EXTENDING THE POWER OF YOUR ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE WITH AUTOMATION APPS - PT.2

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Xero's best rated App partners for business automation solutions

As we mentioned in part one of this blog, an appstack is critical to your businesses success.    


But, where to start?   


We have pulled together a list of some of the most popular and highly rated apps in the Xero marketplace for various business functions such as accounts payable, cash flow forecasting, e-commerce, inventory tracking, payroll, reporting and tax. These apps are designed to allow you to extend the power of your accounting software through process automation. This list is not exhaustive as there are nearly one thousand apps to choose from, so you won’t be short of bedtime reading. 


Here goes...
accounts payable, lightyear, accounts receivable, chaser, practice ignition, forecasting, float, fluidly, payroll, keypay, project management, simpro, servicem8. a2x, pos
lightyear accounts payable, lightyear logo, lightyear, navy logo

Lightyear - Automated Accounts Payable

We of course couldn’t provide a complete appstack solution without including ourselves in the mix. Automate your data entry, with line by line data extraction. Consolidate your bookkeeping, bill approvals and purchasing on one intuitive cloud platform within the world’s fastest Purchasing and AP automation software. The Lightyear suite of products has been designed with large and mid market businesses of all industries in mind.


We provide;

  • Advanced procurement & PO approvals

  • Send orders directly to your suppliers

  • Goods received and automated 3-way matching

  • Budgets

  • Industry-leading line-item data-extraction from bills & credit notes

  • Advanced bill approvals

  • Automated supplier statement reconciliation

  • Instant messaging & notification centre

  • Mobile app approvals

  • Integrations with leading accounting software and ERP systems

  • Detailed purchase reporting

  • Archive with full audit trail


Lightyear is a multi-award winning 5* rated app across Capterra, Xero, Netsuite and Quickbooks. Our customers receive unrivalled 24/5 support and we were named as the Gartner FrontRunner for customer satisfaction and value for money.        


In 2020 we processed over 5 million documents and $5 billion in bills, helping 15,000+ users go paperless, while saving them over 1 million hours of data entry. 


Lightyear is the AP solution that you can't afford to miss!

chaser, accounts receivable, orange square

Chaser - Accounts Receivable

Chaser was developed as a cloud-based accounts receivable software for small-medium clients and has won the AccountingWEB’s cloud app of the year award in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Chaser automatically gets invoices paid sooner with reduced cost while still maintaining the human touch. When navigating Chaser you can use the provided templates to customise emails, build custom schedules and get insights into how/when your customers pay. These features will help you tailor your accounts receivable processes to individual customers and save time.

practice ignition, square logo, accounts receivable

Practice Ignition - Accounts Receivable

Practice Ignition is a great tool for professional service businesses that require signed proposals and payment from their clients. The beauty of this app is that it drastically reduces the back and forth between you and your clients. They can seamlessly read, sign, and pay in one place, resulting in quicker and more closed deals for you.


Creating a proposal only takes a few minutes and clients can accept in seconds, meaning no more tedious print, sign, and scan. With the ability to collect payment details upfront, you can say goodbye to debtors. Invoices are automatically generated in Xero and when a payment is made, Practice Ignition will again automatically reconcile them, automating your accounts receivable.

A2X - eCommerce/POS

A2X is one of Xero's staff picks, this nifty app automates e-commerce accounting for Shopify, Amazon and Walmart.


​Shopify: On this platform A2X will automatically integrate with Xero to capture your sales and reconcile your pay-outs giving you complete visibility of your e-commerce sales and costs.


Amazon: Again all sales and fees will be reconciled to settlement deposits saving hours of your time each month and eliminate Amazon spreadsheet accounting which will reduce errors. As of their latest updates, Amazon Pay is now supported so pay-outs can now be reconciled across any platform that supports it. 


Walmart: Similarly to the other platforms your sales and fees will be reconciled within Xero and settled to deposits eliminating Walmart spreadsheet accounting ultimately reducing time and errors.


eBay: A2X removes the complexity by posting your eBay Managed Payments sales and fees directly into Xero in tidy summaries that mirror the pay-outs to your bank account.

payroll, keypay, keypay logo,

KeyPay - Payroll

This intuitive cloud based system is designed to reduce payroll admin time and stress for businesses of all sizes, accountants, bookkeepers, and outsourced payroll providers. After a one off setup, repetitive tasks can be automated and run in the background, with their automated 'pay runs' feature eliminating manual tasks and freeing up time so you can focus on growing your business. 


KeyPay UK automates pension auto-enrolment and deductions via PensionSync. Post pay run, KeyPay submits all required Real Time Information (RTI) reporting, National Insurance data and PAYE to HMRC. 


