Accounting services and technology consultancy Armanino has selected to move its small business outsourcing clients from their current accounting platforms to Xero, making them the largest firm thus far to do so.

Xero has been actively targeting U.S. accounting firms to use and recommend the product since establishing a base here nearly two years ago, however the majority of firms have admittedly been small firms and solo practices.

“There are a number of top 200 firms moving along the path, but I think more will follow once they see significant firms follow on,” said Xero U.S. president Jamie Sutherland. “[Xero] really applies to all segments of the market, this is core to what we do; we design tools for accounting professionals to manage their own practice but also for the small businesses to understand their finances. This move shows the software has matured to where the largest private firm in California is moving their accounting practice to Xero. We’ve seen this in other markets, but [firms] here are getting it now.”

Armanino, which ranked 29 in the 2013 Accounting Today Top 100 firms report, had been servicing most of the small business clients in its outsourced accounting business on other accounting platforms including QuickBooks and Sage 50, however upon evaluation decided it will begin transitioning those clients to Xero where it makes sense.  

“We evaluated the small business accounting alternatives and Xero was a clear winner for our outsource solutions division,” said Todd Peterson, director and practice leader of Armanino’s financial management outsourced solutions. “With Xero’s anytime, anywhere accessibility, we can work with clients more efficiently and give them better visibility and control with their finances.”

The firm is also an Intacct partner, reselling the product and utilizing it for some accounting work, and while it will continue to do so Xero is likely the fit for most of its small business outsourcing clients.

“Our partnership with Intacct has never been stronger and we’ve even moved some clients with a larger accounting department to the product. Where Xero comes in is when clients are on products like QuickBooks or Sage 50, where the customer has bought software and asked us to do the books and we kept versions of whatever they were on at our office. It just wasn’t collaborative,” said partner-in-charge of Armanino’s technology consulting practice Tom Mescall. “To the extent a client is larger and more complex, Intacct most likely will be the choice, but in 80 percent of the cases where there are small business accounting needs Xero will be the best fit.”

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