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Budgets and checks

It’s release day at Xero and we’re shipping some big features.

Budgets

When it comes to budgeting, Microsoft Excel is the best tool in the world. You can create all kinds of customised reports and graphs, run ad-hoc queries, and even do some fairly complex forecasting. Now you can export your  actuals from Xero, do some heavy lifting in Excel, then import the results as your budget line.

We looked at developing smart budgeting tools ourselves. However, Excel really is best-of-breed, so it made more sense to connect the two.

We teamed up with Deloitte to test this feature with Microsoft Office 365. Check out the video to see how the data round trips from Xero, to Excel, and back again.

Checks

If you’re a US customer, you can now print professionally styled checks right from within Xero. Xero manages check numbering, voiding, deleting, styling and a full audit history of any changes – perfect for managing bill payments. You can see it in action here:

And yes, we will be rolling this out to other regions as soon as we can. We’ve had lots of interest from Canada especially. In the meantime everyone can have a play with the new functionality by changing their Xero Demo organisation to the US. It would be good to hear what sort of check stock you’d like us to support next or whether the US voucher format in this release does the trick. Jump in and have your say on the Xero Community.

Tracking and tax from bank reconciliation

Your core data processing just got faster. We’ve added a feature that lets you add tracking or change the tax rate on a transaction from the main bank reconciliation screen – no need to drill in!

We’ve also released:

  • A new centered look
  • New partner bank feed from NZ Home Loans
  • New report codes to support additional reporting for non-company entities (in New Zealand for now)

For all the details, head on over to the release notes.

 

Read more about Business

 

26 comments

Justin
14 May 2012 #

Loving the new features, well done! The centred layout is cool!

Excited for the ability to Import budgets.

Tracking and tax from bank reconciliation is great as well. If I can add to the wish list the ability to add to an existing bank rule from the bank reconciliation :)

Well done again guys, continuing to raise the bar!

Guy Pearson
14 May 2012 #

Hi Tokes,

I second Justin’s comments. Some great releases in this features, a very WELL DONE to you and the team.

We have been waiting for the budget import since it was announced last #xerocon in Australia.

- You’ve tested this with Office 365, which, is great. Does it also work with Google Spreadsheets inside Google Apps?

Our US counterparts and clients will be over the moon on the news of checks as well! Is this available in other versions (AU and global) for more traditional clients?

Can’t wait for the Aussie report packs as per the release notes, be great if before 30 June.

Excited to see the next level and “video” of Stormin Walker getting zapped whilst Xero was down. Provided some good ole fashion slap stick entertainment.

Andrew Tokeley
14 May 2012 #

@Guy – thanks for the comments.

You can certainly edit the exported budget in Google Docs (it’s simply a CSV file) – to import you’ll just need to save locally and browse.

Availability of checks in other regions depends on the formats we need to support – working on this now and looking for feedback (see link in post).

And we’re making good progress on the Aussie report packs – doing everything we can to get it ready in time!

Earl Rudolfo
14 May 2012 #

Just love the new features in Xero. Especially budget export and import and check register and printing support (for US users only at the moment but stay tuned). I’m assuming the “stay tuned” means that Canada is next for the check printing feature, eh?
Great work, Xero Team.

Chris
14 May 2012 #

Some good changes here – I’m very pleased with this update. Particularly happy with the budgets (finally!) and being able to add tracking and tax info from the bank rec.

Cecile Boulter
14 May 2012 #

I am so happy it is Monday. Great new features, it is like Xmas. Only Xero can do that. Great work

Stephen
14 May 2012 #

Budgeting improvements look good – but requires Office365 to use all features?

Andrew
14 May 2012 #

I disagree with the other comments. It must be a tough decision what to prioritise, but how remit advice’s continues to be given a lower priority for an accounting software is bizarre.

While Xero lead the charge for the new cloud based options (and rid us from the horrible MYOB), Im afraid they have now been overtaken by other options.

Andrew Tokeley
14 May 2012 #

@Stephen – you don’t need Office365 to use the import/export feature. You can use any tool that knows how to manipulate CSV files.

Andrew Tokeley
14 May 2012 #

@Andrew – not long to wait, remittance is being put into our testing environment as we speak…

Peter McCarroll
14 May 2012 #

Great work on the changes to the bank rec – was just training a client on this on Thursday and getting frustrated!

