What We Recommend Xero Practice Manager For
We ranked Xero Practice Manager among the best accounting practice management software because of its ability to streamline the management of client jobs, workflows, invoicing, and timesheets. By signing up for the Xero partner program you’ll have access to the software, which also provides discounts and the opportunity to become Xero-certified. Xero Practice Manager can also be customized for your practice, such as setting up custom-branded documents like invoices or configuring templates to match your workflow.
Xero Practice Manager Is Especially Good For
- Firms with clients using Xero: If any of your clients are using Xero, this is the best option since Xero Practice Manager provides a portal to your clients’ Xero accounts.
- Firms seeking strong report functionality: Xero Practice Manager not only allows access to several saved reports, but you can also 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 seeking robust time and billing features: Time tracking and invoicing clients are among Xero Practice Manager’s most valuable functions as it allows the ability to use a stopwatch or enter time manually. The billing process is seamless and the integration with Xero allows for convenient payment by clients.
Xero Practice Manager Is Not a Good Fit For
- Firms that provide full-service payroll: Intuit Enhanced Payroll for Accountants integrates directly with QuickBooks Accountant Desktop. This enables you to offer full-service payroll for up to 50 clients for only $700 per year plus $1.75 per direct deposit, a cost-effective way to provide additional services to your clients.
- Firms seeking powerful customer relationship management tools: Because of its strong customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, such as the ability to create email marketing campaigns and collaborate with clients using an integrated Outlook calendar, TaxWorkFlow is an excellent option.
- 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.
Are you interested in learning about other accounting software options? Check out our review of the best small business accounting software.
Xero Practice Manager Pros and Cons
|The ability to allocate jobs and tasks with due dates||Free 14-day trial is only available to new Xero partners and those at bronze level|
|Custom report builder and strong reporting functionality||No telephone support available|
|Portal to client books||No tools available for team collaboration|
|Robust time and billing system with ability to enter time manually or use a time tracker tool|
|More than 30 third-party app integrations available|
|The ability to use Xero for your own firm’s accounts for free and connect them to Xero Practice Manager|
|Powerful mobile app with many of the same features as the software|
Xero Practice Manager Pricing
To begin using Xero Practice Manager, you must first become a member of the Xero partner program, which is free to join. Xero partners earn points to reach different status levels, which include bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. When you and your clients use Xero products, you’ll receive points that increase your partner status and rewards. Accountants, bookkeepers, and financial advisors with clients are eligible to join the partner program.
Once you reach silver, gold, or platinum partner status, there is no charge for Xero Practice Manager. New and Bronze-level partners can try Xero Practice Manager for free for 14 days, and then you can subscribe for $149 per month for up to 10 users until you reach silver status.
Xero Practice Manager Features
There are many benefits to signing up for Xero Practice Manager, which includes free access to the Xero partner program, Xero HQ, and Xero Workpapers. It also has a robust mobile app, and strong job management, invoicing, and reporting capabilities.
Access to the Xero Partner Program
Similar to the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program, Xero’s partner program has multiple levels of membership. Perks of this program include discounts for you and your clients, dedicated support, the opportunity to become Xero certified, attend events, and receive support and advice from a dedicated account manager. Finance professionals who are Xero certified are eligible to be listed in their advisor directory. The program also provides free Xero software for your firm. Check out our Xero review for more information about its features.
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 that you can focus on learning those. You can then pass along that knowledge to clients in a similar business that is 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.
Mobile App and Third-party Integrations
Manage your practice’s workflow, time tracking, and job costing with the Xero Practice Manager mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android users. You can access information about jobs and use notes to communicate with other members of your practice. There is also a time tracker available, or you can enter time directly. Your contact list is available as well so that you can call, message, or email your clients directly from the app.
Xero Practice Manager also integrates with more than 30 third-party apps, which you can use for such needs as collaborating with clients, tracking projects, providing financial forecasting and analysis, and simplifying client proposals. These apps can be accessed through Xero HQ.
Xero Workpapers enables you to streamline the compliance process using templates and is free with Xero Practice Manager. You can create working papers and schedule the work that’s needed—for example 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. Track progress by setting Workpaper alerts, and customize 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 also 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 they are easy to understand at a glance.
A key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard is also available under Performance Reports in the Reports menu, and 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.
With Xero Practice Manager, you can assign and view scheduled jobs, see who’s working on them, view 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 while you work or enter job times to your timesheet as you go. Actual billable time and productivity targets can be viewed on the Dashboard.
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 view the dollar value of all work in progress or segments of a project. Because the invoices are created in Xero and sent online, it is 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.
Xero Practice Manager Ease of Use
The Dashboard is very user-friendly with an uncluttered interface. It also contains shortcuts to commonly used functions and at the top so you can navigate to different sections. The image below shows the main dashboard tab:
- Top Navigation Tabs: Use these tabs to navigate to Accounts, Payroll, Reports, Advisor, Contacts, and Settings.
- Bank Accounts: All of your connected bank accounts are listed here, with both the bank and Xero balance, which are shown in a graph format that is broken down by date.
- Money Coming In: View all of your invoices here, including draft invoices and overdue ones. The graph is broken down by month, and there is also a button to add a new sales invoice.
- Money Going Out: You have the option to add bills here, and you can also view bills to be paid with totals summarized at the top of the section.
- Expense Claims: Any expense reimbursements that have been submitted by employees are shown here.
Xero Practice Manager Alternatives
Best for: Firms that provide full-service payroll and are looking for an affordable solution
Best for: Firms that are seeking strong CRM functionality
Best for: Firms with QuickBooks Online clients
Cost: Available with the purchase of a QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor membership, which starts at $449 per year
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
Intended for accounting firms to manage their Xero clients, Xero Practice Manager can also be used to manage your own firm’s books. It has several attractive features, including a portal to your client books, powerful time tracking and billing capabilities, and customized reporting. The program is cloud-based, and you can also access it from anywhere with its dedicated mobile app.