Xero Projects is a relatively new competitor in the project management software market, that has been created with one thing in mind: Simplicity. It is an extension of the existing Xero accounting and payroll solution made for small teams.
Ideal for businesses of less than five people, Xero Projects is designed to facilitate project management with little complexity. Xero Projects lets you create a project, adding budgets, timesheets and invoices and view profitability within minutes.
As the name suggests, Xero Projects is a Xero Product, and is available with any Xero subscription for an additional $10 per user per month. A Xero subscription is essential for anyone looking to get started on Xero Projects. While restricting your options of accounting software, the Xero connection has efficiency gains regarding invoicing and expense management that is lacking in other solutions.
Simple & easy to get started
The simplicity of Xero Projects is most prevalent in its set up. In under thirty minutes, you will have explored all avenues of custom configuration, as the software limits you to working within its confines.
A project takes only four fields to set up, and its integration with Xero means you already have your Xero client database to draw from. Once the Project is set up, you can add tasks with predetermined time budgets, log expenses or go straight into building a deposit invoice.
Once you have created a project, all that is left to do is add time & expenses. Adding time is simple. You can use the start/stop timer feature in the mobile app or add timesheet entries retrospectively from several screens within the app site.
Track expenses with ease
Tracking expenses is similarly straightforward. Xero Projects only tracks essential expense information. Therefore, expenses can be quickly added from within the project. The Xero integration is again useful here, in that a Xero bill can be directly related to a project, preventing double handling of these expenses, ensuring timely data.
The invoicing module from Xero Projects is almost identical to Xero, except that it gives you 3 project billing methods that relate directly to the project; Deposit, Project Amount or Tasks and Expenses invoicing.
This invoicing flexibility is one of the system’s biggest strengths, as it enforces the mantra of simplicity (just select an option and the invoice practically creates itself) while still letting you bill in the way that bests suits you. Again, the Xero integration ensures efficiency when invoicing, as the invoice created against a project is reflected in Xero in its entirety.
After you have billed your project, it is time to report – an area where Xero Projects relishes simplicity. Reporting in the software is restricted to key project profitability information, and a time overview. The former compares budget vs actual using key metrics, while the latter allows you to review each staff members logged time, to identify where projects or tasks are going over the estimated time.
There is minimal customisation of reports, but all the key information to identify a projects financial projects is readily available.
Where Xero Projects is most lacking, considering its intention as a financial tracking tool, is its inability to link to any quotes. While quote functionality exists in Xero, there is currently no integration with Xero Projects. This has been identified by the team at Xero Projects as an item on its roadmap for future development and would be a welcome addition to the construction of more accurate budgeting.
If you are only concerned with tracking the financial progress of a project through time and expenses and want a familiar invoicing process with a complete integration to Xero, then Xero Projects could be the software for you. While its limitations in quoting, customisation & reporting are prevalent, it has the essential functionality to ensure small business can in control of their projects.
We’d be happy to answer them or take you through features of Xero Projects in more detail. Or, if you’re wondering if another solution might be better for you, we’ve also done the hard yards for you and taken a look at other project management platforms, including: Harvest & Forecast, Streamtime, ActiveCollab, Zoho Projects, WorkflowMax, Scoro and Accelo.