Xero is winding-up its personal accounting product. The service will close on November 30, 2014.
In a statement to the NZX chief executive Rod Drury said the move will cost the company $700,000. From now Xero will focus its development resources on the core products for small businesses and accountants.
Xero Personal is only a small part of the company’s business. Drury said while it covered its costs, it only contributed $600,000 to the $39 million in revenue that Xero posted for the year to March 2013.
Seemed a good idea at the time
Drury says independent personal financial management looked like a complementary service to accounting, especially for small business owners. But the market hasn’t taken off for Xero or any other players.
Xero says existing Personal users on September 30 will be able to continue to use the service after their annual expiry date at no additional charge. The company will give help to customers wanting to export data.
Comment: Clearly Xero Personal is a distraction from the company’s main business. Dropping it makes sense for Xero. While the move is mildly annoying for users, I doubt many will be deeply upset.
Hopefully another company will be able to pick up the business. This tweet from Rod Drury suggests as much:
@billbennettnz too hard to split out but likely a clear alternative will emerge and we'll work with them to make a transition smooth
As one of Xero Personal’s 12,000 or so paying customers, I’ll miss it, but I won’t be heartbroken. The software is useful, but only up to a point. Most important, it can’t do what I want most from a personal finance application: that is give me an instant snapshot of my overall position.
That’s because of the difficulty it has dealing with my Kiwisaver account. For readers outside New Zealand, Kiwisaver is a government supported personal savings scheme. Sparing you the details, let’s just say Xero Personal requires work; more work than $600,000 a year in revenue justifies.