A RUNDOWN OF THE LATEST UPDATES TO THE XERO ACCOUNTING PLATFORM
If you have accounting or Xero OCD you will be aware of the latest Xero update, however for all non-accountants or bookkeepers, here is a rundown of the latest updates from January 2019 – March 2019, to the cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting platform.
- Style changes, including a new Options menu where you can create a bank rule or delete a bank statement line.
- We’ve also changed how bank accounts are displayed when you transfer money between your accounts.
- You can now add notes to your invoices when viewing or editing them in new invoicing.
Xero for Business Android
- You can now edit submitted and unpaid bills in the mobile app.
- More detailed invoicing is now available in Xero Projects which shows project time entries as individual line items on the tasks & expenses invoice.
- You can now rename, delete and move bill attachments to your files inbox.
- Xero now emails a reminder when it’s time to re-enrol employees in a workplace pension.
- You can now add payroll benefits such as private medical and dental insurance in Xero. Set up the benefits starting with the 2019/20 tax year and we’ll calculate and file the taxes. Register with HMRC before 6 April to add payroll benefits in Xero.
- The pay item category for employer pension contributions has changed. These contributions used to sit under Benefits, they now sit under Employer Pensions.
- You can now add student loans to an employee’s tax details, Xero will calculate the employee’s student loan deductions for each pay run.
- Xero HQ now searches for duplicates every time you add or update a client as well as when you import clients. The banner alerting you to potential duplicates isn’t dismissible and is now visible to all practice administrators.
Xero for iOS
- You can now add file attachments to all quotes.
Xero for Mobile
- Access contact details including notes and invoice activity, using a new contact summary screen.
VAT return (UK)
- You can now switch to MTD (making tax digital) for VAT filing through Xero and can then start using our new Making Tax Digital (MTD) VAT return.
For more information about using Xero to organise your business finances, please get in touch and we will be happy to help. Contact us here or call on 01392 495483.
A rundown of the latest updates to the Xero accounting platform
If you have accounting or Xero OCD you will be aware of the latest Xero update, however for all non-accountants or bookkeepers, here is a rundown of the latest updates to the cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting platform.
- Reports: You can now display formula columns as percentages in the new financial reports.
- Xero Projects: you can now allocate project time into your own or your employee’s payroll timesheets.
- Payroll: You can now add an allowance type to a pay item in payroll so Xero can group allowances when you report them to the ATO.
- CIS: Xero has opened up the beta to more participants for filing your CIS Monthly Return directly to the HMRC from Xero.
- Xero for mobile: You can now include file attachments when sending invoices on your mobile device.
- Xero for Android: Create an invoice, quote or receipt by pressing firmly on the app from your mobile Home screen. View your bank account balances on the Dashboard so you can reconcile faster.
- Transactions: Multicurrency columns have been added to the account transactions report and event include a little flag icon for easy visual recognition.
- Credit notes: these can now be linked directly to a project. This means you will always see a true and accurate representation of your project’s profitability.
- Xero App: You can now get a quick view of your profit and loss, and how your income and spending are broken up, from your Android or iOS dashboard.
- Navigation: The Xero navigation bar is being updated (late November 2018) to make it faster and simpler for you to find the tools you need.
Watch this video to find out more about the changes to Xero:
For more information about using Xero to organise your business finances, please get in touch and we will be happy to help. Contact us here or call on 01392 495483.
Accounting shouldn’t be a chore
Small business accounting software that’s not available via the cloud can be tedious. Traditionally, it can suck up far too much of your business’ time and effort. This doesn’t add value, and takes the fun out of running a business.
Cloud accounting software, such as Xero, can save your company time and money. Find out how…
So what is the cloud and how does it work?
Think about when you use internet banking. Every time you access this data, you’re using the cloud. The cloud is a platform to make data and software accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device. Your hard drive is no longer the central hub.
Traditional accounting software and it’s problems
- The data in the system isn’t up to date and neither is the software.
- Data bounces from place to place. For example, on a USB drive. This is not secure, GDPR compliant or reliable.
- It’s costly and complicated to keep backups (if done at all).
- It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software.
- Customer support is expensive and slow.
- The package is hosted locally and whilst you can access via dial in/VPN these connections are often slow and inconsistent.
- They are designed for use by Accountants and are not easy to understand and therefore business owners shy away from logging on so rarely see the potential for accurate and timely data management.
- Menu paths are often unclear and confusing
The benefits of Cloud Accounting Software
- You can use cloud-based software such as Xero, from any device with an internet connection meaning you always have access to your business finances 24hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Online accounting means small business owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. The software can integrate with over 300 apps and third parties. It’s scalable, cost effective and easy to use.
