We’re now on the second quarter of the year, and cloud accounting software Xero has been packing up a lot of new aspects since the start of 2015. Here are the highlights of these cool features:
• Workpapers redesign
Workpapers gets a tighter integration as invoices are automatically synced with Xero and Practice Manager. Contact details, WIP, and debtors to custom fields and tax returns are all streamlined as Practice Manager pulls these information from Xero. With this integration, data are always accessible and up-to-date.
Xero’s simple inventory has always been helpful in keeping track of stocks and maintaining accounting records for all kinds of small businesses. Inventory Item Details report shows value movement, quantity on-hand movement, as well as margin, profit per item, and much more. This means you always know how much products you have in stock each time you enter a transaction, and when to reorder once your inventory is running low.
Inventory in Xero also makes quoting and invoicing easier as it adds more features and enhances integration. Items can easily be added to an online quote, thus helping in improving cashflow. It also connects users to its add-on partners for their complex inventory needs.
• Practice Reports
Practice reports are initially available in New Zealand, but are slowly rolling out to other regions over time. Designed for advisors, these reports aim to reduce the time it takes to do compliance and management reporting. They also allow standardised reports that can be customised quickly and easily. Xero has brought together Practice Reports and the Single Ledger in the same manner it had the accountant and their client on the same page at the same time, because it believes it is the most significant revolution in accounting.
• Online Quotes
When Xero first released online invoices, it aimed for businesses to accelerate their cashflow by getting paid faster. Now, you can also send quotes to your customers online, which Xero automatically update for you. Your customer can choose to view, accept or decline the quote, and raise comments against it. Accepted quotes can easily be converted into invoices, and e-mail notification of the action by the customer will be sent to the issuer. All these can be made real-time, ensuring both parties are working with the same information.
• Side by Side Files
When Files was first introduced, a lot of accountants couldn’t be happier with the convenience it brought them. The feature allows them to forward multiple documents into an inbox while they are on-the-go, then create the transactions later when they’re settled.
Now, Xero makes the process even easier by letting users enter the details of bills, expenses and transactions while viewing files uploaded on Xero on-screen alongside the record they are creating or updating, similar to reconciling bank feeds.
• Apple iPad mobile app
Xero finally releases their mobile app that allows accountants to manage their business even on-the-go, with their tablets. With this app specifically created for Apple iPad, users can reconcile bank and credit card accounts, create invoices, create receipts, composed of both money and expense claims, view contacts, and add files. According to Xero, they are eyeing on delivering notifications for wearables for their next line of features.
• Payroll (NZ)
Earlier this month, Xero included Payroll along the line of its productivity features for businesses in New Zealand. Now, NZ users can electronically process payroll, pay staff and report payroll information to the Inland Revenue. Xero will also manage tax calculations, KiwiSaver details, employee holidays and leave entitlements, and statutory deductions. Employees can access pay history, payslips, view leave requests and request new leave via the employee app without seeing the business or payroll financials. Xero lets you collaborate with your accountant on payroll efficiently.
Xero makes it easier for you to stay updated with simpler notification, similar to the ones you see on your social media accounts. Now, there’s no need to get interrupted or open a new screen for your menu box to read updates – you can just click on the icon on the top of your inbox to reveal a dropdown menu. Soon, Xero will be adding new ways of notifying users like using small pop-ups called “toast” alerts.
The first feature introduced this year, Quotes makes it easy to create, send, and manage your quotes workflow from the Sales dashboard. With a couple of clicks, you can streamline your sales process by turning these into invoices.
With Xero, you can copy quotes to sales invoices and create terms that you can reuse across all of your quotes in order to save data entry time. You can also customise quotes using branding themes and email templates.
Xero wants small businesses to move their accounting to the cloud, so it continues to unveil more productivity features to make accounting more fun and interactive.
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