17 key Xero software features for business success and how Xero Training helps

12 min read

Let’s face it: managing business finances can be a headache. From keeping track of expenses to handling invoices, the workload can be especially overwhelming if you’re a startup growing fast but with limited capacity. Think of Xero software as your smart assistant that knows what you need when needed.
With it, say goodbye to the days of getting lost in piles of invoices and confusing spreadsheets. At its heart, Xero is all about making your financial tasks straightforward and stress-free.
Whether automatically updating against your bank transactions or creating clear, professional invoices, this accounting tool turns what used to be a chore into something manageable and efficient.
And guess what? Nearly four million users across the globe swear by Xero, and for good reason! Originally built in New Zealand, it’s now the most popular choice for accounting in 180 countries worldwide.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into what makes Xero so handy for businesses. From its coolest features to the little things that make a big difference, we’ll show you how it can supercharge your accounting processes and boost your efficiency.

17 helpful Xero software features for businesses

There are several cloud-based accounting software solutions on the market today. Xero, however, consistently leads the list for its wealth of features, ease of use and suitability for almost any business and industry.
Once you’ve set up your accounting on Xero, take control of your accounts like never before and save hundreds of hours that you can now devote to priority projects. Some of the features that make Xero software stand out include:

1. Prioritise cash flow management to ensure business sustainability

The Xero software supports integration with several third-party apps to make your accounting processes easier. The Xero App Store contains over 1,000 apps for multiple functions.
From eCommerce and payroll to project management and point-of-sale systems, set up a single, connected ecosystem that optimises your workflows for productivity.

2. Cloud-based accessibility

Xero software is a cloud-based accounting tool that makes it a breeze for businesses to manage their finances on the go.
Log in from any device and any network, and collaborate with remote employees around the world – the powerful features have you covered whether you’re at a client office or on the move.
This makes it much easier for small businesses to scale upwards cost-effectively, which is critical in today’s highly competitive market. 

3. Xero pricing flexibility

Whether you’re a startup or a big business, the Xero software adapts to your needs. It lets you add unlimited users at no extra cost, making it perfect for companies that need multi-user access.
With each plan, you get the Xero mobile app free and the flexibility to upgrade or downgrade at any time once you’ve been on the plan for 30 days. Best of all, you can also use a free trial of any plan for 30 days.

4. Real-time financial data

The Xero accounting dashboard lets you keep an eye on how your finances are doing day by day. Pull up your account balances, make a note of selling and spending patterns, and add customisations to set up alerts for specific things.
Even if you aren’t an accounting expert, the easy-to-use dashboard ensures you get started without trouble. And when you want your financial advisor to pitch in, the real-time collaboration features make it easy.

5. Multi-currency support

Xero supports payments in over 160 currencies, making it ideal for businesses with an international presence. Avoid the hassle of currency conversions with Xero’s built-in feature that gives insights into your financial performance across geographies.

6. Financial reporting

Having the Xero accounting software is like having an extra strategic partner – it turns your raw business data into smart, actionable information.
If there’s a report you use often, mark it as a favourite for quick access from the drop-down menu. You can also share the Xero financial reporting analyses with your accountant for real-time collaboration.
For even more customisations and predictive features, upgrade to Analytics Plus for just £5 per month.

7. Inventory management

The Xero software has an inventory control system that automatically populates orders and invoices. This also helps you stay on top of what’s selling and when it’s time to restock.

8. Bank reconciliation

The Xero accounting software syncs with your bank account and automatically imports all transactions to your business financial records. This enables error-free reconciliation of payments and receipts via Xero’s secure platform.
The Xero software also learns your patterns and gives you suggested reconciliations to simplify the process further. Currently, it supports over 21,000 financial institutions worldwide, and its automated reconciliation can save users up to 5.5 hours per week. 

9. Expense tracking

Xero comes with expense management tools that allow you to easily submit and reimburse expense claims. You can review and approve claims from your phone and use the analytics feature to monitor expense patterns. Besides, set up tracking categories to see your expenses by department, location or product line.

10. Easy to migrate

Switching to Xero accounting software from your old accounting system is super easy! After some preliminary setup work on Xero, import all your data – contacts, bills, invoices, books of accounts, and so on – through CSV files.

11. Data extraction

Xero offers an app, Hubdoc, that lets you extract data from printed receipts and bills as well. All you need to do is take a picture – the app will automatically read the data and create an entry in your books of accounts. Ease the pain of bookkeeping with Xero!

12. Data security

Xero leaves no stone unturned to ensure your sensitive financial data is always safe. Business owners get comprehensive user access controls, meaning they can ensure that data is only visible to users with the right level of clearance. They also frequently conduct their audits to check for and address any vulnerabilities.

