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Introducing the new inbuilt calculator

Posted 5 years ago in Advisors by Andrew Tokeley
Posted by Andrew Tokeley

UPDATE (30 Sept, 2013) – the new calculator was released to sales invoices, bills and spend/receive money grids

While still actively working on some of our bigger projects (in particular, improved reporting and purchase orders) we’ve just sneaked in a brand new feature we’ve been working on. We’re calling it the inbuilt calculator because, well, it’s a calculator and it’s built-in. It helps you enter data using simple formula rather than having to pull out your pocket calculator. Also nice to be able to make progress on another top ten Community feature request.

It’s not been introduced everywhere yet though – we wanted to get your feedback first. So head on over to the Manual Journals screen to give it a test drive. Note this is only available for users with the Adviser (previously known as Financial Adviser) role.

Here’s how it works.

Enter a formula into either the Debit or Credit column,

A formuala using the inbuilt calculator within Xero

tab (or click) away and voila, the result appears.

A formula using the inbuilt calculator within Xero

If you make a typo, a red box will appear around the field, giving you a chance to fix things up or, if you try and tab out again, the value that was in the field previously will be returned.

Example of error message when you enter a typo in the formula using the inbuilt calculator

You can use brackets and *, /, + or -, and your formula can be as complex as you like. We don’t support any other mathematical operators or functions at the moment, but please let us know if you’re going to miss doing some cube rooting or power raising.

One last note, if you can cast your minds back to high school maths (however painful that may be) you might remember the famous acronym, BODMAS, which we adhere to, so make sure you understand why, 10 + 20 * 5 equals 110 not 150.

Hope you like it, let us know what you think.

There were a few other smaller updates in this release – full details here.



October 1, 2013 at 3.07 pm

Loving that the Calculator has been added, could you please add it to the Bills as that would be even better.

Joanne Williamson
October 1, 2013 at 5.51 pm

I think its great but it would be better if it was available to Standard users also (most of our clients have this user access not Financial adviser)

October 1, 2013 at 5.52 pm

I imagine myself using this when wanting to display a discount against a line item. It is also useful for basic job costing when Work Flow Max would be ‘overkill.’

October 1, 2013 at 7.44 pm

Ah, the Calcinator! Nice feature.

Andrew Tokeley
October 2, 2013 at 11.50 am

@Joanne – hi, the calculator is available to all roles, it was just that the first release was on the Manual Journals screen, which is just for Advisors.

P.S. no PO or Reporting projects were harmed in the creation of this feature!

October 3, 2013 at 11.13 am

Enjoying the new inbuilt calculators and wondering if in future iterations there will be the ability for more sophisticated formulas related to budgeting and reporting? Example would be the ability to enter a budget that calculates against actuals to show delta projection either ahead of or under budget and by how much.

Michael Mori
October 3, 2013 at 3.19 pm

OKay, how sneaky are the XERO Developers, not only do they give us the built in calculator, but they slip in multiple decimal places to boot. This is seriously wicked! Now we can enter fuel, electricity and gas quantities and prices accurately. Thank -you, thank-you.

@Murray, @Lizzy and @Joanne Williamson, the calculator does all the basics and is available to all users and in all fields that you can enter values. Sales, Bills and Journals as well Spend and Receive money in the bank accounts. XERO have done their work well, as usual.
@ Debbie Splodge that little “glitch” is actually a feature that keeps XERO robust, unlike QuickBooks that allows you to change and delete anything without an audit trail, and unlike Sage/Pastel you can at least change accounts and tracking fields without deleting the payment first.

Russell du Plessis
October 4, 2013 at 8.37 am

A very useful feature. Great to see it implemented.

Andrew Tokeley
October 4, 2013 at 10.54 am

@Michael – thanks for responding to some of the comments, good stuff. Regarding, multiple dp, we haven’t been intentionally sneaky! I suspect what’s happening is that you can enter a calculation that would result in multiple dps but it will still get rounded to (usually) 2 dp when saved.

October 4, 2013 at 12.01 pm

Great feature! Xero you are coming along!

October 5, 2013 at 3.33 am

This is great!

October 8, 2013 at 11.38 pm

Keep the improvement coming – makes it even better than it currently is. Really looking forward to the Purchase Orders being added though – when will this be?

October 11, 2013 at 9.46 am

great idea but why limit it to only manual journals? there are plenty of other uses for it……when entering purchase invoices, receive money……
if you’re going to make something useful, then at least make it so everyone can use it where they need it. 🙁 whatever!

Haider Ali
October 11, 2013 at 11.52 pm

Multiplication would be very handy as well.

Andrew Tokeley
October 14, 2013 at 10.36 am

@charm – this was done back in Sept. Still a few more places to add it but we think it’s better to add value progressively rather than delaying things too long.

@Haider – this is supported. Have you discovered somewhere it’s not?

November 21, 2014 at 2.57 pm

Is there any plan to add the Total and Unit Price fields on the Expense Claim Add Reciept page (Expenses/EditReceipt.aspx). I quite often enter expense claims where I need to add two or three figures together. This would be very handy.

It’s quite frustrating having this functionality in some places and then trying to use it on this page and it not working.

Matt Barnett
November 24, 2014 at 7.48 am

@Brendan – we have some plans to roll it out to other pages; however expense claims isn’t on the list yet – but agreed that would be useful.

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