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It’s almost here! Xero Expenses available in New Zealand within Standard and Premium Plans

Posted 1 year ago in Advisors by xero
Posted by xero

In a week’s time, Xero Expenses will be available to all new and existing standard and premium plan customers within New Zealand. This new tool takes a modern, mobile-first approach – giving accounting and bookkeeping advisors powerful visibility into how money is spent in their clients’ businesses, while simplifying a complex, time consuming and paper-riden process for small businesses owners.

How it works

Because of the number of people involved in an expense process – the employee claiming the expense, the staff member responsible for approving and processing the expense, and the person who pays the expense –  it can often become a disjointed and time consuming workflow. Xero Expenses reduces the hidden costs of processing expense claims for small businesses and saves many hours, while giving advisors even more insight to best advise their clients.

Employees can now simply input expenses from their Xero Expenses app, and have the expense automatically transcribed (or manually inputted) in the Xero platform. The expenses can then be approved for reimbursement, or categorised, by the business or their advisor for quick filing.

Additional benefits

Xero Expenses is embedded within Xero and for the first time businesses and advisors will have a single view of their spending habits directly from their accounting dashboard. As more information is gathered, advisors will be able to provide higher value advice on client spending decisions to ensure they are making effective decisions across the company.

Building on the Xero financial web, in the coming months the Xero Expenses API will allow third party applications to deliver additional services and functionality to the millions of small business employees using Xero.

Accessing Xero Expenses

From 10 July to 28 September 2018, Xero Expenses will be available for free, to all new and existing customers and partners on standard and premium plans.

From 28 September 2018, both standard and premium plans will increase in price by $5 per month. Standard subscriptions will be $60 a month, while premium pricing becomes $75 a month, both excluding GST. This pricing includes one active Xero Expenses user with subscribers paying an additional $5 per additional active user.

For more information on how to access Xero Expenses and what this means for you, please see the FAQ directly below.

FAQ

Q: How is new Xero Expenses different to other online solutions?

The purpose of Xero Expenses is to improve the experience of managing expenses by increasing the ways our customers can automate the entry of data into Xero. It’s usually the case that you can get more out of the Xero platform when using specialised integrated apps and this remains the case with Xero Expenses. For more information on using Xero Expenses alongside third party apps, visit our app advisory playbooks.

Q: Why Xero Expenses vs Excel spreadsheets and emails?

Customers and accountants have to process expense claims as a normal part of doing business. It is the manual, clunky process handled outside the accounting platform that is the cause of the pain by running this process with Excel and emails and drives the hidden cost to you. While you don’t have to pay for Excel there is significant cost in your time and frankly, energy sucked from using the wrong tools to do the job.

Excel was built to handle calculation and analysis like forecasting and budgeting. Emails serve the purpose of communication (kind of quickly). Neither of these tools were built with the intention of processing an expense claim through the several parts of that currently disjointed process.

Automating the process alleviates that pain you are enduring and reduces the hidden cost you are paying.

Q: How do I get started with the new Expenses?

From 10 July 2018, under the Accounts tab in your Xero account, you’ll see a new option labelled Expense claims. The first time you click on this, you’ll receive an introduction message and be guided through a quick three-step set-up process, including: 1, Selecting your expenses users; 2, Selecting the account codes you want to be able to match expenses claims to; and 3, Accepting authorisation of receipt scanning.

Q: What is the simplest way to migrate from my current expense claiming tool?

We recommend keeping the workflow current so you don’t accidentally double enter data. Make sure you close off all expense claims from your old system and export a copy of all completed claims for your records. If you’d like a copy in Xero for record-keeping purposes (IRD requires you to keep all business records for seven years), you can upload a copy into the Xero files library or attach a copy directly to the applicable transaction. Once you start using Xero Expenses, you’ll enjoy a full record for your expenses in Xero and attached to the applicable transaction records.

Q: How will I know how many of my staff will be charged for the Xero Expenses?

