7 Steps to Help Choosing An App Stack

Amongst the craziness that was last year, our Managing Director, Debbie Whitaker spoke to Digital U at their week-long conference about the benefits and tips of Discovering Your App Stack.

Now one year on, (I know, time flies), we’ve revisited what Debbie had to say and created our handy 7 Steps to Help Choosing Your Apps. 

We get it, with over 700 apps on the Xero app marketplace, it can feel somewhat overwhelming. Being spoilt for choice can be a hindrance sometimes, especially when trying to nail down and decide which of the apps will work best for your business. But relax, you’ll be waving bye to your old processes and saying hello to a more efficient and smoother-run business in no time, trust us!

(Not a Xero user? Don’t worry, the good news is that most of these apps will work with Quick Books and Sage Online as well so you are not limited to purely Xero- win, win!)Before we get into our 7 Steps though, it’s worth mentioning what an App Stack actually is.



The definition of a Stack is “A community of software that works together to achieve a common objective.” Meaning with the apps you choose; you can share information seamlessly across your accounting package. It allows businesses to scale up and grow whilst letting the software do the heavy lifting for you. How cool is that?

So, ready to get picking? Let’s jump into the 7 Steps to Choosing Your Apps. 

1) Define the Problem 

The big one but most important. Take the time to assess how your business is run now and outline any problems you may be having. Is it related to people, processes, efficiency or is it tech? Think about these and write down the main issues that need to be solved.

2) Define an Efficient Process

In an ideal world, what would be the most ideal and efficient process for your business be and what would it look like. Ask yourself, if I could have any app to help solve these problems what would they be? What would be the most efficient way my business could run?

3) Create a Needs, Wants and Nice to Have list – With a Budget. 

From these questions take the time to write down a few lists of your needs, wants and nice to have’s. This can help to prioritise certain apps over others and help you stay within your budget. Keep referring to the list whenever a new problem arises.

4) Research

Do your research! We recommend starting with the Xero app marketplace. Here you can find loads of information about the different software available. {insert link here}. Take your time to see if the apps meet the needs of clients too. Are there any recommendations from clients or other companies as well?

5) Demo and Play

This is the fun bit! Most of the apps will have a 30-day free trial or demo setup for you to get to grips with the workings and benefits of the app. You can speak to the software companies directly as well. Most of them will be willing to run a few online demos for you and be there to ask any questions you may have.

6) Deciding 

Now the dreaded bit of taking all the above and making a decision. Remember to compare all the different features, prices and looking at the useability of the app before you commit.

7) Implementation 

The main thing we suggest here, and we cannot stress this enough – we actually can’t, is getting help when setting the software up. The better the setup, the more considered the setup will be and the more relevant to your business the software will become. The better the training that goes along with installation will only make the systems work better too. Soak up every detail from the software installers – the more information you can get out of them can only be a good thing.

We hope these steps are useful in your search for better, more efficient software. By following the steps, making some considered decisions and getting help in implementing you’ll be making the magic happen in no time.

In our next blog we’ll be looking at the most common apps our clients use, and some suggested apps to get you going.


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