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Hello America!

Posted 7 years ago in Xero news by Andrew Tokeley
Posted by Andrew Tokeley

Xero is already used in over 100 countries around the world, including many happy customers from the USA. In many ways accounting principles transcend borders and core Xero features can be used by any business wherever they happen to reside. And we try hard to build features everyone can enjoy.

Of course there are times when one country has different requirements to others. We already have versions of Xero for New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom and a global product for other countries.

Today we’ve launched our US version.

If you have a subscription for any USA organizations you will be prompted in My Xero to update these to the new US version.

Hello America Banner

Now we have the platform in place we can start releasing US specific features. We’ve already done some work on spelling and a more US friendly default chart of accounts but there’s more we’d like to do.

The most obvious is the ability to print checks (cheques for the rest of you). Checks are still widely used in the US (the bigger the better) and while we’d love to encourage electronic alternatives we accept that there’s still a strong demand for paper checks.

Big check

We are still looking at more automated ways of enabling our users to receive and make payments – there’s lots of exciting options which we’ll talk about more in the coming months.

Other items high on the list include, generating 1099s, regional reporting and broadening our US based add-on partners.

Last but not least is the question of whether we need to tackle sales tax calculations or are Xero’s powerful custom tax rates enough? On this we’d like your feedback. Or perhaps there’s a must-have US specific feature you’d like us to consider – let us know.



August 16, 2011 at 4.25 am

If you could add the capability to generate electronic payments directly from xero similar to Netsuite’s capability….

August 16, 2011 at 5.40 am

Being able to print checks would be a very, very nice addition.

August 16, 2011 at 6.56 am

This is great news. I’ll put a vote in for generating 1099’s. As I only focus on services, there is little need for tax calculations in my business. However, the easier you make it for any small business users, the bigger market share potential.

Jeremy Ross
August 16, 2011 at 9.29 am

I second the ability to generate electronic payments.

August 16, 2011 at 9.38 am

Other than the ability to print checks what is the point of switching over to the “U.S version”? I have 4 U.S. based companies, but no, we don’t write checks except online through out bank, and we do not use 1099s. So what’s the point? Are there other reasons or features that are unique to the U.S.? We have partners across the globe, our accountants are in other countries, so I’d like to know why I should switch to the U.S. model other than it is labeled “U.S. Version”. Thanks!

August 16, 2011 at 9.48 am

Segregating features based on geography seems like a bad call.

We’re a Canadian Xero firm, and we’d definitely like to use the cheque (fixed the typo for you) printing feature. Are we shut out because we’re on the Global version?

The reality is most businesses are becoming more and more global – multiple currencies, multiple office locations, clients around the world. Xero should reflect this.

Ship one version of your software, and give your customers the ability to choose what features are important to them. Don’t presume based on where they happen to run their head office what features they will or won’t want.

Who knows, we might even pay extra for the privilege!

August 16, 2011 at 10.20 am

I’d like to see 2 big things… and a lot of small things… Here’s the Big:
1) Payroll taxes! To be able to calculate and do payroll in Xero would be great.
2) COGS – Cost of Good Sold… hard to believe this needs to be done manually.

Small ones:
Contact Page:
– Website address
– Within a contact, have multiple contact names and roles: A/P Sales, Purchasing, etc… with emails and extensions.

When adding contact… move to group right away, otherwise you must go to contacts, find it and move it. Takes time.

August 16, 2011 at 10.22 am

@Darren – While I agree with you about the cheques, I think the rest of your point is a little off base. It comes down to the fact that different countries means different accounting standards, rules and procedures. I’m sure the core Xero engine is one code base with the country specific interfaces and features applied on top. (As do most, if not all, the other accounting packages)

That said, Canada next please! We want some country specific Xero love too. 🙂

August 16, 2011 at 10.48 am

Well said Darren!

Jason M. Blumer, CPA.CITP
August 16, 2011 at 11.05 am

Woot. Woot. Now give me some integrations with PayCycle (in the US) and and I’ll give you guys a freakin’ dang hug the next time I see you!

Xero gets better and better!!

Andrew Tokeley
August 16, 2011 at 12.27 pm

@Chris – You can chose to make the switch whenever you think there are features you’d like to take advantage of. For the most part we try to release features useful to ‘all’ our customers, regardless of which version they’re using, so you’ll still get regular updates on Global.

We’re still working through what US specific features to introduce but generally the differences between Xero versions revolve around different standards of financial and sales tax reporting.

Andrew Tokeley
August 16, 2011 at 12.28 pm

@Darren – totally agree that shipping one version of Xero for all users to enjoy is the way to go – and, to a large extent, that is exactly what we do. There are cases though where it makes sense to know what version a customer is on – for example, only UK organisations would ever want to run a VAT (sales tax) return, and only Kiwi businesses would need to be able to run an NZ Differential Annual Report. We are definitely looking at providing check printing for Canadian users, and whether we need to create a specific version for you guys – as always keen on your feedback.

August 16, 2011 at 4.23 pm

Can Xero download from PNC Virtual Wallet. It has 3 accounts attached to it. Most other financial management packages can not handle the download.

