One major differentiator between competing SaaS accounting products is in their ability to work in multi-currencies. Beyond the simple yes/no answer however is the degree the vendor goes to in order to allow every possible use case for multi currency.
I’ve been invited to spend some time with Xero in a couple of weeks doing some video interviews with some of their people in advance of the release of the multi-currency part of their application.
They released today however a video (see below) of the design prototype for multi currency, perhaps in answer to an increasing number of enquiries from international users about just what functionality multi-currency will support. The video is a design prototype (more on the methodology around their design process here) and some of the functionality may not see its way into the first version.
The functionality that the video suggests is impressive – every use case seems to be covered including such outliers as invoicing multiple currencies to one customer, receiving multiple currencies to the bank account, inline bank fees (ie not as part of a separate statement line) and multiple methods of calculating the forex rate.
Multi-currency is a critical issue for those who need it, but the percentage of users who actually need it is pretty slow. Strategically however multi-currency is a no brainer. Giving users full multi-currency options screams “robust, full featured and serious” from the mountaintops.
Of course there’s a bunch of stuff that Xero need to roll out to fulfil that claim, but having seen the amount of time and effort that multi-currency has taken up, and knowing the number of development staff that Xero is recruiting, I’m expecting the cool stuff to come rolling out thick and fast.