Products Comparisons

Odoo vs Xero: Which accounting app or software should you choose?

Belinda Wan
November 23, 2021

Keeping up with the numbers: The right accounting app or software can make it a lot easier to balance your books. Photo credit: Unsplash


All types of accounting software are available these days. Many of them provide cloud accounting solutions and complete integration with ERP systems, while others have decidedly pared-down options. So how do you choose the right one for your business?

We previously compared what QuickBooks and Sage offered; now let’s take a look at Odoo and Xero.

Odoo

Odoo has “a suite of open-source business apps” for just about anything – namely, Finance, Human Resources, Sales, Marketing, Productivity, and more, that it wants “to be at the same time very easy to use and fully integrated”.

It aims to provide a seamless user experience to small and big companies alike through its on-premise proposition and large base of developers who continuously improve the company’s 30 main applications.

Accounting made easy

Today, we’ll just be looking at what Odoo can do to improve the way you handle your company finances, specifically, your accounting. 

Under its Finance section, you’ll find the Accounting page, which details how and why its accounting app can help you. You can look forward to the following features:

Bank synchronization: Your bank statements will get synced automatically, and you’ll be able to import files

Invoicing: You will find it a breeze to create professional-looking invoices, track payments and manage recurring bills

Bill and expense management: Get a clearer idea of how much you need to pay by keeping a close watch on your supplier invoices

Easier reconciliation: Save time and up your efficiency level by automating 95% of your reconciliation efforts through Odoo’s smart reconciliation tool

These will help you to:

Get paid more quickly

Not only can you automatically create your own invoices, but you can also set up and send automated reminders to buyers so they are reminded to pay you on time. You can create invoices from sales orders and delivery orders, or base them on time and material.

Generate clear and concise reports

Whether you need balance sheets, cashflow statements or complex earnings reports – the Odoo accounting app can help you create all of these. Filter, annotate, zoom in on and compare any data quickly and easily.

Easy integration with other apps

Once you’ve figured out how to use the accounting app, you can add on other Odoo apps such as Expenses, Inventory, Point of Sale, and Sales. This means you can add on or remove apps according to your needs at any given time.

Pricing, hosting and implementation

The accounting app costs US$16 per month per user. You can find the whole list of Odoo’s apps, as well as how much they cost, here.

Any one Odoo app you choose is free – for an unlimited period, for unlimited users – as long as you do not install additional apps.

You can opt for either cloud or on-premise hosting, both of which are available at no extra cost. There’s also an option of using the Odoo.sh cloud platform if necessary.

When it comes to implementation, you can go for self-service, or get Success Packs by Odoo (recommended for less than 50 users). It’s best to work with a local partner if you have more than 50 users. Odoo’s list of partners in Singapore can be found here.

For the self-service option, Odoo will provide functional support and bug-fixing services on standard features, 24/5, in English via email. If you need a dedicated consultant, you will have to get the Success Packs.

If you prefer to go the open-source route (i.e. download Odoo’s open-source apps), simply go here.

To get started, try it for free now or read the frequently asked questions.

In summary

Suffice to say Odoo is like a one-stop shop of open-source apps for your business. They have everything you could possibly need to run your business. However, like we mentioned, you need to pay if you want to add on apps.

That aside, Odoo could work well for startup owners who are really starting small and haven’t got the business breadth yet to go for a more all-encompassing, comprehensive software provider whose services quite often cost a lot more.

It may be a bit clunky for large corporations with many users to use, but this “indie” approach is exactly what will make it appealing to small outfits that have little to spare in terms of expense.

Now let’s take a look at what Xero offers.


Xero

This is quite a well-known brand in Singapore, due in part to its branding campaign featuring various types of harried-looking employees. It’s clear that Xero specializes in accounting – as they put it, this is where you will find “Accounting software to do your to-do”.

Myriad of accounting functions

The website is fairly easy to navigate; just click on Features to see an overview of what Xero’s accounting software can do. Click on See all Xero features, and you will see the whole gamut of services offered.

Xero’s accounting software can:

Pay bills – Track your bills and make payment on time, and monitor your cashflow and upcoming payments

Claim expenses – Submit, approve and reimburse employee claims, while keeping track of expenditure

Connect to your bank Set up a bank feed to allow transactions to flow into Xero

Accept payments Get paid online twice as quickly by connecting to Stripe or other payment solutions

Keep track of projects – Send quotes and invoices, and monitor the time and costs spent on projects, as well as their profitability

Solve your payroll needs – Keep basic pay records online and install a payroll app with Xero

Reconcile your accounts easily – Keep your financials up to date with Xero, and categorize your daily transactions using suggested matches

Keep your list of contacts updated – Manage your contacts easily and have a customer or supplier’s invoice and payment details on file in one place

Store important data – Retain copies of original documents and enter data into Xero automatically instead of manually

Have a filing system – Use Xero like an online filing system, where you can view or share documents, bills and receipts from anywhere 

Simplify your reporting – Generate accurate accounting reports that enable you to know exactly where your finances are at

