Xero is fast becoming one of the most popular cloud accounting packages for small business owners, and with good reason, because the software makes bookkeeping so much easier and less time-consuming.
For those of you who have already converted to Xero, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite tips and tricks. These should make your lives even easier – and might even help you get paid more quickly!
Top Cash Flow Tips & Tricks
These four features are all going to help you collect your cash more quickly, so they go at the top of our list.
Like most business owners, you probably hate chasing payment. So let Xero do it for you. Just go to Settings>General Settings>Invoice Settings and you will see the Invoice Reminders button. Choose from the predetermined days past due parameters or set your own reminders. Click the Edit link to customise the wording of the reminder email.
Now you can go about your business while Xero chases your money. We love this feature and encourage every one of our clients to set this up as a priority!
This feature is fantastic for businesses that invoice a regular monthly retainer or standard fees. You can set up a repeating invoice by going to Accounts>Sales and then using the dropdown beside the +New button to choose a Repeating Invoice.
Once set up your customer will automatically receive an invoice from you for a standard amount at a standard time of the month. No more forgetting to send out your invoices on the first of the month.
Accept Credit Card Payments
The easier you make it for customers to pay you, the quicker they’re likely to pay. So we like the fact that you can link Xero with credit card payment services like PayPal. Once you have set up the payment service, Xero will automatically incorporate a link on your invoices to enable customers to pay by credit card immediately. You might be surprised by how much one button can speed up receipt of payments.
Of course, there are fees associated with the payment services, so you will have to weigh up the cost/benefit of more convenient payment.
Officially speaking a mobile app isn’t designed to help with your cash flow. But we love the idea of being able to quickly glance at your smart phone before every meeting to check on whether or not your customers’ payments are up to date. It keeps you (and your customer) focused on your cash flow.
Top Speed Bookkeeping Tips & Tricks
Time is money! So these tips that will speed up your bookkeeping should free up some time for more profitable endeavors.
In case you haven’t figured it out already, the little + icon at the top right of the Xero dashboard let’s you quickly create an invoice, quote, transfer or other common transactions from wherever you are. This can save a lot of time searching for the right function.
Unreconcile: Quick Fix
The bottom line is that we all make mistakes and no one wants to waste time trying to untangle a transaction that was reconciled incorrectly. Luckily Xero has an unreconcile function.
In the Accounts menu select Bank Accounts and click on the one that has the account transaction you want to unreconcile. Click the transaction to open it. Then click Options and select Unreconcile. Problem fixed!
Sometimes you have to calculate an amount before you input it into your invoice. So it’s handy to know that Xero actually has an inbuilt calculator in most fields. Just type in an equation, like 15*1.12, right into the field. Not only is this quicker than using a separate calculator, it also decreases the chance of entry error.
Part Payment of Invoices
If your customer pays an invoice in multiple stages it can create a bookkeeping nightmare. But Xero has a quick way to record part payments. Click on the match tab to bring up outstanding invoices. Find the invoice the payment relates to and tick. Xero will recognise that the full amount has not been paid and a new button will appear called Split. Click on Split and it will bring up part payment. Click Split again to save and then click on reconcile. Done!
Top Staff Management Tips & Tricks
Xero allows you to set each user with a very customised role. Meaning you can have everyone who impacts your business on the system, without giving away any sensitive information.
To add a new user go to Settings>General Settings and click the Users link. Then click Add a User. You will see options ranging from Advisor to None. At the bottom of this screen, you will see a link to “Understand user role details”. This takes you to a page that fully explains what each role can access, so you never have to wonder who’s looking at what.
One of the reasons its useful to have customised roles is so you can set your entire team up on Xero and have them enter their expenses directly into Xero. The system lets them enter and code expenses and upload copies or receipts, ready for your approval and posting to the books. This makes everyone’s life easier!
If you want to learn more about Xero, or need help figuring out how to manage the books (instead of the books managing you) feel free to give us a call at any time.