Repeating transactions are your friend

I had a fun hour today helping out a friend who runs a busy childcare center.  They’ve just jumped onto Xero and I asked how it was going and if I could help her get started.

There is a lot of functionality in Xero that really helps you out.  But sometimes you just don’t know it’s there.

She’d done a great job setting up her chart of accounts and was happily coding the weekly payments as they come in from automatic bank feeds. That’s one way to do but childcare, where you have regular standard invoices, really suits repeating transactions. Getting these set up would save a lot of time so I showed her how they work.

You can check them out in this video:

In this case, once setup the repeating schedule displays the list of children under care and you can see immediately the regular payment schedules. This would work just as well for rental properties or any regular service charge. Repeating transactions let the machine do the work for you. They will automatically drop the transaction in, as it occurs, ready to be reconciled. You will see immediately if anyone has missed a payment, and reconciliation is a breeze.

The problem was that she was already 2 months into as as she’d loaded in her bank statements from the start of the year. We decided that it would be best to fix these up so that everything was coded correctly from day 1. I was thinking I might be here for a few hours but these is actually quite easy in Xero – especially if you understand how the bank accounts work.

For transactions that had already been entered, you can delete them. This deletes the entry in the Bank General Ledger Account so that the Payment that came across in the bank statement is unreconciled. An easy way to do this quickly was to sort the Bank Account by Description and then use the Delete button on the right of the screen. For each child there were about 8 payments to delete. Easy.

We then created the Repeating Invoice for the child and marked it to auto approve. If the start date is before today, then Xero creates all the earlier payments for you. That is so cool!!

When you flip back to the Bank Rec, those invoices are sitting there ready to be matched off the old payments. The Bank Rec seems to have got a lot smarter at matching then when I last looked so that was also easy (and fun).

Once all tidied up, future invoices will drop in automatically ready to be reconciled, which is now just a single click. In just a few minutes a day you’re completely up to date.

Repeating transactions allow Xero to do a lot of regular work for you so they are a great feature to check out.

I’ve been busy with other stuff for the last month or so it was fun to get back into a real business and within a short time make a positive difference. I was so proud of how good the team has made our product. Making things easy for small business owners is what it’s all about.

9 Comments

Paul Lattimore
April 27, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Rod,

Would love to see an invoice option for the likes of power & phone bills, where the amount is automatically converted into set percentages for 2 or more account codes. For home businesses this would allow automatic 70/30 home/business splits for instance regardless of the amount.

PS I’m picking June 7 for the 10,000 update by the way :)

Donna Wylie
April 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

Repeating transactions work really well on fixed amounts. If the amount is variable remember to save as a draft only – once an invoice has been approved you can’t change the details.

Rod Drury
April 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm

@Paul, yes that’s a good suggestion we’ve heard a few times before. We’ll be a doing a lot more in that area. Need to get a few biggies out the door first.

Jack Pivac
April 29, 2009 at 9:26 am

Any ETA on when they’ll be able to auto email themselves out as well 😉

Rod Drury
April 29, 2009 at 9:58 am

It’s on the list. Can’t give an ETA at this stage but we as we complete the core engine (multi-currency being the biggie), these sort of smart features that are relatively easy to do will get a lot more attention. We hear you.

Keep pointing people to our careers page would be a way you can help …

http://www.xero.com/about/careers/

Mark Ryan
May 1, 2009 at 11:24 am

Just looking at this, repeating transactions….. it makes me wonder why Xero doesn’t offer a personal finance package. Some sort of very simple personal budget P&L that would consist of about 20% of the features you get in the standard Xero package, the big one being the bank feeds. The cost to serve wouldn’t but much as it’s already there, but the beauty of this idea would be the word of mouth advertising you would get from a whole new market (individuals) .. This has probably been asked before, and is a tad off this topic so feel free to delete/move it. Just had to get it off my chest.

Philip Fierlinger
May 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm

@mark it’s something that a lot of people are asking about and something we’re looking into.

Adam
January 10, 2011 at 2:44 am

Hi,
quick question, if i put in a invoice/ trasaction by mistake can i delete it?
Khalid

Kane David
May 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Hello, It would be good if a repeating invoice could contain variable text. For example, we have customers with a Service Level Agreement where services are paid in advance.

For example, our invoice sent out on the 31st May 2012 would have the description ” “Service Level Agreement for period 1/08/2012 to 31/08/2012″.

We would like the dates in the description to be automatically calculated to be 1/[MONTH+2]/YEAR to [LASTDAY]/[MONTH]+2/YEAR if you follow what I mean.

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