Xero Practice Manager is a cloud-based practice management program designed to be used by accounting firms and professionals with clients using Xero. It lets you create jobs and assign them to your staff, track time worked and convert them into invoices, and manage your practice on the go via its mobile app.
With an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 on a top review site, Xero Practice Manager is praised for its ease of use and customizable reports. However, the $149 monthly subscription fee for new and Bronze partners is a bit expensive, and there’s no phone support or live chat available. Learn if it’s worth considering through our comprehensive Xero Practice Manager review.
At Fit Small Business (FSB), we are committed to delivering thorough and dependable software reviews. In adherence to the FSB editorial policy, we seize every opportunity to try the accounting practice software we review firsthand, allowing us to test how the features work in real-world scenarios. This approach allows us to customize our reviews and provide more relevant insights and recommendations tailored to the unique needs of your accounting firm.
- Expensive for new and Bronze-level partners
- No telephone support and live chat
- No tools for team collaboration
- Free trial is subject to review and approval
- No document management and customer relationship management (CRM) features
- Discount rates have been reduced for new Xero partners
Is Xero Practice Manager for You?
Xero Practice Manager Alternatives & Comparison
Are you looking for something else? If you have a small business and need accounting software to manage your books, we recommend checking out our roundup of the best small business accounting software.
Xero Practice Manager Reviews From Users
In a satisfied user’s Xero Practice Manager review, they commented that the platform makes it easy to file tax returns. I agree with this, as the platform provides prefilled tax return forms and templates for various tax types. Also, it includes the latest tax rules and updates to ensure that returns are compliant with current regulations.
Additionally, based on older reviews, users find Xero Practice Manager easy to use for creating invoices and customizing reports. I can attest to this myself, as the system offers simple transaction entry forms and a cloud-based interface that’s easy to navigate.
On the flip side, one user complained that the platform’s monthly subscription fee for new and Bronze-level users is a bit costly and that it has no phone support, aligning with our key findings.
As of this writing, Xero Practice Manager is rated 4.1 out of 5 based on over 20 reviews on G2.com.
Fit Small Business Case Study
We compared Xero Practice Manager with our recommended alternatives, and here’s what we found:
Xero Practice Manager Vs Competitors
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Xero Practice Manager:
$149 per month
QuickBooks Online Accountant:
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop:
From $799 annually per ProAdvisor
$1,500 per year
Xero Practice Manager didn’t win in any aspect but excelled in ease of use. However, we believe QuickBooks Online is a bit more intuitive because the user interface is simpler and the dashboard is more customizable. Moreover, Xero Practice Manager also did well in accounting practice management because of its extensive feature set, including client and contact management and time tracking and billing.
The biggest drawback to using Xero Practice Manager is its limited customer support options. Unlike most similar providers, it doesn’t offer phone support and a live chat feature.
Xero Practice Manager Pricing
Xero Practice Manager took a hit in our evaluation because it’s a bit costly for new and Bronze partners at $149 per month. The program is free for Silver, Gold, and Platinum partners, but it requires participation in various activities—such as enrolling a certain number of clients and using Xero add-ons—to earn points to reach Silver status. Not all firms may have enough time and resources to engage in these activities.
To begin using Xero Practice Manager, you must first become a member of the Xero partner program, which is free. New and Bronze-level partners can try the platform, which supports up to 10 users, for free for 14 days before they decide to subscribe.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Xero Practice Manager pricing structure:
Below, we discuss the Xero partner program and the eligibility criteria to earn points to reach different status levels―especially Silver―so that you can use Xero Practice Manager for free.
The Xero Partner Program
Similar to the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program, Xero’s partner program has multiple membership levels. It has discounts for you and your clients and offers you the opportunity to become Xero-certified, attend events, and receive support and advice from a dedicated account manager.
It even provides free Xero software for your firm, and finance professionals who are Xero-certified are listed in Xero’s directory. Businesses can go to Xero’s advisory directory to find a local bookkeeper if they need support with their bookkeeping needs. You may read our Xero review for more information about the platform’s features.
