To Xero or not to Xero?

What factors affect the choice of accounting software?

A. J. McKenzie & Co. Ltd offers accounting and business advisory services. The firm uses multiple accounting software products to meet the varied needs of separate customers. The use of multiple products can make it challenging to compare data, and for staff having to learn updated features for them all. The firm was interested to know whether they could simplify the software choices and still meet their customers' needs.

Applied Management student Ben King sent out surveys to more than 75 clients, associates and other accounts and users of accounting software to ask about their uses of accounting software and what price they would be willing to pay. He also interviewed six staff, and some other accounting practice owners.

Ben recommended that the firm should use Xero as the primary software tool for client accounting, as this would meet most of the client needs identified in the survey. As one interviewee observed, "It does make it a lot easier if you want the client to be able to see the information." At the same time it was important to have one or two other software packages available, for example iFirm was best for work papers and tax, and some clients used MYOB. Ben also recommended that the firm move to a hybrid server-based and cloud-based storage system.


August 2019

Image credit: Jon Newman, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY NC ND 2.0