WorkflowMax vs Xero Projects – What’s the difference?

The software ecosystem can be a minefield can’t it?

If you’re a business owner and a Xero user stuck on whether Xero Projects or WorkflowMax is the best fit for you, then you’re in the right place.

I have spent the last five years of my career helping businesses get started with Xero and WorkflowMax. I have spoken to hundreds of small and medium sized businesses in almost every industry to help them establish if these apps are a good fit for them. And guess what? I’m not stopping!!!

So, let’s take a look…

Both software apps are marketed as project management. At a top level, these types of systems are used by businesses that need to track jobs and time sheets. For that reason, they can be used by lots of different industries including professional services, architects, creative agencies, and engineers.

The great thing about Projects and WorkflowMax is that they are both Xero owned products. This means that:

  • They both have a native integration with Xero Accounting
  • They both hold the same Xero privacy policies
  • You’ll receive a consistent experience with their support teams
  • You can contact support in the same way for both systems
  • They’re both hosted on AWS (Amazon Web Services)
  • They have similar interfaces/usability

WorkflowMax user interface:

Screenshot of WorkflowMax's Job & Staff Management from

Xero Projects user interface:

Track Jobs and Projects with Xero Projects | Xero US

There are some very big differences between both Xero Projects and WorkflowMax, that will mean that one of them will be a much better fit for you. I recommend mapping out your job management processes and comparing each stage of your process against the feature offering of each system, as well as considering your budget. 

I’ve listed some differences between Xero Projects and WorkflowMax below.

Xero ProjectsWorkflowMax
Quotes and Estimated Costs at task & cost levelQuotes/Estimates and Budgets at project and task & Cost level
3 user permission levelsGranular user permission levels (we’re talking 52 tick boxes!)
Attach expenses against a project but not purchase ordersTrack expenses – but also track & receipt purchase orders in a job – PO’s and receipts sync to Xero
Integration to Xero Expenses for expense claimsNo integration to Xero expenses
Invoicing from Xero Invoicing from WorkflowMax or via integration with Xero
Bills, spend money and expense linking in XeroPurchase order receipts and sales invoices link with Xero
Task billing rates per projectCustom billing rates per client or project, per staff member or individual task rates
Manage job due datesManage job/task due dates and milestones, automated notification reminders to staff
3 reports – Project Details, Project Summary, Detailed Time – no WIP reportingDozens of reports (including WIP) and the ability to build your own customised reports
Mobile app allows you to create a project and record information such as time and expensesMobile app allows you to add time and expenses to an existing job in WFM. No ability to create jobs in app
Time entries can be GPS tracked/automatedNo GPS tracking
Time entries can be pulled into Xero payrollNo payroll integrations

This is just a quick insight.

The great thing with software is that it’s often customisable. If Xero Projects is a great fit for you but you need staff billing rates, then you could set up staff as inventory items. If WorkflowMax is a great fit for you but you need capacity planning, then you might consider a third party app such as PlanRight. There are so many options and routes to find the best app stack.

But, in essence, Xero Projects is best for smaller businesses from sole traders upwards. Workflowmax is best suited to small to medium sized businesses. 

The most common business industries to use Xero Projects are construction businesses, creative agencies, IT support teams, and 1-2 user accounting practices, among others. From my time at WorkflowMax, I mostly onboarded architects, creatives, construction businesses, and engineers.

If you’re a Xero user interested in using Xero Projects, speak to your accountant to see if it’s the right fit for you.

If you think WorkflowMax (or even another project management software) might be a better option, then book a call with me or email I can help you assess your businesses requirements and uncover opportunities to improve your processes. This will enable me to assist you in fully evaluating the best suited apps.

Hope this helps!


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