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New Xero features out today

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Last month I was at Xerocon Sydney where we announced some of the new Xero features being launched over the next three months. Well, it’s only a few weeks later and the first of these features are live – it’s how we roll.

Batch deposits

For those of you dealing with customers paying by check/cheque or paying multiple invoices at once, this feature will be a huge time saver. Hopefully it will also put a smile on the faces of those waiting for this feature on Community.

Batch deposit is the accounts receivable equivalent to batch payments. From the Sales dashboard, simply select the invoices to be paid and press the ‘Deposit’ button.

Once you’ve confirmed the batch, payments (or part payments, if you’ve adjusted the amounts) will be created for the selected invoices – no more need to drill into each individual invoice (yes!).

deposit

Deposit slips

If your batch deposit was created from a number of checks/cheques, you can choose to print a simple deposit slip to take to the bank.

Receipts (invoice payments)

Another much requested feature, receipts can be sent to thank your customers for invoice payments. These can be initiated from a batch deposit, where a separate email for each unique customer will be created, or from any single payment record.

Xero will attach a copy of the receipt to each receipt email. Receipt documents can have their layout edited – so you can easily apply your branding. You can also customise the standard text used for the email body from the email settings.

Note that we don’t yet support sending receipts on cash (Receive Money) transactions – this is something we’re considering for a future release. You can add your weight to the Community request for this.

receipt

More new reports

Head on over to the new, and growing, report centre, for all the latest reports. We’ve already talked about the new Aged, Depreciation and Account Transactions reports and today we’ve added a couple of new ones.

  • Profit and Loss – this is the first release of the new P&L report and it includes a brand new way of controlling the report layouts. It also allows you to create your own formulae (gross profit percentage anyone?). I’ve asked Mark Blundell, who has been working hard on the new reporting framework, to write a dedicated blog on this to cover all the goodness. Stay tuned.
  • Disposal Schedule – the best thing about the new Disposals Schedule, is that it exists! Previously there wasn’t a report which would detail fixed assets that had been sold or written off within a period. Now there is.
  • Account Transactions – while some of you may have already seen this update, we’ve now finished rolling this out to all users. So if you haven’t had a chance, give it a whirl. One of the main enhancements is the option to report on multiple accounts at a time. A future release will add multi-currency support, for now, the report shows all values in base currency.

Other stuff

But wait, there’s more!

  • Faster spend/receive transactions – a new button on the Account Transactions screen, “New Transaction”, lets you quickly create new spend/receive transactions on the fly. Really useful if you want to understand your cash position and enter the details of checks/cheques before they’ve cleared the bank.
  • New inventory item fields – in preparation for more inventory features, we’ve added more details to each item,
    • Item Code – a short code to identify the item
    • Name – a human readable name for the item
    • Sales description – the description that will, by default, appear when this item is used on sales invoices
    • Purchase description – the description that will, be default, appear when this item is used on bills and purchase orders. This would be a good place to record a supplier part code, for example.
  • Invoice export – a small feature, but with plenty of support on Community, you can now export sales invoices and bills in CSV format, making it easy to slice & dice the detail of what you’re buying and selling.
  • Authorize.Net eCheck support – if you’re a US or Canadian customer already using Authorize.Net as a payment service in online invoicing, then we’ve added the ability for your customers to pay directly from their bank through the use of eChecks.
echeck
  • Improved contact lookups – when searching for a contact on invoices and other transactions, Xero now displays the primary person’s name too. It’s also smarter at finding matches as you type, searching across the primary person as well as contact name.
release3

As always, more details about new Xero features can be found in our release notes.

Bye for now.

UPDATE: It’s great to see happy customers tweeting about these new features:

27 comments

James
September 8, 2014 at 11.06 am

Cool. Some big stuff in there. But my personal favourite is the contact search improvements. Sometimes the small stuff can save heaps of time! Thanks.

Jonathon
September 8, 2014 at 11.31 am

Ah the long awaited batch receipts, that’s great and some other really cool stuff too. Nice work.

Jared Armstrong
September 8, 2014 at 1.09 pm

These new reports look great, and are to be a lot faster to navigate appropriate period than the old ones (thank you!!)

