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Attach files to your financial data

Posted 8 years ago in Tech by Xero
Posted by Xero

UPDATE (June 30, 2014) – since writing this post we’ve added a number of new features for Files – including being able to send files via online invoices – check out Help for the latest updates.

Today cloud accounting moves beyond transactions and reports to include files and documents as part of the full financial data picture. Welcome to Files in Xero.

Traditionally, the files you create and receive as part of your business have been stored away in filing cabinets, shoe boxes or in some hidden folder on your computer. While many of these are directly related to your business, it’s not always easy to locate them when needed. With all your business data in Xero, it no longer makes sense to store your financial data and files separately – and this will make collaborating with your advisors even easier.

Files lets you attach multiple documents to almost anything in Xero and have them right at your fingertips, exactly where you expect to find them. Files can be associated with invoices, transactions, expense receipts, fixed assets, contacts, chart of accounts, bank accounts and even manual journals.
Xero has had single file attachments on bills and receipts for a while – but that was really only the beginning.

How will Files change the way you work?

  • What about attaching contractual documentation associated with one of your clients, loan documents for a bank account, or a picture of a fixed asset. Or even attach a photo of a client?
  • Store company incorporation documents for easy access by your accountant or bookkeeper.
  • If you’re a startup looking for funding or to be acquired, why not create a contracts register so you’re always ready for Due Diligence?
  • Accountants with not-for-profits, how about encouraging them to upload their source financial documents for you to make the audit process more cost effective?
  • Bookkeepers – win new clients by making Accounts Payable processing central to your service offering.
  • If you’re a franchisor, ask franchisees to upload their full business reports each month so all performance information is available.

We know you’ll find plenty of reasons to bring all your important business documents into Xero.

We’ll let you store 1GB to begin with – that’s about 20,000 typical Word docs and enough to keep the average small business going for many years. We’ll provide for increased storage in the future.

Behind the scenes we’ve worked with leading providers to deliver the same security, reliability and availability you’ve come to expect from Xero. Your files are fully encrypted and using geo-replication, are stored in multiple locations so you can rely on them being available when you need them – anywhere, at any time.

You can also look forward to being able to email files directly into your Files inbox – for example, you will be able to create a forwarding rule whenever any of your suppliers email you an invoice to have this automatically appear in your inbox from which you can quickly create a bill. We’ll be adding email support over the next few weeks.

Files is one of a growing list of features that make cloud accounting compelling. Like Bank Feeds, when you see Files you’ll wonder why it hasn’t always been this way. We think eventually all online accounting software will work like this. If you know people that are still working in a desktop disconnected fashion, show them Files.

You can find more information about Files and other updates in today’s release notes in Help.
Let us know what you think and enjoy!


Mary-Clare Switz
November 20, 2013 at 2.38 pm

Hi there,
It would be really nice to be able to attach a remittance advice received from a customer to the receipt … any chance of this happening??

Tom M
November 28, 2013 at 1.44 am

Hi All,

This may have already been answered, but a quick skim has not uncovered the answer.

Two clients of ours have been trying to upload PDF files to sales invoices and the customer’s page before you view their report. Word .docx files upload, however nothing happens for PDF’s. has anyone else noticed this? could this be a user setting issue?



November 29, 2013 at 9.54 am

@Tom M – If you are using Firefox or IE, then we have the EXACT same problem! I have written to xero about this!. Xero replied saying they know about it and that the “problem” is PCs with the latest Firefox or IE (which happens to be the majority of business internet users). Their solution was to use Chrome (really?)! This is very frustrating because we are not allowed to use Chrome @ work. Just hoping they fix it. Perhaps try writing to support to ask them to support this feature on these browsers?

I posted a screen capture of the bug on Firefox here: http://xero-bug.s3.amazonaws.com/xerobug.html

With IE11, same thing happens, but without any sort of error message. Ugh.

Luca G.
January 21, 2014 at 4.05 am

Same problem with Firefox on MacOSX Mavericks. Please fix it.

January 24, 2014 at 3.40 pm

It would be good if we could force the user to add file attachments to certain expenses eg. New Capital, Repairs & Maintenance, Donations. The setting for this could be in the chart of accounts edit account. Please vote https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/3936213/

Jane Scott
January 30, 2014 at 4.27 pm

+1 for the idea already mentioned above by Peter Ryan & Rich – indicating the presence/absence of attachments in the Account Transactions listview. And the same for any other listviews or reports that show any elements capable of holding attachments, such as the Invoices listview, the Bills listview, the Detailed Account Transaction Report, etc. It doesn’t even need to be an icon – just a number showing the amount of attachments would be fine. I understand this is on the way but as always, the sooner the better for us 🙂
We plan to attach relevant receipts/invoices to EVERY transaction, so being able to see at a glance any transactions that are still missing attachments would be a massive timesaver. Thanks!

Andrew Tokeley
January 31, 2014 at 8.59 am

@Jane – since the initial release we’ve added a small icon and number to a most (all?) of list screens around the app – including the account transactions, contact and invoice lists. We are hoping this covers what most people need. Note we haven’t yet planned doing this for reports too, but will be listening out for more feedback on this. Hope that helps.

