A Day in London Xero Training

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A Day in London Xero Training

I recently went down to London with Scott, where he was visiting a few of his clients to help them with Xero, amongst a few other things.

This was a great opportunity for me to see a second round of Xero Training from the clients’ perspective, what common questions were, and if they had progressed from their first sessions.

Complex reporting & plan of action to fully move to Xero

After a hectic race around the central underground line, we arrived at our first appointment 10.15am.

This was a beautiful location, stone archways in the entrance and the main window, and based underneath the underground line.

Processing using Xero had been great, and this was about looking at reporting features and tips on reviewing things in Xero to ensure accuracy of data.

Firstly, a few questions on tracking categories and assigning projects to invoices – this feature allows you to easily track sales, costs & profit on different lines, projects and departments.

This is their first year on Xero, last year was on a different accounting system, so the next point was to ensure that all of the opening balances were correct in Xero now the year end accounts had been signed off.

Next, a review of Xero itself for accuracy of data (draft sales not posted, are the sales awaiting payment correct?, dealing with credit notes and allocating them to any sales invoices awaiting payment, are the purchases awaiting payment correct?, queries with purchase invoices not yet entered in Xero, reconciliation of bank).

Then, being the sounding board for any questions or issues that they had.  For example, client was downloading sales invoices from Xero, and then opening up their email app to attach the sales invoice with their T&Cs document.  You can attach your T&Cs documents to sales invoices in Xero and they’ll get emailed out with the sales invoice itself when you press the “email” button.  Just listening out for pain points we were able to slash 10 minutes off the process each time!  And, by sending out of Xero, it marks it as being sent.

The client had a list of to-dos and edits to go through before we schedule our next visit to help them with stage 3 of implementing Xero with expense claims.

Client loving Xero, just one question that sits with the UK banks – Client: “Why can’t you tell Xero that something has been paid, and our bank just pays it without us having to login there too?”  Us: “You can’t in the UK, but you could do if you were operating on the other side of the world!”.  A real time saving function that you can’t yet do in the UK.  Come on UK banks, get with the times please!

Bank feed issues

We arrived at our second appointment at 1.30pm.

Another stunning location with beautiful meeting room, where we could all turn on our chromebooks and throw images up on the smart TV – which allowed lots of interactive collaborative working!

Our client had been struggling with their bank feeds, and with multiple businesses on Xero each with their own banks, this was proving a challenge.

My knowledge of bank feeds is that they’re great when they’re up and running, but some can still be extremely cumbersome to get there.  This issue lies at the doors of some of the UK banks.  Metro bank feed is quite a straightforward process to setup onscreen once you’ve logged into your online banking – shame that some banks are still a print/pen/sign/email job.  Client says this isn’t very good and it’s long winded in this day and age (we couldn’t agree more!).  Yodlee is a middleman that can be used when the direct bank feed isn’t yet available.

Once bank feeds are setup, we need to login to online banking & export a CSV up to the day before the feeds are live.  And then we need to check that there aren’t any duplicates or missing lines if there are any differences.

The bank reconciliation statement is a valuable report to check if the bank statement balance in Xero doesn’t match the actual bank balance, as it shows up where the differences are.

This session is about troubleshooting issues that the client is having, mainly surrounding the bank feeds, and ensuring that the banks are reconciled and balance to the statements.  We also go over a few training points from last time.

Bank feeds is 1 of the 3 main areas of Xero that most businesses use, so it’s important to get this up and running correctly, with auto feeds, and no errors!  (the other 2 are sales & purchases/expenses)

Once bank feeds are up & running, then you’re cooking with gas!  During this work, there’s a large element of needing to dig into the bank transactions in Xero, needing to know how to create a CSV from your online banking, knowing how to load it up to Xero with the columns it asks for – so a knowledge of doing these sorts of things will make this easier, although I needed help when setting it up for one of my own businesses!  It’s something that I’d recommend you ask us to go through with you, even if it’s over the phone and we login together, because once set up & done, everything else to do with “reconciling the bank” will be a very nice piece of cake!

In summary

After a few more appointments, a few coffees and a few beers, we finally get back on the 7.55pm train to Chesterfield – it’s very cold and we’re very tired!

Different businesses have so many different requirements and reporting needs.  What differences/underpayments can be written off?  Are there queries on purchase invoices & payments?  How do we capture/record/pay expense claims?  Who are the stakeholders & interested parties in the results that Xero produces?  Who in the business does what?  Do all customers and suppliers have the same terms and due dates, or do they need setting up for each one?All of these have a massive impact on transitioning everything to Xero in the early days, but will reap huge dividends later down the line when nearly everything can be done so much quicker and with considerably less hassle.

Having a plan of regular check-ins is vital.  Depending on how much stuff and functionality you need to move from current system to Xero, this could range from (top end) a series of planned training sessions over a 3-6 month period (or longer if there’s a lot), to (lower end) an hour or so over the phone when the VAT quarter has ended.

Closing comment

Xero really does help all businesses regardless of size or complexity! To find out how Xero can help your business contact us today.

Hayley Bradshaw
hayley@progressionaccountancy.co.uk

Co-Founder & Director of Progression Accountancy - Xero Advocate, helping service & construction businesses to use Xero better

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