Stephen
14 May 2012 #

@ Andrew – thanks, but are the killer features being the easy update and fancy looking graphs an Office365 exclusive?

Andrew Tokeley
14 May 2012 #

@Stephen – yeah, the video shows an example of what is possible once you’ve exported your budget to CSV and played with it in Office365 – pretty sweet features in there. Older versions of Excel, and other applications like Numbers or Google spreadsheets could do similar things.

David
14 May 2012 #

Looks fantastic! We love and believe in both Xero & Office 365. If anyone out there is looking into Office 365 for their business, we at iT360 are taking businesses there now! Get in touch – David.Wilson@iT360.co.nz

Stephanie
14 May 2012 #

Changing tax rate and tracking is on the money, good idea, export to csv great for importing into payroll or just emailing. However spreadsheets – no way,who woudl want this? excel or google or whatever I do not want to go back to the 90′s I would like to my forecasting to be part of my system. The steps taken to get to the bottom line are equally as important as the bottom line – how do you audit crazy manipulations done on a spreadsheet floating around somewhere. Addition subtraction and division are simple things I want – Just assign a different month or financial year. You only need one budget you can copy and change year to year. Why should I have to invest in excel to get these. Xero is fantastic , I just didnt see it having to ever rely on something like excel , just because there is a new excel version. The package is very impressive and easy to to pick up , keep up the good work and I look forward to the day when I never have to export for anything.

Darren
14 May 2012 #

The budget link to Excel seems like a good idea, but I have no clue how to get this working. The transition from Xero to Excel Live (around 34 seconds in your video demo) is a complete mystery to me. And there seems to be nothing in the help for this feature. Please explain to me how to do this.

Tim
14 May 2012 #

With the latest update my logo on invoices has been shrunk down to around half the original size. I tried re-uploading my logos, but they still shrink to a tiny size. Previously we could have logos up to 400px wide and when I go to upload a logo image it still says that I can have logos this size.
Is this a new bug that has been introduced with the latest update? I guess it is not possible to go back to the older version.

Stephen
14 May 2012 #

@ Andrew – so what are the chances of Xero releasing the spreadsheet contained in the YouTube video for partners who aren’t using Office365?

Gayle Buchanan
14 May 2012 #

still producing the most fab updates in the world .. pure stars you are IT team – thank you so much

Heath Nankivell
14 May 2012 #

Great new features – keep them coming please.

I understand why you’ve left advanced budgeting as an import/export to Excel thing. Xero is accounting software at its core. Would be a pretty big undertaking to include fully feature rich budgeting.

So how about a copy of that spreadsheet finding it’s way to the partner resources portal? Pretty please!

Michael
14 May 2012 #

You have audacity to call it changes to budgeting tool! You didn’t even bother to make it work for years and now you call it big feature by selling Microsoft 365 product? Shame on you that is all.

Fred Blauer
15 May 2012 #

It would be nice if Canadian users could also print cheques.

Andrew Tokeley
15 May 2012 #

@Tim – yes, we’re getting a fix out for this as soon as possible. Appears to only be a problem if we need to resize the logo you have uploaded. Apologies for the inconvenience.

@Stephen, @Heath – sorry guys, we’re not in a position to share the Deloitte’s Office365 spreadsheet example.

@Darren – the Office365 video is just an example of how you could use the new CSV import/export

Andrew Tokeley
16 May 2012 #

@Michael – you’re obviously passionate about this feature, would love to hear what things you’d like to see. We’re currently working on supporting multiple budgets (with tracking), next on our list is supporting balance sheet items. For more advance cashflow forecasting functionality we have some partners making use of our API – a good example of this is http://www.spotlightforecasting.com/.

Budgeting importing – yay! Looking forward to hearing that release date. Our team are just wrapping up delivering Year End accounts to clients and accountants now, and the next step sure to follow is the re setting of budgets. Hope we can save time on that manual data entry sooner rather than later…. And love the new look, class and functionality – just call me a Xero lover.

Cecile Boulter
24 May 2012 #

Making a big difference is the tracking from the bank reconcilation. LOVING IT!!!

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