Jane Scott
January 31, 2014 at 11.55 am

Thanks @Andrew – I’ve just checked it out in a variety of listviews and it’s perfect for what we need. Many thanks for that!
Having the same icons on Report views would be great at some future point as well, but the changes you’ve made up to here are brilliant. Great work Xero team 🙂

Reuben Jackson
May 14, 2014 at 3.09 pm

I would like to be able to run our body corporate on Xero, and have 90 users with read only access, and have those read only users able to view the “Files” area. It appears that read only users cannot access the files tab, and that there is no way to publish files as reports, nor any way to make a files folder public. If we could publish all important files to Xero, then we would not need a 3rd party secure file system.

Heather Smith
June 29, 2014 at 5.28 pm

When you search “xero files” this is the first link to return. It would be good if on this older blog posts – you could incorporate the updates within the blog post as a EDITORS UPDATE or the like….rather than having to scroll through everything to work out what updates have and have not happened.

The update seems to be
1. Yes documents can be emailed.
2. A lot more file types can be added
3. Penny Walker is an awesome mum
4. the ability to view & download documents

I still can’t work out what happens if I want to download all documents in ONE hit – is that possible.

It seems QUICK WIN offer this service : With my Excel Addon (now certified since I last posted) you can backup all of your data, download all attachments and PDF’s on all invoices. You can even automate it all as I now have an API for Excel VBA and macros. Not to mention all the cool reporting you can do as well.
Come check out the 14 day free trial – http://www.quickwindevelopment.com

Heather Smith
June 29, 2014 at 5.29 pm

That last bit was a cut & paste if it looks odd – sorry

Andrew Tokeley
June 30, 2014 at 9.55 am

@Heather – good idea, done!

You’re right, it’s not possible to download all your documents in one go. As you can imagine this could result in a massive file. So while possible, is not something we have planned.

July 22, 2014 at 2.04 pm

Are you looking to build sub-folders into the document filing system?

August 14, 2014 at 7.03 pm

Thanks for the mention!

I’d also like to add that my cloud service http://www.ledgerbackup.com allows you to backup both Xero Data and Attached files. You can do On demand and scheduled backups and everything gets saved to your MS OneDrive.

September 3, 2014 at 7.16 am

Is there a status on ‘sending files’ as attachments to PO’s or other items? The current PO process doesn’t seem to include file attachments beyond the PDF PO itself. All the PO’s in our industry require that we include graphic files / artwork files to our production request PO’s. Loving the product so far as we are new to Xero. File attachments into Xero is great, but we need to be able to share them with outside vendors.

October 16, 2014 at 8.43 pm

Craig Walker’s post from 25 October mentions “Anyone having issues with the previewer” can use the download button. I’m finding that when I use Chrome, I have download the files, whereas if I use Safari, the preview functionality works fine. Any insights in relation to this?

Craig Walker
October 23, 2014 at 8.41 am

@Tristan Yes – at some point – we’re still working through how we want to evolve the Files library.

@Blue33 Yes – this is definitely on the roadmap. No timeframes – but needs to get done.

@Jarran That was October last year! I have no issues previewing in Chrome – not sure what’s going on there. Might be worth contacting Xero Support so we can investigate further.

Billy Drew
January 1, 2015 at 11.52 am

Just reporting a bug with the iPhone 6 Plus Xero App and Add Files Function.

When I take a photo with the iPhone 6 Plus the scaling is wrong so it will cut off the right hand side of the image. The work around is to take a picture of the receipt with it on the left of the screen (leave a buffer of about a third on the right). When you look at the image after you have uploaded it, it’s ok.
Obviously this must be a bug with scaling with the higher resolution and screen size of the iPhone 6 Plus. Needs fixing!!

March 9, 2015 at 4.15 am

I have set up a Gmail script that creates PDFs from text-only invoices I receive and auto-sends them to Xero (http://www.sixfive.com.au/2014/06/auto-email-invoices-xero-gmail-pdf/). When Gmail sends these files, Xero gives me an error message that reads, “Sorry, the file you have tried to upload is not supported.”

If I open these PDFs in Acrobat or Preview they open perfectly. If I then close them and send them to Xero again using Mac Mail (rather than being forwarded by Gmail), Xero recognises the file and it appears in my Files folder as expected.

Is this a bug you’re familiar with and i there anything you can suggest I do to fix this?

Andrew Tokeley in reply to Paul
March 10, 2015 at 8.06 am

@Paul – we’ve had a look at the script you’re using and it’s not appending the “.pdf” file extension to the filename. This means Xero doesn’t recognise it as such. May be worth letting the sixfive team know… hope that helps

June 6, 2015 at 12.43 am

Xero are on the mark with files and documentation, we have gone one step further with our clients at moonlight ( http://www.moonlight.net.net.nz ) and have incorporated a document management system with our packages and we find this helps increase our efficiency and keep our costs low

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