Happy holidays from Xero Australia!

Written by admin on . Posted in Business, XERO

As 2014 draws to a close and we get ready to take a well-deserved break, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in the past year. In Australia alone during 2014, Xero:

  • Grew to 158,000 Australian customers at 30 September, at 100 per cent year-on-year growth
  • Surpassed billion in Australian payroll processed through Xero every month
  • Reached 176 staff in Australia and opened new offices in Canberra, Brisbane and Perth
  • Grew Xerocon to become the largest accounting event in Southern Hemisphere, with more than 1,300 registered attendees
  • Ran largest partner roadshow in Australia, with more than 5,500 registered attendees
  • Appointed a Head of Accounting and Head of Bookkeeping to represent the expanding number of accountants & bookkeepers working with Xero, now more than 6,500 in Australia
  • Was named #1 as Australia’s Most Innovative Company by BRW

The tremendous growth Xero has seen in Australia over the past 12 months comes thanks to the growing enthusiasm from Australian small businesses and their advisors in adopting cloud accounting, replacing both spreadsheets and clunky desktop software.

As an accountant, bookkeeper, financial advisor – or one of our 160,000 small business customers – you’ve all played a part in helping us reach so many milestones. So, a massive thanks for your support throughout the past year and beyond.

We’ve seen astounding growth at Xero over the past 12 months and we can’t wait to see what the next year has in store.

All the best for the festive season from all of us at Xero Australia. And a massive thanks for your contribution throughout the past year and beyond.

Enjoy the break – and happy holidays!

 

 

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Bank of Queensland completes a year of new feeds

Written by admin on . Posted in Business, XERO

Bank of Queensland logoWe’re pleased to announce that direct feeds from Bank of Queensland are now available for our business customers. Direct feeds are supplied from the financial institution through to Xero on a daily basis.

Bank of Queensland is one of the largest independently owned Australian banks that is not owned by one of ‘the big four’ and it is one of the oldest banks in Queensland. We’re delighted to have worked with them to offer feeds directly into Xero. Bank of Queensland Specialist Bank feeds have been supported since earlier in the year but we’re delighted that feeds are now available for the entire bank, for all current, savings, loans and term deposit accounts.

To sign up for Bank of Queensland feeds, or to move your existing Yodlee feeds over to direct feeds, please visit our help centre for instructions.

Bank of Queensland is the last new direct feed of the year, after a busy twelve months of adding new banking data suppliers. We’ve been adding support for new banks at a rate of more than one a month and there’s no reason to expect this to slow down in 2015. In fact we aim to speed things up – we already have a backlog of new feeds to introduce in the first part of 2015!

This year we’ve added new feeds for:

Australia

  • Bank of Queensland
  • B&E
  • Coastline Credit Union
  • Community Mutual Group
  • Goulburn Murray Credit Union
  • IMB Building Society
  • First Option Credit Union
  • Maitland Mutual Building Society
  • Rural Finance (Australia)
  • WAW Credit Union

New Zealand

  • CRT-Farmlands
  • Fonterra/RD1 (Farmsource)
  • PGG Wrightson

United Kingdom

  • Natwest
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Silicon Valley Bank

United States

  • Silicon Valley Bank

To see the full list of banks who supply data to Xero directly, please visit our help centre. We also have detailed information on the different types of feeds we have available.

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Xero works around the clock

Written by admin on . Posted in XERO

One of great things about Xero is how it saves you time by taking care of the mundane and repetitive aspects of running a small business. In today’s release we added more features on this theme, so I thought now was a good time to present these and give an overview of some of Xero’s existing time savers.

(Repeating) manual journals

If you’re a business owner, you may not care too much about manual journals. Fair enough, but your accountant or bookkeeper certainly will and we think they (and nearly 300 voters on Community) are going to like another time-saving update.

Much like repeating invoices, it’s now possible to create repeating journals. Great for apportioning costs throughout the year or making regular adjustments.

