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Scratching those feature itches

The Xero community has spoken and we’ve listened. We’re pleased to have ticked off 16 of the most requested new features and updates today based on feedback in the threads in Xero Community.

Of those requests, one has a certain … history.

Since I started at Xero over 3 years ago, it’s been the itch in the middle of my back – the one I can’t ignore but is difficult to reach. The issue I’m talking about is the much discussed Unreconcile button on the Account Transactions screen. A seemingly simple problem to solve but one that spawned many a whiteboard session to find a solution we could all agree on.

One of our team caught up with accounting partner Martin Dowse at last month’s Xerocon in Auckland, New Zealand, to discuss Martin’s thoughts on the subject. Martin has been particularly persistent and inventive in trying to get this issue sorted – his latest attempts include vote rigging and smuggling his son into our development team!

I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that amongst the features and updates we’re releasing today we’ve done more than just update Martin’s pet feature request.

For our UK customers you can now file your VAT returns directly with the HMRC.

Australian users will notice we’ve re-named the zero rate tax names to make it clearer how they are treated on your BAS returns. You don’t need to do anything with your existing transactions – we’ve taken care of all that.

There are also a number of smaller updates in this release that have been driven by user feedback and requests through the Community (thanks Sniper Team!). Remember, casting your vote does make a difference!

For more information on the new features and updates, read our full release notes.

We’re also nearing the end of few larger pieces of work, like controlling who emails are sent from, adding further payment options to online invoices and purchase orders. Keep an eye out for these landing soon.

 

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29 comments

Campbell
25 March 2013 #

How do I remove the “NZD Equivalent Conversion” box on my invoices? My overseas customers have no need to see this and it is very confusing.
Must be a simple setting somewhere I am overlooking.

Andrew Tokeley
25 March 2013 #

@Campbell – if you’re using DOCX you can easily remove the FX summary table from your template. However, if you’re using standard invoices, we don’t currently provide an option to switch it off. In some jurisdictions this information is required (e.g. in the UK) so we decided to include the additional details across the board.

We’ll certainly monitor feedback on this and if needed will consider adding an option for standard invoices to suppress the additional FX info. Thanks for the comment.

Kathy-maree
25 March 2013 #

When I was looking to remove a few items from my printed invoice we found it through the template creation. I hope I am correct Xero, but I found on the template the wording I needed and removed that wording, if it was a hole column I removed the cell information and reduced the column. You need to be careful if you remove the column as it can affect your whole invoice template. Xero help explains it but it can get a little bit confusing. Hope this helps.

Campbell
25 March 2013 #

@Andrew thanks for the update. Very painful that this isn’t an option at this stage. I have 5 invoice styles which are all based off the standard so now making these all manually in DOCX is simply a waste of my time. An On/Off option would have been sensible from the outset. Forcing changes on us like this is very frustrating and time wasting.

James
25 March 2013 #

Great features thanks. Agree with Campbell on the invoice change though. I’m all for constant improvements to the product but I think any change that has a touch point with our customers needs to be controlled by us.

Karen
25 March 2013 #

Love you work guys! What a great story. Who would’ve thought such a series of converging realities could leave lead to the fabulous fixing-up of that pain in the a*se un-reconcile process. Thanks for the ‘redo’ idea. Brilliant!

Craig
25 March 2013 #

From this blog, i gather the only way to get Xero to listen to the ‘real’ community requests is to gather myself 100 homeless people, offer them free tea and coffee at my office and in exchange get them to sign up for trial accounts and abuse the voting system in the community, and during that process i might find myself one or two PHD types who have fallen on hard times that Xero might wish to employee and force the situation from the inside.

While i do like this terrorist style of call to action. If you could just get your guys to stop playing with buttons and get all your ‘brains’ onto the 100% missing core functionality of accounting package – aka, inventory and purchase orders which was only started a few weeks ago after 13 months and 100′s of peoples requested it would be appreciated.

We the ‘community’ would like a 100% agreed upon and confirmed date of release for P/O’s and basic inventory control which you have stated above ‘Will be landing soon’.

https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/52941/

Thanks in advance for a definitive response.