One thing I immediately miss though is being able to click into a number on the P&L to see the list of transactions that make up the total for the period. Any chance of bringing that back?

Jason
September 8, 2014 at 1.09 pm

Just playing with the new P&L. .. (My favourite Xero toy). It appears you can no longer drill down on figures to receive a break down of the transactions. Will this functionality be implemented before final roll out?

Mark Blundell
September 8, 2014 at 2.39 pm

Hi Jason and Jared
Yes the drill downs will be in a release coming up soon. It won’t be long to wait I promise.

Nigel
September 8, 2014 at 3.32 pm

Fab new features – thank you!

The new design is not good though – it takes much more brain power to see what is going on. Did we previously have green/orange reconciled/unreconciled indicators at the left hand side of bank account line items? That didn’t require me to scan the whole line, or read a word on the right hand side of the screen for each line.

And the drop down to switch account in Account Transactions feels counterintuitive given that it only appears, I think, when I am on that tab, but it is above the tab controls in the display hierarchy.

Andrew Tokeley in reply to Nigel
September 8, 2014 at 3.38 pm

@nigel – we’ll keep track of what others say about the design changes here, our feedback was that not everyone knew what the indicators meant (initially at least) and that this made it clearer. Time will tell!

And, yes, we will be putting the bank account switcher on all the bank pages soon.

Sean
September 8, 2014 at 4.15 pm

Love the Batch Deposits as we receive large numbers of Cheques… just need to be able to edit a batch to put invoices older than the 200 on the invoices screen!

Stephen Lynch
September 8, 2014 at 4.15 pm

The new receipts don’t appear to allow for Branding. The only option for the field: Use branding theme is “Unbranded”. How can I get my logo on a receipt?

Andrew Tokeley in reply to Stephen Lynch
September 8, 2014 at 4.48 pm

@Stephen – the dropdown that says “Unbranded” should also show any standard invoice themes you’ve defined in Invoice Settings. Select one of these and a logo (if defined) will appear. Currently we don’t allow you to define a DOCX theme for receipts – but it’s something we’re considering.

Jonathon
September 8, 2014 at 4.54 pm

Plus one to putting the icons back onto the left hand side of the account transactions screen as well. 🙂

Stephen Lynch
September 8, 2014 at 7.18 pm

@Andrew Thanks Andrew. However when I made a payment and the next screen has a link to send receipt – This screen only shows unbranded in the dropdown list. (Not my themes). But if I go to actual payment and go to options, If I choose send receipt the same issue occurs where there is no other items. But if I choose View receipt (pdf) from the option list it lets me choose from my templates however when they create they all create exactly the same regardless of the template so I still cannot get a logo onto the receipt. Any ideas?

Andrew Tokeley in reply to Stephen Lynch
September 9, 2014 at 10.10 am

@Stephen – that doesn’t sound right, we’ll look into it.

Nigel
September 9, 2014 at 12.50 am

@Andrew – Thank you. It would be mildly better if the reconciled/unreconciled status column was on the left. But the old symbol, perhaps with a mouseover to aid comprehension would be better still.

I think the horizontal line dividers (and the spacing to help iPad users) don’t help either. The page screams ‘too much information’ rather than presents a unified view of lots of data at once.

If you typed the data out in Microsoft Word with no formatting it would be easier for me to read and take it in, so the new design is not working for me.

I guess you have decided to make it work well on iPads at the expense of those of us who use Xero on computers. I would have thought the majority use computers for accounting?

The batch deposit feature is brilliant though.

Laurence Moore
September 9, 2014 at 5.02 am

@Andrew any chance of running a balance sheet at any date rather than just at month end, any time soon?

Andrew Tokeley in reply to Laurence Moore
September 9, 2014 at 10.12 am

@Laurence – yes, this will be a feature of the new balance sheet and is likely to be the next report we release 🙂

Mark Blundell
September 9, 2014 at 10.10 am

Hi Laurence, you bet!
The Balance Sheet and Movements in Equity reports will be hot on the heels of this. They will use the same date controls as the new reports so you will be able to run a balance sheet for any date you wish.

