Blog Posts, eCommerce

Guide to Xero Cloud Accounting Software for eCommerce and Small Business


Here’s how to make the most of your Xero plan and take some of the weight off your shoulders. 

First off, Xero is a cloud based software, which means that all your information is stored online. It’s accessible at any time, from anywhere. This creates a virtual workspace for your business, and anyone you choose to give credentials to, can access the software. You don’t need a single harddrive or clunky desktop. Since it’s all on the Cloud, Xero is an easy choice for those in e-commerce who are already used to the virtual world of business. 

It can be a balancing game trying to juggle bookkeeping, regulating cash flow, and keeping track of inventory, all while working to optimize and grow your ecommerce business. Here is where Xero comes in. Instead of manually managing each detail of your business yourself, Xero offers many options to streamline and simplify your business transactions. Now, you might think that all sounds great but what does it actually look like? 

In this post,  we will  break down a few main categories and give some bullet points to each one to get you started. Remember, your options aren’t limited to these features, but they should help get you going. With these Xero features and tips in mind, you can begin to think about what plan you need for your business. 


It can be challenging to keep track of receipts, invoices, spending, bills, budgets, and meet deadlines, and all the rest of the puzzle pieces of an online business. It is especially challenging if each of these tasks is split up between paper, emails, and various online accounts. We all know time is money and often it can seem like there isn’t a whole lot of it! Xero helps speed up the process by giving you an organized system. Here’s a few ways it can help. 

  • Use its calendar to set reminders and keep track of deadlines.
  • Schedule bill payments ahead of time to avoid late payments. 
  • Integrate budgeting apps into your Xero plan to help streamline and meet your financial goals.
  • Keep track of invoices, bills, and receipts for each of your projects all together on its project page showing tasks as drafted, in progress, or closed and complete.  
  • Keep a virtual record of all your bills and documents by sending them to your Xero files inbox. 


Even if you’ve got all your ducks in a row, personal online banking can be a hassle. Now add on keeping track of both a business and bank account and the back and forth between the two. Things get even more complicated. Here are a few easy ways to streamline your banking and business using Xero: 

  • Directly connect your bank to your Xero and business accounts with no in betweens to save yourself both time and money. 
  • Submit or reimburse expense claims directly through Xero’s bank statement feed.
  • Reconcile bank transactions through its automatic suggestions.
  • Easily approve or reject transaction matchups. 
  • Use its accounting dashboard to have a bird’s eye view of your accounts, financial information, transactions, and scheduled payments.  
  • Have a problem? Use Xero’s analytics program to review your system and optimize the efficiency and use of your plan 


In any ecommerce business, keeping track of your inventory is essential to success. So why not make it easier to stay on top of? On its Products and Services Page, Xero brings together all your inventory data in one place for easy access. And, because it’s all run through the Cloud, you can share and update data, files, and information in real time. No need to download or backup from a hard drive or computer. These are just a few ways to get ahead with your inventory control. 

  • Keep track of inventory and stock, run inventory management reports, and be alerted to what’s selling and what’s not. This ensures you will always know how much stock to carry. 
  • Preset details in inventory orders and invoices to save time for each new order.
  • Store files and data and view the original document each time you upload data. 
  • Upload your clients and their details one time to Xero and make quoting more efficient. Xero will automatically fill in their details any time you select their name for a quote. 


Now, on to tracking. Whether it’s sales, taxes, project timelines, or inventory, tracking progress and tasks can be daunting. Xero can help you fastrack these tasks in a few ways.    

  • Look at Xero’s predicted profitability of your inventory items to adjust your inventory accordingly. 
  • Automatically track applicable taxes on HST/GST filing online. 
  • Generating sales tax reports help you stay on top of your tax records and avoid a mad rush to organize your taxes during tax season.   
  • Set up a default tax rate for your clients on items and accounts according to the items’ sales tax and tax rate.
  • Automatically log or import work hours and let the system do the work to add it up and calculate payroll. 


Accessibility is something we all love. It can mean the difference between easily checking off your list or putting it off because you have too many hoops to get through to even start. Xero Cloud accounting gives you access to your accounting software through any internet connected device. Here’s how that plays out with your business team: when you add users to your Xero organization, each member has their own login. This way, you can create individual accounts, assign roles, track activity, and decide who has access to what. 

  • Connect with multiple users across the country to fast track orders and communication. 
  • Assign roles in your organization based on Xero’s specialized user options. 
  • Download the Xero accounting app and login to send a quote up, track shipments and inventory, or pay a bill any time. 
  • Connect your email to Xero to view all your mail in one place. You can even share access to these emails with other users on your business team.

Alright, that was a lot of information so let’s summarize it in a neat little table before moving on! 

Bookkeeping: Consolidate documents and schedule tasks.
Banking: Connect your bank to Xero and use the dashboard to see all your activity. 
Inventory: Preset orders details and keep track of what’s in stock.
Tracking: Track predicted profits, taxes, add ons, and work hours.
Accessibility:  Use the app, connect with multiple users, and streamline communication.

Getting Started 

Ok, now we’ve gone through some practical details. Let’s look at the next steps. Once you’ve decided on the right plan for you, it is time to set up your account. Setting up logins, creating usernames, uploading your contacts, and organizing inventory and financial information can all be taxing. Xero makes it easy with a step by step guide to setting up your account, even letting you customize your logo and create a brand theme. These are personalized features which can convey the personality and character of your company once you begin sending invoices, quotes, and receipts. This is your time to get creative and have some fun! 

Extra support 

It’s okay to admit you might need an extra hand. If you find yourself needing extra support with your business and accounting, Xero allows you to give accountants like Vertical CPA direct access to your online accounts so you can work with them in real time to resolve issues. This removes the hassle of physically going to the office and can be an efficient time saver. Xero also has support teams, online space to share your ideas, receive feedback, and network with other business creators, and discussion forums, all available 24/7 through their website. If you are looking for more specific guidance, Xero offers tailored courses on how to operate their services to get the most out of your plan.  

So maybe you clicked on this article but don’t even have an Xero account yet. Well, why not begin a free trial today? 

Need help with your small business, ecommerce, or startup finance/accounting? Contact VerticalCPA or join our mailing list to stay informed.

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