If you are looking to scale up your business, you’ll want an accounting solution that can grow with you. Do your research and you’ll soon find Xero – but it may be prefixed with the words ‘small business’.
While there’s no doubt Xero is a good system for small businesses, Stellarise work with larger clients who use Xero – some with over 1000 employees. We find it easy to use, low risk, low cost and it has a wide ecosphere of applications that work with it, including Microsoft Dynamics, with our dedicated Stellarise Connector for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Xero. Using Xero this way, you can quickly build a much more powerful system that manages accounting, but a lot more too.
This article looks at Xero in the context of that growing business. We’ll look at its scope, scalability and flexibility – advantages that make Xero centric solutions streets ahead when compared to many of the non-web based accounting systems available.
What is Xero?
Xero has been around since 2006. Originally built for the New Zealand market it is now a global giant in Accounting. Describing itself as “accounting software with all the time-saving tools you need to grow your business”, it has grown to provide the accounting backbone to over 1.5 million companies. Although primarily an accounting system, all levels offer optional extras such as payroll, projects and expenses.
Flexibility and scalability
All Xero plans come with features that help scalability. You can add unlimited team members, but the number one reason it offers so much above other accounting systems are the more than 700 integrations with other apps through their class leading API. In addition, it offers industry wide SSL encryption and enables over 700 integrations with time saving apps. The solutions we can create using Xero are incredibly flexible and bespoke to each organisation’s requirements – from bill creation through to automated invoicing to payment collection. We see this as one of Xero’s biggest advantages and it is what makes it so attractive to work with.
Xero allows integration with inventory management, invoicing, time tracking, expenses and more. We can quickly get systems to the prototype stage at a low risk and cost compared to accounting systems that cost a lot more and offer less integrations possibilities.
In the case of Microsoft Dynamics, Stellarise has a connector that quickly syncs invoices, payments and accounts between your on-premise/in-cloud Microsoft Dynamics CRM or 365 and Xero systems.
Xero and larger businesses
When determining whether Xero is right for a larger business, it’s not so much the turnover that’s the criteria, rather the complexity of the requirements that come with the business and the number of monthly transactions. A business with a rough turnover of £5-10m can have more complex accounting requirements than one that is ten times larger.
As a business grows, it needs to adapt certain areas of its operation to handle more complex requirements. This is where Xero’s integrations can be so helpful for filling in the gaps of functionality that larger companies will need. For example, integrating Xero with other business apps can create new capabilities, such as forward cashflow forecasting through combining CRM pipeline opportunities with Xero budgets and actual invoices.
As well as the larger clients Stellarise work with that use Xero, it is used by well known consulting, engineering and construction firms in Australia and New Zealand such as Synertec and SPI – businesses too big to take any risks with their accounting operations. They’ve used cloud software to support their growth, so it was a logical move to adopt Xero which has given them a clear picture of what’s happening across the business.
When determining whether Xero is right for a larger business, it’s not so much the turnover that’s the criteria, rather the complexity of the requirements that come with the business and the number of monthly transactions.
Are there any limitations?
We often get asked how many invoices Xero can process each month. In a thread on AccountingWeb in 2016, Gary Turner, MD of Xero posted a response to a similar question. “There is no hard limit but the general guidance is organisations that process significantly more than 1,000 invoices a month may need to look at ways of summarising transactions prior to bringing them into Xero to ensure that performance is not detrimentally affected.”
However, an article in Digital First from 2018 tested Xero’s limits for businesses with higher transaction volumes – and suggested that this limit could be exceeded. Their testing based on 2,500 transactions a month showed that Xero performs well at much higher transaction volumes than the 1,000 per month they advertise.
Any system will have its limitations – and even Xero themselves no longer use Xero because, at 1,500 employees across 4 countries and over £400m turnover, it is too big a business with all the transactions that go with it. And Stellarise have worked with clients that have moved on from Xero – but found it a proficient system for the appropriate part of their journey.
As businesses grow, their needs inevitably become more specific. In turn, accounting solutions need to be more customisable. Xero is a reliable, secure and well respected accounting system that offers the integration options to create an affordable and flexible solution. It offers the building blocks to create an end to end accounting process that can be as bespoke as you need it to be. When paired with other cloud apps, it is as equally efficient and productive for large businesses as it is for smaller ones.
Stellarise is based in London and Budapest. If you are interested in a pragmatic conversation around your options for cloud computing, cloud services, IT strategy and IT support, we’d love to hear from you.
How Stellarise can help
If you are thinking about using Xero and like the flexibility it offers as your business grows, we have the expert knowledge and technical knowhow to help you unlock its full potential.
As a select member of UK based certified Xero Developer partners, our Xero Integration Services team can intelligently integrate Xero with the systems you currently use, not only saving you time but transforming the way you do business.
Find out more about our Stellarise Connector for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Xero and how we can integrate Xero into your business workflow. Alternatively, read the case study about Stellarise bringing customised, cloud-hosted integration between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Xero for Gold Standard.