UPDATED: 60,000 employees paid through Xero.
Employees could log into the portal and enter their hours directly into Xero from a desktop, iPad or other tablet. Managers then had to approve the timesheets before they were passed onto the payroll administrator to calculate wages.
Xero included templates for staff who worked the same hours each week. New timesheets carried the same hours as the template and could be adjusted according to the hours worked for that week.
The timesheet function included basic tracking. Users could allocate a tracking category to timesheets and add items to each timesheet line. More detailed tracking would come in a later release that included time billing.
The employee portal was included in the payroll program Paycycle acquisition and gave staff the ability to enter holiday requests, submit expense claims and view payslips.
One comment made by Xero in this release gave an interesting window into the average Xero customer. Xero only has 60,000 employees being paid through payroll, wrote head of payroll Stuart McLeod in Xero’s blog. Given that Xero has 110,000 business customers it’s evident that most of those must be sole traders.
EDIT: Xero’s Stuart McLeod just pointed out in the comments on this story that the payroll function is only available in Australia which has 32,000 employees, so the percentage of businesses with employees is much higher, McLeod says. From his comment below: “Our numbers reflect the statistics reasonably accurately. About 35% of our Australian customers are actively using the payroll functionality available to them through Xero.”
It’s still interesting to see how much opportunity there is in the micro business market. MYOB is chasing this market (0-4 employees) with LiveAccounts, although its strength is in the small business and up market.
Xero has 30,000 businesses or 1.5 percent of the 2 million-strong small business (up to 20 seats) market. It just goes to show the real competition for small business customers hasn’t even started yet.
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