Xero: Cloud based accounting for freelancers

By May 10, 2013News, Reviews


It has certainly been a while since I have written a review of a product or service. I feel like sometimes the illustration business is like exploring a deep, dark, tunnel steeped in mystery. Every once in a while I come across products or services that I feel will light the way for those who choose to pick up the illustration mantle, but could use a little guidance. My last review was on Paymo, a time tracking tool that I still use today. I highly recommend it.

Accounting For the Rest of Us.

Today, I want to talk about accounting. To most creatives, accounting is a nasty word, and we would rather just go jump in puddles instead of deal with money. Believe me, I am the same way, yet I feel like I have found a fantastic solution. Xero. When I first started my illustration and design business I started using Quickbooks. If any of you have used Quickbooks, you know how difficult this program can be to learn. Never fear, Xero is here.

Four Reasons To Use Xero If You Are A Freelancer.

1. Accounting in the Clouds

Accounting is now done in the clouds. Hello people, the world runs on computers and the internet! Why are you still using a spreadsheet when Xero can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and you don’t have to back it up. Since Xero is cloud based you can import your bank feeds into the software, which makes bank reconciliation a dream. Seriously, if you write an invoice, and that same amount comes into your checking, Xero recognizes that and ask sorts it for you. Xero also works with Paypal.

2. Xero Is A Breeze

Honestly, I think I figured out the program in like 15 minutes. Anything I didn’t know how to accomplish was mostly due to my lack of accounting knowledge rather than a downfall of the program. I setup my bank feeds, accounts, invoices, and I was off to the races.

3. Online Payments

I work with international clients and sometimes online payments are just easier. Xero’s invoice system works with Paypal, so don’t worry about setting up some fancy online merchant account.

4. My Accountant Loves Xero

My accountant had never heard of Xero, but they liked it right away. Since the software is cloud based, she can simply login and get any info that she needs. In fact, she even fixed some of my accounts for me! When tax season came around I didn’t really send her anything, she just collected whatever she needed from the system in the format she wanted. Yay!

Xero is a winner.

Xero wasn’t created for freelancers, but boy does it sure work well for us. If you are looking for accounting software that makes it so easy, that you can actually work on your own business from time to time, try Xero. Thanks to my friend Jason Blummer (CPA extraordinaire) for telling me about this great software.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Thanks Nicholas! Glad Xero is working well for you. Jason is our friend too 🙂

  • Jody says:

    Well said! Accounting doesn’t have to be a deep, dark secret known only to accountants. I train and set up clients regularly on Xero and they are excited to be able to not only understand their bookkeeping, but to do it themselves! And you don’t have to spend a lot of time doing your bookkeeping to keep it up to date.

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