Accounting Software Can Be Beautiful

By Anne Rosivach

It is hard to imagine accounting software gaining recognition from the design community, but Xero, "the beautiful accounting software," has done just that. Built for the web from the ground up in 2006 by a technology entrepreneur and a small business accountant, Xero has been design led and focused on usability from the very start, Jamie Sutherland, president of US Operations, Xero, said in a conversation with AccountingWEB.
 
"It almost looks like a consumer application. Accountants are picking it up because of the way it looks. Accountants can see their entire client portfolio from their console." 
 
"Xero's innovative open API allows access to many other popular Cloud applications on its platform, ultimately improving functionality and organization of small businesses and their accounting partners. US clients and their accountants can see real-time cash flow information easily from any device," Sutherland said.
 
Integration with ADP's popular RUN Powered by ADP Payroll platform, tailored specifically for small business owners, is now available through Xero. Integration capability with Bill.com, the bill payment, invoicing, and cash management solution for businesses, will be available in the near future, the two companies have announced.
 
In recent weeks the company has also announced the new Xero Touch app for Android
 
Both Xero and Bill.com were recognized as "Awesome Applications" at the 2012 Accounting Solutions Conference hosted by The Sleeter Group. They received the "Awesome Applications" Award for enabling integration and the ease-of-use and design of their solutions. 
 
Xero's "beautiful" design has received the following recognition:  
  • Received the Google-sponsored IxDA award for Optimizing/Production
  • Nominated for a Webby (fourth consecutive time) 
  • Nominated for Fast Company Innovation By Design Awards, Service Design category
 
Founded in New Zealand, and with a significant presence in Australia and the United Kingdom, Xero is a recent entry in the US market. A public company, Xero has doubled the number of clients in the last ten months. Sutherland stated, "The emphasis on design and usability, and the open API, give us an edge in our competition with the 'big guys.' We are David against Goliath."
 
Bill.com is part of the CPA2Biz consortium, the software providers who have been grouped together under the AICPA's for-profit umbrella. Xero has not yet taken that route, Sutherland said.
 
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