Since this week’s featured platform is one of the most user-friendly of the accounting solutions we’ve unearthed, it’s the first one we’re comparing to an herbivore. But the Ankylosaurus is not just any herbivore: it might just be the most indestructible one out there. And without further ado, here’s the next installment in our accounting solutions Dino Series: Xero.


At an impressive length of up to 30 feet and weight over 13,000 pounds, you wouldn’t want to meet an Ankylosaurus in a dark alley (or cave). Add some impressive armor and a large tail club, and you’d think the Ankylosaurus was built to fight– but you’d be wrong. The Ankylosaurus had a reputation for being a rather affable herbivore.

Xero is an online platform that has herds of satisfied customers. Regarded by many as an all-in-one solution, Xero combines real-time bank transactions, invoicing, expense claims and contact management into one easy to use dashboard.  Just as the Ankylosaurus sometimes traveled in packs for increased efficiency, Xero has come to understand the effectiveness of consolidation with their long list of features, add-ons and partners (including Shoeboxed!).  Even if Xero doesn’t provide the exact service you’re looking for, you can rest assured that one of its 50+ add-ons will meet your needs.  If you’re still not satisfied, Xero releases new features every three to six weeks based on customer feedback, so be sure to drop them a line and let them know what you want!

Even though it’s the most congenial of the dinosaurs we’ve featured, the Ankylosaurus was so tough that even the Tyrannosaurus Rex would have a hard time battling a full-grown adult. Xero should be seen the same way among the accounting solutions available: it is so easy to use and versatile that once Xero continues to gain momentum globally, it could be the major contender in the small business accounting space. The competition would have a hard time biting into their loyal customer base. Here is what you can expect from going vegetarian with Xero:

Xero’s strengths

  • Very user-friendly and intuitive

  • Integrates with bank feeds and cross-references receipts for reconciliation

  • Easy to read dashboard with key summaries for your business

  • Offers support for many international currencies

  • Cloud-based for multiple access points (with unlimited users!)

  • Complete sales tax support (quarterly and annual filing reports available)

  • Offers a partner program which allows accountants and/or partner(s) to access and manage accounts via one central page

Xero’s weaknesses

  • Xero is still considered a relatively new option for accounting solutions in the U.S., so your accountant might not be familiar with it

  • Does not handle inventory, purchases and stock

  • Payroll is only available in Australia for now, so users in other countries will need to use add-ons or other packages

  • Monthly fee (SaaS) increases with add-ons

  • Exporting data from Xero can be time consuming

It also happens to be true that the Ankylosaurus had the smallest brain to body ratio, making it not the “brightest” dinosaur that ever lived. That being said, Xero is designed so that users who might know next to nothing about accounting can keep accurate books that will satisfy their picky accountant. (Accountants love Xero too!)

Xero is probably best for business owners who…

  • Need an easy-to-use platform with access for their accountants

  • Work in any industry

  • Are planning on building their business (very scalable option)

  • Are looking for access to tons of informational resources and people

  • Travel or do business internationally

While you’re marinating on which of the accounting solutions we’ve featured is best for your business, consider Xero. If you like free trials and products that are easy to use, Xero might be the best of the accounting solutions for you.  Like the Ankylosaurus, Xero isn’t designed to be the largest dinosaur on the block; however, it is large enough to build and support an exceptional product, yet nimble enough to deliver innovative features that fulfill users’ changing needs.

You can’t go wrong with a serving of nutritious vegetables and a powerfully simple accounting platform with a cult following.

Thinking about trying Xero? Already using Xero? Please share your Xero experiences (or any of the other accounting solutions) and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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