13. Branding

Customise your invoices, statements and quotes with your company’s logo or header or add different themes to suit each department. You can also personalise the text on the reminder alerts you send out.

14. Invoicing

With Xero accounting software, share invoices that allow the recipient to pay in a manner of their choice, be it direct debit, credit card, debit card or PayPal/Stripe/GoCardless.
Set automated reminders to be sent out at intervals, making it easy to get paid on time without chasing down invoices. You also get the flexibility of sending invoices from your desktop or the Xero software mobile app.

15. Billing

The Xero software makes it easy to pay your bills on time and gives insight into your cash flow and accounts payable. In addition, schedule batches of payments in advance.

16. Payroll

Xero software has a built-in payroll management feature that lets you manage salaries, deductions, and tax compliance hassle-free. Not only do you eliminate the risk of errors, but you also ensure that everyone is paid on time and in full, making employees happier. Employees can also upload their expenses, make claims and manage their leave on the same platform.

17. Filing

The Xero software comes with a comprehensive filing system that lets you store documents related to your finances, such as contracts or bank statements, and quickly retrieve them whenever needed. Email your documents or upload them directly to the Xero email address. 
This makes it easy to put things together for your annual tax returns or prepare reports for board members or potential investors.

A glance at Xero pricing

All of Xero’s pricing plans exclude VAT but cover the accounting essentials, giving users the room to grow by adding more customisations and features to the mix. There are four Xero pricing (monthly) plans* offered:
  • Starter – £15
  • Standard – £30
  • Premium – £42
  • Ultimate – £55
Features such as payroll, expense management, project tracking, CIS returns submission, and Analytics Plus are add-ons and can be purchased separately, regardless of your chosen pricing plan. If you’re unsure about what Xero software brings to the table, try it for free for 30 days.
*Pricing correct as at January 2024.

How Xero training by Golding can help

Xero is designed to be user-friendly, even for those without an accounting background. However, given how many unique features the Xero software has, it can sometimes be challenging for new users to get used to it or even make the most of it. That’s where our Xero training program comes in.
Investing in hands-on guidance for navigating this intricate cloud accounting platform will help your team unlock its capabilities much faster.
Here’s what Xero training by Golding would look like:

1. No more stress

Accounting, especially during the year-end, can be a stressful process. But once you know the ins and outs of the Xero software, you can complete tasks in a fraction of the time and set up automatic processes for things like payroll and invoicing. Investing in some training time upfront saves you a lot of hassle later.

2. Greater adaptability

The industry is constantly evolving, and it’s more vital than ever for teams to be comfortable with the latest technology. By investing in Xero software training, your team will have gained transferable tech skills that they can use to navigate other new platforms as well.

3. Enhanced productivity

With Xero software training, your team doesn’t have to waste time figuring out how to execute basic functions and can start implementing accounting processes from the get-go.

4. Tailored to what you want

Perhaps the biggest reason to invest in Xero software training is that the best trainers will meet you where you are. They will design courses and timelines based on how much or how little experience you have with Xero and can conduct detailed training or crash courses depending on what you’re looking for.

5. Better planning and forecasting

The Xero software has many features to help you understand your cash flow, profits and turnover. What’s more, it can make accurate projections for you based on what your business plans are.
Our Xero training will provide you with step-by-step guidance on how to use these features, thus enabling you to make sounder business plans and manage your money intelligently. 

6. Make your accounts do more for you

With our Xero training, you’ll know how to prepare your accounts for tax deadlines, HMRC audits and any reports that potential investors/lenders might ask for before providing your business with financing.

Accounting, especially during the year-end, can be a stressful process. But once you know the ins and outs of the Xero software, you can complete tasks in a fraction of the time and set up automatic processes for things like payroll and invoicing. Investing in some training time upfront saves you a lot of hassle later.

Tap into the full potential of Xero with Golding Accountants

There’s no doubt that with a plethora of customisations and shortcuts available – and more added all the time – Xero is truly a powerhouse of an accounting solution for any business. In this day and age, such technology is non-negotiable if you want to grow!
If you’re looking for top-notch Xero training for your team, why not reach out to us? Our Xero accountants will work with you to prepare tailored courses based on your team’s skill sets and priority areas. It’s that simple!
We’ll guide you through each feature of the Xero software, give you best practices for your industry, show you troubleshooting tips for when you run into issues and provide on-demand support whenever you need it.
Whether you’re a startup investing in cloud-based accounting for the first time or an established company seeking to optimise your processes, our Xero software training has you covered.
Get in touch to know more today!
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