Xero – New features and functionality…

News, Xero,

One of the things we like most about Xero is that it doesn’t stand still. There are always new developments coming within the software.

That can be hard to keep up with when you’re busy in your business though, so here’s our summary of the latest Xero developments and updates.

What’s changing, what’s new and what’s next on their Road Map, it’s all here, in one place for you…

Transcript:

Hi, and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax and to help your business grow.

In this episode, I wanted to run you through the latest updates that we’ve heard recently from Xero.

Now, Xero do quarterly product updates and that takes us through all of the new aspects of the system, a lot that’s behind the scenes so the workings that we would use as a practice and also what’s coming on what they call their Road Map.

And that’s really interesting for us because we like to know what’s coming so that we can communicate that to you guys. But also it helps us to maintain our Xero Certification, which obviously we both have because we want to make sure that we’re able to offer a quality service.

So there are a number of things and so I have trusty notes here for this episode so forgive me for looking up and down but I want to make sure that I catch it because there was an awful lot that was covered recently that I think could be really useful for all of the Xero users on our client base.

Invoicing

The new invoicing format has already been announced, so you can use that or the Classic.

One of the things that is being launched is that you will now be able to view outstanding amounts for customers when you’re raising a new invoice.

You’ll be able to see if customers have got large amounts outstanding as you raise a new invoice and that will be visible both on the new invoicing format and in the Classic option.

Reporting

I know a lot of you do use the Xero reports.

One of the new features within the update is that there is now a blank report. You can set up pretty much any type of report that you might be looking for. As long as that information is in Xero, you should be able to get it out.

If you are unsure, then please do get in touch and we can help you to do that.

Similarly, if you’re not using the reporting function and would like to, do get in touch and we can talk you through that, too!

The Xero App

There were a lot of announcements around the Xero App, so if you’re not using that then you might want to download that onto your phone and have a look at it.

Some of the announcements were purely for iOS, some of them were purely Android, and some of them were for iOS, bringing it in line with Android or vice-versa.

  1. The first one is iOS only and is making people aware that you can run the Xero App in dark mode. This is more restful for your eyes if you’re using a screen a lot, and also improves your battery life which is never a bad thing, so you might want to look at dark mode.
  2. Again, for iOS only, is simplified invoice entry. You can raise invoices to customers on the go. You can send the invoice to a customer as you leave their premises.
  3. iOS only again, sharing files directly to a draft bill. It’s already available for Android, so again, Xero just bringing iOS up in line.
  4. Android only this time, you can attach files to a Spend Money transaction for example, a photo of a receipt and that is coming to iOS very soon.
  5. iOS and Android, extra search functionality has been added for purchase information. It’s already there for sales information, but if you’re wanting to search information for purchases, then that’s been improved, too.

Obviously, make sure that you’ve got your system or your phone set up so that it automatically updates the App to make sure that you get all of these additional functionalities as soon as it’s available. Otherwise you keep having to remember to go in to actually update your App.

Xero Expenses

I know that some of you are using those, within which mileage has always been the number one request. Mileage is always something that comes up!

You can now use Xero Expenses to capture, record, and reimburse mileage available within the browser and the mobile app. So a much easier way of tracking mileage.

It’s already possible to submit expenses on behalf of others on the browser, so on a desktop, but it’s now possible to do that in the App as well, subject to having the right permissions so that might be something you want to look at.

Now available in Android, which is already available on iOS, you can itemise expenses between different nominal codes which might be interesting as well.

Projects

This is an area in Xero that’s getting an awful lot of development and I know there’s a lot of clients that are using Projects. The development, Xero say, is going to continue and there are lots more updates coming on that but the main improvement in this release is that you can do bulk selecting and marking up of expenses against a project and invoicing the customer at an enhanced rate.

So you can now group multiple expenses & mark them up as a group; it’s going to be much quicker.

Customer management

We all know that re-keying client information or customer information, contact information, generally, in one system and then in another and then potentially in another, is A, time consuming but also it’s a real opportunity for errors to creep in and misspellings and all of that sort of thing.

It’s now possible to link Xero contacts to Outlook, to Google Contacts, and also to HubSpot. Which allows the sharing of contact information to your emails, to your calendar, to Gmail, to Google Calendar, and also to Hangouts.

That is only for Premium Edition Xero plans, only at this stage, but I’m hoping that that will come because that could be a really big thing.

Support

The other big change, which I think might make a big difference is that when you raise a Support ticket now with Xero, and raise a Support case, you can actually share that case if you would like to.

As long as you are the person who raises that case, you can then share that with up to five different people who have been invited into your organisation.

It could be you’re about to go off on holiday and you’ve got a Support case outstanding, rather than having to give somebody a blow-by-blow explanation of what’s going on, you can actually just invite them to the case.

They will then receive notifications of feedback from Xero. They will be able to see the original report. And so it just makes that communication much easier.

It also gives you the opportunity, if you’re having trouble and don’t really understand what’s going on, then by all means you can invite us to that support query as well. So we may be able to say, oh, yeah, not necessarily that we can solve something that Xero are having trouble with, because that’s unlikely, but if Xero came back with something that you’re not quite sure of, we may be able to translate so do bear that in mind.

Open banking

We know has been a long-running saga.

We know that it’s a constantly evolving landscape because there are changes happening almost weekly now with new bank feeds coming online, all of which, I would remind you, are free of charge which is a massive improvement.

But there’s a reminder from Xero to check Xero Central.

If your new bank feed hasn’t been made available as yet, do keep an eye on the right pages of Xero Central to see when that updates because they are keeping it really up to date, which is great.

And finally…

One of the things that jumped out at me from the Xero Road Map, which are the things that are coming which they’re working on, are the availability of credit limits and the ability to set credit limits for customers.

So if for example, you are not the one that’s raising invoices to your customers you can set credit limits for customers and you cannot invoice beyond that credit limit.

So you can set them up and manage them while an invoice is being raised. It’s a great opportunity to manage cash and it’s a great opportunity to make sure that you’re not giving too much credit and subsidising other businesses.

There will be more information about that later but it’s due to be released in the next 90 days. So it might well be something to look at and to consider utilising and setting up within your Xero.

 

As ever, if you’ve got any questions about Xero, obviously Xero Support are really good, but please do feel free to get in touch with us, ask any questions, pop us an email over, send us a screenshot or a scenario, whatever it is that might help and if we can help, obviously we will do.

We really like Xero and know an awful lot of you do, too, but sometimes you’re not aware of the best route to do something.

Similarly, if there’s someone in your organisation that would benefit from half an hour with us, just to find a better way of doing some things, we’d be happy to do that with you as well.

So, that’s it, that’s a whistle-stop tour of the Xero latest update. I hope it was interesting, and I’ll see you all very soon.