Accountants, bookkeepers, and financial advisors with clients are eligible to become a Xero partner. Here are the steps to joining the program:
- Step 1: Visit Xero’s signup page and complete the application form.
- Step 2: Have at least one member of your accounting team complete the Xero advisor certification program within 30 days.
- Step 3: Complete your Xero HQ subscription, including payment setup and practice administrator and master administrator permissions.
- Step 4: Register your accounting practice with at least one registered accountant.
- Step 5: Sign the Xero partner agreement.
- You bring more clients onto the Xero platform, whether you or your clients pay for their subscription. You’ll receive more points if your client pays for their subscription and invites you in.
- You or your client actively use Xero add-ons: Xero Expenses, Xero Projects, Hubdoc, and WorkflowMax.
- You pay for your client’s subscription for Xero’s partner plans: Cashbook and Ledger.
You can check out Xero’s website for detailed information on eligibility criteria and points breakdown.
As you earn more points, your partner status and rewards increase. When a partner reaches a new level, they’re eligible to get new benefits.
Xero Practice Manager New Feature for 2023
- Updated name fields: The fields you’ll see in Xero Practice Manager and Xero HQ are now a bit different. In the new version, the Xero Ask email template shows a single field for full name, rather than two. Also, the mandatory display name field is now editable, instead of being auto-generated and unable to be edited.
Xero Practice Manager Accounting Practice Management Features
Xero Practice Manager offers plenty of accounting practice management features, such as client and contact management, time tracking and billing, and direct access to your client’s company files. However, we deducted points because it has some missing features, like document management and CRM.
Here’s a list of the most remarkable Xero Practice Management features.
Xero Practice Manager allows you to create detailed profiles for each client, including their contact information, organization details, and any relevant notes or comments. You may attach and store documents related to specific clients so that you can easily access them from the client’s profile when needed.
To track time in Xero Practice Manager, you can either use the timer to record time while you work or enter job times into your timesheet as you go. Actual billable time and productivity targets can be viewed on the dashboard.
Time and costs are converted to progress or final invoices, and you can enter a fixed price or use rates and markups. You can automate entering tasks into invoices by creating task descriptions and viewing the dollar value of all work in progress or segments of a project.
Because the invoices are created in Xero and sent online, it’s easy for your clients to pay you because it connects to their version of Xero automatically. You’ll also be updated when they open the invoice.
From the invoice dashboard, you can view your invoices and their status:
- Draft: These are the invoices that have been created but not approved
- Awaiting payment: View invoices that are approved but not yet paid
- Overdue: These are invoices that are past the invoice due date
With Xero Practice Manager, you can assign and view scheduled jobs, see who’s working on them, see staff schedules, and set due dates and milestones that are checked off when completed. To help you stay on top of your projects, the Job Manager dashboard provides a comprehensive overview of all the jobs, projects, and assignments your firm is currently handling
All Xero partners have free access to Xero HQ, which enables you to view your clients, upcoming jobs, alerts, and queries. The activity feed helps you to streamline your work and stay up to date with client activities and tasks.
Use the Explorer feature to dig deeper into client insights, such as which apps they use, the industries they operate within, and who they bank with, so that you can gain a better understanding of what matters most to them. Explorer visualizes the client data Xero already has, letting you spot trends and patterns easily.
For example, Explorer shows you which apps are the most popular among your clients, so you can focus on learning those. You can then pass along that knowledge to clients in similar businesses that are seeking advice about which apps might be most beneficial to them.
Your client list shows all contacts, even the ones who aren’t on Xero. You can also send requests to clients for the documents you need and correspond with them securely. Set Xero HQ as your homepage to have instant access to this information.
Manage your practice’s workflow, time tracking, and job costing with the Xero Practice Manager mobile app, which you can download on Google Play and App Store. You can access information about jobs and use notes to communicate with other members of your practice. There’s also a time tracker—or you can enter time directly. Your contact list is available as well so that you can call, message, or email clients directly from the app.