When using KeyPay AU, Superannuation payments are seamlessly managed, and Single Touch Payroll (STP) data is reported to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) with one click. KeyPay is also available in New Zealand, Singapore, and soon Malaysia. To top it all off, they were awarded the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals’ Software Supplier Award in 2019. 

float, float logo, cashflow, cash flow, forecasting, cashflow forecasting

Float - Cashflow Forecasting

Float is a five star rated app in the Xero marketplace with over 200 reviews. Launched on Xero in 2014 it is an invaluable cloud-based addition for your business. With Float, you can easily understand exactly how much cash your business has in the bank right now as well as create powerful operational cash flow forecasts using their 'Scenario Planning' feature to understand your future cash. This will allow you to make confident, data-driven decisions such as planning for growth, making new investments, and spotting potential cash gaps well in advance. 


You can leave behind the spreadsheet nightmare as Float’s, secure, one-way sync with Xero means your forecast remains constantly up to date so you don’t have to worry about manual data entry.

fluidly, cashflow forecasting, forecasting, fluidly logo, cash flow forecasting

Fluidly - Cashflow Forecasting

Fluidly is a relatively new app in the Xero marketplace having only launched  in 2017, however they have already elevated themselves to key players in defining intelligent cashflow forecasting. With over 50 five star ratings, winning Xero’s Practice App of the year 2020 and having been included in Fintech50, it’s easy to see why. 


Fluidly will connect with Xero and learn from your accounting data to predict your future cash flow with as much accuracy as possible. Fluidly's automated tools take away the stress of cashflow forecasting and funding. It’s a totally new way of thinking about business finance, that they call 'Intelligent Cashflow'.


It is simple and quick to set-up; all you need to do is log into your Xero account and the system will automatically update if something changes in Xero so the information is always up to date and in sync.

servicem8, servicemate, project management, servicem8 logo, job management

ServiceM8 - Jobs/Project Management

ServiceM8 is another Xero staff pick from the marketplace, it is the perfect complement for any field service professions that will allow you to manage everything from a client’s first call through to job completion, invoicing & payment. 


This cloud based solution is perfect for trade contractors, plumbers, electricians, joiners, locksmiths etc… ranging in size from sole operators up to 20 employees. ServiceM8 will integrate with Xero for a complete end to end service package including quotes, job documenting, scheduling and communication.

simpro, simpro logo, project management, job management

simPRO - Jobs/Project Management

simPRO is a trusted Xero partner providing a leading end-to-end business management software solution for field service professionals. The cloud-based solution connects all areas of a business for complete operational visibility of service, project and maintenance workflows. Trade contractors, electricians, plumbers, fire & security professionals and more, can manage everything from accurate estimates and quoting through to scheduling, job/project management, invoicing and comprehensive reporting. simPRO is perfectly scalable for SMEs right through large enterprises connecting teams of all sizes working in the office and the field. 


Integrating seamlessly with Xero, simPRO creates an accessible single source of truth for all business data, offering visibility on up to date financials, cashflow and job profitability in real-time. With simPRO disconnect between information and systems is eliminated, creating an accurate business overview for greater insights, decision making and growth. 

fathom, fathom reporting, fathom logo, reporting app

Fathom - Reporting

Fathom is a market-leading app, with over 200 five star reviews since its addition to the Xero marketplace in 2012. Fathom integrates seamlessly with Xero to provide custom KPI tracking, engaging management reports and powerful three-way cash flow forecasts. 


This all-in-one tool helps businesses and advisors to better understand key metrics such as profit, cash flow and growth, alongside Xero tracking categories. For multi-entity groups and franchises, Fathom provides effortless consolidation and comparisons. It's all about providing deeper insights into your accounting data so you can make better business decisions.

spotlight reporting, reporting app, cloud, spotlight logo

Spotlight Reporting - Reporting

With over 200 five star reviews, Spotlight is one of the highest-rated reporting, forecasting, and consolidation apps in the Xero marketplace. It is currently the No.1 ranked reporting and forecasting app in the Xero ecosystem and is a preferred choice of the big 4 and leading accountancy firms around the world. As a heavy duty business intelligence tool, it is packed with multiple products: it allows you to develop comprehensive performance reports, has full three-way forecasting, next-level consolidated forecasting, customisable dashboards, and advanced consolidated reports for multi-entity businesses. 


Spotlight is designed by a team of accountants who set out to create tailor-made software for the industry – today, over 2,000+ businesses use it daily. Accounting firms use it to deploy, grow, and monetise their advisory services. Businesses, franchises, and NFPs use Spotlight to quickly get to the insights to make better business decisions, all while making significant time savings and reducing manual effort for repetitive tasks.

Conclusion

In today's business environment it has never been more important to implement an appstack that is tailored for your company. Transitioning will free up time and funds so you can focus on growing your business. It will also allow you to streamline your internal processes so your business runs more efficiently enabling quicker growth alongside more accurate forecasting. 


You can find all of the apps listed above and more in the  Xero App Marketplace, whether you are a small, medium or large company you can build the right solution for you to make running your business that little bit easier. 

About the author

Chris Gregg is founder and CEO of Lightyear and was previously an App Partnerships manager for Intuit Quickbooks. 

Special thanks to all of our App Partners for their advice and contributions to this article.