The new Standard and Premium plans include expenses for one ‘active user’. Any additional ‘active users’ will cost $5 each per month. A user is an ‘active user’ if one or more (there’s no limit) expense claims is assigned to that person in a month. You’ll be prompted when you first use the new expenses tool to confirm which staff members can access it and it’s easy to manage these users in your Xero permissions settings.

Q: When will I see the changes on my invoice from Xero?

The price changes take effect from 28 September 2018 and will show on invoices from this date onwards. The change-over invoices will likely have two lines – the period up to the price change and the period after the change.

Q: If there’s another Xero plan that works better for me/my clients, can I change?

Yes, you can upgrade or downgrade from My Xero and the pricing plan will automatically change. Please note that you can only downgrade pricing plans once every 30 days.

 

If you have any further questions please contact support@xero.com

42 comments

Mike Jarvis
July 3, 2018 at 4.12 pm

Hey guys- what if we don’t need or want Xero expenses?? Just another way of dressing up a price increase really. Poor form.

How about charging your overseas customers more since we subsidise them, and have done for years.

Sam Kerins in reply to Mike Jarvis Xero
July 3, 2018 at 5.59 pm

@ Mike Thanks for your feedback. This isn’t about us dressing up a price increase though, we see real value in the new Xero Expenses feature and the time it can save small business owners and their advisors.

Unfortunately, Xero Expenses is a specific feature within the standard and premium plans that is not charged for separately and therefore can’t be opted out of.

We develop all our plans based on the core needs of our different customer groups which is why you’ve seen the addition of Xero Expenses. I’m sorry in this instance it hasn’t hit the mark for you but I hope you still see the value of Xero.

Regarding our pricing, we are confident that it reflects the value of local features delivered in each market and is fairly consistent across the regions.

Michael Hawkins in reply to Sam Kerins
July 3, 2018 at 8.05 pm

@Sam, Mike is right on the money about the the NZ customers subsidising the overseas customers as far as I can make out.
You only need to look at the pricing in other countries to see that.
Australia is charged NZD $54.95
USA is charged NZD $44.62
UK is charged NZD $43.12
Yet we get whacked at NZD $55.00
Exchange rates as at 03-07-18

Sure looks like we get the raw end of the stick don’t you think?

Sam Kerins in reply to Michael Hawkins Xero
July 4, 2018 at 9.43 am

@ Michael,
Our pricing reflects the value of local features delivered in each market – all of which differ slightly region by region. So, while I can appreciate that a direct conversion may appear as though NZ subscribers pay more than others, there are more variables to consider so it’s not quite that simple.
Thanks,
Sam

Raymond Goh
July 12, 2018 at 11.56 am

Michael, Australia is not getting a price increase for their standard plans too. Plus it looks like they get a choice whether Expenses is added or not. We are getting the shortest end of the stick for sure.

Michael Hawkins
July 3, 2018 at 8.00 pm

@Mike I’m with you here. I have zero use for the new Xero Expenses and would suspect I’m not the only one in the same boat, yet the price goes up for everyone!
It’s’ really poor form !!

Greg
July 3, 2018 at 9.16 pm

Just NO!!
I DON’T NEED THIS!
If you don’t want to lose customers, I would highly suggest making another plan option, one between your starter plan and your standard plan without this extra add on.
I personally have started to look elsewhere, because if this goes through there is no longer a suitable plan for my current business size.
Even your starter plan hasn’t allowed for business growth. There should be unlimited quotes for us to attempted to get work flow in. we are not guarantee the work we quote on….

Sam Kerins in reply to Greg Xero
July 4, 2018 at 9.56 am

@Greg
Thanks for your feedback.

We develop our plans based on the core needs of our different customer groups. I’m sorry that in this instance it hasn’t hit the mark for you but I hope we get the opportunity to prove to you the value of Xero.

If you’d like to speak to someone further about this please let me know and I can set it up.

