This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
Xero Practice Manager (XPM) is a cloud-based practice management program designed to be used by accounting firms and professionals with clients using Xero. It lets you create jobs and assign them to your staff, track time worked and convert them into invoices, and manage your practice on the go via its mobile app.
By signing up for the Xero partner program, you gain access to the software, which also offers discounts and the opportunity to become Xero-certified. New and Bronze-level partners can use Xero Practice Manager free for 14 days and then sign up for $149 per month while Silver, Gold, and Platinum partners can use the program for free. To achieve at least the Silver status, a partner needs to maintain between 75 and 299 points and have at least one staff member with a Xero certification.
- Expensive for new and Bronze-level partners
- No telephone support
- No tools for team collaboration
- Free trial is subject to review and approval
- Discount rates have been reduced for new Xero partners
- Firms with clients using Xero: If your clients are using Xero, one of our best small business accounting software, you need Xero Practice Manager to access their accounts.
- Firms seeking strong report functionality: The platform not only allows access to several saved reports but also lets you customize report templates that you can apply to any client. The report options are limitless and can be tailored to your client’s needs.
- Firms that need robust time and billing features: Time tracking and invoicing clients are among Xero Practice Manager’s most valuable functions as they allow users to use a stopwatch or enter time manually. The billing process is seamless, and the integration with Xero allows for convenient payment by clients.
- Project managers: Xero Practice Manager allows you to assign jobs to staff members with due dates and view the number of hours that your staff is allocated to work on a certain task.
- Firms that require fixed asset management features: Xero Practice Manager’s direct integration with Xero lets you manage and track your clients’ fixed assets, such as machinery, equipment, and vehicles.
- Firms that manage QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier clients: QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is required to access your client’s company files in QuickBooks Pro or Premier.
- Firms seeking powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tools: TaxWorkFlow is an excellent option because of its strong CRM functionality, such as the ability to create email marketing campaigns and collaborate with clients using an integrated Outlook calendar.
- Firms with QuickBooks Online clients: QuickBooks Online Accountant is free when you enroll in the QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor program, and it enables you to support your clients no matter which QuickBooks Online product they are using.
Still can’t find what you need? For other great alternatives to Xero Practice Manager, please check out our complete list of the best accounting practice management software.
Xero Practice Manager Deciding Factors
Accounting firms with clients using Xero
Free for Silver, Gold, or Platinum partners, $149 per month for new or Bronze-level partners
Free Trial Limitation
14 days for New Xero partners and Bronze-level users
In-software ticket (through the Help button) and Xero Central
4.1 out 5 based on over 20 reviews on G2
Xero Practice Manager New Features 2023
- Updated name fields: The fields you’ll see in XPM and Xero HQ are now a bit different. In the new version, the Xero Ask email template shows a single field for full name, rather than two. Also, the mandatory display name field is now editable, instead of being auto-generated and unable to be edited.
- New discount rates for Xero partners: New Xero partners (those who joined XPM after April 1, 2022) will receive new discount rates on their Xero subscriptions. More information is provided in the features section.
Xero Practice Manager Alternatives
Best for: Firms serving QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier clients
Best for: Firms seeking strong CRM functionality
Best for: Firms with QuickBooks Online clients
Cost: Starting at $799 per year for the ProAdvisor Premier software bundle
Cost: Available for a flat annual fee of $1,500, which includes unlimited users and unlimited access to all features
Cost: Free with enrollment in the QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor program, which is also free
Xero Practice Manager Pricing
To begin using Xero Practice Manager, you must first become a member of the Xero partner program, which is free. New partners and those at the Bronze-level status can try the platform, which supports up to 10 users, for free for 14 days before they decide to subscribe for $149 per month. Once you reach the Silver, Gold, or Platinum status, you can use the program for free:
- New and Bronze partners: $149 per month
- Silver, Gold, and Platinum partners: Free
In the features section below, we discuss the steps on how to join the Xero partner program and Xero’s eligibility criteria to earn points to reach different status levels―especially Silver―so that you can use Xero Practice Manager for free.
Xero Practice Manager Features
There are many benefits to signing up for Xero Practice Manager, including free access to Xero HQ and Xero Workpapers. It also has strong job management, invoicing, and reporting capabilities and a robust mobile app.
Similar to the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program, Xero’s partner program has multiple membership levels. It has discounts for you and your clients and offers you the opportunity to become Xero-certified, attend events, and receive support and advice from a dedicated account manager.
It also provides free Xero software for your firm, and finance professionals who are Xero-certified are eligible to be listed in the advisor directory. Check out our Xero review for more information about its features.
Accountants, bookkeepers, and financial advisors with clients are eligible to become a Xero partner. Here are the steps to joining the program:
- Step 1: Fill out the Xero partner program application form.
- Step 2: Have at least one member of your accounting team complete the Xero advisor certification program within 30 days.
- Step 3: Complete your Xero HQ subscription, including payment setup and practice administrator and master administrator permissions.
- Step 4: Register your accounting practice with at least one registered accountant.
- Step 5: Sign the Xero partner agreement.
How To Earn Xero Partner Points
- You bring more clients onto the Xero platform, whether you or your clients pay for their subscription. You’ll receive more points if your client pays for their subscription and invites you in.
