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NetSuite vs Xero: A Comprehensive Comparison for Fast-growing SMEs


When small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are growing fast in their early days, they soon encounter the challenge of managing their finances effectively. Doing so through Excel spreadsheets quickly becomes unmanageable, causing many of them to turn to a basic, user-friendly accounting software like Xero as their first financial management solution.

This is a good choice for a new SME, as Xero offers a range of features at an affordable price point. However, as SMEs grow even further, their business needs increases in complexity as well. Eventually, these SMEs will find themselves outgrowing their Xero software, and needing a more comprehensive and scalable option.


Even When They're Both On The Cloud, An ERP Software Is Still A Superior Solution To A Basic Accounting Software. These Are The Reasons Why.


Such as Oracle NetSuite, a powerful cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that goes beyond basic accounting functions, and brings a full suite of tools for managing finances, operations, and customer relationships to the table. This makes it a compelling alternative for SMEs looking to upgrade from Xero, and take their financial management to the next level.

In this blog post, we’ll compare some of the key strengths and weaknesses of Xero and NetSuite, such as their features, pricing, and ease of use. We’ll also discuss the advantages of migrating from Xero to NetSuite, and whether it is the right time and choice for your SME to make that transition.

Let’s begin with some of the key features and benefits both solutions offer for your business.



The Key Features and Benefits Of Xero

Screenshot of Xero on mobile devices. Source: Software Advice

Xero is one of the most popular cloud-based accounting software for SMEs today, for good reason. Here are some of the key features and benefits that Xero bring to the table;

User-friendly Interface

Thanks to an intuitive, easy-to-navigate interface, Xero is highly accessible to end users with varying levels of accounting expertise.

Automation of Financial Processes

Xero's bank feeds and automated reconciliation simplify the process of importing and categorizing bank transactions, saving up to 5.5 hours per week. The platform also enables finance teams to create professional invoices, set up automatic payment reminders, and accept online payments, streamlining the invoicing process.

Additionally, Xero's expense tracking feature allows SMEs to easily track and categorise business expenses, simplifying the management of business costs.

Real-time Financial Reporting

Thanks to its cloud-based design, Xero offers real-time data and customisable financial reports. This makes it easy for an SME’s finance team to gain valuable insights into the business’s financial health, and enable decision-makers to make fully-informed business decisions.

Affordable Pricing

Xero offers all of the above features and functionalities at competitive price points, across a range of subscriptions plans. This makes it a very accessible option for SMEs, especially those with limited budgets to work with.

Now, let’s see what Oracle NetSuite ERP has to offer for fast-growing SMEs.


The Key Features and Benefits Of NetSuite

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Screenshot of Oracle NetSuite's interface on mobile devices.

As a comprehensive, cloud-based ERP system, NetSuite comes with a comprehensive set of robust features which make it an attractive option for fast-growing SMEs scaling up their operations;

Data Centralised In A Single Source Of Truth

As a cloud-based ERP software, NetSuite integrates every business function – including financial management, inventory management, and customer relationship management (CRM) amongst other functions – into a single platform.

This eliminates data silos and makes NetSuite a single source of truth for the whole SME, which ensures seamless sharing of data across every department.

Automation Of Repetitive Tasks

NetSuite is designed to automate not just financial processes, but also some of the most repetitive tasks in business operations, such as payroll, order processing, and invoicing.

This minimises the need for manual data entry, which also reduces the rate of human errors, and allows end users in an SME to focus on higher-value activities.

Advanced Reporting With SuiteAnalytics

NetSuite comes with SuiteAnalytics, a built-in business intelligence (BI) and reporting which which provides real-time access to key performance metrics (KPIs) through customisable dashboards.

This gives the decision-makers in SMEs insights derived from data across the business, enabling decision-makers to optimise business proceses, identify new opportunities, andmake informed business decisions more quickly.

Scalability And Flexibility

Thanks to its cloud-based architecture, NetSuite can easily be scaled in line with the business growth of an SME, with additional capability added to accommodate the increasing number of end users as its business operations expands.

The capabilities of NetSuite can also be extended with add-ons such as NetSuite OneWorld, allowing it to support any growth plans an SME might pursue, such as expansions to overseas markets.