Thanks,
Sam

Chris Howden
July 3, 2018 at 10.08 pm

First petrol, now this – your timing isn’t great for small businesses and I don’t like being forced to pay for something I don’t need. Just dropped massively in my estimation, only a few weeks ago I was recommending you.

Sam Kerins in reply to Chris Howden Xero
July 4, 2018 at 9.57 am

@Chris
Thanks for taking the time to send through your feedback.
Our plans are developed based on the core needs of our different customer groups, I’m sorry that in this instance we haven’t hit the mark for you. If you’d like to speak to someone further about this, please let me know.
Thanks,
Sam

James Denniston
July 4, 2018 at 10.38 am

None of my clients want or need this new “upgrade” please leave us on the old rate!!!!!!!!!

“Price will never go up as long as I am associated with the Company”. Quote from Rod Drury. The price was $49 then and partners got 50% of that!!!

Everyone’s biggest fear was that your Company would get the hook into us and screw us. How right we were. You change the goal posts every six months!!!

Sam Kerins in reply to James Denniston Xero
July 5, 2018 at 8.58 am

Hi James,

Thanks for your feedback.

Like our invoicing, Expenses is a specific feature within the standard and premium plans that is not charged for separately and therefore cannot be opted-out of.

Our plans are developed based on the core needs of our different customer groups and we are confident the pricing fairly reflects the features and service appropriate to our customers’ needs and size, and the functionality the new Xero Expenses offers. Re. Rod’s comment, this was in relation to the original Xero offering in New Zealand and not charging more for the same thing. Since that time, our offering has changed beyond recognition to what it is today.

To help communicate the changes to your clients, you can use the email/letter template we have supplied.

Thanks
Sam

Vivien
July 6, 2018 at 7.45 am

If I have 10 employees in a month that submit an expense claim, currently I do not pay anything extra. Will the current method remain or are we all forced to change to the paid expense app where we end up paying $ 50 extra per month if those same employees submit an expense?

At the moment, you supply software for small businesses with a low cost threshold and in one move that changes the cost structure completely. Was this the intention?

Sam Kerins in reply to Vivien Xero
July 8, 2018 at 10.31 pm

Hi Vivien,

The current expense claim feature is being replaced by the new Xero Expenses. From January 2019 the current feature will become read only, this does mean you’ll need to migrate to the new feature before then.

We built Xero Expenses as a dedicated expenses application to make it easier for you and your employees to capture, transcribe receipts and complete expense claim submissions. It also brings new features including mobile (smartphone) accessibility, easy review and approve workflow, user permissions and analytics to understand what is being spent and by who.

After careful consideration of the market, we are confident that our pricing fairly reflects the features and service appropriate to our customers’ needs and size, and the functionality the new Xero Expenses offers.

If you’d like to talk to someone further about this let me know and I can set it up.

Thanks,
Sam

Callan
July 6, 2018 at 3.56 pm

I agree with the sentiment of other commentators.

Disappointed that this feature is not being offered as an opt-in add-on as you have done for projects/payroll. A useful feature for a minority – but as a gold partner, for most of our business plan clients, it is not suitable/asked for.

Xero encourages bundling fixed service pricing, then gives its partners 3 months notice of a (close to) 10% price increase – bad form. Who was the bright spark that thought masking a price increase in the guise of a new “minor feature” and not foreseeing a backlash from its partner community. Because lets be honest, there have been far better enhancements added in recent years and so while a modest price rise could be justified – just give us fair notice.

For the first time in 4 years, I find myself looking up MYOB’s pricing models. Not because I’m particularly enamored to their alternative – but out of concern as to what this approach signals in respect to trust in Xero.

Sam Kerins in reply to Callan Xero
July 9, 2018 at 9.10 am

Hi Callan,

Thanks for taking the time to send us your feedback.