- You or your client actively use Xero add-ons: Xero Expenses, Xero Projects, Hubdoc, and WorkflowMax.
- You pay for your client’s subscription for Xero’s partner plans: Cashbook and Ledger.
You can check out Xero’s website for detailed information on eligibility criteria and points breakdown.
As you earn more points, your partner status and rewards increase. When a partner reaches a new level, they’re eligible to get new benefits.
Time and costs are converted to progress or final invoices, and you can enter a fixed price or use rates and markups. You can automate entering tasks into invoices by creating task descriptions and viewing the dollar value of all work in progress or segments of a project.
Because the invoices are created in Xero and sent online, it’s easy for your clients to pay you because it connects to their version of Xero automatically. You’ll also be updated when they open the invoice.
From the invoice dashboard, you can view your invoices and their status:
- Draft: These are the invoices that have been created but not approved
- Awaiting payment: View invoices that are approved but not yet paid
- Overdue: These are invoices that are past the invoice due date
All Xero partners have free access to Xero HQ, which enables you to view your clients, upcoming jobs, alerts, and queries. The activity feed helps you to streamline your work and stay up to date with client activities and tasks.
Use the Explorer feature to dig deeper into client insights, such as which apps they use, the industries they operate within, and who they bank with, so that you can gain a better understanding of what matters most to them. Explorer visualizes the client data Xero already has, letting you spot trends and patterns easily.
For example, Explorer shows you which apps are the most popular among your clients, so you can focus on learning those. You can then pass along that knowledge to clients in similar businesses that are seeking advice about which apps might be most beneficial to them.
Your client list shows all contacts, even the ones that aren’t on Xero. You can also send requests to clients for the documents you need and correspond with them securely. Set Xero HQ as your homepage to have instant access to this information.
On App Store
Manage your practice’s workflow, time tracking, and job costing with the Xero Practice Manager mobile app, which you can download on Google Play and App Store. You can access information about jobs and use notes to communicate with other members of your practice. There’s also a time tracker—or you can enter time directly. Your contact list is available as well so that you can call, message, or email clients directly from the app.
Xero Practice Manager also integrates with more than 30 third-party apps, which you can use for collaborating with clients, tracking projects, providing financial forecasting and analysis, and simplifying client proposals. These apps can be accessed through Xero HQ.
Xero Workpapers, which is free with Xero Practice Manager, enables you to streamline the compliance process using templates. You can create working papers and schedule the work that’s needed, such as requesting documents from clients.
Workpaper packs can be assigned to staff with start and stop dates for a job, and you can also review clients’ trial balances. You can even track progress by setting Workpaper alerts and customizing client correspondence, such as management letters, compilation agreements, and year-end questionnaires.
In addition to the standard reports available—including analysis, performance, and work-in-progress (WIP) reports—you can produce and customize practice-wide report templates that can be applied to any client and tailor the reports further to suit the client’s business. These reports are generated while also allowing each organization to keep using its own chart of accounts. Reports on productivity, recoverable costs, and internal time are also available, and you can include charts so that they’re easy to understand at a glance.
Additionally, a key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard is available under Performance Reports in the Reports menu. It provides users with an overview of business performance, including work-in-progress days, debtor days, average hourly rate, write-offs, and revenue per fee earner.
The report builder lets you create custom reports and filter reports based on the date it was created, who it’s assigned to, and who created the report.
You can assign and view scheduled jobs, see who’s working on them, see staff schedules, and set due dates and milestones that are checked off when completed. To track time, you can either use the timer to record time while you work or enter job times into your timesheet as you go. Actual billable time and productivity targets can be viewed on the dashboard.
Xero Practice Manager Ease of Use & Customer Service
The dashboard is very user-friendly, with an uncluttered interface. It also contains shortcuts to commonly used functions at the top so you can navigate to different sections. The dashboard displays an overview of your practice and shortcuts to features that you use regularly. The screen displays time summary and productivity, today’s jobs, important dates, tasks, and jobs you’re scheduled to complete, tax alerts, and more.
Below is a screenshot of Xero Practice Manager’s dashboard:
To help you better understand Xero Practice Manager, you can use Xero Central, Xero’s customer support portal with plenty of information, including start guides and video series. You may also request help by sending an online ticket through the help icon on your dashboard.
Xero Practice Manager User Reviews
Most online reviews of Xero Practice Manager are positive. On G2, where the program is rated 4.1 out of 5, users like that it’s easy to use and that it integrates seamlessly with other software. One user explained that it was so easy for them to set up the XPM account and that it connects to other platforms, like WooCommerce and Vend. Meanwhile, those who left negative reviews complained that there’s no telephone support.
Xero Practice Manager Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I become a Xero partner right away after I sign up for a free trial?
No. After sending your application, Xero will send you an email after a few business days and a partner development representative will call you to discuss important details, such as the benefits of the program. You’ll also need to sign a partnership agreement.
How can I access Xero Practice Manager from my Xero account?
From your Xero dashboard, click on your organization, and then select Practice Manager.
Can I use Xero Practice Manager to manage my own books?
Yes, you can.
Xero Practice Manager is great if you need to streamline client job management and improve practice workflows, invoicing, and time tracking. In addition to its practice management tools, it has other attractive features, such as generous product discounts and the opportunity to become a Xero partner to earn additional rewards and benefits.