5 Reasons not to use Zapier with Xero and Slack

It is no secret that the past 10 years have seen an absolute proliferation of the number of SaaS apps that we all use in our day to day work. When it comes to providing the “glue” that connects these apps, the undisputed leader in the field is Zapier. “Automate all the things” is the goal, and they certainly get a lot of love for their offering.

There are trade offs though, particularly when you are simply looking to get better visibility of your AR pipeline by integrating Xero and Slack. Here are the top 5 reasons why you may want to reconsider using Zapier here:

1. Lack of Flexibility

The breadth of Zapier’s coverage for integrating with Xero means it can lack flexibility for specific use cases, and this is very evident when it comes to Slack alerting. Taking invoices as an example, Slack messages can be triggered when a new invoice is created, but that is it. It cannot send messages when an invoice is updated, for example when an invoice is paid, has its amount changed, or its due date pushed out.

2. Automations Only

Whilst the value of automatically triggered actions is clear, Zapier cannot provide your users the ability to pull data directly from Xero into Slack. You can’t use Zapier to query invoices and contacts from Slack, or to retrieve a list of overdue invoices. Zapier only works in the background, and requires configuration of Zaps to be useful.

3. Complexity

Let’s take a relatively simple example of setting up a Zap to send a message to Slack when a new invoice gets created. Even if we assume that Xero and Slack are both already connected as apps in Zapier, the process to create the necessary Zap is 7 steps. Here’s a single screenshot showing you the forms you need to complete (at a minimum).

GetHarold Slack app directory listing

4. Security

If you are only looking to Zapier to help get you better visibility of Xero, you will be opening up your Xero account much more than you would otherwise wish to. Zapier is designed to allow you to do anything with your Xero account, which includes updating data in your account. If you just want visibility, this is overkill, and opens up an unnecessary risk for your business.

5. Dependence on Other Teams

Zapier is a technical tool, and once in use at an organization it represents the “keys to the Kingdom” in terms of how much access is opened up for Zapier users. For this reason, access is (or should be) restricted, meaning that you will likely be reliant on another team to make changes for you.

An Alternative

GetHarold offers a much simpler alternative to Zapier for integrating Xero and Slack. It allows you to easily set up notifications:

  • For invoice creations and updates
  • For specific invoice changes (eg: when a status changes)
  • To celebrate invoice payments
  • With a single, simple form
  • Without the need to involve other teams
  • Via an app that only needs read access to your Xero account

GetHarold Xero Invoice Change Notification Form

GetHarold Xero Invoice Change Notification


The GetHarold App for Slack also offers Xero search, straight from Slack. Search invoices and contacts, with custom searches for things like overdue invoices also available.

GetHarold Overdue Xero Invoice Search

For more details on the GetHarold app for Slack - including details on the other integrations we offer - you can check out our listing in the Slack App Directory. If you have questions, just click the chat widget at the bottom left of the screen.

To get started for free right now, just click the below Add GetHarold to Slack button.

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