The leader in the mobile point of sale race in the UK, iZettle, offers easy integration with small business accounting software Xero. What does this mean, and what are the benefits for small businesses?

One of the advantages offered by mobile payment applications like iZettle is that it allows small merchants and other small businesses to digitise their sales in an extremely simple way. The inventory can be entered in the app, and card sales will be recorded automatically. Cash sales can be entered too, allowing merchants to keep track of every sale and get easy-to-use revenue reports.

For an in-depth review, see: iZettle review – easy, yet feature-rich, terminal and POS system

For many sole traders, the accounting features in the iZettle app will be sufficient for their needs. The majority of small businesses, however, will experience time savings with one integrated accounting system for payments, invoices and even payroll. This is where cloud accounting software comes into the picture.

UK accounting systems traditionally integrate poorly with payments

One of the main challenges with UK cloud accounting systems has been a lack of integration with payment systems. Even Sage One, one of the more popular cloud accounting systems, offers surprisingly basic integration with its “sister” Sage Pay.

Xero is currently the most advanced cloud accounting system for small businesses in the UK. Until recently, it did not offer integration with any payment system. The Xero–iZettle integration was introduced in February 2015, and is at the time of our testing (August 2015) working close to seamlessly.

How does Xero integrate with iZettle?

The basics of the integration is very simple: after authorising your Xero account through your iZettle account, iZettle will export all data to your Xero account automatically.

The video explains how you connect your iZettle account to Xero.

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Once the integration is set up, the import for each day will take place at 10pm the following day. Refunds issued through iZettle will be recorded in Xero as well. iZettle fees should be set up in a separate expense account in Xero.

A disadvantage for merchants who have been using iZettle for some time is that sales before 4th February 2015 cannot be imported into Xero.

What does it cost?

iZettle only charges for transactions (and the upfront cost of the card reader purchase). There are no monthly fees. For new business customers to iZettle, the iZettle Reader can be purchased for as little as £29.

Xero, on the other hand, charges a flat monthly fee, and there are no upfront costs.

Xero offers three pricing plans: the Starter plan priced at £10 per month, Standard priced at £22 per month and Premium for £27.50 per month. There is a free trial for you to test before you subscribe, and the first months are often discounted. Payroll costs extra, starting at £5 per month for up to five employees. There are no other hidden fees or additional charges.

Businesses with multiple currencies will have to go for the Premium package. For no more than five invoices per month and 20 bank transactions, Starter will do.