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Bringing you the most reliable bank feed experience

single-ledger-EDM-1We’re taking another step towards a more reliable bank feed experience – by migrating all RBS/NatWest business accounts to direct feeds.

We launched our first direct bank feed in the UK with HSBC in 2009. None of the other UK banks were ready for direct feeds at this point, so this was a significant step forward for customers using HSBC accounts – having a direct feed into Xero brings a whole raft of efficiencies, so we’ve always planned to bring more direct feeds into the mix when it became possible to do so.

In 2010, Xero was the first online accounting provider to implement third-party Yodlee feeds for customers using other UK banks. So we’ve always been at the cutting edge of linking our customers’ accounting software with their business accounts. And now, with RBS and Natwest we’ve gone a step further.

Why are we changing to direct feeds?

In 2014, the good news is the UK banks are beginning to get their own data services up and running. And from a reliability and friction perspective, direct feeds are becoming more competitive with Yodlee feeds. So we’re very keen, as always, to bring you the most efficient bank feeds we can.

While the RBS/NatWest Yodlee feeds are among the most reliable, we’re confident we’ll see even more reliability with a direct feed and that has to be welcomed. Yodlee is still a great solution so we won’t be switching off Yodlee feeds for any RBS/NatWest account types that can’t be catered for by direct feeds.

How do I know if my account is a business current account?

The change applies only to RBS/NatWest business accounts, not to personal accounts. If you need to check which type of account you’re currently using, just speak to your bank and they’ll be able to confirm the type.

Alternatively, you can visit the RBS or Natwest pages in our Help Centre, download and complete an application form and we’ll let you know whether your account is a business account or not.

Is there a charge?

While the direct feeds do incur a charge per account (as they have done with HSBC since 2009), the cost is marginal compared with the benefit of reliable daily feeds. In time, and as more banks come on stream, we expect the forces of competition to drive down the cost. And Silicon Valley Bank direct feeds, that are coming online next month, are in fact free. So, that’s already starting to happen.

When will the change to direct feeds begin?

The change will start from today. Yodlee feeds will remain active for a while, but the sooner you move your business accounts to the new feed platform the better.

  • To make the transition as smooth as possible, Xero is absorbing the cost of all Yodlee to direct converted feeds until August 2015. So you won’t pay anything for the first year if you’re already using RBS/NatWest Yodlee feeds.
  • You can stay on the free feed until 1 August 2015 – but as the feed is being offered free to anyone with an existing feed, there’s no cost benefit to staying on the Yodlee feed.
  • From today, all new accounts on direct feeds will pay £3.50 for each account.

Where can I find out more information?

We realise that you’ll probably have some deeper technical questions about the move to direct feeds. So with this in mind, we’ve put together RBS and Natwest help pages to answer those questions.

You can also contact our UK bank feeds team on bankfeeds@xero.com if you have a specific query about the change.

Once you’re ready to move across to direct feeds, just fill out the online application form on the  RBS or Natwest pages in our Help Centre and send it through to us. Then we’ll do the rest.

We’re looking forward to moving to direct feeds and bringing you the most reliable bank feed experience we possibly can.

UPDATE – 14 August 2014

Please see today’s post for an update on RBS and NatWest direct feeds.

 

Another step forward for reporting

At the end of May we released a collection of brand new Aged Reports. Those were the first reports to run on our new reporting infrastructure, and they were a major milestone for Xero, the culmination of a lot of investment and effort. That foundation release has let us build some updated versions of existing reports, with lots of new features and more data.

Depreciation report

The first is the new, and very much improved, Depreciation Schedule report. We have had a lot of feedback on this report over the years and we have taken it all on board. The result is a report which will print in portrait by default, and which can show you the capital gains, losses or depreciation recovered. It allows much more space for the asset names, and if you are reconciling the balance sheet you can now show both opening book value and opening accumulated depreciation. There is lots of new data to play with!

Depreciation reporting options

 

Account Transactions

The second report in this release is a new Account Transactions report. The old report only let you choose one account at a time; the new one loads with a far more friendly experience and lets you choose more than one account.

Multipicker

 

 

There are convenience dates to help quickly get the right data on screen and of course all the column reordering, sorting and other features you expect of our new reports is there as well.

Remember that you can update the report template to make it run for the accounts and dates you want by choosing Save > Template so that next time you run the report it goes straight to where you want.

