Who holds your Xero subscription? It’s your call.


Wow, the last couple of weeks have certainly caused a stir around client data ownership, Xero subscriptions and who holds them.


At Cloud Accountants we have made the decision to give our clients (both existing and future) the choice of whether they hold their Xero subscriptions or if we do.

We believe this is the right thing to do.

Yes we do receive a discount for being a gold partner with Xero, that we pass directly onto our clients as a part of our agreed monthly fees.

But we do not like the idea or perception that the accountants or bookkeepers are, or can hold the subscription to ransom if a dispute arises.

We pride ourselves on open communication lines at Cloud Accountants so for a dispute to get as far as it did with an article in the Sydney Morning Herald is a little beyond me.


All Chartered Accounting firms should have signed engagement letters in place which would cover such issues, and outline the scope of any engagement.

This would cover the holding of client records, and not just the subscription to any online service.

A great post by Guy Pearson of Practice Ignition explains this well and we are rolling out their system here at Cloud Accountants for both engagement letters and client proposals.


Xero do need to take some responsibility and they have indicated that they are doing so. This would cover two areas:

  • Clear guidelines and updated Terms of Use around the subscription and ownership of information
  • Partner pages and the order of the list depending on how many Xero subscriptions you hold

Xero, by presenting the partner list in this way, have created an ‘order of merit’ based on the numbers of subscriptions the accountants or bookkeepers hold.

Firms start to get precious and want to protect their position on the list.

This is not healthy in my view.


Blog post response from Xero here and BoxFreeIT here with plenty of comments.

We will be in touch with our existing clients shortly to discuss further.