- In the cloud, there’s no need to purchase, install and run applications over a desktop computer meaning you have complete control over your cashflow and the cost becomes an operating expense rather than a capital expenditure.
- No backups required ever!
- Extremely secure and safer/cheaper than hosting by most SME’s with little/no IT Dept.
- Mobile Apps available to check your numbers and process receipts/expenses.
- Integrates seamlessly with other SAAS software such as CRM systems, proposal systems, email systems etc.
- With timely bookkeeping your financial position can be shown in real time.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE HOW WORKING WITH AN EXPERIENCED FINANCE TEAM CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS,
CONTACT US HERE OR CALL ON 01392 495483
THE TASKS OF AN ACCOUNTANT – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Accountants can give you strategic advice and come up with clever ways to save money or boost revenue. They’ll also remove or automate administrative tasks that distract you from your core business. Getting an accountant will help you run your business with more clarity and confidence.
SO WHAT DOES AN ACCOUNTANT DO?
1. Help launch your startup business
Starting a new business can be exciting and terrifying, but it takes more than a good idea. You need to know it will make money – and you may need to convince investors and lenders of the same thing. An accountant can do that for you.
They’ll help test your idea, identify your startup and operating costs, and create credible revenue forecasts. They also know which lenders are playing ball at any one time, so you can approach the right people for finance. Plus they’ll work on your pitch, so you’re ready to impress those lenders.
2. Help with a business strategy for growth
There are so many moving parts in a business. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to focus. Accountants can help you figure out what’s important.
They’ll work with you to set goals – personal, professional and financial – then give you tools to measure your progress. You’ll end up with a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that tell you how your business is doing.
If you have accounting software (such as Xero), your accountant will set up dashboards that allow you to check your KPIs at any time of the day or night. And if things aren’t going as planned, what does an accountant do then? They’ll help you troubleshoot the issues, test solutions, and reset your KPIs as needed.
3. Fix your cash flow
Many profitable businesses fail because they run out of money at the wrong time and can’t afford to pay suppliers or staff. Even a highly active business won’t last long if payments are slow to come in, or expenditure is too high.
Accountants know that revenue ebbs and flows, and that costs do the same. They’ll help you predict the effect on cashflow and come up with strategies to manage the situation. They’ll organise cash reserves and come up with a spending plan that ensure there’s always money in the bank. It’ll make payday less stressful, supplier relations easier – and sleep deeper.
4. Listen and support you
Being in business is tough. It can be lonely, too. When things seem too hard, and you start thinking about the cozy 9 to 5 you left behind, a top accountant or virtual finance director can keep your head in the game.
They know how much your business means to you. They can reassure and reset you on your journey. And they’ll help you cope with stress by breaking down big business problems into manageable parts. Giving moral support is an important part of what accountants do.
5. Manage your debt
There’s good debt and bad debt. Your accountant can help you tell one from the other. They’ll find the least expensive borrowing strategies for your business – with the right mix of repayment flexibility and low interest. If you need refinancing, they’ll take care of that too.
Accountants will also advise when spare cash should be used to pay back loans, and when it should be reinvested in the business. They’ll do that by considering the numbers behind your business and looking at how your debt’s structured to develop a specific strategy for you. It’s not just blanket advice.
6. Deal with unpaid invoices
Unpaid invoices are a fact of business. Chasing those debtors is a distraction you don’t need, but you can’t afford to ignore the problem. Your accountant can take the headache away.
Xero has a function that can set up and send send automatic invoice reminders to customers when their bill is due and/or overdue.
If invoices remain unpaid after this, your accountant can arrange debt financing – where a business will buy your unpaid invoices from you and chase the payment themselves.
HOW DO ACCOUNTANTS DIFFERENT FROM BOOKKEEPERS?
Accounting is a vital service; but how does it differ from bookkeeping? The two services are often compared, but actually they are complementary:
- Accountants will look at the accounts that have been created, often on a quarterly basis. They will make any minor adjustments required.
- They will use the information in the accounts to file tax returns and other official reports. They will also provide high level business advisory services.
- Bookkeepers do the day-to-day work and bring the accounts up to a high standard of detail and accuracy.
- They can also advise you on issues that might affect you in the near future, such as cashflow problems or late invoice payment.
