A Sole Trader’s First-hand Experience Of Using Xero Go

A Sole Trader's First-hand Experience of Using Xero Go

As an accountancy practice that welcomes sole traders as clients, we try to provide you with as much relevant information as possible to help you through your business journey.

So we’d like to share this description of a sole trader’s experience. No money has exchanged hands nor gifts in kind for sharing their experiences. It’s an honest account that we’ve taken as it was shared with us. We didn’t think it would have any value if we changed it… and we were confident enough in Xero Go as an accounting tool!


A little bit about our freelancer

This review was completed by a local freelancer who was interested in trialling Xero Go. They don’t currently use any accounting software as they find it too costly: they rely on spreadsheets with manual entry for everything aka the target individual for the app. They have a lot of tech knowledge and have worked with a variety of business software/apps. Probably because of this, they’re pretty picky about accessibility, User Experience (UX), and User Interface (UI).


Here’s what they have to say about Xero Go

“While there are only 6 reviews on the App Store, they’re all 5 stars and I’m not surprised by this: the app is very good. Jumping straight to the headline of my review, I’d give the app 4 stars. Given that it’s the first version and there is further development planned, I don’t think it’s possible to give a higher score for Xero Go (or any app for that matter).

Unsurprisingly exceptional UX

Xero’s success in taking over the accounting software market is due to its ability to build a product that works around how businesses want to work rather than the traditional approach, which was the exact opposite. It’s the same way that Monzo disrupted the banking system. Xero Go also nailed this – as I expected – right from signup. The process was slick with a minimal number of screens and, even better, little information requested. No lengthy forms with mandatory fields asking for unnecessary data!

The ability to create and saves products or services was really useful – especially as I have set rates for certain clients. It meant that I only had to enter the details once and I could then add the item to future invoices with one click. The equivalent functionality was also available for customers and suppliers so, once used, no further retyping of the details was needed! This was, of course, amazing!

Pleasingly straightforward UI

I like simple, uncluttered interfaces: I want to be able to do what I need to do quickly, easily, and without needing a guide. Xero Go offers exactly that with just the right number of screens, menus, buttons, and options i.e. very few. There is little need to navigate off one screen to use the majority of functionality and this is the main dashboard, where you can also see the financial performance overview.

It was especially easy to link my account to an accountant: all I had to do was enter an email address and click a button. If I didn’t have an accountant, it was one click to search for a Xero-affiliated one. Similarly, I could connect or set up a Stripe Pay account with equal ease.

Some little niggles

These are the things that stood out to me as where small improvements, that would make a big difference, could be made:

  • When going through the invoice customisation and setup process, I couldn’t amend the starting invoice number. It defaulted to 100 and I wanted to enter the next number in my existing sequence. It wasn’t until I was creating my first invoice and I accidentally clicked in the invoice number field that I realised I could amend it. Helpfully, once I had initially amended the invoice number, Xero remembered it so the following invoices followed on sequentially by default.
  • The invoice customisation is rather limited. For example, there are only four fonts to choose between when I would have expected that you would be able to choose any of the Google fonts.
  • When creating an invoice, I needed to add a deduction to my standard rate. A client had purchased something on my behalf, and we’d agreed that I would deduct the amount from my invoice. I couldn’t do this either by entering a negative quantity, unit price, or line item. In the end, I had to manually calculate the amount and create a new item service item instead. I’d love the ability to be able to do this.
  • Accessibility-wise, I struggled somewhat with the colour contrast of the key buttons (invoices, expenses) on the dashboard. The buttons are a pale colour on a light background so there was little contrast, which might be challenging for people with visual impairments.

Would I use the paid version?

Not right now, no. However, I wouldn’t rule it out in the long term as I think it’ll be worth it once there have been a few updates on the invoicing functionality.

Overall verdict on Xero Go

Definitely, 4 stars with the ability to very easily become 5 stars. I reckon it’s the best entry-level accounting software for freelancers and sole traders because, even with the monthly cost for the invoicing functionality, it’s still highly affordable. The app would easily save you more time and hassle than you pay.”


Trinity Accountants’ thoughts on the freelancer’s experience of Xero Go

As you can see the new Xero Go app is proving to be a great addition to the entry-level accounting software market. Although very early on in development, it’s very useable and can provably improve sole traders’ efficiency with their invoicing and record keeping.

There is still much to come with Xero Go, but there is no need to wait for future developments: jump on it now and save your time straight away.



If you’re interested in trialling Xero Go and want some help getting started, feel free to get in touch for a chat.


Interested ?

Send us a few details and one of our team will be in touch to see how we can save you tax