Repeating journals in Xero are a great way to save time when you're running a small business

Find out more about repeating manual journals.

Bank reconciliation

At the heart of Xero is the way we’ve simplified getting transactions from your bank into Xero. In traditional accounting software you spent hours manually entering data and then reconciling this with your bank accounts. In Xero, we’ve brought these processes together into what we call Bank Reconciliation.

Xero is smart. It knows when a deposit is a payment against an invoice. It knows when money leaving your account is for a bill. It remembers when you’ve classified a similar transaction before. It’s like magic!

Let your accounting software minimise manual data entry with bank reconciliation

Find out more about bank reconciliation.

Bank rules

You can define your own rules that tell Xero what to do with specific bank transactions during bank reconciliation. For example, you can create a rule that says whenever you spend money at any of the gas stations you visit, to code it to Automotive Expenses.

Create rules that automatically code your expenses

During bank reconciliation the rule will match incoming statement lines and all you have to do is press OK to confirm.

In the last release, we extended bank rules with more control over which part of a bank transaction to use as the reference in Xero.

'Set the reference' options in Xero

Find out more about bank rules.

Repeating invoices

If you pay/receive regular payments for things like rent, subscriptions or any other recurring transaction for the same amount then repeating invoices are ideal. You define the invoice and how often it should be created, Xero takes care of the rest.

Monday’s simple, yet powerful update, allows you to define dynamic placeholders that refer to the invoice (or bill) date.

Repeating invoices for regular payments are a great way to save small biz owners time

On the reference, or any line of the invoice, you can insert placeholders for the week, month or year of the invoice, making them easier to find and more informative for your customers.

Find out more about repeating invoices.

Email templates

Email templates allow you define standard messages and quickly pre-populate emails you send to your customers. Not only does this save time typing but it’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss any important information your customers need to know about, while keeping things consistent and accurate.

Email templates let you put emails together quickly

You can add placeholders to messages that will automatically be replaced with information specific to each client and invoice.

In response to this Community thread, we’ve included a new placehold for the invoice reference – great if you use the reference for a project description or customer reference.

Find out more about email templates.

Avoiding duplicate contacts

Whenever you type a new contact name in bank reconciliation, invoices or other documents, Xero conveniently creates a new contact record for you – great, more time saving! But have you ever accidentally created a duplicate contact by mistyping their name or using an alternative spelling?

Avoid creating duplicate contacts

To help avoid this, we’ve added a small visual enhancement to let you know Xero doesn’t recognise the contact name and will create a new one.

Simple!

But wait there’s more

Not everything in this release is about saving time. There new stuff that’s more beautiful, informative and compliant – all important stuff when you’re running a small business.

  • New editable dashboard with cash summary widget – am sure you didn’t miss this update! Tony’s recent post gives more details about this and what else to expect.
  • Copy credit notes.
  • For our UK users who have registered for the VAT MOSS Scheme, we’ve added a new tax rate type that makes reporting a breeze.
  • New columns available for new Account Transactions report – gross, net, tax, tax rate, tax rate name and tracking.
  • Practice staff can add disclaimers to all new reports.
  • Import invoices, bills and credit notes as tax inclusive.
  • and lots more

Hope there’s something in the last release for all of you – if you’re having a break over the holidays, have fun, and we’ll catch up again next year.

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Source: Xero Blog

Xero Dashboard: your business at a glance

Written by admin on . Posted in XERO

Fresh new look for the Xero DashboardHi, I’m Tony. I’ve spent the last six years leading the Xero API team and am excited to get back to my roots to focus on the core user experience of Xero. I am laser focussed on making it easier for Xero users to monitor and understand the health of their business.

