Starling Business Toolkit vs Xero: Full Comparison

Paola Faben Oliveira

If you’re already a Starling business banking customer, you may be wondering what the Starling business toolkit1 is all about, and how it measures up against alternative end to end accounting options, like Xero2. This Starling business toolkit vs Xero review walks through the features, fees, similarities and differences between the two products, to help you decide if either is right for you.

As an extra, we’ll also have a quick look at Wise Business - a smart multi-currency business account solution, which comes with Xero integration
to make it easier to manage your money across currencies.

💡Learn more about Wise Business

Starling business toolkit vs Xero - Comparison overview

To get a quick overview, let’s first look at a Starling business toolkit vs Xero overview so you can see where the services are similar, and where there are differences. We’ll get into the details of each provider and what they can offer UK businesses in just a moment.

ServiceStarling Business ToolkitXero
Pricing£7 per month4 different plans - £15 to £55 per month depending on your business needs
Create invoices
Self-employed tax return
Accounts payable
Expenses tracker
Bank account connectionConnected to your Starling account
Multi-currency accounting

Starling business toolkit review

To use the Starling business toolkit you’ll first need to apply for a Starling Business GBP account. There’s no monthly fee for the GBP business account3, and Starling then offers add-on options including the toolkit, and foreign currency accounts in EUR and USD. Fees apply for these services, which we’ll look at later.

The target customer for the Starling Business toolkit is an existing Starling business account holder looking for extra support for things like accounting, VAT and tax. Adding in the toolkit makes it easier to review your account and set aside money for future tax payments, record VAT payments, and manage bills. This can save time, making this a low cost option for a new business owner or sole trader.

Overall, Starling Bank is a pretty well liked and trusted UK bank, with a Trustpilot rating or 4.4 out of 5, from over 38,000 live reviews posted4.

Starling business Toolkit - Main features

The key features available with the Starling business toolkit include:

  • Invoice creation and matching
  • Email integrations
  • Tax estimation for sole traders
  • Ways to record VAT
  • Smart ways to save for future tax payments
  • MTD VAT submission
  • Bookkeeping to do list
  • Ways to manage bills with a lower admin burden

One drawback that’s worth knowing about is that you can only access the toolkit from a desktop, not with a smart device. If you’re used to managing your business from your phone, you may prefer an alternative like Xero.

Starling business Toolkit price

To get the Starling Business Toolkit you’ll need to open a Starling business GBP account first. This account has no monthly fee - but to add in the toolkit function you’ll then pay 7 GBP a month.

Other add-on options from Starling business include a EUR account for 2 GBP/month, and a USD account which costs 5 GBP a month.

Read more: Wise vs Starling Business Account Comparison

Xero review

The Xero features you get will depend on the price plan you select, from 4 different options in the UK market. As there are several different account options, you’ll also be able to pick the tier which has the features you need with the lowest possible fee, and switch up or down if your needs change over time.

Xero is known to be a fairly easy and intuitive tool to use, which also offers in-app accounting (not available from Starling). Over on Trustpilot, Xero gets a 4.3 out of 5 rating from over 6,000 reviews5.

Xero features

Let’s look at the different Xero price plans6, and what features you can get with each of them.

FeatureStarter planStandard planPremium planUltimate plan
Send invoices and quotesUp to 20
Enter billsUp to 5
Reconcile bank transactions
Submit VAT returns to HMRC
Capture receipts and bills
Automate CIS calculations and reports
Short term cash flow and business snapshot
Bulk reconciliations
PayrollOptional - Payroll fees applyOptional - Payroll fees applyOptional - Payroll fees applyUp to 10 people included - fees apply for additional team members
Expense managementOptional - fees apply

More on Xero Expenses

Optional - fees apply

More on Xero Expenses

Optional - fees apply

More on Xero Expenses

Up to 5 people included - fees apply for additional team members
Project trackingOptional - fees applyOptional - fees applyOptional - fees applyUp to 5 people included - fees apply for additional team members
AnalyticsOptional - fees applyOptional - fees applyOptional - fees apply
CIS returnsOptional - £5 per monthOptional - £5 per monthOptional - £5 per monthOptional - £5 per month
Read more: Xero vs QuickBooks: Head to head comparison

Xero price plans

We’ve looked through the features you can get with each of the different Xero UK account plans - but what will you pay? Here’s a rundown of the Xero price plan fees.

Plans typesMonthly cost6

Manage your international business with Wise

If you have suppliers, customers, contractors or staff overseas, check out Wise Business as a solution for companies trading internationally.


Wise Business accounts can hold and exchange 40+ currencies, and come with local bank details to get paid in 8 currencies. You can also get linked debit and expense cards for yourself and your team members, to spend and withdraw in 150+ countries, and whenever you need to convert from one currency to another you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with low fees from 0.43%. That applies when you convert in your account, spend with your card, or send a payment.

Plus you can save time with Wise thanks to its Xero integration which makes it easy to reconcile and manage your money in GBP or any other currency you use for your business.

Get started with Wise Business 🚀

Business accounting tools can be a great help for newer companies, sole traders and startups, where having some support with admin can mean more time to concentrate on growth. Both the Starling toolkit and the plan options from Xero UK offer some great features, which can suit different customer needs and business stages. Use this guide to decide if either is right for you - and if your business has global growth in its future, check out the Wise Business account as well, as a perfect partner for overseas trading.

Sources used in this article:

  1. Starling business toolkit
  2. Xero
  3. Starling Bank business account
  4. Trustpilot - Starling Bank
  5. Trustpilot - Xero
  6. Xero pricing

Sources last checked February 16, 2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

Money without borders

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location