On Monday, Xero was named the “top choice” in the list of “favorite online-based business accounting apps” by both PCWorld and Macworld. We’re all about being online and accessible from a range of devices, so getting recognized as a favorite by both PCWorld and Macworld was great validation of that accessibility.
The list also highlighted some features of Xero that we continue to hone through our ecosystem of add-on partners. Xero doesn’t have built-in time tracking, as the article notes, but we do have partnerships with over two dozen third-party vendors in this space. Why? We recognize that if we attempt to do everything ourselves than our core competences will suffer, so we look to our partners to extend Xero. These relationships allow our customers to build a customizable total business solution around Xero.
The articles had good things to say about our bank reconciliation process, dashboard, QuickBooks conversion service, reporting and iOS app (we just recently re-launched our Android app as well). Each one of these features has been a high priority for our product teams and we are continually tweaking and refining these functions in order to make Xero as “beautiful” as possible. Being recognized for all these things, some little and some large, is a welcomed sign that we are on the right track.
In today’s world, your accounting platform must be simple yet elegant, powerful yet right-sized, focused yet best of breed. Xero encompasses all of those aspects utilizing world-class design, modern workflows with no data entry, depth in accounting and accountant tools, and delivered on a true platform with a vibrant ecosystem of applications available (over 300). Most importantly, we have always believed that our software should be beautiful and function flawlessly, regardless of your operating system preference.
As a person who has met with author Jeff Battersby and others from Macworld and PCWorld for almost a decade to showcase different accounting products, it is a great honor to win the “top choice” award.
While we appreciate the kind words from both PCWorld and Macworld, we are continuing to focus on improving Xero – day in and day out. We are always incorporating feedback from our customers and thinking of ways to do things differently. From myself and the rest of the Xero team, thank you to all our customers (both small businesses and accounting professionals across the globe) for your feedback and support to help us build the best online accounting platform on the planet.
In internet years, 2009 is ancient history. Household names like Instagram and Pinterest were yet to be founded, and cloud trailblazers like Xero were boasting rapid customer signups, finishing the 2009 financial year at 6,000 customers – less than 3% of our current customer base.
It took a little bit of guts in those early days for Nik Wakelin, Jared Armstrong and James Nisbet to go off and create one of the first true standalone Xero Add-ons, looking to solve the pain point they experienced as contract software developers – tracking time in Xero.
The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) was formally launched today by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Commerce Minister Craig Foss at Xero in Wellington.
Left to right: Colin MacDonald, Chief Executive, Secretary for Internal Affairs, Secretary for Local Government and Government Chief Information Officer, Minister Hon Craig Foss, Minister Hon Steven Joyce, me and David Smol, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
All businesses, government agencies and commercial entities in New Zealand will be assigned a unique NZBN, designed to make it simpler for businesses to work with government.
While NZBNs were initially allocated to companies in December 2013, the Government today announced the month-long consultation on options for extending coverage to other businesses, including sole traders.
If you’re not a UK user, don’t leave! I’ve listed a couple of other updates at the bottom of the post that may be of interest to you.
For the rest of you, below is a quick overview of what we’ve done (and what’s still to come).
There are three primary features of the EC Sales List:
EC Sales List – the main report itself, including custom validation to ensure the necessary information is present and in the correct format to be submitted to HMRC Online Services.
Audit report – an accompanying report that lists all the transactions that make up the main report.
HMRC export – as well as standard export formats for PDF, Excel and Google Sheets, there is a custom HMRC format that can be easily submitted via the HMRC portal.
At Xerocon, Auckland we were excited to unveil Farming in the Cloud, which will be ready later this year in New Zealand. This connection with our farming partners will deliver real-time, single ledger reporting to farms for the first time – and it’ll be great for our accounting partners with farming clients.
The solution allows farmers and their accountants, banks and rural service companies to work together from the same set of online, real-time data, and will provide one centralised home for accounting and farm management tools.
The launch of US Payroll in December was a huge milestone for Xero, but the launch was just the first of many steps to deliver the ultimate payroll feature – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. There are always bumps in the road, but our team is focused on developing the most important features and delivering the best possible customer experience.
The end of the 2013/14 UK tax year is just around the corner. And that means it’s time to start focusing on completing those year-ends – as well as planning ahead for the new tax year.
We’ve put together a five-point checklist for getting your house in order before the end of March. This ‘best practice’ approach will help you tie up those year-ends and really get the most of out Xero in the coming tax year.
1. Speed up sign-off with your Xero client
If you’re already using Xero, you’ll know all about the advantages of our single ledger. Having instant, mobile access to your client’s financial position really helps when you’re collaborating to sign off their accounts. Take them out for a coffee – after all, with Xero Touch you don’t need to be at the office. Maybe even treat them to a ‘duffin’ (no, we had no idea these existed either!). And if the client can’t meet in person you can always invite them to a Google Hangout or Skype call, making the most of the cloud-based sharing options Xero offers.
What’s important is that you have that an in-depth, open conversation about their current financial position. You can review their transactions, pick up any queries they’ve not resolved and run comparative reports to spot any obvious anomalies.
Tarryn Brent and I were thrilled to share tips for marketing your practice with bookkeepers and accountants at Xerocon New Zealand 2014. We talked about what businesses can do to retain clients, win new clients and convert existing clients to Xero. You don’t have to do everything we recommend, but a little goes a long way to ensure your practice is moving and changing with the times.
Read on, for a summary of what we discussed.
Annual reporting in New Zealand will be simpler and less time consuming for small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) when new reporting legislation takes effect on 1 April 2014.
Under the new legislation, SME’s will no longer need to produce statutory accounts in accordance with External Reporting Board (XRB) standards. Although they will have to produce general purpose accounts for management, the IRD and the bank. Since most SMEs really only prepare end of year financial reports for the tax man, the new legislation will allow them to use tax requirements as their minimum reporting threshold.
You can now easily create invoices in Xero based off billable time tracked against Chrometa. Chrometa is a tool that allows you to capture hours by automatically tracking the time you spend on your computer and smartphone.
Chrometa passively captures time spent performing computer-based and mobile work. Using keyword-based rules, it automatically assigns time to the appropriate project and rounds up to six or 15 minute increment. The end result is more accurate and complete timesheets with the minimum amount of effort on your part.
Who is it for?
Chrometa is for professionals who need a way to capture time spent on multiple projects and accurately invoice their customers.