01 Aug 10 Things About Xero That You May Not Know!
You took the great leap from spreadsheets to Xero for your general bookkeeping needs – you’re adding purchase invoices, doing your sales invoices, reconciling your bank, and perhaps doing expense claims.
But could you be using Xero more extensively? Could it be helping you to do more by doing less?
- Tracking categories – this feature allows you to split results into categories, so you can compare how different sections are operating to each other. This could be geographical location, different trades, different product lines. The maximum you can have is two main categories with unlimited sub categories. This feature will help you produce more meaningful reports that instantly highlight what areas of your business are doing well and which may need more attention.
- Inventory monitoring – this feature allows you to keep track of stock on hand and will automatically reduce/increase the stock items when sales/purchases are made. The descriptions and prices only need to be entered once, and whenever that item is selected on sales invoices the detail will repopulate. This is a great feature if you’re a shop or business that regularly holds, sells and purchases more stock.
- Employee timesheets – this feature can be accessed by employees using their own log ins in Xero payroll. This is then approved by management, and the resulting hours are transferred to the relevant payslips ready for the weekly/monthly payroll processing. This feature is great if your employees work different hours and are paid for the number of hours they do. There are also other apps that can act as clocking in cards to track employees starting and ending.
- Quotes – if you issue quotes to your customers before starting any work, then using Xero to produce these means all the data is already there when you do the sales invoice, making the whole process seamless. This feature can save a lot of time and duplication.
- Invoice reminders – if you spend a lot of time chasing invoices then this feature will be ideal. It allows you to send out automated invoice reminders to your clients when invoices become overdue (they can also be set up to send them out before the due date has passed if you’d like). The reminders are all fully personalised and can be turned off on certain clients where needed. This feature can save a lot of time and duplication.
- Purchase orders – if you have all your item details in Xero then you can create purchase orders to send to suppliers that define details such as purchase prices and delivery dates. When these orders are in place the contents can be copied to purchase and sales invoices and these will then interact with the inventory tracking feature, streamlining your business processes.
- Payment services – you can connect Xero to Stripe, so you can receive payments online from your customers. It’s quick and easy to get this set up directly through Xero, there is no upfront cost, but there is a small percentage of the amount paid as a fee.
- Budget manager – enter budgets for the upcoming period, and this then allows you to view actual results against those targets. This feature will help you produce more meaningful reports that instantly highlight what areas of your business aren’t do as well a planned.
- Xero app – the app allows you to view some of your company financial data at the touch of a button – the bank balance, outstanding invoices and receipts/expense claims awaiting payment. Invoices can be created and edited using the app so the second you finish a job for a client it can be invoiced instantly – wherever you are in the world. You can also access all contact details for clients and suppliers and contact them direct using the app, making payment collection much easier. The app also allows you to reconcile the bank so you are not having to wait until you get back to a computer.
- Dashboard of data, how you like it – if you need to quickly see certain key financial numbers on the dashboard view when you first open Xero, this feature is ideal. In chart of accounts, click on the account and tick the add to dashboard/watchlist box. That’s not all – the whole dashboard can be edited to show anything you want. For example if you regularly monitor gross profit – the graphical representation of this can be added to the dashboard and it will populate this using the last 12 months data. A great way to get more information instantly.
All of these can be achieved with the core Xero business platform (bar Stripe fees) – so no additional costs. However, there are other apps that integrate with Xero that can greatly enhance the quality of data and provide additional enhanced features.
Our recommendation would be to get all of the above in place, and then if you need further usability, get in touch.