counterparts, and especially a couple of years ago, it was quickly noted that many others had attempted to place their product on the web by converting their desktop versions. This not only led to a platform that was/is far less flexible, but yielded a clunky user interface. Xero's decision to build their program from the ground up in the cloud provides one major benefit - an extremely flexible API. An API, or Application Programming Index, is what's used by other cloud services to integrate their solutions with Xero (this is similar to websites that provide the option to login using your Facebook or Google account). The flexibility and ease of integrating with Xero is demonstrated by the fact that the number of add-on solutions has more than doubled in the last 24 months. These add-ons enable small businesses to employ the best possible technology for its operations without paying for items they do not need.
2) Ease of Collaboration
As is generally the case with any cloud based product, collaboration is improved from the antiquated desktop programs of the past. However, while some cloud solutions handle this well, some handle it poorly. Xero however, has never once given us any issues when we're logged in simultaneously with a client.
3) Well Designed User Interface
One thing that we love about Xero is it's design. Not only is it super simple to navigate, but it's actually difficult for someone to completely foul up the accounting. This is especially true when I compare it to experiences with clients running other software for their accounting. Sure, every client won't be able to produce GAAP compliant financials without a bit of effort, but for the most part, they can feel confident in the accounting that's generated. Getting to the correct reports and being able to quickly drill down from financial statement level to the detail of a specific transaction within an account makes for easy understandability as well.
4) Online Banking Integration
Xero understands the importance of a bank reconciliation and provides the best integration with online banking. By this I mean that the way the program interacts with online banking accounts is the best design in the marketplace, by far. Xero puts the online banking status - for lack of a better description - front and center on the dashboard. Thus, without making any effort, one can quickly discern how caught up their records are in relation to the transactions that have cleared their bank account. We've found that other programs shuffle this information to some corner of their software, which means I've seen clients come in who had never reconciled to their bank and didn't have any idea they should have. In my opinion, this is impossible in Xero.
5) Xero Engages its Customers
From the prompt customer service, to the detailed how-to guides, to a well maintained blog and its many roadshows and conferences, Xero ranks high in customer service. This is demonstrated not only by the concern I feel I've gotten every time I reach out to my account rep, but by the passionate fans who are out there in the Xero Community answering questions, providing feedback, etc.