Just recently, our original website “Choice Bookkeeping & Payroll Services” was closed down when the hosting period ended. One post on that site which was very popular was the one comparing Saasu to Xero. Before the site slid into complete oblivion, we salvaged some of the most interesting comments made by our readers on that post. Reading through them, it’s becomes very clear how far both platforms have come since these comments were made! Things have certainly changed and you can see this by viewing our updated version of the comparison chart here. Here are the original comments for your reading pleasure:
Hi Louse, Thanks for posting this thorough review/comparison – it’s always helpful to know how Xero is viewed and used in the outside world! A couple of things I wanted to clarify: Payables & Suppliers – I want to highlight a relatively new feature in Xero which is Batch Payments which does allow you to bundle up supplier invoices for payment, export & reconciliation (details in our Help Centre: http://help.xero.com/#Accounts_AP_AddBatch) Banking – while Xero has automatic bank feeds available from ANZ, Commonwealth & NAB in Australia, you can manually import statements from any bank that offers a QIF, OFX or CSV bank statement format for download (details in our Help Centre http://help.xero.com/#BankAccounts_Details_ImportTrans) Connectors/affiliates – as you say Xero connects with many solution partners via our API – this is a better link to show the list of solutions http://www.xero.com/advisors/solutions/ including a couple of time-tracking options. Hope this information helps and thanks again.
Catherine Xero Community Manager firstname.lastname@example.org 26/5/10
Great comparison. I came across Saasu as they are a member of our Australian startup community website (Ipitch.com.au) and I thought I’d check them out, as we were still stuck in the stone age using MYOB on one computer. I’d considered signing up for Saasu but after a bit of research I came across XERO as well. This made the choice all the more confusing. But after reading your comparison above it allowed us to easily see which features we needed were available or not in each service – the big one for us being Payroll (which is in Saasu but not xero). That pretty much made the decision for us! The other service we were considering (but decided not to use) was FreshBooks. How does that compare to the two services above. It seems like both Saasu and Xero offer similar services but xero integrates with freshbooks?
Louise. Thanks for the good review. You should consider an update at some stage with MYOB’s Live Accounts too. I think Freshbooks is more about time/expense tracking and invoicing. Not a complete accounting service. Both Saasu and Xero have “connectors” to Freshbooks. I’m currently checking all these out services out at the moment. Leaning towards Saasu (but need that banking update), OneSaas to connect to 88 Miles (time tracking) and Google Contacts.
Hasn’t 2010 been a great year for Accounting. There has been an ongoing fist-fight between Xero and MYOB while QB has been content to sit in the pews & watch. The big debate between offline/online accounting has online winning. Xero was the winner ahead of QB online while MYOB gave a half hearted attempt at it with Live Accounts. Xero has proven they are motivated, cash up and credible for many of our clients. They also have many 3rd party providers willing to get in the ring and back them up. What will 2011 bring?
Great comparison Louise! I’ve tried all of these solutions and have to say that Freshbooks makes the most sense to me, from a pure usability perspective. without considering cost which always makes me feel a bit insecure regarding these type of solutions. A quick disclosure – I am the founder of Nominal Accounting Software which competes in the Australian accounting software for Micro businesses. We specialise in providing solutions to online stores and time-billing customers. (but our software offers almost all the points above and more – SBR) I still think there is a strong case for desktop based software, performance, security, features, privacy etc are all aspects that needs to be considered. Which may outweigh the benefits for some type of customers. In one of my discussions with a Xero user (they seem to feel very strongly about it ) I’ve noted a couple of things. I would prefer to use Outlook better than gmail/hotmail almost always. And also that the case for ‘work from everywhere’ should really be “work from everywhere where you have a fast internet connection but don’t have your laptop with you” – for me this is never the case.
