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Xero Personal turns one

After 12 Months, 6 Releases and lots of great new features, look at how we’ve grown!

Planned Payments – plan your expenses, don’t just track them
Labels – tag where you spent your money, don’t be restricted to categories
Manual Transactions – add a cash account
Splitting – mark how you actually spent that wad of cash
Financial Snapshots – how you’re doing, right now, in your inbox
Advanced Search/Export – find exactly what your looking for and export it to play with numbers

The Xero Personal team is only small but each and every one of us shares in the vision and direction of Xero Personal (If you haven’t seen it yet try it for free). As a developer on the team I get very caught up in the detail, especially where we’re headed with each aspect of the functionality. I also use the product myself regularly, so I too often have the same requests that people post on our answers site.

Continue reading ›

 

Tracking cash payments – no problem

Electronic banking is so ingrained for many of us that receiving cash or payments which don’t get recorded in our bank account can really mess with the budget.

Some of you feel so strongly about this, that the ability to account for such payments is the no.1 feature request for Xero Personal. So today in this release we’re putting a smile on your face as we introduce Manual Transactions.

One of the most common scenarios that call for Manual Transactions is when you pay for a group gift on your credit card and everyone pays you back in cash at some stage. Using Manual Transactions you can account for that cash and this is especially helpful if the payment is delayed.

Watch this video to see how Manual Transactions work in Xero Personal:

Also in today’s release we’re extending the ability to import data so you can now bring in transactions using CSV format. For more detail on CSV importing see Help.

If you’d like to ask questions or see what others are saying have a look at Xero Answers.

 

A wealth of information using search

Having personal finance software to help you manage your money is one thing, but being able to drill right into your spending history opens the door to so much more.

Today we’re releasing Detailed Search for Xero Personal. This gives you the added flexibility of finding what you need, whether its how much you spent on holiday, getting ready for tax time, or simply comparing monthly or annual spending. You can also access information right back to when you started accumulating data.

Watch this video for an overview:

You can search using a vast array of  criteria and combinations, such as by bank account, transaction amount, splits, archives, multiple date periods and a whole lot more. Search criteria can be saved for reuse at anytime.

Once you have your search results you can quickly categorise, label and archive them all at once, using as many labels as you need to help find them individually. And if you need to get reimbursed and want to send someone a record of your spending, it’s easy to export your results to Excel or Google docs. This is also useful for sharing tax data with your accountant.

Have a look at  Help Centre for more detail and ask questions or see what others are saying at Xero Answers.

 

Financial snapshots

Today we’ve launched Financial Snapshots – personalised email updates that let you know how you’re tracking with your finances in Xero Personal. These are a great way to keep on top of things, especially if you’re time poor.

You get to choose the exact details you’ll be sent. For instance this might include bank account balances and planned payments. You can also include summary details of how well you’re doing on your spending and savings goals to keep you motivated.

You decide how often you receive the Snapshots, which can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly or you may choose to turn them off.

If you’re a Xero Personal customer you’ll receive your first Snapshot in coming days. Be sure to update your preferences so you get the right information at the right time. See Help for how for to do this.

 

Getting those bills under control

Today we’ve released some great new functionality in Xero Personal around planning for some of the bigger expenses you’ll face over a three month period.

Plans & Reminders lets you anticipate upcoming payments whether they be expenses or income. Not only does it give you better visibility of when money is going to be coming in and out of your accounts, but you can see in advance if you will have enough money to meet substantial regular or one-off  payments.  You can also opt to be sent a reminder email before the payment date.

So there’ll be no excuses for missing a bill payment or running out of funds just before the due date!  Watch this video overview to see just how it works.






 

Xero Answers updated

Xero Answers, the community site for Xero Personal, has been running a couple of months now and the questions are piling up – thanks everyone for helping build it into a valuable resource.

Along the way we’ve had some good suggestions from those using it, and we’ve noticed lots of similar questions being asked, so we’ve fine-tuned a few things to help you get more out of the site. Perhaps this will encourage those of you who haven’t jumped in to answer or share ideas about being smart with money, to give it a go.

Next time you visit Xero Answers you might notice the following changes or new things:

  • More topics!
    Most questions were ending up in the ‘Using Xero Personal’ category and with almost 200 questions in the site now we could see some clear groups of questions emerging so we’ve added these as new topics. Also makes it a bit easier to browse if you’re interested in the range of questions being asked on a particular topic.
  • New ‘Recently Answered’ tab
    Too many good follow-up answers and suggestions from you on earlier questions weren’t being seen by other users on the site so we’ve added this list of questions that have had an answer added recently.
  • Browsing through questions
    Browse the whole list of questions by clicking the ‘More’ button at the bottom of the questions on the home page or drill into a topic and page through questions from there.
  • Search
    We’ve smartened up the search that goes on behind the ‘Ask’ button when you’ve entered your question or keywords. We found that lots of similar questions were being posted on the site because search results weren’t returning closely matched words and phrases. Now when you search you’ll hopefully get better results as well as some suggested pages from the Xero Personal Help Centre.

