Xero revamps Early U.S. plans, debuts ‘Xero on Air’

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Xero has revamped its “Early” plans in the United States, prompted by the need to better support small and midsize businesses while they deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement was made on Xero’s brand new online content platform, Xero on Air.

Xero Starter plans now have increased limits on actions like bank reconciliations and invoices, and improved functionality of payments and insights tools, aimed at helping sole proprietors and new small businesses get started, manage their cash flow and grow during and beyond the pandemic.

The Starter plans are typically aimed at new businesses and sole proprietors. There is now no limit on bank reconciliation, and users can now generate up to 20 invoices per month (previously, up to five invoices could be generated). Additional standard features include access to Hubdoc for automated document collection and management.

"History has shown us that following downturns there is a business resurgence, with some of the most challenging periods of history sparking incredible feats of creativity and ingenuity," said Anna Curzon, chief product officer at Xero, in a statement. "We want to help these new businesses that are starting off now to be set up for a digital environment right from the start by lowering the barriers of entry. We also know that with COVID-19, being paid on time and controlling cash flow has become more important than ever. We want to do all we can to ensure businesses stay strong by providing deeper cash flow insights and creating seamless experiences to help them get paid faster.”

Xero on Air

Xero on Air debuted September 14, and offers video, live content, and other resources relevant to what accountants are dealing with in the new global reality shaped by COVID-19.

“Technology amplifies the potential of people to change things. But change is hard — because it’s human,” said Xero CEO Steve Vamos in an introductory video. “Sharing means being heard and listening to others and accepting their truths without seeing them as a threat to our own.

Connecting and sharing in the face of change is the key to learning faster and finding the pathways to a better future.”

Some initial topics covered on Xero on Air include how the global economy and businesses around the world are doing in the wake of the pandemic and other current events; ways to market a business with little to no budget; and wellbeing in troubled times.

Other product updates

Xero has added a new profitability dashboard to Xero Projects to provide small businesses with an easier way to see and manage the profitability of each project. The dashboard shows the total profit margin, all work invoiced and costs associated with the project. It also highlights any outstanding invoices, as well as how the project is tracking against estimates, making it easier to identify which projects are the most profitable and which need tweaking.

Xero will also extend availability of its existing insights tools to all business edition customers to help them manage cash flow.

The short-term cash flow and business snapshot tools, initially extended to customers during COVID-19, will now be an ongoing feature on the platform. The short-term cash flow tool allows businesses to forecast their bank balance for the next 30 days based on their existing bills and invoices, while business snapshot gives accountants and bookkeepers high-level insights into critical business metrics at a glance.

Xero plans to introduce premium functionality for business snapshot and short-term cash flow in the future.

The company continues to upgrade payment functionality with integration partners Stripe and GoCardless. The set up procedure for Stripe has been simplified, and the company is working on a deeper integration with GoCardless for easier debit payments.

Xero is also working on enhanced integrations with PayPal and Square.

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Xero Accounting software Coronavirus Small business accounting software Small business
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