Kyle Getrost
August 16, 2011 at 7.39 pm

What about US friendly dates on reports? (i.e. August 31, 2011 instead of 31 August 2011)

Julie Murphy
August 17, 2011 at 5.33 am

It would be nice to rearrange the format of an invoice with payment details for both ACH and physical check along with terms and possible discounts.

Andrew Tokeley
August 17, 2011 at 9.40 am

@Regina – PNC Virtual Wallet looks like it may be available as an automated bank feed, no download required. Selected the bank name, “PNC VW (US)”.

August 18, 2011 at 5.47 am

@Andrew – thanks for the response. I agree that some areas are always going to be regional (e.g. “NZ Differential Annual Report” – I have no idea what that is). But I think other features may have a broader use than you think.

It’s interesting that you mention UK taxes, because we needed more flexibility on tax rates than we were getting with Xero (specifically the ability to split taxes). After an email to your support team, we were able to get this feature “added” to our account, as apparently it’s in place for your UK edition, but not the global edition. It’s made our lives a lot easier, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones. Why not make it available to everyone?

It’s OK for Marketing or User Experience teams to chunk groups of people into certain segments or personas and target campaigns or features towards them. However, when it comes to product management if you make broad assumptions of the needs of your users solely on their physical location you’re going to make mistakes.

Trust me on this one – I know more about my business than you do 🙂

August 19, 2011 at 5.52 am

Cheque writing is also essential for your Canadian clients. So when it is ready please make it accessible outside of the US too. We are desperately waiting for it! I am having to run 2 simultaneous systems right now just to print cheques!! Thank you.

August 25, 2011 at 12.35 am

We use shopify an take multiple orders a day. It would be nice to approve and receive payment in mass. I know you can approve multiple, but would be great to receive payment from our merchant in multiple.

Earl Rudolfo
August 25, 2011 at 6.00 am

Andrew, looks to me like you’re getting the nod for having the cheque writing feature available for Cdn. clients. Btw – add me to that list too!

We’re starting to feel a bit neglected here in Canada -:)

James McCarthy
August 29, 2011 at 9.16 am

Sales tax is a major issue for any business selling goods around the US. The US states/counties/cities all have different rules, filing requirements and rates. Doing it manually is time consuming and error prone. At the very least, a manual allocation of ZIP to tax rates mapping would be good. Followed closely by the sort of information used on US sales tax returns.

Tobias McNulty
August 31, 2011 at 1.34 am

We don’t really need to print checks (online bill pay works well enough). We really need 1099 reporting (or better yet, generation, but I’ll take reports for now). You could integrate with something like to allow 1099 generation.

Kevin McCoy
September 3, 2011 at 4.00 am

Very cool. Looking forward to taking a test drive.

Catherine in reply to Kevin McCoy Xero
September 3, 2011 at 4.45 am

For those wanting to convert from QuickBooks, one of our accounting partners has written this step by step guide to help you export your data from QuickBooks and import it into Xero – please feel free to send us your feedback. It’s available in our Help Center for US and Global readers.

QuickBooks to Xero Conversion Guide

Jon R,
September 4, 2011 at 3.02 am

We NEED integration!!!

Tyler W
October 7, 2011 at 10.03 am

Would love to see integration as well. I’m not an active Xero user yet and it is probably the only aspect holding me back at this point.

Eric Hoy
November 9, 2011 at 5.58 pm

I had recently inquired into the availability of cheque printing in Canada for some of our clients and was informed by Xero support, “Thanks for the message. I’ve just had a look into this and it is anticipated that we’ll be releasing cheque/check printing for the global version when the US version gets it. If not then, shortly afterwards.” Any further information on this? Some of our bookkeeping clients are on Simply Accounting and will likely renew their subscriptions for another year unless cheque printing comes very soon for the Canadian version (presumably part of the Global version).

Andrew Tokeley
November 10, 2011 at 1.43 pm

@Eric – the solution we’re working on will ultimately work across all regions – the only likely difference being in the print stock we support. The first release of check printing is going to support a format predominantly used in the US.

Canada have slightly different formats and we’re looking into that now to make sure you guys get what you need. Would be great to know the print stock you use or would like to see supported.

We’re totally committed to getting check printing released as soon as possible and are making good progress. Can’t give a release date yet but believe me I’m getting all sorts of “encouragement” to deliver it as soon as possible.

Eric Hoy
November 17, 2011 at 7.21 am

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the encouraging reply. You do not have to reinvent the wheel in Canada. Here the predominant cheque formats are for Simply Accounting and Quickbooks, with Quickbooks controlling a larger market share.

All the banks supply laser cheques in these two formats and most companies will have several boxes of these in stock. Therefore to some extent should try to accommodate these users. There are 3 layouts but generally CHEQUE-ADVICE-ADVICE and ADVICE-CHEQUE-ADVICE are the most common.

My suggestion is to just follow the layout for the Quickbooks cheques and Simply accounting cheques and tell all Xero Canadian users to purchase cheques that are compatible with the Quickbooks or Simply formatted laser cheques and order them from their bank or print house.