Don’t forget to upload a picture to your profile (use the ‘My public profile’ link at the top right of the screen when logged in) – as more of you are able to answer other people’s questions it will be nice to see who’s helping out!

Don’t be shy – this is a place for you to create a great resource for ideas and information about Xero Personal – we’d love to see you! http://answers.xero.com/

 

Xero Personal release

Today we released our first set of regular feature enhancements for Xero Personal. We had a number of things we needed to get done behind the scenes but you’ll see this release is heavily skewed to what you asked for.

This video gives you a good idea of the new things you can do:

Splits - Receiving so many responses on how you’d like splits to work has been really helpful in determining what would work for most people. The consensus was complete flexibility so you can split transactions into numerous categories – the idea being you get a more accurate picture of where your money is going.

Labels - These are a way of defining specific types of spending or income which are perhaps associated with an activity or event. Labels are also a good way to track  your spending across lots of categories.

Import Rules -  These rules determine how Xero Personal treats transactions. You get to set them and change them as often as you like. You can also flag transactions  To Review.

To Review - The  Guessed by Xero tab has been renamed To Review so the categories Xero guesses will appear under this heading along with other transactions from any payees which are flagged To Review.

For Wesabe users we have created an new import routine which will bring in your Wesabe transactions and tags. Have a look at the video on our earlier post for how this works. Or see Help.

You can find the full release notes here, including what’s coming soon.

We know there’s lots of anticipation out there to reveal how Xero Personal will mature. Rest assured we’ve got lots of things planned and we’ll also be fine tuning as we go. Already we’re well into our next release!

 

Welcome Wesabeans

July 31st is the last day you can export your transactions from Wesabe. Like many others we were saddened to hear they won’t continue. We’d like to try and help out all Wesabeans keep their data, and are trying to make the transition to Xero Personal as easy as possible.

We really appreciate all those who helped us by securely uploading their files to test. Thanks to your efforts we’ve included the ability to import your data from Wesabe in today’s release.

Transactions that you’ve attached tags to in Wesabe will have labels attached in Xero Personal. Whilst your transactions won’t be instantly categorised (but we will try and suggest categories with Xero Personal crowdsourcing data) you’ll still be able to keep your personal data in a secure environment, so it’s worth spending a bit of time categorising to ensure you keep all your valuable information.

Sign up to Xero Personal

We’d love to hear about how you’re finding Xero Personal and let us know how we can help you get started at Xero Answers.

You can view the full instructions for how to upload your Wesabe data into Xero Personal in our Help Centre, but here’s a quick video overview.

 

Importing from Wesabe

We were sad to hear recent news that Wesabe, an early pioneer of online financial software, is closing down this month. We always admired their work. The consumer space is very difficult to monetize, which is why we’ve taken the approach of linking personal financial management with business.

We don’t want to leave Wesabe users stranded. Some people might be inclined to seek another free alternative to Wesabe, but the hidden price for those services is having your personal data sold to marketing companies and advertisers.

That’s why we created Xero Personal as a low-cost, but sustainable service.

We have a significant product update of Xero Personal coming out very soon and we’re aiming to have the Wesabe importer available by then.

If you’re interested, it would help to know

  • How many months of transactions you want to transfer
  • The total number of transactions
  • The file size of your Wesabe file

Please let us know in the comments below or email wesabe@xero.com.

Better still, you can anonymously and securely upload your data file for us to test. We appreciate that it takes trust to transfer your data, so we encourage you to read all about our privacy and security policies at Xero.

For those transferring from Wesabe, we’d love your feedback on ways we can make the transition easier and hear your ideas for making further enhancements to Xero.

 

Introducing Xero Answers

What features do you want in a mobile version?

What do you focus on more: spending less or saving more?

Couples: do you share accounts or keep them separate?

Introducing Xero Answers

We’ve seen how excited people are about sharing their ideas on using Xero and being smart with money. So we’ve expanded the Xero Personal Help Center with a place for you to post your own questions, get answers and share your ideas with everyone in the community.

It’s a great way to get quick answers, share your ideas, plus a nice way for us to ask you questions about how you use Xero and how you manage your money.

Please take a quick look now, post some questions and share your ideas with us and everyone else.

Help us get the ball rolling so Xero Answers isn’t just zero answers!

Also, let us know if you’d be interested in Xero Answers for Business.