One of the major benefits of using Xero is the vast ecosystem of add-on partners. These are software applications that can integrate with Xero to create an integrated IT solution for a business to generate efficiency and productivity improvements that flow through to the bottom line.
However with more than 350 add-on partners in the Xero ecosystem, identifying the right ones for your business can be daunting.
Whenever we help businesses choose and integrate add-on partners, we look at a number of factors, including:
- Does it improve a business processes?
- Is it cost-effective?
- Will it deliver a benefit to the business?
Let’s start with back-end applications, which help improve business administration functions. Our favourites include:
- Receipt Bank helps automate the accounts payable data entry functions. (It’s one of Xero’s most popular add-ons.)
- Debtor Daddy automates the follow-up of outstanding invoices, and has shown to reduce outstanding debts and improve cashflow.
- Fathom and Spotlight both provide excellent reporting functionality and feedback to business owners.
On the flipside, front-end applications help improve the processes and experience between the business and its customers. Here are some of our favourite front-of-house applications.
- GeoOp is a great add-on if you have a mobile workforce. You can allocate jobs, raise quotes and invoices, get clients to sign off on issues and let staff allocate their time and materials onsite.
- Vend is arguably the best cloud-based Point of Sale application for retailers. It lets you order and receive stock (which then uploads to Xero along with the sales), and integrates with e-commerce platforms for online sales.
- Deputy and Tanda are two great applications for staff rostering and time sheets that link to Xero’s payroll functions.
- Re-leased and Sharesight are two of our favourite applications for investor clients. Re-leased lets commercial property investors manage their portfolio, while Sharesight downloads daily sharemarket information to help share investors monitor and manage their portfolio. Both applications integrate with Xero and upload information to reduce the data entry functions.
- Unleashed and Dear Inventory are all inventory management applications. They allow business owners to monitor and manage their stock, and integrate with other applications to provide up-to-date information on stock availability and costs.
These are only a sample of the many applications designed to help small businesses improve efficiencies, productivity and bottom line results.
To assess which ones are best for your business, ask yourself:
- Does it reduce time in one of our business processes?
- Is it cost effective (i.e. does the benefit outweigh the cost)?
- Will it deliver a benefit to our business? (Note: this may not always be in direct dollars. For example, an integrated CRM such as Capsule may just provide better marketing opportunities and sales lead management.)
The number of add-on partners is constantly changing, with new partners arriving daily. As a specialist integrator MU Business Solutions can help you choose and implement the best solutions for your business as well as help with all of your training and bookkeeping needs.
To get the most out of Xero, talk to people in the know (such as MU Business Solutions) and get the applications that best suit your business needs.