Take stock of your inventory – Know what’s in stock or what’s not through inventory software

Manage GST returns – Utilize IRAS-compliant software to stay on top of your tax obligations

Send invoices – Use intuitive invoicing software to send out invoices from your phone or desktop

Accept multiple currencies – Choose to get paid in more than 160 currencies using updated exchange rates and instant currency conversions

Create purchase orders online – Make these using purchase order software so you know exactly what orders and deliveries are being made or sent

Send quotes – Send professional-looking quotes online from your phone or desktop through the Xero software or app

Stay ahead – Upgrade to Analytics Plus to get cashflow projections, check your financial health, and track metrics

Perfect for small businesses

Under the For small business section, you will find four reasons on why you should use Xero’s all-in-one online accounting software:

1. You get everything you need in one place

All your invoices, accounts and contacts can be found online in one single place. You can keep your accounts tidy, get the dreaded yearly tax returns done easily, automate your invoicing and reporting – and know exactly how your business is doing financially at any time.

2. You can sync your bank transactions

As mentioned, setting up a bank feed will allow your bank transactions to flow automatically into Xero daily, making reconciliation a breeze.

3. It makes real-time collaboration possible

Your accountant can connect with you from any part of the world – and you can be sure that you are both viewing the most updated information at the same time. Your employees can also submit expenses, manage leave and send invoices.

4. It is customized to your needs

Choose add-ons such as Xero Expenses and Xero Projects, connect to third-party apps like Stripe and Vend, or select over 1,000 apps in the Xero App Store. The choice is yours.

Three price plans

All come with 24/7 online support, but terms and conditions apply:

1. Starter (S$33 per month): Good for sole traders, new businesses, and the self-employed

• Send quotes and 20 invoices

• Enter 5 bills

• Reconcile bank transactions

• Capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc

• Short-term cash flow and business snapshot

Optional add-ons

Claim expenses from $6 per month

Track projects from $10 per month

Analytics Plus free until 31st January 2022

2. Standard (S$50 per month): Most popular plan; good for growing small businesses

• Send invoices and quotes

• Enter bills

• Reconcile bank transactions

• Capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc

• Bulk reconcile transactions

• Short-term cash flow and business snapshot

Optional add-ons

Claim expenses from $6 per month

Track projects from $10 per month

Analytics Plus free until 31st January 2022

3. Premium (S$65 per month): Good for established businesses of all sizes

• Send invoices and quotes

• Enter bills

• Reconcile bank transactions

• Capture bills and receipts with Hubdoc

• Bulk reconcile transactions

• Handle multiple currencies

• Short-term cash flow and business snapshot

Optional add-ons

Claim expenses from $6 per month

Track projects from $10 per month

Analytics Plus free until 31st January 2022

Read the frequently asked questions, and learn more about or buy any of the plans here. If you still can’t decide, sign up to get your free 30-day trial.

In summary

Xero is obviously one of the market leaders for accounting software, and its suite of services reflects this. It even has a section for accountants and bookkeepers who may be interested in joining its partner programme!

It’s fairly easy to compare the price plans as there are only three of them – and the 30-day free trials and 24/7 online support are attractive perks.


Verdict

It’s evident the set-up for Odoo and Xero are completely different. Both are operating from different vantage points, but both have the potential to make your business accounting simpler and easier.

Which of the two you choose will depend a lot on the size of your business and how it’s run. What are the pain points of your accounting system? If you just need some tweaks, Odoo may work. If you need a more holistic approach to solving your pain points, Xero may be a better choice for you.

We have to say Xero has pretty comprehensive offerings and affordable price plans. A lot of its offerings are geared toward small businesses. The 24/7 online support is a plus, and so are the 30-day free trials.

In comparison, Odoo’s accounting app can only do so much – unless you get other apps (but then you’d have to pay). Still, the basic functions are all there.

As always, think about what you need most from your accounting software, any constraints you may have, then take it from there. 


Leading digital loan marketplace Lendingpot connects SMEs to its network of 45 lenders comprising relationship managers from banks, financial institutions, and private and peer-to-peer lenders in Singapore for free. It aims to help SMEs overcome the information asymmetry problem and lack of transparency prevalent in the SME financing sector by offering SMEs financing options such as business term loans, property loans, revenue-based financing, credit lines, working capital loans, bridging loans, invoice financing, and more.


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Leading digital loan marketplace Lendingpot connects SMEs to its network of 45 lenders comprising relationship managers from banks, financial institutions, and private and peer-to-peer lenders in Singapore. It aims to help SMEs overcome the information asymmetry problem and lack of transparency prevalent in the SME financing sector by offering SMEs financing options such as business term loans, property loans, revenue-based financing, credit lines, working capital loans, bridging loans, invoice financing, and more.

About the author

Belinda loves thinking about random stuff, and collecting useless bits of facts and trivia. She often roots for the underdog, and believes the world needs more happy endings.

accounting
SMEs
ERP software
Odoo
Xero
business
software
app

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