Automagic Business

Last month we shipped* a new feature which allows the automatic and unattended transmission of repeating invoices in Xero – it works on the basis of you creating a simple billing schedule which Xero automatically picks up, executes and then follows to email out your invoices – even while you’re sleeping – billing Fairies anyone?.

The unattended transmission capability was the new part; most accounting and bookkeeping systems have had repeating invoice templates since forever.

Building in the unattended transmission capability was an obvious extension and in today’s connected tech era, not overly remarkable. But having spoken with a few clients and accounting firms about it over the last few weeks, I’ve been struck by how some have seen this feature as being much more significant capability which, taken as a whole along with the regular repeating invoice function, will save small businesses lots of time every month as well as levelling up their billing operations a couple of notches to rival those of much larger and deeper-pocketed firms.

The big picture is interesting also, as slowly we’re seeing technology and infrastructure beginning mature sufficiently (and become more affordable) to enable it to take on a different role in our working lives by executing more and more basic tasks and functions to boost productivity. It’s no surprise therefore to learn that Google and Motorola paid George Lucas lots of cash to license the name ‘Droid’ for their new iPhone challenger.

We’re not quite at the R2D2 stage yet, but we’re heading that way for sure.

* Xero doesn’t ‘ship’ updates, obviously. It’s more like we emit them…

7 Comments

Jack
December 1, 2009 at 9:49 am

I’ve been chomping at the bit for this feature since I started using Xero back in 07 and its everything I had hoped it would be. You’d be surprised how beneficial it is in the real world, having the billing/sending process automated, with everything else going on.

More sleeping in for me, while Xero takes care of yet one more part of the business.

Ed
December 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Of far more use to us would be a way to send Accounts Receivable statements with a single click via email to our ~100 stores ‘automagically’ – the print/review/send that is required per account is a royal pain in the backside and time consuming

Jack
December 1, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Bulk sending statements is also something that would be extremely useful.
/Sign.

Catherine Walker in reply to Jack Xero
December 1, 2009 at 10:05 pm

@Jack – we’re working on the bulk stuff bit by bit so we’ll be doing this. Thanks for your patience!

Blair Hughson
December 1, 2009 at 10:34 pm

+1 for bulk emailing of statements.

Automatically sending out the invoices saved me at least an hour this morning though, love it =)

Rob Chant
December 3, 2009 at 3:12 pm

This feature is basically why I signed up to Xero! Just good timing that you happened to release it just when I was looking for a package.

Could just do with yearly automated invoices now…

cheers
Rob

Catherine Walker in reply to Rob Chant Xero
December 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Hi Rob – you can achieve yearly repeating invoices by entering 12 months as the frequency for ‘Repeat this transaction every…’
Hope this is what you meant!
Catherine

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