Best Xero Add-Ons – UK Edition
Xero’s widespread adoption owes something to its branding as the accounting software for small businesses (BBC voice: “Other accounting software IS available”).
One of the things that makes Xero successful is the number of small businesses who have been able to integrate their own products with Xero. These businesses produce apps that handle or automate one or more aspects of your business, and by integrating them with Xero you can get a much better financial and operational picture of where your business stands.
Whether you’re looking for a payment gateway, time-tracking, stock control or a CRM, there are Xero add-ons out there to fulfil your requirements. Let’s take a look 🙂
Automation is all about time-saving. Receipt Bank’s impressive credentials back up their tagline – “Effortless bookkeeping”. The concept is simple – clients submit photos of physical receipts and send them to you via Receipt Bank, which automatically detects relevant information from these photos and does the data entry for you in Receipt Bank.This information can then be published (automatically if you wish) into Xero. Heavily adopted by both large and small firms, from major accountancy practices to sole traders, Receipt Bank is well worth a look.
Practice Ignition is a one-stop-shop for proposal generation, invoicing and managing client billing arrangements. The interface is clear and simple (with a frankly superb colour palette, not that this should impact your choice too much!). Practice Ignition also includes a dashboard output from Xero, giving some at-a-glance analytics for future growth based on your data from Xero.
GoCardless gives your customers an easy way to pay you via direct debit and automatically reconciles these payments in Xero. It can also add a ‘pay now’ button to your invoices, which should in theory improve your cash flow, giving customers a convenient prompt to pay. With a fairly low price tag, GoCardless competes well with other add-ons in this area.
Stripe’s claim is “Get paid up to 19 days faster” – this nifty add-on is all about improving your cash flow. This online billing solution is smart and modern, also offering a ‘pay now’ button on invoices and generates a Stripe transaction in Xero when payments are made.
iZettle is a point-of-sale billing solution that advertises itself as handling both cash and card payments. iZettles also handles payroll, providing an additional benefit. There is a bit of manual setup with Xero, but iZettle’s pricing model will be attractive to some businesses – a flat fee per month rather than a % of the transaction.
Insightly CRM isn’t just an add-on for Xero – it also connects to Gmail, Outlook and MailChimp. Insightly grabs relevant data from all of the sources to provide a complete picture of every interaction you have with clients and prospective customers. You can also create invoices for your clients from Insightly CRM.
Breadwinner has a simple mission – integrate Salesforce CRM with Xero. Meshing Salesforce data with the actual invoices being paid (or not paid!) creates a web of information that any accountant would be pleased with. As a bonus, you can use Breadwinner to raise invoices from Salesforce. They are also blessed with a friendly support team should you run into trouble, which is always a plus in my book.
Capsule is a low-cost CRM with a ton of integrations. It links to Xero easily and with minimal fuss, and there is a UK-based contact centre if you do have questions. It has a well-developed contact management suite and task management interface. Being a low-cost tool there are some automations which aren’t present, but it may be suitable for your business nonetheless.
Unleashed focuses on linking up Xero to an accurate inventory management system, sending information on customers, suppliers, purchases, sales, stock, credits and returns to Xero. Unleashed itself offers real-time stock visibility, stock tracking and tracing and order management. Unleashed is Bristol-based, with several avenues of customer support available.
Dear is an inventory add-on for Xero, doing all the tasks you would expect from a polished inventory management system, with real-time tracking of sales and purchase orders. It also integrates with a number of leading sales services Combined with great customer service.
Cin7 is a particularly attractive inventory management integration for businesses that buy and sell in different units of measure (clothes, food & beverage, tiling, etc). Cin7 positions itself as a multi-currency solution, taking exchange rates, duty and freight into account when purchase orders bring in stock.
Financial Plans Made Easy
These integrations are great for making your day to day business activities run more smoothly and for providing solid data on how the business is performing financially and operationally.
But what about the future? For businesses that have not yet started trading and those which are taking on new ventures and wish to test the sensitivities of business decisions, a different kind of tool is needed. Brixx provides detailed forecasts for startups, small businesses and accountants. By building a financial model you build up a picture of your business that generates a flexible, testable cash flow and beautiful charts and reports. Sign Up 🙂