Kind Regards
Craig

Nigel
25 March 2013 #

Andrew, This seems like some good things – thank you. I see some of your customers shouting loudly for inventory and purchase orders – as they have been since I signed up two years ago – and just wanted to say that for many small businesses like mine they are unnecessary. Obviously you are never going to please everybody all of the time etc.!

My priority would be better reporting for independent businesses – ie not time savers for accountants (is that what report packs are?), but things that give me answers in one place without needing to combine info from various reports, or export to Excel. Two recent examples are:

- I had to export to Excel to find a discrepancy in the wages control account as there is no running total column (which there is in QuickBooks)

- I had to create a statement of account with an occasional staff member last week. She is on the payroll, has submitted some expenses claims as purchase invoices (where only some line items included VAT), and some travel was reimbursed as a spend money transaction. And she’s not VAT registered, and some of the reports deduct VAT, and some don’t! This was a surprisingly difficult task – please can you make it one click!

Thanks for the progress this weekend.

Andrew Tokeley
25 March 2013 #

@Craig – as @Nigel’s follow up comments highlight, what’s important to one group of users isn’t always a priority to others. Such is life when you’re creating a product used by such a wide variety of users. We try as hard as we can to balance these varied demands but I appreciate that when it’s your feature that’s still not released, it’s frustrating.

We are working on purchase orders (https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/52941/) but as I’ve said many times on Community and elsewhere it’s simply not possible to provide you with any fixed dates. There are simply too many variables that affect our ability to predict when a feature will be released. I could guess a date but I’d almost definitely be wrong and you’d be even more annoyed by constantly missed arbitrary deadlines. The best I can do is to let you know when we are actively working on a feature – while this doesn’t guarantee a release date it does let you know we’re listening and have made a level of commitment to deliver the feature as soon as possible.

It will happen!

Jeremy LaBrooy
25 March 2013 #

RE: Unreconcile button video – Great video Xero – production value and editing really well done and what a great story from your client and his son! Good form allround. Ever since I started with Xero, I’ve become much more excited about “the books” – Not an easy feat, so thanks again Xero. World class stuff!

Ken
25 March 2013 #

Another old request is to create a separate role for someone who can create ad view invoices but not reports. Some new roles were introduced today. But why not create a standard role which does not allow the user to generate and view reports?

Celiwe Villiers
26 March 2013 #

You’ve created a new problem. You have users that don’t use bank feeds and you have now created a huge nuisance for those of us that reconcile manually. Also batch payments are gone and other users are reporting that enabling the reconcile button only works on the first page of transactions.

You guys are admitting that the system was gamed, did you try to get an accurate representation of what the users really wanted?

I’m not quite sure how unreconcile could be taken to mean delete. I think the problem was with the users not the software.

Looking forward to being able to get back to working efficiently soon.

Kyle
26 March 2013 #

I seem to remember, somewhere, on some forum, in the last quarter of last year someone at Xero said you guys were working on a proper solution to reverse charge and we could expect it in 2013.

Is that still true? Being able to submit VAT returns from Xero isn’t very useful when Xero lacks the features to easily generate the correct numbers.

Obviously I can’t go through the filing process right now, but does it at least offer you the opportunity to adjust the numbers before they’re submitted? I don’t see anything suggesting it does in the help docs.

Andrew Tokeley
26 March 2013 #

@Celiwe – we will be releasing an update to ensure enabling the Mark as Reconciled option is remembered when paging through transactions, thanks for raising this.

My tongue was firmly in my cheek when referring to Martin gaming the system – his campaign reflected a real desire for change that was also apparent in our own customer care records and speaking with lots of end users who kept getting confused.

I haven’t heard anything about batch payments disappearing – certainly shouldn’t have and it appears to be working from what I can see. Please contact support@xero.com so they can have a closer look.

Pradipta Nayak
26 March 2013 #

We appreciate with your hard work for better service to bring flexibility in Accounting, however there certain problem we’re facing in Expense Claim as: we can not edit the receipt after approving it, in some case though it needed. as example if Co. has decided to change its Account policy within a year as (changing Account Head ) , it can change in all cases but we can’t change in EC receipts only. So if you can explain me the same it’ll be great to mail you.

