Accounting software compared: Focus vs Xero

When you’re choosing accounting software for your business, you’re making a decision that will have implications for years to come. This means you should be thinking about not just your business as it is today, but how you expect it to grow and change in the future.

One way to help make the right decision is to compare one accounting solution with another. Here, we’re comparing Focus with Xero.

What is Focus accounting software?

Focus is an accounting package provided by India-based Focus Softnet. It’s part of a larger suite of business software that includes HR, warehouse management and manufacturing management. It’s used by small, medium and enterprise level organisations. 

There are various versions of Focus including Focus X, Focus i and Focus 9. It includes online versions.

Focus Softnet began as a regional IT company in 1992 and has grown to operate in 17 countries, with 27 offices.

The steps for this are:

  • Add your email and a unique password.
  • Add a security question and a hint.
  • Verify your account creation via email, within 24 hours.

The FTA e-Services system allows an account administrator to manage multiple tax accounts.

What is Xero accounting software?

Xero is a New Zealand-based software company that has over three million subscribers to its cloud accounting package. It focuses on a single, core product that unlike many accounting systems, was always built for the web. 

It has proved hugely popular with small and growing businesses, and also with accountants. 

Alpha Pro Partners is a Xero Platinum Champion Partner.

How Focus compares with Xero

Accounting features 

Both Focus and Xero offer all the basic features you expect in an accounting system, including:

  • Accounts receivable and payable
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Fixed asset management
  • Payroll
  • Project accounting
  • Purchase order management
  • Tax management
  • Budgeting and forecasting

However, when it comes to additional features, Xero has a much longer list, including:

  • Construction breakdowns
  • Kitting
  • Client portal

This is only a summary of the details that will be required during the registration process.

How easy is it to use?

One of the hidden costs of any software is how long it takes people to get comfortable using it. A user-friendly system, which guides people through the business process, will have lower training and support costs, because users can get on with doing their job more easily.

Both Focus and Xero are considered to be user-friendly systems. However, Xero is rated as being the more user-friendly of the two. In our experience, users are very complimentary about working with the software.

Because it’s designed for cloud computing, Xero can be accessed on mobile devices, such as smartphones. 

How good is customer service? 

No software system works perfectly all the time. Problems will occur – often because the user is unfamiliar with a particular process, or they don’t understand how the software is dealing with some specific data.

Many of these issues can be overcome by someone in your business who knows the system or process well enough to advise. Where that’s not possible, you want to get help from the software provider, as quickly as possible.

Xero rates more highly for customer service than Focus. Quite a few Focus customers complain of delays in getting responses to their support requests.

A bigger customer service issue is where the software contains bugs, and does not work correctly. Again, this is particularly a complaint some have with Focus.   

Price and value for money

Focus and Xero have a very different approach to pricing. The cost of the Focus accounting system is not displayed on their website and to get some indication of costs, you need to contact the company. There is no free trial option.

Xero’s pricing is highly transparent and begins with a 30-day free trial. It then has several pricing tiers, the most popular being just over $30 a month.

Of the two systems, Xero is consistently rated as being the better value for money.

Another factor to consider when choosing between software packages is how easy it is for your accountants or other professional advisors to access data. Because the number of businesses using Focus is much smaller than those using Xero, many accountants are unfamiliar with it.

Work with a Xero Platinum Champion Partner

We know Xero inside out because we work with it every day, both for our own accounts and for those of our clients.

The flexibility, accessibility and ease of use makes Xero a popular choice for many businesses. As does its value for money.

Because so many businesses use it, we’ve made it our speciality. We help businesses to implement Xero and grow with it. Our team provides training, support and advice, to ensure that you get the best from your accounting software.

If you need help with your Xero accounting, or you’re considering starting to use it, we can help. Get in touch with us today.

As Accountants in Dubai We are Xero Experts who help Start-ups and Small Businesses with Accounting,
Implementation and Training Services.

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