This isn’t about us masking a price increase though, we see real value in the new Xero Expenses feature and the time it can save small business owners and their advisors. We have taken a lot of time to analyse the market and are confident our prices fairly reflect the features and service appropriate to our customers’ needs and size, and the functionality the new Xero Expenses offers.

We also worked closely with a number of accountants and bookkeepers to understand the administrative overhead associated with the changes. We believe that approximately three months is a fair and reasonable notification period.

I’m sorry to hear you’re disappointed though – it’s certainly not the result we were looking for. If you’d like to speak to someone further about this please let me know and I can set it up.

Thanks,
Sam

Tom
July 7, 2018 at 11.52 pm

I echo the sentiments of others on this thread.

I’m a sole trader and don’t require the expense claims functionality. I could barely justify the cost of Xero and that was prior to the last two price increases.

Why not provide it as an optional add on as you have done with payroll and projects If it offers the value as claimed, it will sell itself, otherwise as Mike says its, simply another price increase.

Sam Kerins in reply to Tom Xero
July 9, 2018 at 9.11 am

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your feedback.

I appreciate your position and I’m sorry that in this instance we haven’t hit the mark for you. We are working on a few different streams of work though which will provide functionality that will also be useful to businesses without employees using Xero Expenses, so please do keep an eye out.

Thanks,
Sam

Michael Hawkins in reply to Sam Kerins
July 9, 2018 at 9.07 pm

@Sam, When can we expect these different streams to come into effect?
And will there be another price increase for these as well?
I’m seriously considering moving away from Xero to Reckon or something similar.

Sam Kerins in reply to Michael Hawkins Xero
July 10, 2018 at 1.05 pm

Hi Michael,

From today (10 July), new Xero Expenses will be automatically included in Xero for anyone on New Zealand standard or premium plans. Initially there’s no extra charge, but from 28 September 2018, the monthly subscription price will increase as a result of this new functionality.

This means that standard subscriptions will be $60 a month, while premium pricing becomes $75 a month, both excluding GST. This pricing includes one active Xero Expenses user and then subscribers will pay $5 a month for each additional user.

Thanks,
Sam

Margot
July 9, 2018 at 7.34 pm

That’s a shame! I just came on board here to initiate the expense claim feature and am disappointed at this news. If this is the case then I’ll continue to chug away with the faithful spreadsheet. Hope you don’t intend to start adding charges for uploading files!

No need to reply Sam, I’m just letting off steam and expressing disappointment as I know you appreciate feedback. Also, the standard spiel of “not hitting the mark” is wearing thin and weakens the sincerity of your apology.

Sam Kerins in reply to Margot Xero
July 10, 2018 at 1.02 pm

Thanks Margot – I know you said there was no need to reply but let me know if you’d like to chat to anyone further about this and I can set it up.
Thanks,
Sam

Greg Rotto
July 9, 2018 at 8.54 pm

Hi – this appears to be another example of the “beautiful software” only being beautiful in relation to increasing costs for functionality that is not a need but a want – not only a want but a need (actually a want) as defined by the developer and not the user – this is kind of back to front don’t you think? or some might use the term ridiculous or even narcissistic or dictatorial. How about you take on a suggestion – instead of making this a mandatory add-on – why not make it a an option that can or cannot be added depending on need.

I can see by your replies above that you are not even interested in what the user is suggesting – why not?

We still need finance charges built into the Sales module – yet that is not happening as far as I can see – please advise when this essential functionality is going to be addressed and go-live?

Sam Kerins in reply to Greg Rotto Xero
July 10, 2018 at 1.04 pm

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your feedback.

Having analysed the accounting software market very carefully, we are confident that the pricing fairly reflects the features and service appropriate to our customers’ needs and size, and the functionality the new Xero

Re. finance charges being built in – a useful blog that outlines some of the complexity of deciding what next to build is here. For details on some highlights of new features, take a look at the feature timeline on xero.com or add your vote on the feature requests in the Xero Community.

If you’re interested in speaking with someone further about this please let me know.

