Top 10 Xero Features

It is easy to forget some of the great stuff that Xero has packed in.  Accountancy software is much the like, debits and credits, double entry, sales and purchase ledgers.  What sets them apart is the little things – those things that actually save you time, look nice and add value to what you are doing.  This is where Xero differs from the rest of the online accounting solutions other there.

We thought we would put together a brief list of some of the Top 10 Xero Features we love.  Here they are.

Automated Bank Feeds

This was market leading when it first came in and means that your bank transactional data gets pulled straight into Xero for you without imports and exports.  There is now no reason not to keep your bank reconciliation up to date and your finger on the pulse of who owes you money and who you owe money to.

Where most online solutions have followed Xero are not resting and are working on being able to actually make payments from Xero in New Zealand.  This means rather than paying from online banking and then replicating that data in Xero you could mark the invoices as paid in Xero and push the payment through your bank account.  We would love to see that technology in the UK but we are several years behind them in the banking innovation which is pretty poor for a supposed financial capital of the world.

Bank Rules

When you have Standing Orders or Direct Debits you don’t want to have to post them each week, month or year.  You can set up rules on your bank accounts for it to happen automagically for you.  This means your items will be posted consistently and avoid errors in processing and speeds up the time consuming data entry as you do it just once.

Invoicing – Payment Services

If you get paid by PayPal or use another credit card processing company then you can add the facility for customers to pay direct from your invoice.  This speeds up the process of getting paid and makes the accounting much easier as your invoices will be marked as paid in Xero for you to reconcile on the bank account.  Simple.

Invoicing – Email Settings

With each document you email out from Xero be it a customer statement, invoice or thank you you can customise the wording to fit your style.  We have set up email reminders on an escalating pattern for chasing non-payment of invoices but there are lots of other ways you can use it.

Invoicing – Invoice Branding

You have the ability to have multiple invoice brands so if you have separate divisions within your business with different invoice templates or particular customers who have different information then you can do that.  The templates can be saved at customer level so you never send the wrong template.  The templates are customisable in Word so you do not have to be a programming genius to get the design you want.

Invoicing – Expected Payments and Notes

We love being able to chase outstanding invoices and see the full history of what has happened with an invoice, who has received it, opened it etc and then record any conversations with the client against the invoice.  No more excuses you know what has been said when.  Everyone user in Xero can then also see any correspondence to ensure that you are not duplicating effort or upsetting customers.

Entering an expected Payment Date updates the graphs on your dashboard so you can keep an eye on what you are expecting to receive and when.

Files

Store your important finance documents within Xero so you and your advisor have access to them.  That new rent lease, incorporation documents, sales spreadsheet whatever you want.

You can also upload purchase invoices and take pictures of receipts from a camera to attach to the document in Xero so you have an electronic copy of your documents but also so has your advisor.  This way they can deal with queries without having to ask you what a purchase was for.  Get really clever and give your unique email address to suppliers so the invoices are emailed direct in to Xero Files.

Xero Touch

This is the smartphone app for Xero.  It does not have full functionality but what you can do is more than you need from an app.  Take pictures of receipts and record your expenses.  Reconcile your bank accounts.  Checks out customer contacts details and even chase them for outstanding invoices.

Account Watchlist

This gives the ability to add any of your account codes to your main Dashboard so as soon as you log into you can see what is critical to you.  We tend to use it for things like VAT, corporation tax provisions and dividends so we can see at a glance where we are.  The important bit is you tailor it for you.

Purchase Orders

Raise PO’s from the system to issue to suppliers.  Have the ability to sign in goods and check the quantities, goods, and prices and then turn the PO into an invoice.

There is much more than what we have covered but hopefully this will give you a flavour of just some of our favourite things.

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