Hey Xero – what about my pet feature?

This is the first release of the new Account Transactions report, but it certainly isn’t the last. We are sticking to a policy where as soon as we have valuable features we will release them, even if we plan to add other features. We know the multi-picker for accounts will be welcomed by so many people, and so we wanted to get it in front of you as soon as we could!
This is why the report is not available to users on the the Premium plan yet, but don’t worry, you will see it soon.

So what other features do we have coming up for the Account Transactions report?

  • Opening and closing balances for the asset, liability and equity account types
  • Handling the currency revaluation accounts
  • Showing the tracking information
  • Running balances for accounts
  • Powerful filtering options to focus the data quickly to what you are looking for
  • Tracking filters to limit the data to just individual tracking values

What else are we working on?

The new Profit & Loss report is in the final stages of development. While the report itself looks great, with a clean look and a concerted effort on improving the readability, it isn’t the report itself which makes it sing – it’s the layout editor. The new layout editor is going to be used in so many places, like report packs and report schedules, as well as client level reports. The client level Profit & Loss will be the first place we will release it, but that is another release blog!

In addition to these reports, we’ve delivered a number of other enhancements, including:

  • Being able to search invoices, bills and credit notes by transaction amount
  • Enhancements to remittance advices. In our pre-release communications we said we’re going to have a free text field on remittance advices, but that hasn’t made it into this release. We do support the sales tax number and registered address, though. Refer to the release notes for all the details.

 

 

Xero Accelerate

I have a theme here: Excitement. I’m happy (make that excited) to officially launch Xero Accelerate.

Xero Accelerate is a one-day, roll-up-your-sleeves US-specific workshop designed to help accounting professionals turbo-charge their business. In true Xero fashion, you learn from Xero Platinum Partners as they guide you through the strategies, tactics and tools needed to successfully run as a modern cloud accounting practice. Watch this video to learn more:

It’s exciting and it’s our our responsibility, too…

When the teams first brainstormed the ideas behind Xero Accelerate, I got excited. Really excited. That’s because the concept of Xero Accelerate checks boxes that are important to us as a company:

  • The first box centers on beliefs. We believe in accountants and the accountant/small business relationship. We also believe in the cloud and cloud accounting.
  • The next box is education. Xero as a company has a responsibility to educate and it’s very much a part of our mission. Think about it: Cloud accounting is what we do all day/every day. We, along with some of our accounting partners who are working with us on Accelerate, probably know more about what works best from a small business cloud accounting standpoint than anyone else in the world.
  • The last box is obligation. I believe our company has a moral obligation to help enable the accounting profession to embrace this new technology that has the ability to improve many people’s lives. And we have to remember along the way that there’s a human side to any change. Given that the move to the cloud involves new technology and learning, and given that we’re in the best position to provide that learning, I believe it’s our obligation to do so.

It’s rare for one event to embody the mission and values of a company, but I’m excited (yes, I said it again) for Xero Accelerate to be that event for us here in the US.

Learn more and register for the Xero Accelerate workshop.

 

An afternoon with the Prime Minister

A week or so ago we received a note from the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Office that John Key would like to see more about what we’re doing at Xero and meet some of our Wellington based staff. We were thrilled to have had the PM drop in on us at Field Days and delighted that he wanted to learn more about how ICT is developing in NZ.

“Of course,” we said. We then realized that many of our development team were over at WDCNZ, so worked with his team to have the Prime Minister visit the conference and do a Q&A with the 440 web developers attending.

NZ Prime Minister John Key at WDCNZ

It was a treat to be able to introduce the Prime Minister at the conference and share a few fun stories of working with the PM over the years.

We then walked across to Xero One Continue reading ›

 

Giving accountants and bookkeepers an even bigger voice

We want to give accountants and bookkeepers even better representation in XeroAs a fast-growing business, we’re always looking for new talent, from developers and designers to people with an uncanny ability with technology, numbers and relationship-building. We’ve recently posted two exciting new roles that have been getting quite a bit of attention:

Head of Accounting

Head of Bookkeeping

A number of enquiries have come in, as well as questions from partners wanting to know more about what we’re up to. So, I’d like to share some thoughts and background with you.

