Disrupting Accounting, Modernizing Xenett.

Sonam Gandhi
Paperclip Design
Published in
4 min readApr 29, 2024

In April 2020, we were approached by Xenett, a software company based in Ahmedabad that runs a platform designed for accountants to streamline their bookkeeping and account closing processes. Responding to feedback that their platform was lacking in design, usability, and distinctiveness from competitors, their goal was to overhaul their user interface and overall user experience.

The project, spanning 1.5 years, aimed to overhaul Xenett’s digital interface, focusing on improving the User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX), and Information Architecture (IA). Key areas of improvement included making the value proposition more prominent, simplifying the complex and overwhelming menu structure, refreshing the outdated UI design, and ensuring the layout was optimized for user engagement.

The Highlights
- Enhancement of UI through better color usage aligned with brand guidelines, improving branding and iconography with features like the “Autoreview tick mark.”
- Introduction of a “Speed Mode” enabling users to accomplish tasks more efficiently, distinguishing Xenett from competitors who were focusing on a “Focus Mode.”
- Refinement of IA to make navigation more intuitive and straightforward.
- Implementation of keyboard shortcuts and mouse-only operations to save time and improve workflow efficiency.

Speed Mode: An out-of-the-box solution

View of speed mode panel designed to be on the left of the screen — details of the selected category appear on the right. Uncategorized entries in this instance

Users needed a faster way to review all transactions or entries made within a month, in order to review and close accounts quickly and efficiently.

We designed a “Speed Mode” that capitalized on keyboard shortcuts and color highlights to direct user attention efficiently, contrasting with competitors’ focus on aiding user concentration.

Instead of focusing on reducing cognitive load — a practice typically followed in order to prevent users from feeling overwhelmed — we recognised that the users in question are experts who would prefer to have all of their data upfront and easily accessible. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by too much information presented in one go, they were more likely to be hampered by unnecessary navigation and compartmentalization of information.

Speed Mode was designed in a manner that allowed users to quickly track and review errors, leave comments in places where they have questions, and — most importantly — track the overall progress of their task on the left hand side panel.

Extraction of speed mode panel that automatically sorts transactions into actionable categories

We also ensured that all the functionalities within speed mode could be operated both by mouse and keyboard, allowing for flexibility and efficiency of use.

Query, Comments, and Collaboration: Bringing clients into the mix

Users required a method to easily collaborate with clients without resorting to external communication tools.


An instance of comment creation associated with the selected transaction rows

We introduced an innovative collaborative mode to the platform, designed to significantly enhance user efficiency and communication. This feature allows accountants to add their clients as collaborators directly within the platform. Once added, clients can comment on specific bookkeeping entries, enabling real-time feedback and discussions. This direct line of communication within the platform eliminates the need for external communication tools, thereby saving time and simplifying the process of reviewing and finalizing bookkeeping records. This streamlined approach to collaboration ensures that both accountants and their clients can work together more effectively, making the process of closing accounts quicker and more efficient.

Task management: A feature pushing Xenett as one-stop solution for bookkeeping

Due to the lack of a unified tool, users were resorting to external task management platforms to assign, schedule, or monitor bookkeeping tasks of their clients.

We spoke to a number of CPAs to understand how they were organising their bookkeeping tasks. Majority of the users relied on a generic task management tool for defining to-dos, assigning and managing them in order to meet bookkeeping deadlines and standardise common processes.

While the CPAs were perfectly happy using these tools, they didn’t realise the amount of manual work they were constantly putting in. When Xenett decided to include a task management feature in their ecosystem, we took the opportunity to re-design the system which would be tailor-made for the CPAs.

Insights from founders of Xenett and their very active user base provided us with rich information about a CPAs routine, one time and special tasks. We took this information and created a list of suggestion the user could access while they were creating any to-dos. This became a delight point for the users because instead of manually trying to standardise a process, they were presented with options to use on a click that saved their time and kept tasks consistent across their practice. The task management tool now had become a partner to structure bookkeeping tasks, rather than just another tool that they had to ironically keep it “organised”

An instance of a task management module within Xenett platform — helping bookkeepers keep all their tasks, actions, and communication within the ecosystem

Design effects on the overall business of Xenett:
The introduction of Speed Mode went on to set a new industry standard, with several competitors adopting the approach as well. With the introduction of internal communication and internal task management tools, the bookkeeping industry finally found a one stop solution for all their accounting needs.