We are trying to convert over customers from these two format to Xero so it would be strategically prudent to follow the format of these two giants in the Canadian accounting market.

November 18, 2011 at 5.13 pm

How about the capability to generate electronic bill payments directly from xero? Is that something on the list, in the pipeline, in dev? I’m staring at renewing NS again and facing another year…. would much rather be logging in to xero….

Rod Drury
November 18, 2011 at 7.52 pm

Hi @CW. Very aware of the opportunity to have direct bill pay. Have not started dev but working hard on working out the best way to do it. Agree this is a huge opportunity.


November 19, 2011 at 9.43 am

Thanks Rod. In the meantime if check writing comes soon then I can skip NS altogether….. (please….)

Irvin Jaffe, CPA
December 10, 2011 at 12.35 pm

1. The Balance Sheet format is not acceptable for the US… but I think you already know that. 2. Currently you can attach a .pdf file to a payable. I would love to see this ability to both receivables and general journal entries.

Josh Reeder
December 11, 2011 at 2.35 am

I love the US specific version – I have waited to use xero until now. Trying to get away from Quickbooks has been hard but the changes help. 1099’s are huge for us and my book keeper. The iPad app could have a lot more tools, and a simple milage tracker in the iPhone and iPad app would be really nice that you can then convert to expense.

January 16, 2012 at 1.26 pm

Any word on the timing for check printing capability…. or (best case) direct bill pay?

January 20, 2012 at 2.47 am

What’s the timing on release of the 1099 feature, I guess I’ll have to figure out an alternative for this year…

January 22, 2012 at 9.40 am

We are a web development agency headquartered in the U.S. We are excited to make the switch from Quickbooks to Xero, but our bookkeeper says we need 1099 reporting. When will that feature be available? Check printing is not important for us as we pay bills through our bank’s online bill pay service.

Doug Meredith
February 4, 2012 at 4.00 am

We are currently evaluating Xero as a replacement for Simply Accounting, and the ability to print cheques is very important to us. I won’t go so far as to say that lack of that ability is a deal breaker, but it’s no small issue either. We are in Canada and the cheques are 8.5 * 11 paper and three parts. Part 1 is the cheque, part 2 is details that get sent with the cheque, and part 3 is for our records.

Any information on when this feature will be available would be very welcome.

Tyler Winn
February 8, 2012 at 6.12 am

We need check printing on QuickBooks-style checks. I was hoping this functionality would be available by now. What’s the latest?

Andrew Tokeley
February 10, 2012 at 3.34 pm

Quick update on where we’re up to with check printing – had a walkthrough yesterday and it’s looking amazing! As we’ve said, this first release will support Voucher style checks and be available in the US only. We’ll be opening this up to other regions and supporting different types of check styles in future releases but want to get the basics right first and build on that.

Don’t want to set any expectations we can’t keep but I’m counting weeks not months…

Ryan Watson
March 29, 2012 at 8.17 am

Has the check printing feature been released in the US yet? I’m VERY eagerly and impatiently waiting for the ability to print cheques in Canada…

Andrew Tokeley
March 29, 2012 at 8.27 am

@Ryan – check printing for our US users will definitely be in the next release… unfortunately I can’t give a firm date for when we will extend support to Canadian users – but it is totally in our sights to do so. Sorry to keep you waiting.

May 1, 2012 at 11.48 am

Waiting for the ability to print Canadian cheques. A must-have feature for the Canadian sector.

May 5, 2012 at 3.34 am

Here checkie checkie checkie….

May 8, 2012 at 4.32 am

Can we have this in the UK as well please?!

Oliver Romain
May 8, 2012 at 11.30 pm

Please don’t spend time on cheques for the UK on my account, this would be a regressive step as cheques are very last century, instead focus on direct bill pay integration with banks.

Irvin Jaffe
May 15, 2012 at 12.24 pm

Check printing is marginal at best. More importantly, the form of the balance sheet is not acceptable for the US. Also, the GL report needs to show “detail” in the default mode AND it needs to show both beginning and ending account balances, not just “net movement.” But, you’re getting there.

Doug Meredith
December 7, 2012 at 5.52 am

Any update on when this feature will be available for Canadian customers?

Jim Knapp
February 3, 2013 at 7.58 pm

Is there a set time yet for the ability to print checks in the US version?

Rod Drury in reply to Jim Knapp Xero
February 3, 2013 at 9.51 pm

@Jim we shipped that months ago

Doug Meredith
February 3, 2014 at 3.36 am

I’m in Canada but I think we have the same cheque format as the US. Is there any way for me to use the cheque printing?

Andrew Tokeley in reply to Doug Meredith
February 3, 2014 at 9.35 am

@Doug – you can give it a whirl by changing your Demo organization to US then try printing a check using your stock. The feedback I’ve had is that there are still a few tweaks to be made to make it work in Canada, but I’d love to be wrong. If it turns out to be OK, we could consider turning on what we have in the US version for the Global version you’re using. A Canadian version is something we’re still keen to do – but I suspect there are more pressing needs first, for example, handling PST/HST better!

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