For your business to run smoothly, ideally you need both people. You’d hire a bookkeeper to look after the day-to-day work. And you’d hire an accountant to handle official reporting and high level business advice.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE HOW WORKING WITH AN EXPERIENCED FINANCE TEAM CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS, CONTACT US HERE OR CALL ON 01392 495483
Xero benefits from 100s of third party apps that connect seamlessly with Xero to supercharge your data, effeciency and productivity.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite Xero apps here:
An all in one advanced forecasting and reporting tool designed for businesses who want to control cash flow and accelerate growth.
GoCardless allows you to take control of your payments, ensuring your invoices get paid in a timely manner via Direct Debit. With automatic reconciliation in Xero, GoCardless improves your cash flow and reduces your admin.
Unleashed provides online inventory software for Xero, allowing accurate costs, margins and stock control.
Tripcatcher helps you manage those pesky mileage claims, using mobile and web apps, and publishes them seamlessly to Xero or Receipt Bank
ServiceM8 integrates seamlessly with Xero, allowing you to manage any field service business from the client’s first call to job completion, invoicing and payment.
Time tracking and scheduling that employees love, featuring mobile apps with GPS. 1-click sync to Xero for seamless invoicing and payroll.
Integrate Zoho CRM and Xero. Automatically sync quotes, invoices, contacts, and products. Save time & get accurate data without manual entry.
iZettle Pro is an affordable, cloud based EPOS solution for iPad tailored to hospitality and retail requirements. It helps sell more, generate loyalty, increase profits and grow.
Create a beautiful Shopify store and seamlessly connect your entire business to Xero for a single, real-time view of sales and small business finances.
Receipt Bank is the simplest way to get your client data into Xero! Say goodbye to chasing and data entry. Spend more time growing your business.
Chaser automates and improves your credit control, getting you paid faster and saving you time. The perfect complement to your finance team.
There are 100s more we could mention but hopefully these will give you an overview of the types of app that are available and how they can help to streamline your business. You can view all the Xero apps available here »
Xero integrates with 100s of effecicency apps leaving you free to tackle to day to day running of the business!
New features in Xero Payroll tool include easier employee set up and holiday calculations
Late last year, the Xero payroll team ran a research study to understand key administrative challenges faced by UK small businesses, or their accountants, when paying and managing employees.
These new features in Xero Payroll make it easier to set up employees, manage leave and keep on top of tax codes. Xero subscribers will see new features over the coming months, employee tax code notices from HMRC will be automatically updated in Xero.
Set up employees in Xero in less time
The new employee pages reduce time and errors when setting up an employee. Xero have streamlined the employee Details, Taxes and Opening Balances tabs, so they’re now more intuitive to complete.
The new employee Details tab makes it easy to see required fields. You can look up addresses to reduce the amount of manual data entry. On top of that, setting up an employee on MyPayroll and letting them be a leave approver now only takes a click.
The new employee Taxes tab lets you create or edit tax codes with their effective dates, as well as view a list of previous tax codes used for that employee. And when you add a new employee into Xero, you can now enter their previous employer taxable pay and taxes paid on the Taxes tab. So you don’t have to navigate somewhere else to enter it.
Xero Payroll’s new employee pages reduce time and errors when setting up an employee.
Make managing employee leave easy with Xero
They have redesigned the time off pages to make it easier to find leave requests and take action at the right time.
The new list view immediately shows you upcoming requests that need approving and groups employees based on leave date. You’ll see the type of leave and how long employees are off at a glance – plus see a list of past leave requests.
The handy new search feature lets you search by employee name, leave type, date or status. This’ll make it faster and easier to find the information you need.
They have re-designed the time off pages to make it easier to find leave requests and take action at the right time.
Automate even more statutory leave calculations
Xero have added Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) calculations to their extensive list of automated statutory pay calculations. An employee on maternity or adoption leave can share their remaining weeks of leave or pay with their partner or spouse.
A payroll administrator can easily set up Shared Parental leave and pay for employees by going to the Payroll time off page and selecting New, then Statutory Leave then Shared Parental.
Xero Payroll now has Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) calculations.
Coming soon: L, M, N tax code uplifts for the new year
Payroll year end is soon upon us and we know from experience it can be stressful when you’re balancing deadlines with your day to day tasks. The good news is that Xero will automatically update L, M and N codes for any eligible employees, which should help you get ready for the new payroll year in less time.
Over the coming months, Xero are rolling out improvements to the data received from HMRC. Xero will be able to automatically pull new tax codes and their effective dates from HMRC and push them to the Employee Taxes tab. For new employees, taxable pay and taxes paid with a previous employer will also be received. Xero will notify your payroll administrator and all they then need to do is check, modify or approve.
Source: Xero, February 2018
Find out more about using Xero cloud-accounting in your business – call us today on 01392 495483 or contact us here »