Thanks,
Sam

Jason
July 11, 2018 at 10.23 am

I guess you’ve done a customer analysis survey & your shareholders have decided the sole trader isn’t going to generate enough revenue for them moving forward.
Like everyone else here, while I do love Xero – for me, it is expensive & I won’t get a lot of benefit (personally) with this new feature that I’ve never requested.
How about auto-statements, that’s been a feature request for years (& where is it?!). If you were increasing your price for a feature like that, then I probably would be happy to absorb the price increase, as I would get an awful lot of benefit from it.
I find it disingenuous on your part to not offer this in as an opt-in feature, or, would you care to share the results of the survey you undertook which overwhelmingly points to the fact that we (all) actually want this feature & are happy to pay for it?
Perhaps I’d feel happier about it then?
It’s actually not the price increase that really aggravates me, but the fact that this is a fait accompli & we have xero choice in the matter.
Sad to say but today I’m going to start looking for an alternative.

Sam Kerins in reply to Jason Xero
July 12, 2018 at 9.25 am

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your feedback and sorry to hear you feel we have been disingenuous – that certainly wasn’t our intention.

We develop all our plans based on the core needs of our different customer groups which is why you’ve seen the addition of Xero Expenses. I appreciate it’s a tough position for sole traders but we are working on a few different streams of work to provide functionality that will be useful to businesses without employees using Xero Expenses. I hope we get the chance to prove our value to you.

Re. other features, we have invested more than $500 million in R&D since Xero’s inception and delivered a huge range of new features that make it easier to do business. This blog outlines some of the complexity of deciding what next to build and you can see our feature timeline here.

Thanks,
Sam

MikeD
July 11, 2018 at 4.55 pm

This is crazy. You are already going to be charging $5 for each extra user who uses the system anyway… so why make it a $5 increase for everyone regardless of whether anyone uses the feature (just to include the first user free)… why not just charge for each user who uses the new expenses system full stop! Don’t use it, then you don’t pay. That way, those who have no interest in the expenses feature will not be paying $5 for it with no gain in functionality.

We’re a charity, and we’ve been unable to use the old expenses feature up until now, as the permissions model (or lack there of) made it completely unusable for our needs. Finally you release something that might start to work for us, but the pricing puts it completely beyond our reach. Not at all impressed!

And to add insult to that, we now we get to pay extra money every month for the privilege of not being able to afford the new feature we might want to use!

Madness!

I hope someone re-thinks this idea…..

Sam Kerins in reply to MikeD Xero
July 12, 2018 at 9.26 am

Hi Mike,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I’m sorry you’re frustrated. We develop all our plans based on the core needs of our different customer groups and are confident our prices fairly reflect the features and service appropriate to our customers’ needs and size, and the functionality the new Xero Expenses offers.

As a charity though, you will continue to be eligible for a 25 percent discount which we hope may make things easier for you. If you’d like to talk to someone about this please let me know.

Thanks also for the flag on the blog date – will look into that.

Thanks,
Sam

MikeD
July 11, 2018 at 4.57 pm

ps. Why is this Blog post listed as being posted a year ago? (July 2017).

Very random!

Reuben
July 12, 2018 at 2.02 pm

I’m not so sure…

Katie Barden
July 12, 2018 at 11.28 am

I agree with everyone’s sentiments here – I run a small bookkeeping business with a number of very small businesses as clients and pushing the price up for their monthly subscriptions for a feature they’re not going to use is going to be a bitter pill to swallow. It’s hard enough to run a small business when your monthly expenses are adding up around your ears!
You’ve made a lot of money from a lot of loyal people over time and rather than creating an optional module you force it upon everyone, whether they’re going to use it or not.
Disappointed sorry

Sam Kerins in reply to Katie Barden Xero
July 12, 2018 at 12.29 pm

Hi Katie,

Thank you for your feedback. I’m sorry you’re disappointed, that certainly wasn’t our intention.

