Xero to bundle free integrated payroll

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Xero to bundle free integrated payroll
Xero Australia managing director Chris Ridd.

Celebrates 50,000 customer milestone.

Kiwi software-as-a-service (SaaS) start-up Xero plans to bundle integrated payroll in two of its existing accounting products in the first quarter of 2012.

Xero, hosted in Australia by Telstra T-Suite and marketed in a resale deal with ANZ Bank, celebrated hitting a milestone of 50,000 customers this week.

The company said it had 200,000 active users who used the software for some $50 billion worth of transactions in total.

Xero Australia managing director Chris Ridd said that Australia was the fastest growing geography for Xero globally, representing a “fair chunk” of the 40 percent of revenues earned outside of Xero’s native New Zealand.

The company acquired Australian SaaS payroll software developer Paycycle earlier this year, and now employs 24 staff in Australia.

Ridd said Xero saw a small uptick in local customers after the Paycycle acquisition, but expected the real benefits to flow when Xero finishes the integration of the two products early next year.

Xero is currently available in HTML5, whereas Paycycle was originally developed using Microsoft Silverlight.

“Our intent is to offer integrated payroll at no extra cost for existing customers,” Ridd said.

“That would be consistent with our strategy all along – we are conscious our competitors in the desktop space are bumping prices up, whereas we are introducing new features for the product at no extra cost.”

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Currently Xero customers can either pay $29 per month for a SOHO/freelancer edition, $49 per month for an SMB edition and $64 per month for larger businesses that do international transactions.

Xero’s largest customers hire little over a few hundred staff.

“We’re creating a new market: customers coming from no accounting software.The lowest price edition suits those people that have been running a business out of a shoebox or a spreadsheet,” Ridd said.

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