Do you love technology or have you been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century longing for the good old days? I think I’m a bit of both. I enjoy cutting my teeth on new technology for my business but I still love teaching Journals and Ledgers to students the old-fashioned way using pencil and paper. I prefer the comforting tap tap tapping of a big clunky calculator to whipping out my smartphone (my hubby & kids will attest to this).
If you’re a Xero user, you may have heard of Xero apps (or Xero add-ons). They’re cloud-based applications that work with Xero to perform one or more extra functions. There’s an app for pretty much every task and every type of business.
Some apps are ‘horizontal’ apps that are made for use across a range of industries. Others are ‘vertical’ apps that are made for one main type of industry.
They come in varying shapes and sizes and some are more complex than others. For example, Receipt Bank is straight-forward to use and once integrated with Xero correctly you can be up and running pretty quickly. It has a couple of main functions, which it does well. Mindbody is an example of a more complex app with many functions, and will therefore take more time and energy to integrate with Xero and to learn to use correctly.
Most of the apps allow you a free trial period at first, so you can try before you buy. Once you’ve decided to go ahead with the product you’re often required to pay by monthly subscription that automatically gets charged to your credit card.
It’s a good idea to make sure you’re comfortable using Xero first before you go add-on shopping. But if you live for learning new technologies, then hey – don’t let me stop you jumping right in! You might also start the other way around, using an App first and then integrating it with Xero down the track. I’ve seen this work successfully as well. If you use a cloud-based accounting software other than Xero such as MYOB, Quickbooks or Reckon, many of the apps will integrate with these too.
Why are people using Xero apps?
- To provide a better experience for their customers
- To save time
- To get organized
- To streamline processes
- To improve cashflow
- To keep a closer eye on their finances