The term ‘disruption’ comes up a fair bit in our industry. While it could be deemed an ‘overused buzzword’, I don’t think too many people involved in accounting would deny that disruption is precisely what cloud technology has brought to the table. Our belief is that this is a positive change with the scope for many benefits to the industry. We are also realists, however, and understand that new technology, and change in itself, can be challenging for some to embrace, and we want to do everything we can to help.

Several practitioners and journalists who follow this industry have not been shy in sharing their views, some provocative, on disruption and, notably, Xero’s responsibility in stepping up to the plate as a new industry leader (see some links below). As proponents of the cloud and this new model of working, we have to keep our eyes and ears open to feedback and commentary and, most importantly, we have to be proactive and take action to make sure that we stay focused on driving this progression and giving people the tools they need to succeed.

Continue reading ›

 

ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition

The ANZ Flying Start Business ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition – enter now logoPlan Competition is back for 2014 and ready to uncover New Zealand’s next big thing in small business.

Xero is pleased to support the competition in 2014. Run by Business.govt.nz, part of MBIE, the business plan competition is now in its fourth year. It gives existing both small businesses and those with an idea that are yet to start up the shot at a prizes worth over $65,000.

All you’ve got to do to have a chance at winning is enter your business plan. It must show an original idea that is geared for growth and sustainable revenue. The best and most innovative plan will see the supreme winner win a prize package worth $45,000.

Last year local Nelson business CHIA was the supreme winner. CHIA received a prize package worth $58,800, including $30,000 in cash from ANZ.

Why a business plan competition?

The competition is about getting businesses across New Zealand to take a proper look at their business plan and see where they are and what opportunities they have.

The second and third prize winners each receive $5,000 in cash from ANZ. The competition’s 10 regional winners each receive $1,000 cash from Silver sponsors Ernst & Young, OfficeMax and Xero.

The competition is open now and entries close on 12 August:

ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition

Xero wishes all the 2014 entrants the best of luck.

 

Annual Meeting 2014 – our biggest yet

The event we look forward to most at Xero is our Annual Meeting. It’s when we get a chance to meet our shareholders face-to-face and show them what we’ve been doing, how the business is going, and what our plans are for the next year.

We had a great turnout this year– with a huge number of shareholders present and some big news to share.

The video below shows some excerpts from Chairman’s and CEO’s presentations.

PDFs of the presentations can also be downloaded on our website:

Xero Investor Reports and Presentations

Thanks to all who attended the Annual Meeting

To our valued shareholders – thank you so much for your ongoing support. We’re all very excited about where we’ll be in the next 12 months.

 

Warehouse Stationery integration announced

Warehouse Stationery logoI’m excited to share that we have a new partnership with Warehouse Stationery. This is part of our vision to connect small business with big business.

Warehouse Stationery and Xero

The integration will let Xero customers receive invoices from Warehouse Stationery directly into the Xero platform. It will go live in mid-August this year.

Small businesses will also be able to easily pay their Warehouse Stationery bills direct to their bank through our Xero Banking 2.0 initiative. This has already gone live with ASB, KiwiBank and TSB.

We know that cashflow is paramount for small businesses and this latest innovation reduces time consuming manual entry. It will enable small businesses to get a complete view of their cashflow position more quickly.

Warehouse Stationery is becoming a leader in digital business and we’re extremely excited to have this major New Zealand brand on board.

There is so much potential for big businesses to work with small businesses to deliver dual benefits. This is another example of homegrown Kiwi innovation that, once proven locally, will be taken up globally.

 

 

Australian payroll reaches one billion dollars per month

In June 2014, we reached the huge milestone of processing over one billion Australian dollars per month of Australian payroll with employers paying over 200,000 employees. This was the first time we’ve gone over that amount in one month and it continues to grow!

Australian Payroll Billion

Over 350,000 employees, approximately 3% of the working population of Australia, were managed by Australian Payroll in Xero in the last financial year. We’ve seen amazing growth in both the number of businesses and amount of Australian payroll processed using Xero.

 

End of Financial Year Payroll

Your feedback from the EOFY release has been mainly positive and thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share your thoughts, it helps us help you better in the future. If you still need to submit your report to the ATO we have a recorded version of our EOFY Payroll training available here. The PAYG Payment Summary Annual report must be lodged with the ATO by the 14th August. Continue reading ›

 

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 ›