I know one Xero poster did not mean it as an insult, but saying Xero pays for itself is really an insult.
Xero far more than pays for itself in terms of the far better (more accurate and current) data it provides. This comes from actual and budget reports, of any and every type, in numeric or graphic form. You may be immune to the type of overly detailed reports you may get, many months after the end of a year. However, it is almost impossible for each of us not to react, as Brett did, to seeing the effect of each income and expense item on net income, the next day, week or month. This will not only make us spend more wisely, but it inevitably will make us better managers in many ways.
Xero pays for itself by being far less expensive than most accounting programs. Most of my clients pay only $12 a month. This is far less than annual QuickBooks or other accounting program costs. This is especially true if you consider the cost of QuickBooks phone help ($35/call or $250/year, with long waits). You then have non-QuickBooks users tell you answers they do not understand, in a language that is different from their own. Xero also more than pays for itself by giving you unlimited fast free expert email help. There is no wait to ask questions and only a few hours for replies, 24/7/365).
Xero also far more than pays for itself in terms of cutting accounting costs. It is so fast and easy that you can do far more for yourself, while learning little or nothing about accounting or the use of a complex new program. You also should pay far less for Xero professional accounting help than you would pay for professional accounting for other programs. Instead of having to pay professionals to make every entry, you only pay someone like me to establish or modify a rule. You then use our rules automatically, repeatedly, without repeatedly paying us.