A new release: Little things make a big difference

Hey, I’m Matt. Following on from Penny’s recent post about a release, I’m the other Product Owner in our ever-growing Sniper team at Xero. Some of you may know me from my previous roles at Xero with implementation and sales. Naturally, it’s a great move for me to change things up after six years and get one step closer to our product’s engine room. It’s also great to be directly contributing to product decisions after having spent so much time at the coalface working with Xero inside small businesses and accounting firms.

As many of you know, the Sniper team are tasked with the development of a range of smaller (and increasingly larger!) features to make life a little easier for all our customers.

I wanted to give you a bit of background on some of the highlights from today’s release.

  • Edit standard layout for remittance advice – when sending remittance advices to suppliers, you now have the option of including branding, such as a logo, and displaying an alternate address.
  • Bank reconciliation improvements – Xero has always helped you reconcile transactions by automatically suggesting coding options – this is great when you code similar transactions the same way every time. However, in some cases, this isn’t necessarily what you want, so you can now control this behaviour by turning off (or on) the ‘Suggest previous entries’ option for your organisation by bank account.

Bank reconciliation in Xero

  • Easy online invoice link – we’ve already talked about how online invoices help get you paid faster. We don’t want anyone to miss out – so if you don’t have an online link in your invoice email template you can now insert it with one simple click.
  • Import improvements – getting data into systems can be hard. It’s now easier to get your invoices into Xero accounting software. You can import an invoice’s branding theme and we’ve made a couple of other tweaks to the import templates.
  •  Drag and drop manual journal rows – just like on sales invoices you can now freely move rows around. So if you’re copying and editing many journals you can now drag and drop so that your debits and credits are where you want them.
  •  Internet Explorer 8 – more a heads up than a feature improvement, but please note from September 1, Internet Explorer 8 will no longer be supported. Sorry for those that may love it, but to continue using Xero you’ll need to either upgrade to a more recent version of Internet Explorer or move to an alternative supported browser.

As always, check the release notes for a complete list of what has been updated today.

We have a lot more planned, including our first steps towards payment receipting, exporting invoices and bills, searching over invoices by amount and applying tracking to bank transfers. We look forward to bringing these to you.

22 Comments

Chris
July 21, 2014 at 10:54 am

Obviously some undocumented changes as well – at least one anyway. The inventory screen has been moved to the new interface. (Unless that happened a while ago and I didn’t notice).

Phil
July 21, 2014 at 11:37 am

The option to turn off ‘Suggest previous entries’ is great. Makes the screen look less cluttered and reduces the chance of human error.

Heather Smith
July 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Amazed at how many updates we get with you guys – thanks!

US partners will be happy with the addition of the QuickBooks conversion!!

Nigel
July 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

This is handy – thank you.

With invoice CSV import can I leave out the Branding Theme column?

Also two minor changes for the future would be:
– optionally include telephone numbers in the CSV file. (This would mean I could print out lists of debtors to chase by phone without needing to cross reference with another system.)
– import invoices by emailing the CSV to my Xero Inbox. (My CSV’s are generated by a simple-to-programme database which I could set to email Xero, so this would give me almost API style automation between the database and Xero, and allow me to reduce the batch size to one.)

Linda
July 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Haven’t you had the QuickBooks conversion for a while? Or does this mean it now converts ALL history not just the past year?

Rod
July 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

As always. You guys continue to be several steps ahead. Great updates, thanks!

Gayle Buchanan
July 21, 2014 at 4:02 pm

thanks Matt, wondered where you were, how cool to have the opp to move around … btw love the little things and the auto reconcile off will save a heap of hair pulling come GST time – thank you

Bronwyn Dinniss
July 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Thanks Matt! Love the drag and drop on journals!

Matt Barnett
July 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

@Chris – yes indeed, we’ve given the Inventory Items page a visual overhaul.

@Phil, Heather, Rod, Gayle, Bronwyn – thanks!

@Nigel – yes, you can leave out the branding theme column if you don’t need it. On a related note, one of the other import tweaks mentioned above is including asterisks in the invoice import template headers for mandatory columns. It makes it a lot easier to see which fields are required (note that you can continue to use the old headers as well). Thanks for the other suggestions – nice thinking.

Mike Block CPA
July 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm

This sounds very good: “By turning off (or on) the ‘Suggest previous entries’ option for your organisation by bank account.” However, I see it is on each entry in the regular reconciliation. Are you saying that doing this once sets this for all entries in an account?

What if we want it on for some entries and off for others? Does this affect entries assigned in Cash Coding?