Andrew Tokeley
September 9, 2014 at 3.50 pm

@stephen – I’ve had a look and you’ve found a small glitch in the system! The “View receipt (pdf)” dialog mistakenly shows your DOCX invoice themes, but then ignores them if selected. We’ll sort this so they don’t show and cause this confusion. Thanks!

We don’t support customisable receipts using DOCX templates but in the meantime you can create a new standard invoice theme (not DOCX), add your logo to this and select it when sending/viewing receipts. That will work.

Good luck.

Stephen Lynch
September 9, 2014 at 5.06 pm

@Andrew – Thanks Andrew – I understand now. Appreciated rapid response.

Mary-Clare Switz
September 10, 2014 at 1.11 am

Love the new report features and really love the new Batch Deposit!! I do, however, agree with @Nigel … would you please move the reconciled/unreconciled back to the left. I personally preferred the icons as well, but could live without them. Also, the new Account Transactions look is a wee bit ‘airy.’ I do understand that you are trying to design for tablets as well, but it is too open and hard to scan quickly … just my opinion. Keep up the good work Team Xero!!

Chris Dixon
September 10, 2014 at 3.14 am

1. Bring back the icons, or at least put the status on the left of the screen! Backward step 🙁
2. Deposits. To use it you have to work out who has under/overpaid and eliminate prepayments too, and while you’re at it separately deposit any receipt that doesn’t relate to an invoice (like a tax refund). That’s after you’ve remembered to allocate any credit notes to invoices! But for those lucky users whose customers pay exact invoice amounts its neat enough. We’ll be keeping the workaround of putting the bank deposit slip reference in the reference field of each related item.
3. The ongoing move to touch compatible screens is less welcome for intensive PC users like accountants and bookkeepers, because touch screen apps are slower.. Any chance of Xero keeping the old screens and allowing the option to use them (maybe via a “display screens in classic style” option)? I know, that would create support issues ………..

Chris Dixon
September 10, 2014 at 3.19 am

PS – on the new P&L report you can only display current plus previous 9 periods? And do the new report formats generally do away with the wide view option?

Berwyn Myers
September 11, 2014 at 4.21 am

Sorry to be negative but I preferred the original styling and feel quite strongly that Xero have rolled out tablet screen styles for computer users. It looks rubbish on my computer and moving away from the “beautiful software” that set it apart from the crowds. I also wholly support the above comments about icons and positioning – what’s going on Xero?.

James
September 11, 2014 at 5.14 am

Great job guys!! I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and being able to receive a check for multiple invoices all at once is phenomenal.

Best,

James

Andrew Tokeley
September 16, 2014 at 10.35 am

@Berwyn, @Nigel, @Chris, @Mary-Clare – appreciate the feedback on the new designs. We’re discussing the placement of the status and use of icons, good to hear your thoughts. Also, regarding the new, more-white-space layout, it’s something we’re gradually introducing across the app. Our thinking here is to cater towards the trend for an increasing number of devices (not just tablets) to be touch enabled. Our desire is to create a web interface that’s easy to read and navigate regardless of your device – this means being friendly to both fingers and mice. Am sure we’ll tweak things over time, so keep the comments coming.

@Chris – the reports are designed to expand on the screen as required to fit all the columns in, which should remove the need to explicitly select a wide view. For PDF output we also make sure to scale the report so it will fit in to portrait or landscape accordingly. As it happens, the team are still working on getting more than 9 periods to fit onto a page, so that’s why we’ve set this limit to 9 for now! Team are working on supporting more compare periods as we speak. Stay tuned.

Todd
November 24, 2014 at 8.16 pm

Please make an option to disable eCheck on the Authorize.net settings. Although some people may have echeck enabled on their account, most do not (speaking as an authorize.net partner reseller). This is quite misleading and confusing as the customer will most likely have a denied transaction and not understand why.

David
January 28, 2015 at 7.10 am

I second the request to allow users to disable eCheck payment as an Authorize.net option. Accepting eChecks via Authorize.net is an enhanced feature of Auth.net accounts and something customers have to pay for. Therefore not all Auth.net customers accept eChecks.

We probably will not use the Auth.net via Xero online invoicing until this is fixed.

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