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Payroll in Xero – July Update

Today we’ve released the latest changes to payroll and we also wanted to take this opportunity to share with you whats coming soon as we continue to see increased usage of payroll in Xero.

US Payroll

You’ll notice an updated Payroll Overview design that shows what needs your attention – time off requests or timesheets that need approval or pay runs that need paying. We’re also showing Taxes & Filing obligations to ensure you file and pay your payroll taxes on time. Overdue obligations are always shown as well as upcoming filings or payments. The overview header bar provides you with quick links to common tasks like adding a new employee and other useful information around your payroll.

US Payroll Overview

We’ve also updated the Employees list, New Employee and Employee Details screens to improve the flow and make them easier to navigate. The employee header now provides  Continue reading ›

 

A proven need for mobile optimization

People are moving from desktop to smartphones and tablets, and they expect the businesses they use to be moving right along with them.

This means it’s a requirement for small business, and not just the large corporations, to invest in mobile optimization for their websites.

A click is not the same as a tap, and a mobile screen is a much smaller canvas to operate on than a monitor. Mobile users are even more demanding of a simple, beautiful experience, so it’s not as simple as shrinking your site down to fit on a phone.

mobile optimization

While price, convenience and choice are all motivational factors for consumers buying online, you can be sure if you’re not capturing mobile traffic, you’re missing out on sales. In fact, having a mobile ready site could give you the edge over competitors who haven’t yet embraced he trend. Continue reading ›

 

The next evolution in QuickBooks conversions

Around here, we want to make it super easy for you to move your existing clients to Xero. Why? Because we want you to leverage a beautiful accounting platform built for the cloud. Practitioners who are tired of forced migrations, sloppy upgrades and a confusing interface are now only a few clicks away from leaving it all behind for Xero.

“The conversion tool is awesome. We can convert a client’s existing file and bring over the year-to-date work and keep them operational with minimal time delay and no duplicate data entry.” – Mariah C. Venus, Director of Operations, BookKeeping Express.

With the release yesterday, Xero US Partners can submit a QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Mac or Online data file for automatic conversion.

Anytime, anywhere: It’s that easy

Feel free to convert a file anytime, anywhere. Simply follow these steps:

From within My Xero:

  • Select “Add organization.” You will be given the option to upload a file. When you select QuickBooks from where you are converting from, you will be able to choose your file for conversion.
  • Upload the file. We will email you an invite to view your newly, fully-populated Xero organization.

Continue reading ›

 

A new release: Little things make a big difference

Hey, I’m Matt. Following on from Penny’s recent post about a release, I’m the other Product Owner in our ever-growing Sniper team at Xero. Some of you may know me from my previous roles at Xero with implementation and sales. Naturally, it’s a great move for me to change things up after six years and get one step closer to our product’s engine room. It’s also great to be directly contributing to product decisions after having spent so much time at the coalface working with Xero inside small businesses and accounting firms.

As many of you know, the Sniper team are tasked with the development of a range of smaller (and increasingly larger!) features to make life a little easier for all our customers.

I wanted to give you a bit of background on some of the highlights from today’s release.

  • Edit standard layout for remittance advice – when sending remittance advices to suppliers, you now have the option of including branding, such as a logo, and displaying an alternate address.
  • Bank reconciliation improvements – Xero has always helped you reconcile transactions by automatically suggesting coding options – this is great when you code similar transactions the same way every time. However, in some cases, this isn’t necessarily what you want, so you can now control this behaviour by turning off (or on) the ‘Suggest previous entries’ option for your organisation by bank account.

Bank reconciliation in Xero Continue reading ›

 

Xero welcomes Single Business Number for all NZ businesses

The Hon. Steven Joyce, nbnMinister for Economic Development and The Hon. Craig Foss, Minister of Commerce have today announced a Single Business Number for all businesses by 2017.

The Government has committed to introduce legislation early in the next term that will specify the deadline and extend the ability to allocate the NZ Business Number to all NZ businesses.

Xero will invest to bring the benefits of a Single Business Number to our (already) over 100,000 small business customers in New Zealand. We’re excited by the opportunity for the private sector to work alongside Government to reduce the costs of compliance for small businesses and create entirely new services over the business number that will streamline business.

We’re super proud to have been behind this since the beginning. This next step builds on what we talked about at the launch of the Single Business Number and at Xerocon earlier this year, so we really welcome today’s announcement by the government to broaden and include all businesses, such as sole traders.

Businesses will only have to provide their information once, rather than different information to a host of government agencies – reducing costs and generally making it easier for businesses interacting with government agencies. It’s also very exciting that there is a view to link with similar initiatives in Australia.

Today’s announcement reflects a new wave of thinking that Xero is right behind – working with Government to make life easier for small businesses and give them every opportunity to prosper.

