Online Invoicing – get paid easier and faster

We’re excited to announce the introduction of Online Invoicing in Xero.

With Online Invoicing, a business simply emails their customers a link to a live invoice, which shows the most up-to-date details, including payment status, payment history and a Pay Now button for accepting payments online. Businesses and their customers are both seeing the same documents, at the same time. Invoices can be automagically loaded into Xero, with the associated pdf saving recoding and manual file uploads saving data entry time.

Sales Invoices from Xero on Vimeo.

This closes an important loop in the relationship between businesses and customers –  financial transactions are being recorded in real-time, so the gap between money flowing and keeping proper business records is eliminated and handled automatically.

With Online Invoicing, suddenly every business can now accept payments online, with a just simple tap of a button. Paying online is dramatically faster and simpler for both businesses and customers. In addition, businesses now know when their invoices have been viewed. Meanwhile, the customer can now see the most up-to-date status of their payments, including all outstanding and overdue payments. This will help you get paid faster.  We’ll be adding more payment types over time.

Online Invoicing combined with mobile creates a powerful, integrated invoicing solution – as you can see in the video above.

Over the last 6 years we’ve invested heavily in building a comprehensive online accounting platform that connects small businesses to their accountants, bookkeepers, banks and other online business software.

Now, with Online Invoicing, we’re connecting our customers with their customers and suppliers directly so both money and data flows faster and easier. This is where we believe the internet fundamentally changes accounting for small businesses and over time we believe Online Invoicing will become a standard feature of all accounting software. Both businesses large and small will be electronically connected.

Check out our Help section for more detail on Online Invoices.

We’re excited to hear what you think and your suggestions of where we can take this, and we’d especially like to know what other payment types you’d like us to add.

 

Update

Some great feedback.   We’re written a new blog to explain a bit more http://www.xero.com/blog/2012/10/online-invoicing-your-customers-perspective

60 Comments

Chris
October 3, 2012 at 5:54 am

Never, never release features like this that are automatically enabled. I have had to access each client in turn and uncheck the view unpaid invoices option. And it isn’t an “online invoice”, it is a summary of the invoice minus the supplier branding, and key statutory information. If you don’t use PayPal (and most won’t) I see no value in a link to an invoice summary that has a link to the pdf proper invoice, which is attached to the original email anyway! Ever heard of user acceptance testing?

Jeremy Sanders-Smith
October 3, 2012 at 6:38 am

I am new to Xero and was planning to use it very soon. I have implemented on-line invoicing in a very large corporate system and ALL the branding was for the corporation NOT the software supplier. Read all these blogs but there does not seem to be a XERO response. I want to advertise MY company on invoices, NOT my paid-for service. Where is it at, XERO?

John
October 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

Come on Xero.
This item plus the next one have the highest number of comments from clients and nothing from Xero in reply.
Most entries are NOT HAPPY with you putting your Brand on your clients customers information.
Xero you need to respond before it starts impacting with negative press.
It must be an option for links on invoices going out and it must be turned off by default.
Please sort out and respond to the people who have taken the time to comment on these blogs.

Paul Chapman
October 3, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hello “Xero Technical Team”. Thank you for adding “ONLINE INVOICING” it is almost perfect. One of the advantages of Online Invoicing is to be able to tell if the client has received and viewed the invoice. By sending an attached PDF file with the link we can’t be sure if the client has not received and viewed the invoice or has just chosen to open the attached PDF file. Please give us an option to email the invoice as a link only or attach a PDF file as well. Fantastic work Xero Technical Team.

Eddie
October 4, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Everyone seems to forget that Peter Thiel from PayPal fame is an investor in Xero hence why PayPal is most likely the only option for now.

Rod Drury
October 5, 2012 at 7:11 am

@Eddie that’s laugh out loud funny. Best conspiracy comment to date. We should have a prize for that.

Paypal is global and quite easy to add, which is why it was first. We’re working on a generic payment feature to make it easy to add other payment types.

We are also in discussion with banks as online banking does not make it easy to pay with online banking. For larger transactions small business owners do not want to pay a %age fee to a payment gateway. We think the banks have got behind here and we’re having those discussions.

Babu
October 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

I was terribly excited when I read that XERO was finally setting up online invoices… now I’m just really annoyed.

a) Great to have a new feature, but please let US choose when it becomes enabled. Trying to figure out how it works or how to disable it on a busy work day is the last thing I want to do.
b) Agree with Evan and Ray: do what Freshbooks does with online invoices, and you’ll have the perfect deal. (I’m starting to regret I switched from Freshbooks to Xero).
c) Agree with all of Nigel’s comments: please don’t push XERO onto MY customers and please show us exactly what my customers receive/see (the updated blog post XERO added on October 1st was a bit late, and should have also been communicated by email, not just in the main blog’s comments. It also doesn’t address what happens when I enter a payment on an invoice, etc.).
d) Agree that branding on my invoices (and on the online invoice option) should be my business’ only, not XERO’s. I pay a (rather big) monthly fee for the service after all.
e) Very happy to see that XERO has posted a new blog on oct 3rd /sorry-we-scared-the-horses/ announcing the “PDF only” or “online invoice only” options and also apologising for the way the online invoicing was released.

I also noticed a bug which I thought I’d share here, so others can avoid it:
If you invoice your customers in a different currency than your own, you may notice that on the online invoice, top left, it will state “Outstanding Bills 12’345 USD” – so it lists the amount with the currency abbreviation of the client (in this case USD) when in fact the amount itself (12’345) is in my own currency, in this case NZ$. This is incorrect and very confusing to my clients.
When asking XERO to fix the bug, they initially replied I should just ” remove the link to Outstanding Bills from the Online Invoice in your Invoice Settings screen. For instructions on how to do this, please see the Help Centre link http://help.xero.com/#BillOnlineOptions. ” They later added “We have identified the issue you mention regarding the incorrect currency label and are working on getting this fixed. We anticipate that the fix will be rolled out early next week. That’s good news…
So I guess to avoid this problem meanwhile, make sure you remove the link!

Andrew Tokeley
November 6, 2012 at 8:37 am

@GoPro – yep, we are actively talking with a number of parties (including Optimizer HQ) to decide the best way forward and level of integration. Exciting times.

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