NetSuite vs. Xero: A Direct Comparison




Features and Functionalities

Offers a full suite of features and functionalities beyond accounting

Basic accounting and bookkeeping functions


Designed to scale up, and thus capable of supporting businesses throughout their growth journey

More suitable for small businesses with minimal accounting demands


Offers greater customisation options, allowing businesses to tailor the system to their unique needs

Users may need to rely on third-party apps for additional functionality

User Ratings

Has a larger number of reviews, reflecting its broader user base

Slightly ahead of NetSuite on some platforms


Higher price point, but offers increased efficiency, visibility, and scalability

More affordable for small businesses with limited budgets

While both NetSuite and Xero are popular accounting software solutions, they cater to different business needs and sizes:

Features and Functionalities

NetSuite is a comprehensive ERP software that offers a full suite of business solutions beyond accounting, including finance, supply chain, manufacturing, HR, and e-commerce. It brings together financial and operational data for a single, real-time view of a company's performance, and uses AI technologies to simplify business tasks and uncover insights.

In contrast, Xero primarily focuses on streamlining basic accounting and bookkeeping functions, such as invoicing, bank reconciliation, and expense management.


NetSuite is designed to support businesses throughout their growth journey, offering a wide array of modules that can adapt to meet the needs of diverse businesses. As companies expand and their operations become more complex, NetSuite can absorb this increased complexity and continue to provide a unified view of the business.

Xero, on the other hand, is more suitable for small businesses with minimal accounting demands, and may not have the same level of scalability as NetSuite.


NetSuite offers greater customisation options, allowing businesses to tailor the system to their unique needs. With its flexible cloud architecture and wide range of modules, NetSuite can be configured to support specific industry requirements and business processes.

Xero users, in comparison, may need to rely on third-party apps and integrations to achieve additional functionality beyond the core accounting features.


Why Should Your FinTech Firm Move On From Xero, And How Can It Benefit From Upgrading To NetSuite? Find Out Why Here.


User Ratings

Both NetSuite and Xero have received positive user ratings, with Xero slightly ahead of NetSuite on some platforms. However, it's important to note that NetSuite generally has a larger number of reviews, reflecting its broader user base and more extensive feature set.

While user ratings can provide valuable insights, it's essential to evaluate each solution based on its alignment with your specific business needs and growth plans.


Xero is generally more affordable than NetSuite, making it an attractive option for small businesses with limited budgets.

However, as SMEs grow and require more advanced features, they may find that while NetSuite comes at a higher price point than Xero, the investment is justified by the increased efficiency, visibility, and scalability the platform provides.

Ultimately, the choice between NetSuite and Xero depends on an SME’s specific needs, size, and growth plans at the current point in time. While Xero may be sufficient for small businesses with basic accounting requirements, growing companies may find that NetSuite's robust functionality and scalability make it a better long-term investment.


What Should You Consider If You Want To Migrate From Xero To NetSuite?

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While Xero offers an affordable and user-friendly solution for the basic accounting needs of SMEs during their early start-up days, these businesses will need a more robust alternative as they achieve business growth, and their financial management needs increase in complexity.

At this point, making the transition to a fully-featured cloud ERP software such as Oracle NetSuite can provide such fast-growing SMEs with the features and functionalities, scalability, and customisability they need to support their growing business needs.


How Does Oracle NetSuite Stack Up Against Its Closest Competitors? Here's Our Comparison Of The #1 Cloud ERP Software With Several Alternatives In The Market Today.


If you’ve decided that your SME has outgrown the capabilities of Xero, NetSuite can be an excellent choice to migrate your business’s data towards, as it offers a more comprehensive and scalable solution.

But before you make the decision to transition your business from Xero to NetSuite, it’s essential to review and optimise your existing business processes. This would ensure a smooth transition, and help you maximise the benefits of NetSuite’s advanced features.

In addition, a lot of planning and preparation goes into the migration process, and involved many steps such as data preparation, system configuration, data migration, testing, and training. That’s why you should work with an experienced Oracle NetSuite partner like us, to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud ERP software for your business.

If you’re ready to upgrade your business from a basic accounting software like Xero, do contact us to learn how we can help you make the transition to NetSuite. Give us a call at +65 6323 0901, or drop us a note here, and our consultants will get in touch with you shortly.

Otherwise, if you’d like to determine whether your SME has indeed outgrown the constraints of a basic accounting software like Xero, click on the image below to find out  if that's the case, and how NetSuite can be the logical next step for your business today. 


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