I’m excited to tell you that with today’s release you’ll notice a fresh new look to the Xero Dashboard. This is just the start of many ongoing updates you’ll notice to the dashboard in the coming months. With this release:

  • We’re introducing a new graph which shows your incoming and outgoing cash over the last few months – handy for seeing your historical cash movements at a glance. You can drill into the detail as required.
  • Our invoice and bill graphs will be improved so you’ll be able to see the total amounts for all outstanding invoices rather than just those overdue – the same will apply to bills. The charts are simplified so you can quickly see if there are overdue items at a glance and drill down to see these.
  • You’ve told us for a long time that you want the choice of what to show on the Dashboard and where those items are positioned. So from now everything can be positioned as you like or optionally hidden if you don’t have a need for a particular item.

Check out the video below to get an overview of the dashboard and how it works.

Coming soon: the Business Performance Dashboard

This update to the Xero Dashboard begins the journey of delivering on our vision of providing big data capabilities for small business.

Last month, we previewed our Business Performance Dashboard, a set of indicators that will help small businesses better measure and understand their performance, while giving them information to work more effectively with their advisors. You’ll hear more about this over the next few months.

As always we’re keen to hear what you think, so please keep telling us how we are doing on Xero Community.

I look forward to keeping you updated as we roll these improvements out. Today’s release included more fantastic features, which you can read about here.

 

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400,000

Written by admin on . Posted in XERO

Over the last few days we passed 400,000 paying customers around the world. We thought it would be useful to give a 2014 wrap up and share some of the internal numbers we’re seeing as the power of the small business cloud platform is coming clear.

Paying customers gif

 

Key numbers from 2014:

  • Millions of small businesses now connect in the cloud on Xero – we touched around 10 million businesses
  • Processed over NZ0 billion in transactions
  • Over 400 customer facing updates
  • Emerges as crucial growth platform for small businesses

400,000 is a key milestone as we head into key selling seasons in the UK, New Zealand and the US. In 2014 we processed NZ0 billion of transactions and 95 million invoices, connecting millions of businesses, advisors, suppliers and customers worldwide.

The support from both our customers and partners is both humbling and exciting. Together we’ve established Xero as one of the leading platforms on which they connect, collaborate and conduct their business. Through a constant innovation cycle we are fulfilling our potential as a small business growth engine, bringing together crucial capabilities in accounting, payroll and payments with insights and the business specific applications small businesses need from our hundreds of partners worldwide.

We’re now utilising more than half a petabyte of data collected to report business performance at scale and deliver insights to help improve the growth of small businesses, providing a real time data set to discover the real power of the small business economy and trends such as growing self and part-time employment.

We are thrilled to be playing a role in igniting the small business economy. Our customers are adding employees and growing revenue and margins by having clear visibility of their numbers and easy access to advisors. At the same time, the vibrant ecosystem around Xero – including the growing advisor channel – is creating jobs worldwide.

We’re continuously improving with over 400 customer facing releases deployed during 2014. Most of these releases are silent, unnoticed by customers,  but span small business tasks ranging from payroll through beautiful business reporting. In the next week, we’ll unveil a new business dashboard to help small businesses have better visibility of their cash flow as Xero begins its delivery of ‘Big Data for Small Business’ in early 2015. We’ve now grown the team to over 1,000 in 2014, building capability for further innovation in 2015.  Onboarding so many staff has been an incredibly time consuming activity but it positions us very strongly for the coming years.

Our momentum is not only a clear vote for platforms born and bred in the cloud, but also for those optimised for mobile devices. In the past 12 months, over 145,000 small businesses have downloaded Xero Touch enabling them to pay, invoice and manage cash flow any place, any time.

Today, we are New Zealand and Australia’s most loved accounting platform and achieving a similar position in the UK. We had some staff speed wobbles in the US but we now have the key operating team in place and seeing a positive difference. The small business cloud market is still in its infancy: of the addressable market of hundreds of millions of small businesses, only a small percentage currently use cloud financial software.

Throughout 2014, we’ve invested significantly in our platform which is becoming critical infrastructure in its core markets. We now manage 500 servers across redundant data centres managing approximately 500TB of production data while maintaining best-in-class uptime of 99.99 percent. We have our sights set on not just leading in building our Cloud infrastructure, but also putting the innovations and investments from the global cloud providers like Microsoft, Google and Amazon to work for small businesses.