Xero Practice Manager integrates with more than 30 third-party apps, which you can use for collaborating with clients, tracking projects, providing financial forecasting and analysis, and simplifying client proposals. These apps can be accessed through Xero HQ.
Xero Workpapers, which is free with Xero Practice Manager, enables you to streamline the compliance process using templates. You can create working papers and schedule the work that’s needed, such as requesting documents from clients.
Workpaper packs can be assigned to staff with start and stop dates for a job, and you can also review clients’ trial balances. You can even track progress by setting Workpaper alerts and customizing client correspondence, such as management letters, compilation agreements, and year-end questionnaires.
In addition to the standard reports available—including analysis, performance, and work-in-progress (WIP) reports—you can produce and customize practice-wide report templates. These can be applied to any client and tailor the reports further to suit the client’s business. Reports on productivity, recoverable costs, and internal time are also available, and you can include charts so that they’re easy to understand at a glance.
Additionally, a key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard is available under Performance Reports in the Reports menu. It provides users with an overview of business performance, including work-in-progress days, debtor days, average hourly rate, write-offs, and revenue per fee earner.
The report builder lets you create custom reports and filter reports based on the date it was created, who it’s assigned to, and who created the report.
Xero Practice Manager Essential Bookkeeping Features
While Xero Practice Manager is not a full-fledged bookkeeping software, we gave credit to its integrated bookkeeping features, which are available through the free Xero subscription and integration. These features include accounts payable (A/P), accounts receivable (A/R), banking, and project management. We explain these bookkeeping features in detail in our review of Xero.
Xero Practice Manager Ease of Use
Xero Practice Manager is extremely easy to use, and it would have earned a perfect score if the dashboard was a bit more customizable. However, we like that the dashboard contains shortcuts to commonly used functions at the top, so you can navigate to different sections easily. The screen displays time summary and productivity, today’s jobs, important dates, tasks, jobs you’re scheduled to complete, tax alerts, and more.
Xero Practice Manager Customer Support
Xero Practice Manager didn’t meet our expectations in terms of customer support. It lacks phone support and a live chat feature, which are important for addressing time-sensitive concerns and questions.
If you need help, your best option is to use Xero Central, Xero’s customer support portal with various self-help resources, including start guides and video series. You may also request help by sending an online ticket through the help icon on your dashboard.
How We Evaluated Xero Practice Manager
We evaluated Xero Practice Manager using the following scoring rubric:
Accounting Practice Management Features
Essential Bookkeeping Features
15% of Overall Score
We checked not only the initial purchase or subscription fee but also any ongoing costs, such as updates, support, and training.
35% of Overall Score
The core features we wanted to see, directly related to managing your accounting practice, carry the highest weight. This includes features like direct access to your client’s books, client management, time tracking and billing, and task and workflow management.
20% of Overall Score
A good accounting practice management software should also offer fundamental bookkeeping features to support your firm. Some of the essential bookkeeping features we look for include general ledger (GL), A/P, and A/R management.
10% of Overall Score
We recommend an accounting practice management software that your team can quickly learn and use.
10% of Overall Score
Ideally, accounting practice software providers should offer various ways for users to seek support, including phone and email support, self-help guides, and training opportunities.
10% of Overall Score
We checked out online reviews to see if users have positive experiences with the software.
*Percentages of overall score
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No, as the free trial request is subject to review and approval. If you qualify, Xero will send you an email after a few business days, and a partner development representative will call you to discuss important details, such as the benefits of the program. You’ll also need to sign a partnership agreement.
Yes, it is free for Silver, Gold, and Platinum-level users. However, it costs $149 monthly per user for new and Bronze-level partners.
From your Xero dashboard, click on your organization, and then select Practice Manager.
Yes, you can. Xero Practice Manager comes with a free subscription to Xero for your firm.
Xero Practice Manager is great if you need to streamline client job management and improve practice workflows, invoicing, and time tracking. In addition to its practice management tools, it has other attractive features, such as generous product discounts and the opportunity to become a Xero partner to earn additional rewards and benefits.
User review reference: