We have been using Xero for a number of years now and have acquired a great deal of hands on experience. Here Jake explains some of the key ways that you can maximise the productivity of Xero.
1. Direct Bank Feeds
Xero offers direct bank feeds with the following UK banks:
Royal Bank of Scotland
Santander Corporate and Commercial
Silicon Valley Bank
The direct feeds are secure and very reliable. They enable Xero users to have their bank transactions automatically refreshed into Xero every day, and this greatly reduces the time needed to reconcile a bank as there is no longer any need to manually enter information or import CSV files.
2. Bank rules
Within the bank reconciliation facility on Xero there is an option to use bank rules. The bank rules are a great feature in Xero because they automatically allocate bank statement lines to a profit or loss code. For example you could create a bank rule to automatically allocate all bank statement lines with the description “BT” to telephone!
3. Repeating invoices/journals
Similar to bank rules is the option of repeating invoices or journals. From here you can either set up a repeating invoice if you send out regular once a month invoices, for example if you are a contractor. Alternatively, you can setup a repeating invoice so that the majority of the information remains the same but you can edit the amounts before sending the invoice out to a customer, saving you loads of time!
4. Invoice reminders
Xero has recently unveiled a new feature whereby they will automatically send the customer a reminder if an invoice remains unpaid. You can choose the wording on the email and when they are sent to customers. This is a great new feature as it saves time.
5. Conversion balance (save)
When switching over from a previous accounting software to Xero there will be a necessity that you enter your conversion balances (commonly known as opening balances) onto Xero. One key point to remember here is that you have to click save when entering conversion balances as the balances will not be allocated otherwise!
6. Xero files
Xero files are a great way to save documents to your Xero account, thus making it easy to find them if you ever need to find them again or if you have a tax inspection in the future. A common example of this is attaching the purchase invoice to a bill or expense in Xero, this way when your accountant or other external party checks your account they do not need to hassle you for further information, instead they can find it straight away on Xero.
7. Favourite a report
Making a report a favourite in Xero is another great way to save time when processing information. From the “all reports” tab each report has a small star next to it. If you click on the star it will illuminate in blue, this will mean it is saved down as a favourite. When saved as a favourite you will be able to go straight to the report from clicking on the report button on the dashboard.
8. Online videos/tutorials (education)
Xero offers videos and tutorials at the following address https://www.xero.com/uk/tv/channel/5259-how-to/ meaning you will never be short of advice or tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Xero, and best of all the advice is free!
9. Find a Xero certified accountant
Xero certified accountants and bookkeepers are all listed on the Xero directory https://www.xero.com/uk/advisors/
10. Join Xero groups on LinkedIn
There are also a number of great Xero discussion groups and communities on LinkedIn. This is a great way to discuss various Xero hacks with other Xero users and to also gain quick advice on an issue you have been struggling with.
If you would like to learn more about Xero, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ross-brooke.co.uk