Xero still does not give us an option to automatically Ok or Save All entries. Save All only works a page at a time, may not save entries assigned to accounts after a series not assigned. Therefore, this seems to make my still free http://0CPAs.com/ program far more valuable. It auto-saves (OK and Save All) all assigned entries in any or all accounts OR companies in seconds. It will soon let you skip this for Receivables, Payables and Transfers. It also exports all Bank Rules to Excel, which lets you add, correct and edit Rules far faster, before you import them into new clients.

I even have an AskAccount program that lets you accumulate all your client Bank Rules, so you can let assistants see how you previously assigned accounts. It will soon help you refer unknowns to supervisors and more.

Matt Barnett
July 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

@Linda – yes, we have had the QuickBooks conversion tool for a while. This release allows US partners to manage their conversions directly from within My Xero. The free service is still for the current and prior fiscal year.

@Mike – switching it off means for all transactions in that bank account, for all users of the organization, no suggested entries show in the Create tab. Bank rules still show. While switched off, in the background Xero still ‘learns’ the suggestions if you ever want to turn them back on again. Suggested entries don’t apply on cash coding (just rules), so there is no impact there. Hope that helps clarify.

Daniel
July 23, 2014 at 12:13 am

Thanks Matt, this all sounds so useful. I think it will be great how you can now drag and drop. I think this will be a lot quicker. Turning off (or on) the suggest previous entries will be handy too.

sophie
July 23, 2014 at 6:52 am

Hi Matt and congrats! These updates look fab and sound like they’ll have a time saving impact. My big, big, big wish for an update soon would be a search within the file system pretty please…

Matt Barnett
July 23, 2014 at 8:31 am

@Daniel – thanks for the feedback, glad to hear these small features will trim the edges off your processing time.

@Sophie – thank you! Search within Xero Files is definitely on the roadmap. However, we have a few things to do first, so it won’t be in the immediate future – please hang in there!

Rob
July 23, 2014 at 1:51 pm

How about an option to print a nice large mailing label along with an invoice.
The information is already all there, surely it is just a formatting issue.
At the moment I just send a statement as a mailing label when needed but some customers see this as slightly passive aggressive.

Matthew
July 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Here’s some things you guys desperately need to get done:

* Australian Annual GST Information Report – it should be an embarrassment to Xero that this is not able to be reported. It should take 2 hours for a coder

* The ability to be able to save various bank account details somewhere, then I would just select which one to apply to an invoice. The current system of having to have a different template for every single bank account is ridiculous, especially when you operate multiple foreign currency accounts, and even with the same customer invoice in different currencies.

* Units of Measure on Invoices, PO’s and Quotes, if quotes ever materialise. UoM’s should have been in the system from the outset.

* The ability to resize and shift columns in any screen. In fact, all columns should be editable, including headers. The header information should be in a separate module that I can go into, edit my headers for every single module, such that I can say what they are etc. For an invoice I should be able to dictate how many columns I want on it, what each of these columns are and as per previous, personalise headers, other than Total and Tax rate.

These should all be relatively simple to implement and it would be good for you to hit them.

Matt Barnett
July 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm

@Rob – there are currently no plans for a dedicated labelling feature. Have you seen our suggested process for creating packing slips?
Also, please add your vote to the related thread on Xero Community. Thanks for the suggestion.

Matt Barnett
July 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

@Matthew – cheers for the feedback:
1. Annual GST report: Yes, I hear you. The annual BAS option can be worked around by updating the Financial Settings to Quarterly Option 1 and specifying the annual date range on the BAS. We are looking to address this when we update the Activity Statement – but we have no dates for this yet.

2. We plan to take a fresh look at the invoice settings and options in the future. For existing/repeat customers would it be helpful to set a default branding theme on the contact?

3. We don’t have any current plans to introduce units of measure. If your invoices and other documents are for the same item you could consider using docx templates to rename the quantity header. Please vote here in our Community. Also, note that work on quotes has begun in our Melbourne office.

4. Our new reports allow you to move and choose columns. As above, we have plans to introduce more options on invoicing – although, this won’t be in the immediate future.

Mike Block CPA
July 28, 2014 at 8:15 am

PLEASE give us an option to make suggestions apply in Cash Coding. It would save a terrific amount of time.

Mike Block CPA
July 28, 2014 at 9:34 pm

PLEASE give us the option to turn suggestions on for Cash Coding. It will save a terrific amount of time.

Mike Pinkus
August 14, 2014 at 4:07 am

Is there a way to create rules for transfers? I want to create a rule to transfer payments from a business account to a credit card.

Matt Barnett
August 14, 2014 at 8:31 am

Mike. I agree, rules for transfers would be great. Something we’d love to do, but isn’t at the top of the list just yet. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, please add your vote to the feature request on Community. To workaround things for now, try creating a rule on each bank account both sides coded to the same suspense account – this should provide your desired outcome.

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