Like many government programs, while the intention is in the right place, navigating the loan application process can be tricky. That is where SmartBiz loans come in. SmartBiz loans are designed for small business customers looking to add inventory and equipment, or even accounting firms looking to hire additional staff in advance of tax season.
SmartBiz lets you apply online in only 20 minutes and get funded within 2 to 5 business days, avoiding the standard SBA application process that can take up to 90 days.
SmartBiz lets our accounting partners and their small business customers apply easily and quickly online for an SBA-guaranteed working capital loans. SmartBiz loans feature low interest rates, long repayment terms and an easy online application process.
Our US President Jamie Sutherland and Regional Sales Director Ted McRae were guests on San Diego’s 760 KFMB AM radio show “It’s Your Money and Your Life” recently. The discussion was about Xero and its place in the evolution of the accounting industry.
Co-host Richard Muscio is a CPA who understands the struggles posed by desktop accounting software. He pointed out technology is rapidly improving and small business owners are demanding their financial information be easily accessible and available in real time. Richard echoed our sentiment that the CPAs who have made the jump to the cloud are ahead of the curve but the ones who are still behind “are at risk of becoming dinosaurs”, as he put it.
The conversation steered towards another topic that resonated with the hosts: collaboration. As a CPA, Richard is used to getting client financial data when its no longer actionable. It’s a concept that has never made sense to him. He had an excellent take on the idea of collaboration:
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As the number of UK accounting and bookkeeping practice grows, so too does the number of supporting staff members here at Xero. As part of our commitment to provide our Xero Partners in the UK with the smoothest and quickest transition from their current client accounting software packages such as Sage, Quickbooks (or quite often Microsoft Excel) – we now have the UK Partner Enablement team consisting of (left to right) Sarah Tetlow (me!), Chloe Jackson, Helen Gibbons and Michael Graves.
While we’re somewhat famous for hosting hundreds of people every day around the world on any one of a number of online training sessions and webinars, we also like to get out and about, too.
So, today the team embarks on a mammoth twenty-five venue tour of the UK all the way from Plymouth in the south, Belfast to the west to Edinburgh in the north, and pretty much everywhere else in between. We’ll deliver face to face training and updates to more than 1,000 delegates over the next two weeks.
Targeted specifically at accountants and bookkeepers (old and new), this year’s winter series of morning updates will cover:
- What’s new in Xero, including recent updates such as Files & Purchase orders
- Practice Studio – WorkflowMax Practice Manager & Workpapers for Xero
- Product roadmap update
- Gold Partner Q&A session
On Wednesday we announced new and refreshed subscription plans. We made these changes to align value globally for new features such as Payroll in the US, varying storage limits for our Files storage feature and in preparation for new services we have planned.
We don’t change pricing often, and around 90 per cent of our customers will have a price decrease or only a $1 or £1 increase. For some of our Australian customers there is a more substantial rise, where we’ve changed our approach of charging by number of payroll employees to be more granular. We’ve therefore raised prices where there are higher volumes of Payroll employees, inclusive of automated super payments, along with higher storage limits.
Where we can help, and are taking immediate action, is with a question that many Australian partners and customers have had about the incoming “Standard” plan only having 1 payroll employee. We know we’ve slipped up and I won’t bore you with the convoluted history of discussion that led to us putting that out there.
So we’re confirming that for the new Standard plan, we’ll make the number of payroll employees on that plan 5 not 1.
We are very grateful for the comments that have led us to reconsider this, and appreciate that for many small businesses with a very low number of employees that have been using Xero with Payroll in Australia it makes sense to keep the transition simple and provide this option.
Copper makes project management easy by letting you quickly create project plans, add people and get things started.
It has a comprehensive set of features like time tracking, tasks, files, team, supplier and client management.
The calendar feature is great way to get a personalized view of tasks and work coming up.
Who is Copper for?
Anyone that needs to organise tasks, projects or track time will find Copper worth checking out. Current clients include agencies, marketers, consultants and according to the video below, rocket makers…
[UPDATE: 9 Dec 2013 - the new subscriptions plans will take effect Monday morning, local time]
Today we’re announcing new and refreshed subscription plans globally to replace our Small, Medium and Large plans. We need to make these changes as we add other products, such as payroll in the US, and increase the storage limits for our game-changing Files storage feature.
[Updated] We’re also giving clearer guidance as to the size of business Xero is designed for. The 1000 invoices and 1000 bank reconciliation lines we’re listing are soft limits that have always been in place (was previously worded as “hundreds”) and we’d only get in touch for example if your use is using too many resources and affecting our service to other customers.
[Updated] We’ve listened to comments made below and directly and made an adjustment to the Australian plans, detailed in a new post.