Thank you Louise. This was very helpful. I was trying to decide whether I should have promoted Saasu over Xero to a client but wasn’t sure on the primary differences and the pros and cons. My aim when dealing with customers is for them to take ownership of their books. MYOB/Quickbooks does not allow this while a cloud system does. (MYOB LiveAccounts didn’t work with Safari when I looked so I have been put off a bit) One thing that annoyed me about MYOB is that there wasn’t a simple version for people who don’t require all the extra fields and they only confuse by being there. Too much can be just as bad, sometimes worse, then too little. Yes they can buy the smaller version but they may require that small extra bit and the cost, don’t start me on that. If you don’t have inventory requirements and minimal payroll requirements then a nice simple system is, well, nice. I think the lack of a payroll system in Xero is significant (worrying initially) if it wasn’t for the brilliant support I’m getting from an integrated payroll system that I’m thinking of using with Xero. I think going with Xero and an integrated Payroll System would work better with this client. They are a young hip service provider who isn’t scared of technology. I think they also like that they can take over some roll in the future if they start feeling comfortable. Most of my customers are Service Providers but I’m going to remember Saasu for anyone who is outside this area.
We have a bunch of businesses on Saasu now but always good to see comparisons to reinforce our decision was the right one. We use the new sass bank feeds now too, they seem to cover a lot more banks than Xero and since we use multi currency and payroll sass is less than half the price of xero. My personal fav is inventory though and Saasu is just plain faster (less key strokes and also system response time) Great to see myob getting some decent competition from sass (and xero) it is just plain good for us all…at last. Thanks heaps for such a good comparison. Cheers Pete,
Louise What a great comparison, thanks for sharing this! I’ve enjoyed engaging with you on Twitter these past weeks, and thanks to a late-night tweet from @pc0, I’ve found this post. I’ve just shared this out with my communities – the comments are excellent too, well done! Cheers,
Tony Hollingsworth Chief Happiness Officer email@example.com 25/2/11
Hi Louise, thanks for the comparison as I am looking at Sassu/Xero now. I currently have a bookkeeper using Myob now but I also have an online billing system (WHMCS) and it looks like Sassu is the only one I can integrate with through OneSaaS. I was originally intending to purchase MYOB but now I will be able to bring it all inhouse using Saasu. Cheers John,
Good review Louise, I am a user of Xero and thought I would add a comment about them. They added ‘credit card feeds’ recently: http://blog.xero.com/2011/02/bank-feeds-for-your-credit-cards/ but what they failed to mention in the blog is that it is not real ‘feeds’. If you follow the instructions they request your username and password to your bank account! If you read the fine print they explain they give this data to an external company, and take no responsibility for any loss.. Personally I don’t feel comfortable with this, and I suspect that it would be a breach of the terms for most Australian banks too. Otherwise reasonably happy with integration between Xero, fresh books and epayroll.
Like many here I wanted to migrate away from MYOB. Whilst it did most things OK, it was cumbersome to use. I followed the recommendations of many and chose Saasu Online Accounting. The interface is easy to use however there are serious deficiencies with payroll for an Australian employers because the inflexible payslip function does not comply with an employers obligations under the Fair Work Act. The specific deficiencies I have noted are, The name and ABN of the employer are not printed, the name and account number of the superannuation fund are not printed. The annual gross pay does not include allowances and regular overtime in the calculation. I have raised these issues with Sassu support and their response (lame) was “saasu does not do that at this time.” A potentially good product spoiled by careless attention.
Brendan. I am a user of both Saasu and Xero. Both are solid services with their individual strengths. Regarding your “…read the fine print they [Xero] explain they give this data to an external company, and take no responsibility for any loss. Personally I don’t feel comfortable with this, and I suspect that it would be a breach of the terms for most Australian banks too.” I understand you are referring to Yodlee. This the very same service provider that facilitates feeds into Saasu. Banks. If you don’t want feeds, then manually import your QIF, OFX or CSV just as often as you want.
I subscribed to both Saasu and Xero for a trial version. I am looking for the equivalent of tracking feature of Xero in Saasu. Tracking feature in Xero is a very useful tool for granularity/drill down especially in profit and loss comparison report.
I don’t understand why Xero would charge double the price of Saasu, especially since they offer a similar product. This very much simplified our choice for our small business – Saasu it is! Thank you for this review!
Really like Xero’s interface but the kicker for me is the price. When you add up the add-ons etc and their subscription price it’s not as good value I have to say. I would use it otherwise. We are trialling Saasu at present and integrating into our existing online inventory and invoicing system.
This makes for interesting reading! Some things have changed and some have stayed the same. One thing’s for sure, the debate about which platform is better still rages on! Two years on, which platform have you decided to use and why?