Xero was originally created as a solution to (what Xero’s founder considered to be) clunky, desktop based accounting software. It offered a modern, cloud-based product that meant businesses could access real time info about their financials and also share it seamlessly with their accountants and advisors. Over time, Xero has added many features and improvements to help save time and reduce human error. Here are five we think are most useful:
1 - How to unreconcile
Oops! You’ve matched the wrong transaction. Never fear, this function lets you fix it without taking up lots of time.
- Click on the menu (those three little dots to the right of the account name on the Dashboard)
- Under the ‘Find’ header go to ‘Account Transactions’
- Click on the one you want to unreconcile
- On the next screen, click ‘Options’ then ‘Unreconcile’
- A pop-up window will ask you to confirm and then you’re all done
2 - Use the in-built calculator
Another time and error saving tip - did you know Xero has an in-built calculator? It makes sense when you think about it. Do basic math functions right within a transaction without having to fumble between your calculator app and Xero accounts, saving time and significantly decreasing the chance of entry error.
Simply type the equation into the field (although not all fields will do it), eg. 3.45 * 179 and it’ll calculate and enter the right figure.
3 - ‘Demo Company’ testing
This is the ‘what if’ of Xero. Without messing up your real financials, this function allows you to see how a transaction might affect your business by testing it out on a set of made-up books.
To access this feature:
- Click the list icon (left of your business name on every page)
- Choose ‘My Xero’.
- The link to ‘Try the Demo Company’ is at the bottom and will let you test out transactions and features on a made-up set of books.
4 - Use the app to keep better track of receipts
We all know it’s good practice to keep copies of your receipts in the event IRD need to see it or you need to make a warranty claim, for example. Now, with the app, you can easily snap photos of receipts and save them straight to the existing, relevant transaction.
- Select ‘Receipts’ (bottom of screen)
- To find and select the transaction scroll through the ‘Done’ section
- Tap on ‘Attach files’
- Choose ‘Take photo’
- Save and you’re done.
It will let you retake the shot if it’s blurry, and there are also options to choose a photo from your phone gallery or from your Xero files. Taking the photo right then and there is best as it won’t clog up your phone gallery, only saving the image directly within Xero.
If you haven’t yet created the transaction you can do this while you’re uploading the receipt by clicking the ‘+’ (top right corner) on the receipts page. It will then be waiting for you to allocate when doing bank reconciliations.
If you’re not using it already, the Xero app can be downloaded from Google Play and iTunes.
5 - Set up repeat invoices
Setting up a template for standard invoices that go out regularly is a huge timesaver. For those where the amount changes but the recipient stays the same, drop your template in ‘Draft’; for the ones that are the same every time, put these under ‘Awaiting Payment’.
Follow these steps:
- Select ‘Business’ then ‘Sales overview’
- Click ‘+New’ from the drop down menu
- Select ‘Repeating Invoice’ (this page should look similar to the regular invoicing screen with a few extras at the top)
- Fill in all the fields (only end date and reference are not mandatory)
- Select how often to repeat the transaction
- Enter the date the first invoice should be raised; include a due date and end date if it’s for a fixed period
- Tell Xero what do with the invoice once generated
- ‘Save as Draft’ lets you review it before sending
- ‘Approve’ does this automatically so it will show as awaiting payment (just remember to still send a copy to the recipient)
- ‘Approve For Sending’ is the most time efficient; it does just that, automatically approves and sends the invoice to the email address you have in Xero for that client
- The rest of the invoice is entered as normal
- Save and you’re done
Want more tips to get the most from your Xero subscription? We are Xero accounting software experts and certified advisors with lots of experience so get in touch and let’s talk about some smart ways to save you more time.