The new plans are Starter, Standard and Premium. Small is now Starter and pricing is reduced in NZ, UK, Australia and the USA. Medium is now Standard. Large becomes Premium and in Australia and the US there are variations of the Premium plans with allowances for different numbers of payroll employees and storage. You will be automatically moved to the equivalent plan or most cost effective according to your feature use.
As always our prices are what you see is what you pay – no hidden fees per pay slip, no pay-per-use for certain features. Our core principles remain – unlimited users, free mobile app and bundled support.
We’re being very careful to align price to value, and believe Xero is highly competitive. Around 90% of our customers will pay less or $1 more. Any discounts, for example for non-profits, remain the same. The new plans and pricing come into effect with our release due December 9. All subscribers are being sent a notification within the next 24 hours.
The Xero product has evolved dramatically and with each release we try to deliver more value. This is the first time we’ve significantly tuned our plans since Xero began in 2006. In that time we’ve added many features – see the timeline. Our new Files service lets you attach source documents to your financial data, saving our customers costs on 3rd party storage as well as the hard to quantify costs of managing paper documents.
Subscriptions include any bank feed charges or direct deposit fees that we incur in the United States and automatic superannuation fees in Australia. Our 24/7 support continues to be free to all subscribers and we continue to invest heavily in our support teams, recently opening our newest center in Denver.
Great to be able to tick off our most requested feature on Community and move a step closer to completing the remaining core accounting functions. Next stop is quotes and we’re making good progress on better inventory control – but today we finally deliver Purchase Orders. Yay!!!
With Purchase Orders you can:
- Create fully customisable purchase order documents
- Email these documents to your suppliers
- Easily generate bills by copying existing purchase orders
- Copy purchase orders to new purchase orders and even to new sales invoices for on-charging
- Follow an approval workflow in the same way you do for invoicing
- Manage and search your purchase orders from their own dashboard
Of course, a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words so we’ve created a video that shows you everything in action.
This was a big release for us as we took the time to clean up a few big things under the hood. We’ve also put a lot of effort into a new touch friendly interface which will be rolled out across Xero in future releases.
Any other surprises in this release?
Yes! We’ve released a brand new GST return for NZ users with an improved workflow, performance and a new user interface. You may have caught our blog post about the changes and here’s a quick video overview.
You’ll also notice the GST reports have a new look and feel. We’re in the process of completely rewriting all reports in Xero with an improved engine and more options – great to have the first of these new reports completed. Look out for more over the next few releases.
There are a few other smaller updates – check out our release notes for more details.
The most likely enhancement to Purchase Orders will be to allow you to select a delivery address from one of your contact’s addresses – we’re hoping to get this out before Xmas, so keep an eye out on the blog.
Please let us know what you think in the comments below.
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We’re pleased to announce that Xero is expanding into a third building in Wellington. We now have over 600 staff globally of which 250 are based in this city.
What has been known as the Manthel building is on the high profile corner of Taranaki and Wakefield Streets, in view of the existing Xero HQ. It is also across the road from an additional space we are leasing in Wakefield Street. The building is being repainted as shown in the picture mockup and will be called Xero Two.
Staff will start moving in to Xero Two from the end of December this year. We will take the ground floor of the building for an initial term of just over two years. We are excited about the location and unique character of the building and the landlord is committed to further development work around further space.
This area really is Wellington’s “hi-tech precinct”, with Trade Me, NZX, Infratil and other firms nearby. It is close to transport for commuting staff and there are plenty of cafes and facilities nearby. It’s fantastic to be able to use our growth to revitalize character spaces in this beautiful city,
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Now in its 10th year, Sleeter Group’s Accounting Solutions Conference in Las Vegas has become a mainstay in the accounting industry with accountants, bookkeepers, thought leaders, and vendors convening around the world of accounting.
We’ve attended for three years now and have seen the conference evolve from a desktop-centric to a more cloud-centric feel. The proliferation of online apps catering to the needs of accounting professionals was very apparent across the trade show floor. It’s really cool to see this sea change of accounting professionals picking up cloud tools and really starting to understand the power of online accounting solutions.
Below is a photo of one of our happy new Gold Partners, Carol Hower from TeamWorks. She has jumped into the new world of online accounting and is loving it.
Intuit vs. Xero
The playful jabs throughout the conference between Intuit and Xero are a good sign of healthy competition. Accountants and small businesses all over the world are going to benefit. Intuit hasn’t had a credible challenger in the accounting space and it’s time they did. Here’s our CEO Rod Drury with Intuit CEO Brad Smith:
When I first started at Xero just under two years ago I was asked how I thought Intuit would respond to Xero’s entry into the US. It was pretty clear to me that they had two choices. One was to buy us out and the other was to try to emulate our success and compete. Since we were not, and are not for sale, option two is the only way forward.