More on the Xero Roadshow | Charlotte Xero Accountant

November 4, 2013

Last week, I told you about the Xero Roadshow that Donna and I attended.  As promised, I wanted to let you know some of the cool functionality that Xero has built into it.  The list of impressive features in Xero is extensive, but some of the most impressive features of the software include:

Automatic Bank Feeds.  When I say automatic bank feeds, I mean automatic.   The software connects to your bank and pulls in and records all of the transactions.  Using its Bank Rules feature, it is intuitive to know who the vendor is, even if your bank does a poor job in their description field.  For example, our bank loves to throw a good deal of useless data to the beginning or end of the vendor name on the description.  With Xero, you can set up the rules to figure out who these vendors are for you.  No more will users have to code each vendor one at a time.

Bank Rules.  (See above…but read on)  Not only will the bank rules mentioned above figure out who these vendors are, it will allow users to code transactions based specific criteria.  For example, lets say Joe the Landscaper goes to Exxon a good deal.   When he buys gas, the bill is substantially more than when he buys a Big Gulp and a hot dog.    Joe’s accountant can setup a rule that automatically codes the transaction based on the amount of that transaction (or a number of other criteria).

Attaching Files.    I am always amazed when I hear accountants say they are moving toward paperless, primarily because our office has been paperless since 1999.    The ability to attach files directly to accounting records is like paperless on steroids.  Now, not only do I have copy of the backup for transactions scanned and saved electronically, but it is in the precise location I will already be at when I need to see it.   If I pull up the transaction for an invoice from a vendor and want to see the backup, it is right there with one click of a mouse.  I don’t have to open another program or folder to go find where it is stored!  In addition, Xero also allows you to store files directly to a General Ledger account.  How is this useful?  If you have a schedule that breaks down all of the items in a Prepaid Assets account, you can attach it directly to that account as your backup for the totals.  This is also useful for storing Bank Statements!

While attaching files is an awesome addition compared to what most competing software allows, there are two additions I would love to see.  First, is the ability to email files directly into the system like you can for or Evernote.   This is actually in development and should be available in the near future. The other feature I would like to see is the ability to scan a piece of paper directly within the software.  Right now, it will take any kind of file, but it has to be a file on your computer.  So, you have to scan the document onto your desktop, and then upload it to the software.  The scan feature would eliminate this step.

Add-Ons.  There are over 300 add-on partners that connect straight into Xero’s API that allow you to customize the software to the needs of your business.  These range from common applications such as to inventory management applications to point of sale applications to CRM…the list is expansive and continues to grow.

Our Charlotte CPA firm is currently a Partner with Xero and our staff have each passed the training, education and testing to become Xero Certified Advisors.  We look forward to helping you manage your Bookkeeping without the Pain(TM)!