 

New direct feeds from Silicon Valley Bank

We’re pleased to announce our second direct Silicon Valley Bankbank feed in the United States from our friends at Silicon Valley Bank.  Silicon Valley Bank is well known to the San Francisco start-up industry, and has been a popular choice for California’s leading technology businesses and investment community.

By linking Xero directly with SVB’s online banking platform, you get reliable overnight delivery of the prior day’s bank transactions directly within Xero.  As a result, you can make smart business decisions by getting an accurate and comprehensive view of your finances, without the hassle and costly mistakes caused by out-of-date cash flow balances.

Silicon Valley Bank has also recently launched operations in the United Kingdom, and we’re pleased to report that UK customers will also soon be able to apply for bank feeds with Silicon Valley Bank, giving us our second direct feed in the UK.

Continue reading ›

 

Understanding your customers: Introducing Smart Lists, part two

I hope everyone read Craig Walker’s original blog entry: Introducing Smart Lists. This feature broke new ground for us for several reasons. It’s one of the first major Xero features that’s almost wholly dedicated to proactive business management rather than straight accounting. It’s more about accessing and analyzing data than it is creating data entry. Lastly, because it’s not contributing to the general ledger, there’s not a “right or wrong” way to use it. So, I’ve put together this quick demonstration to help kick-start your creative juices:

Now I’ll admit, there was one thing that was always on my mind: If a feature doesn’t drive a quicker end-of-period close or faster tax preparation, will our accounting and bookkeeping partners still get excited about it? Well, as a matter of fact, they should! Even if they don’t plan to use the magic of Smart Lists themselves, there are still great benefits to educate their clients. Let me explain:

Continue reading ›

 

Free up your cash with BlueVine

BlueVine provides small business with advances on outstanding invoices. BlueVine – Xero add-onCredit lines can range from $5,000 to $50,000 and deposits can appear in your bank account within 24 hours. BlueVine helps small businesses when they need working capital. Businesses often need additional capital to pay expenses, take on additional work, or cover payroll. One of the big challenges businesses face is long customer payment cycles and irregular cash flow. It’s a good option for those who don’t easily qualify for a bank loan.

Who is BlueVine for?

Continue reading ›

 

PGG Wrightson feed goes live

PGG Wrightson and Xero accounting softwareFarming in the Cloud has taken another step forward today with phase one of our innovation partnership with PGG Wrightson. PGG Wrightson account holders can now sign up to have their transactions seamlessly fed directly through to Xero. To set this up just follow the instructions at the Xero Business Help Centre.

Mark Dewdney, Chief Executive Officer, PGG Wrightson, said: “We’re delighted to now have this feed up and running – Xero’s innovation is receiving international acclaim but we think that, back here in New Zealand, Farming in the Cloud is set to be a game-changer for farmers and the rural sector in terms of creating greater integration and more collaborative services.

“Farming can be a tough business and we are looking forward to using the power of the cloud to create more value for our customers and help them in managing their accounts and businesses more efficiently.”

Partnerships are now established with all the other major rural suppliers:

PGG Wrightson was the first partner to come on board and we finalized our agreement with them earlier this year. Xero provides real-time data for farmers and helps automate manual transaction entry through direct bank feeds, and rural supplier feeds. Don’t forget to check out the Receipt Bank rural solution which helps automate even more of your receipts and expenses entry into Xero.

Check out the latest Farming in the Cloud update. For more information email farming@xero.com.

 

 

Xero Touch 2.1 for Android

Last Tuesday we published the first major update to Xero Touch for Android since the native app was first released back in February. Read on for a summary of what was in the release, the history of Xero Touch on Android, and the implications of OS fragmentation for support.

The major item you’re likely to notice is initial support for Files for Xero. Previously you could only attach a single picture to a receipt, but now you can attach as many as you like. This creates a foundation for our next two Android features: attaching files to invoices, and accessing the main files inbox.

Xero Touch screenshot

Under the covers, we’ve also refactored segments of the app (particularly authorisation) into Android library projects. Xero Touch isn’t going to be the only mobile app we release, and this refactoring means that a lot more code can be reused for new apps. A more modular codebase also makes it easier for us to develop and test new features.

That’ll come in handy as we move to a more regular release cycle. Already the native version of Xero Touch has seen more regular releases, every five weeks on average (as opposed to five months for HTML5). Our customers also seem to like it a lot more. The HTML5 implementation at one point dropped down to a 2.4 star rating, but the current combined rating for the native releases is over 4 stars! It’s unfortunate that the ratings assigned to the old version of the app persist; this is why the overall app rating is only 3.55.

Version Released Ratings Stars Average
HTML5 1.x 1 Oct ’12 228 700 3.07
Native 2.0.3+ 19 Feb ’14 260 1079 4.15

 

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