Is Xero suitable for startups and larger enterprises alike? 

17 November

Jordan Reader

Xero was founded in 2006 and is a leader in cloud accounting across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.  With currently over 3.7 million subscribers, Xero has emerged as a frontrunner in the realm of cloud accounting, appealing to businesses of all sizes and industries. Their undoubtedly strong reputation for efficiency and versatility is widespread and therefore their adoption figures continue to rise.  As the world of cloud-based accounting continues to evolve, businesses of all sizes are making their choice in their preferred provider and Xero is frequently the top pick. Time and again Xero proves itself as an indispensable tool for entrepreneurs, small businesses and larger enterprises alike, who are determined to streamline their financial operations in their quest to drive growth and achieve their business goals.  Xero stands as a trusted choice and many are attracted to it for its user-friendly interface, powerful financial management capabilities and the high levels of continued support on offer.   

Startups and Xero 

Xero is particularly appealing to smaller businesses, whether they be non-profit, self-employed, landlords, sports clubs or startup companies.  It is an ideal choice for businesses in their early stages of development and is very clear on how it supports each type of small business.  If we focus on startups choosing Xero, we find it is often because they feel that the software can be tailored to meet their unique needs.  Naturally, a big part of the decision making will be based on the affordability of Xero. Xero offers cost-effective subscription plans that cater for budget constraints typically faced by startups, particularly when they are just starting out.  Their starter pack is currently £15 per month and even includes payroll, expense claim and project tracking free for 2 months, analytics plus free for 4 months and CIS returns for an additional £5 per month as added options.  Furthermore, as startup businesses grow and expand their operations, Xero stands out for its scalability potential and offer varying subscription packages in line with this.  Startups can grow at their own pace, confident that Xero will grow with them and without the worry of having to transition to a new system in the near future.   

Another, crucial factor for startups choosing Xero, is the reputation of its user-friendly interface.  Entrepreneurs may not have extensive accounting experience and welcome the intuitive design that simplifies financial management tasks and business setup for the outset.  It saves them valuable time whilst helping them to stay up-to-date with the cash flowing in and out of their business. Xero is also an ideal choice for startups, who are keen to manage their finances on the go from anywhere simply using their phone or mobile device.  Via the app they can issue invoices and get paid faster, chase unpaid invoices, reconcile transactions and even track their business performance. Within the software, Xero Analytics empowers them to track their cash flow, gain a business overview and check their business’ financial health too.  Furthermore, Xero allows you to accept online payments by credit card, debit card or direct debit straight from your Xero invoice. So, startups can let customers pay the way they want, which increases the likelihood of getting paid on time, and reduces the time spent chasing payments. 

Xero like to invest in small businesses and recognise their value.  They have recently introduced the Xero Beautiful Business Fund, which is aimed at supporting small businesses and demonstrates how seriously they take investing in small businesses.  They are currently offering more than NZ$750,000 to eligible Xero small business customers across Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, The UK and the US, the opportunity to apply.  There will be four winners from each country, each receiving NZ$20,000. Of those winners, four will become global winners and receive an additional NZ$50,000.  There are four categories and to enter small businesses need to submit a short 90 second video that is future focused and explains how the fund will help their business.   

4PointZero have worked with many small-medium sized businesses that choose Xero as their accounting solutions. Most recently we have had a successful integration with an accountancy firm. Xero allows the client to see data in real time, allowing multiple users to log in at any time across the platform.  

The easy-to-use system has allowed this firm to reduce the manual input and save time allowing the firm to focus on generating business and increasing revenue, inevitably growing.  

Enterprises and Xero 

The vast majority of Xero’s client base is made up of smaller businesses, but that doesn’t mean they can not accommodate the needs of larger enterprises.  As previously mentioned, Xero is scalable and this versatility extends to larger enterprises.  Xero offers a host of advanced features that cater for the complex needs of larger enterprises, which includes multi-location support for those businesses that operate across multiple locations or have subsidiaries.  It has the ability to centralise all financial data from each branch and provide a single holistic view of the company’s performance, whilst still taking care of the individual needs of each branch as desired.     

For the most complex enterprises, Xero offers the Ultimate package, priced at £55 per month.  However, there are also tiers below this available, which can be selected according to your business needs and budget.  The Ultimate package includes the following features: 

  • send and receive invoices and quotes. 
  • enter bills 
  • reconcile bank transactions 
  • submit VAT returns to HMRC 
  • capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc 
  • automatic CIS calculations and reports 
  • short-term cash flow and business snapshot 
  • bank reconcile transactions 
  • use multiple currencies 
  • payroll (up to 10 people – £1 per additional person) 
  • claim expenses (for up to 5 people – £2.50 per additional user) 
  • track projects (for up to 5 people – £5 per additional user) 
  • Analytics Plus 
  • Submit CIS returns (optional for £5 per month) 

Xero’s robust reporting capabilities are also a standout feature that resonates with larger enterprises.  The wide array of customisable reports allows them to track key financial metrics, analyse trends and use the information to make data-driven decisions. The reports can even be tailored to support the specific requirements of different departments, so it is easier for executives, finance teams and department leaders to access the information that they need.  Xero also grants access for accountants and bookkeepers to view and act on the business’s financial information.      

Although Xero focuses on small-medium sized businesses, Xero can be used for larger businesses and has been successful in many of 4PointZero solutions. The main difference between using Xero for a small business compared to a large business, is that there are items that when you turn larger/scale up, Xero may not be able to provide what you are looking for, as certain functions may be simple. However, Xero has a fantastic marketplace and with an open API, many applications can work with and seamlessly integrate with Xero. This is one of the massive benefits of Xero as you are not restricted to the software and as you grow, these applications can become necessity.  

In this scenario, a lot of functionality for the running of the business is outside of Xero, and Xero will be used as the core centralised numbers and be able to produce those accounting reports that the business needs.  

Scalability and Customisation 

For both startup businesses and enterprises alike, Xero excels at offering a dynamic platform that evolves with your organisation’s changing needs.  One key way that customers achieve scalability with Xero is through the wide range of add-ons and integrations available.  These integrations permit businesses to extend the functionality of Xero by connecting with additional specialised tools and apps.  These include support with inventory management, payroll, CRM systems and more.  In fact, Xero boasts over 1000 apps and add-ons that are available to their customers to support them during times of expansion and diversification.  With this flexibility, Xero empowers startups and larger enterprises alike to create a bespoke accounting and management solution that fits perfectly with their operations, regardless of industry or size.  


In conclusion, Xero’s versatility and adaptability make it an ideal accounting solution for startup and larger enterprises alike.  The high volume of third-party apps and add-ons available make this possible, as business owners can craft their business to their own design. Xero’s client base predominantly appears to be smaller businesses, and if you visit their website it feels as if there is more focus on how they can support them, with specific areas of the website dedicated to how Xero operates for small businesses. However, its robust features such as bank reconciliation, invoicing and financial reporting apply to all types of business and can streamline financial processes, promote efficiency and accuracy for all.  Whether you’re a startup looking to manage costs or a large enterprise seeking advanced financial insights, Xero offers a comprehensive solution that will give the solid platform your business needs for sustained success.  

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