Thank you all for your support in 2014. Our team are fired up and excited about what’s to come. 2015 is going to rock.

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Public holidays, US reports and more Payroll in Xero updates

Written by admin on . Posted in XERO

We’ve released updates to Payroll in Xero today following on from previous monthly updates in November and October.

Public holidays

Managing leave requests where the dates include public holidays is a real chore. Today we’ve added Holidays to make it easier for you to more accurately calculate your employee’s leave requests.

You can add any number of custom Holidays and Groups for your business and assign them to employees as required. The first step is to ensure that you have the right groups and holidays configured. You then assign the employee a Holiday Group on their Employment screen. An employee can be assigned to one Holiday Group.

We’ve created Holidays and Groups automatically for you based on your country with dates entered for 2015. We’ll keep public holidays up to date each year for you so automatically.

Holiday leave requests in Payroll

This is just the first step for Holidays and it currently works with leave requests. When the request dates includes a holiday for the employee, the number of hours requested is automatically reduced by the number of holidays falling within the date range. For example, a request for 26–30 January 2015 will automatically calculate the 26th as public holiday in Australia, for Australia Day, and reduce the required number of hours requested.

To use Holidays for new requests in the remaining few weeks of 2014 you simply need to manually add the holidays you need and assign the employees to the correct group. Any new request will use this information and previously completed requests will not be affected.

We have plans to roll this out to more areas in the coming releases including timesheet visual indicators, automatically including a days pay within the pay run and a visual calendar for everyone to see when key payroll dates and who’s away from the office.

Why not use My Payroll (employee self-service portal) to let employees apply for leave online? It makes life easier for them and for you. You’ll be able to approve requests online and have electronic records at your fingertips. It also allows your employees access to information, such as how much time off/leave they have due, without asking the HR department. Employees and managers can plan December holidays better, knowing at all times exactly how much time off/leave is available.

Check out the help information on getting holidays setup correctly, click here if you’re in Australia and here if you’re in the US.

Payroll settings

Pay Items

As we continue to build UK and New Zealand Payroll in Xero we get the opportunity to give key pages a refresh. In this release you’ll notice that Pay Items have moved to a left-hand navigation.

Payroll Earnings

As a result we’ve added a Display Name field for Earnings. We understand that sometimes an earning name can be confusing for employees, especially due to penalty rates flowing in from timesheet add-on partners. This optional field allows you to control what name is displayed to the employee on their pay information, on timesheet entry and in the employee portal.

For our US customers we’ve also added support for additional Benefit categories including:

  • Group Term Life (GTL)
  • Personal Use of a Company Car (PUCC)
  • S-Corp Health Insurance (S-Corp)

Payroll frequency

When setting up payroll frequency in Calendars (Australia) or Schedules (US) we’ve made it clearer to understand how this works to ensure you get setup and ready to go correctly.

Payroll Frequency

You’ll now see the next three payment dates depending on the Start Date and First Payment dates you select. The Name will be auto-populated based on the type you select, but it’s editable.

US payroll reports, annual forms and electronic filing

As the financial year comes to an end in the US we’ve released key updates to US Payroll in Xero including state annual forms and payroll reports.

Under Taxes & Filings we’ve added support for the following forms: New Jersey NJ W-3, Utah TC-941R and Virginia VA-6.

You’ll also notice five new reports under Payroll Reports that are specific to US Payroll. These include:

  • Opening Balance Summary
  • Opening Balance Details
  • Total Cost Summary
  • Total Cost Detail
  • Taxable Wage Summary

Coming in January will be the first release of State electronic payroll filing and payments with the focus on our current seven states. This will allow you to file and pay your state payroll taxes with a click of a button. More on this coming really soon! We will then begin rolling out calculation and filings for new states.

For full details of this release see the 9 December release notes.

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Source: Xero Blog