It is official. I am now Xero Certified. Ever since Fishbowl's hinting at a Xero integration (which I'm pretty sure will happen) I decided that it would be a good idea to be certified in Xero since it will be a source of growth for me and Fishbowl.
Through this certification process, the experience with Xero has gotten me a little bit more excited about Accounting, why? Because it just works really well. Rob Drury (the Founder/CEO of Xero) has built an amazing team, and it shows in everything they do. I was very impressed with the completeness and depth of their training materials, and the existing documentation.
I was very impressed when I was watching a video regarding Inventory and it had already been updated for the recent "Tracked Inventory" feature release on March 23rd. I'm kind of used to organizations being slow to update important things like that, but if Xero wants to grow to a global platform, it has to do things much faster and better.
Good documentation does that, you dont really want to be calling someone and sitting on hold for 20 minutes to get an answer, when it could have been answered by proper documentation or by an experienced professional. And that is why Xero's strategy is going to work really well.
Flat organizational level pricing so all users of a business can participate, and free Partner accounts so Advising companies (myself/CPAs/Bookkeepers) can be better linked to their clients. No more sending Accountant Copies, or setting up Remote Desktop sessions to get QB access. I think Xero has got it right, and I'm happy to see Fishbowl move towards that direction.
Quick Run Through of Xero Tracked Inventory
While I was studying, I focused intensely on what the Inventory options in Xero were, and in a phrase I could call it, "good-enough." Here is why. Xero offers two levels of Inventory. Simple Inventory and Tracked Inventory.
Simple Inventory is an item that has no Inventory Asset, but you can use it on Purchases or Sales.
Tracked Inventory is an item that has an Inventory Asset account, and you can use it on Purchases or Sales, so it will track total quantity and asset value.
However, from my perspective of what Fishbowl Inventory can do, here is where I think Tracked Inventory can fall short for some businesses. I do think that "most" businesses will be happy to use the features available, but as they grow, more features will be necessary.
Xero Tracked Inventory Limitations
- Item Master
- No UPC or SKU Fields
- No Custom Fields
- No Pre-Determined Scrap or Adjustment Account - You must select this each time
- So far, the reports are a bit limited.
- Only current demand, no future forecasting.
- Only a single location, therefore only total quantity per Xero company.
- No Warehouse/Slot/Bin locations available
- You only have one costing method Average
- Standard, FIFO, LIFO is not available
- Manufacturing & Kitting
- You cannot do any manufacturing or Kitting in Xero
This list is not exhaustive, just the things I have been able to see during training and playing with the Demo Company in Xero. I expect that when I have some more time I will be reviewing the feature set between Fishbowl and Xero more rigorously so I can give guidance to customers of when they should be looking at a 3rd party app like Fishbowl to handle the more advanced features.
That is all I have for today. I hope you all have a great week, and stay tuned.