Now that Microsoft has officially canned MS Money, today’s announcement of Xero Personal is a case of ‘right time, right place’ innovation. From Rod Drury’s announcement:
One of the first reasons we looked at doing a personal edition is because many small business owners blur their personal and business expenses. Rewards points on credit cards are a good example of why this happens. So a key function of Xero Personal is to allow business owners to separate their personal and business expenses. Personal will work great on its own but it will also complement Xero Business.
Bang! Instant money shot and another great reason why I love having sponsors like Xero. Forward thinking professionals already see the value in this type of application. Stuart Jones said:
This is great news Rod. On Friday I pointed out to a client who uses Microsoft Money that it will be phased out in the near future. He said he knew this and would probably move to Sage. Aaagh!
A few weeks ago I tried to find a UK alternative to Mint without success. I’ve just found it.
Right now Xero is concentrating its development efforts with BNZ. I suspect they’re working out the broad strokes wrinkles in one place before hitting other banks with the same idea. Once people see how this is a high value add on, Xero will have to rapidly accelerate development.
The ability to accurately separate business and personal expenses has long been one of the hidden ‘gotchas’ for many who use software as a way of recording their finances and which requires significant checking by the professional. Assuming they get it right, Xero Personal sucks out yet another cost issue that professionals can redeploy into value add for clients.
As an aside, it cannot be long before Xero starts pumping enough data on spend patterns for that data to represent an as yet untapped income stream that adds value back to the banks as well as customers. This is something I’ve written about many times before. Xero Personal’s potential in that regard is so huge that it should make for a win-win-win.
In the meantime, well done to Xero for thinking about the right kinds of innovation that put the sparkle back into accounting.