Xero + The Basics
Why do we recommend Xero over other accounting options?
The backbone of a business is its accounting system. It’s so much more than just how much we need to pay “Uncle Sam” at year end. It tells us if we have enough cash to cover our next payroll, whether our profit on the last project was worth the headaches, which job is finally ready to invoice, what client we need to collect money from “yesterday”, which vendor we must pay tomorrow if we want delivery, and who can wait until next week.
Such an essential business process needs to be well designed and properly supported. It needs to be able to grow (or occasionally shrink) based on the needs of the business. We strongly feel that Xero is that product.
We started using Xero because we wanted a cloud accounting option for those clients who needed the convenience of remote access. We quickly realized that this beautiful system is far superior to any desktop product we had used in the past, and began to convert our other clients over. Using a single cloud-based system makes it easier for us to provide the quality of support our clients deserve.
Well-designed accounting systems are efficient, accurate, and easy to use.
What else makes Xero so special?
Live Bank Feeds:
Although Xero can be used without live bank feeds, doing so is like driving a race car on city streets. The beauty of Xero is the way the live bank feeds keep everything constantly up to date. Reconciling bank and credit card accounts becomes a simple daily process instead of a monthly chore.
Audit Trails and Recoding:
There is virtually nothing my clients can do to their Xero file that can’t be fixed. Every transaction is tracked and Xero provides their advisors special tools to help us review and repair errors and misclassifications. The Files Inbox provides us easy access to supporting documents such as bank statements and expense receipts.
The focus of Xero is on core accounting processes, so they encourage outside software developers to create integrated Apps for specialized industry needs. These are easily integrated into Xero through the open API system, which allows businesses to fully customize their accounting system to their unique needs.
Xero Plans and Pricing
Here is a listing of Xero pricing/features effective November 15, 2022:
- Includes unlimited bank transactions and HubDoc plus 20 invoices and 5 bills per month – perfect for startups.
- Includes unlimited transactions and HubDoc plus full invoicing and accounts payable capabilities – our most popular plan.
- Same features as GROWING but also includes Multiple Currency and access to several special Xero features: Analytics Plus, Expenses & Projects.
- Partner Plan (not available directly to the public) that includes unlimited transactions but not invoicing or bills (which most Apps require) – excellent for tracking personal finance.
- Partner Plan that provides clients read-only access with no bank feeds – a handy solution when files are needed for reference purposes only (such as when companies are restructured or go out of business).
Some clients choose to pay Xero subscriptions directly and invite us in as Advisors. In most cases, the subscription cost is included in the client’s fixed price contract. See below for support and advisory pricing.
Xero provides conversion tools for the popular accounting software packages. This usually includes current and prior year data but additional years of history can be included for a fee. We can review your existing file to see if it is a good candidate, and determine what preparation will be required before converting it.
If you are planning on converting a company file from other accounting software, the Xero file will be created as part of the conversion process.
Support and Advisory Plans
We do not charge for initial business consults. We prefer to know a little bit about your business and understand what you need before we recommend an appropriate solution and establish a formal agreement. If we aren’t the right fit for your particular business, we will happily recommend you to another adviser with the expertise and service level that best meets your needs.
Our base rate is $80/hour.
Fixed price contracts:
Basic Support PlanWith CASH or EARLY subscription of Xero included.
Standard Monthly PlanWith GROWING subscription of Xero included.
Enterprise Monthly PlanWith ESTABLISHED subscription of Xero included.
- Preferred plan for businesses requiring multi-currency or basic job costing analysis. Certain industries inherently require more detailed reporting.
Actual price of monthly plans will depend on quantity and complexity of transactions, level of involvement, and cost of Apps included. Some Apps are charged directly to client by the provider.
Project work, training, and advisory is offered on retainer:
2 hour retainerRemote training and advisory sessions
- Basic training and advisory is included with most fixed pricing and project contracts. Many Apps provide free on-boarding, training and support. Independent training and advisory sessions are available for specialized training and non-contract clients. Sessions are usually scheduled for an hour at a time.
4 hour retainerInitial, periodic or year-end review, minor troubleshooting
- This is the minimum fee required for on-boarding preparation. A more realistic assessment of cost will be established once the file has been thoroughly reviewed. Any remaining retainer will be applied towards future projects or contracts.
8 hour retainerMajor project and historical work
- Assume at least an hour for each month to be recreated. Actual cost will depend on the quality of the data and the complexity of the transactions. Once the scope of the project has been determined, we may feel comfortable quoting a flat per-month rate for historical work.
Tax and payroll services:
Sales tax review and filing
$80/hour minimum fee
Currently registered as sales tax preparer in the states of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts & Virginia. Other states will be added based on client requests (and if available with the state).
Year End 1099 preparation and e-filing
$75 base fee per entity and $10 per individual filing
(not including year-end file review)
Read our blog article A Business Owner’s Basic Guide to 1099-Misc to learn more about information returns.
Although we may provide basic guidance on tax issues and compliance and year-end financial reporting, we no longer offer personal and business income tax return preparation. If you do not currently have a tax professional on your advisory team, we would be happy to recommend one of the trustworthy tax preparers that we frequently refer clients to.