One of the hardest aspects of running a business of any size is the accounting and bookkeeping. That difficulty is only compounded when the company isn’t large enough to add an accounting department, but instead is trying to juggle balancing the books and sending off the checks while at the same time maintaining the company’s whole purpose for existing. Far too many good ideas never got off the ground because the leaders with the vision lacked the nuts-and-bolts, day-to-day operations essentials.

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UK-based Xero stands to change that. The accounting software suite has features for businesses of any size, but its toolset designed especially with small businesses in mind–complete with accounting and bookkeeping training options–lets even the smallest of companies use professional tools. The go-anywhere cloud-based model means the ability to log into your suite from any Mac, PC, tablet, or even smartphone, which is especially useful for those times when paying a professional accountant to look things over is a small, smart investment.

One of Xero’s initial design components was a completely user-friendly dashboard, meaning even those with no formal background in accounting can learn the ropes and operate their cashflow. It’s also a comprehensive look at the status of the company’s money, both income and expenses, thanks to easy-to-understand automatic graphs.

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Invoicing is arguably something that stops many a small business in its tracks; again, the leaders are so busy doing the business that they don’t have time to further the business through things like invoicing (you know…actually getting their customers to pay them?). Xero makes it easy to auto-invoice clients, complete with a branded logo and company feel.

Best of all, Xero lets businesses sync to their own online banking platforms for the most streamlined cashflow and operations options possible. Again, taking in funds is a great thing when you’re running a business; actually depositing checks in the bank so that the bills get paid is a whole other step, one that can result in serious harm if not handled in a timely way. With instant bank reconciliation, Xero users can see their statuses in real-time from anywhere.

The most important thing that platforms like Xero bring to the small business and start-up table is affordability. With package plan options, companies no longer have to invest in the mainstays of accounting software, only to discover that no one in their offices knows how to use it. This single issue stands to make or break a business’ success, and Xero is working to make the process as affordable and painless as possible.