Allan
27 March 2013 #

What happened to the ability to delete transactions directly from the reconciliation screen? I used to be able to click a small x in the top left of the statement line to delete the transaction. The delete function is nowhere to be found!?!?

Todd
27 March 2013 #

What is wrong with you people? You took features away and muddled them into a bizarre “Remove & Redo” button button because SOME PEOPLE ARE STUPID? What about the rest of us who know what we’re doing but now have to work slower and dumber?

Nour Khalifeh
27 March 2013 #

At the moment, we can only send remittance advice via xero for single transactions, will you be adding an option to send remittance for multiple items as it would save a lot of time than copying and pasting.

Wendy
27 March 2013 #

@Andrew Glad to know that you recognized the need for remembering the Mark as Reconciled feature needs to be left on. I reconciled several companies yesterday for a client with no bank feeds and had to turn this feature on several times when moving between screens.
I also used the Remove & Redo for another client who likes to Spend Money when they should be Finding and Matching. It works very well. Could you maybe put a “Bomb/Warning Message” in the program so that when they try and do a Spend Money for Pay Runs or Wages the keyboard sends an electrical shock to their brains:)

We really like the Standard User being able to do Cash Coding. Excellent feature.
Keep up the good work.

Looking forward to seeing what you’re doing with Purchase Orders.

Peter
27 March 2013 #

Agree with Campbell, the foreign currency invoices are now ugly and confusing for our customers. Please give us the option to remove this box if we want to on the standard invoice.

Andrew Tokeley
27 March 2013 #

Hi – we’ve just rolled an update that means Xero will remember whether you’ve turned on the Mark as Reconciled option. Set it once and forget it ever disappeared!

Still working on a few other tweaks based on your feedback here, including a confirmation pop-up when the Remove & Redo option is clicked – stay tuned.

Jasvir Dhaliwal
2 April 2013 #

Hi I just started my bookkeeping business, but not registered BAS agent. Can I be partner with xero.. My clients are happy to start with xero……I sent an email, but did not get any response…….any response would be appreciated. Thanks

Andrew Tokeley
3 April 2013 #

@Jasvir – we partner with bookkeepers all over the world. Sorry you didn’t get a response but head over to http://www.xero.com/partners/signup, complete the form, and we’ll be in touch with the next steps.

Jasvir Dhaliwal
3 April 2013 #

Thanks. It is solved now…Thanks for your prompt action.

Charles
3 April 2013 #

@Andrew Is there an actual proper change log on the release notes? I notice changes that aren’t listed there. For example, in that big release, I’ve noticed the drop down menus in Xero now have larger spacing (presumably to be tablet focused), but there’s no mention of that change in the release notes. You’ve also above pointed out another release since the big one to fix up the disappearing mark as reconciled button. Most other large software firms provide a very detailed change log for each software update, but I can never find the Xero one?
Thanks!

Andrew Tokeley
4 April 2013 #

Hi @Charles, all our major releases are accompanied with release notes of the headline features (http://help.xero.com/#AllChanges) however, we don’t typically include smaller updates or visual updates. But agree it’s probably worth considering including a few more of these small, but material changes, in the future. Cheers.

Xander van der Merwe
30 April 2013 #

Have just discovered the “NZD Equivalent Conversion” label on foreign currency invoices – I cannot comprehend how you could have added this feature without an option to switch it off. My overseas customers have no need for this and it is totally confusing to them. I simply cannot send out overseas invoices with that label inserted and would have to create manual copies of invoices (or figure out how to do the docx invoices) for overseas customers. Common guys!

And all this while we still have no Quote feature! Not a happy customer at the moment.

Andrew Tokeley
30 April 2013 #

@Xander – hi, we are going to release more options to control how FX invoices are represented shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience and yes, in the meantime, the best option is to use a modified DOCX templates (you can simply remove this FX summary from our default template – please contact, support@xero.com if you need a hand)

Max
8 December 2013 #

Hi guys, I have looked everywhere and tried everything, but cant find a solution to detailed remittances! Our business pays suppliers monthly and we enter all the transactions in full detail from our inventory list, create the remittances, pay them and email them, but the client gets a PDF with 1 line saying ‘paid’. Why can’t they have the detail? Am I doing it wrong?

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