To help communicate the changes to your clients, you can use the email/letter template we supplied and send them the details for the webinar to showcase Xero Expenses.

If you’d like to speak with someone further about this, please let me know and I can set it up.

Thanks,
Sam

DebbieOgier
July 12, 2018 at 12.00 pm

I have been asking since Xero began over 10 years ago to give advisers the ability to switch off Expenses. We have very few clients who would benefit from it, it creates extra working at our end and they don’t need it. This is most certainly an unwarranted price increase which will not be well received by clients and certainly make it harder to sell to clients. I expect a number of our clients to drop down to the Cashbooks and look for an alternative invoicing option. Disappointing decision Xero, please revisit.

Sam Kerins in reply to DebbieOgier Xero
July 12, 2018 at 2.07 pm

Hi Debbie,

Sorry to hear you’re disappointed – that wasn’t our aim.

To help communicate the changes to your clients, you can use the email/letter template we supplied and send them the details for the webinar to showcase Xero Expenses.

If you’d like to speak with someone further about this, please let me know and I can set it up.

Thanks,
Sam

Debbie Ogier in reply to Sam Kerins
July 12, 2018 at 5.07 pm

Thanks Sam. I appreciate you are copping a bit of flak here but you are missing the point. We don’t want clients to use expenses and they don’t want or need to use expenses. Our standard policy is the hide expenses from the Dashboard. It’s an unnecessary and unwanted feature for small businesses. And they don’t want to pay for it. This is plainly a price increase. And we will have to call it that when explaining to clients otherwise, as their trusted adviser, we just look silly. Yes I would like to speak to someone please.

Sam Kerins in reply to Debbie Ogier Xero
July 13, 2018 at 11.50 am

Thanks Debbie – understood and sure thing – I have spoken to your account manager and she will be in touch to discuss this further with you.
Thanks,
Sam

Reuben
July 12, 2018 at 12.06 pm

Future convos with clients:

Hey remember that innovative Expense Claims feature that has been part of Xero since it started?
(They’re phasing it out in January 2019)
But don’t worry – they’ve released ‘New Expense Claims’ and it’s even better!
(But you have to pay $5 more* for it from October 2018)
*Per user.

Classic 😀

Sam Kerins in reply to Reuben Xero
July 12, 2018 at 2.07 pm

Hi Reuben,

Thanks for your feedback.

With Xero Expenses, the entire expense claim process is automated within the Xero platform – providing, simplified workflows, powerful analytical tools, API connections and integrated accounting. It gives our partners and their clients deeper insights and more control over their expense claims and spending on one platform. We are confident that the time saved and the hassles eliminated with new Xero Expenses service will be worth it.

If you need help communicating to your clients, please feel free to use the email/letter template we supplied and send them the details for the webinar to showcase Xero Expenses.

Thanks,
Sam

Martin Dowse
July 12, 2018 at 2.06 pm

I think we can say the comments are unanimously negative on the price increase by stealth for the country with the most expensive Xero subs in the world.

I understand that Xero needed to remove the old expenses claims as they are clunky, hard to maintain and holding the product back. However cutting out the sales pitch, from a subscribers point of view we currently have a flawed but usable expense claim system for unlimited users included in the monthly sub of $55. We are losing this and it is being replaced by an improved version that we have to pay $5 extra for it even if we don’t use it (if we do use it then it is $5 per user/mo for users 2+. This could get very expensive quickly).

So we are actually paying more for less.

Sam – you commented that the new expenses are core part of the product and can’t be unlinked. I don’t think you are being entirely straightforward here. The starter plan doesn’t include expenses so it is obviously easily unlinked from the product. Xero could have keep the subscription price the same and not included 1 free expenses user, that would have been a fairer approach – we would then have choice (although still have lost the old unlimited users expense claims).

Way back when Xero was young (and NZX listed and with a NZ CEO) multi-currency was added to the standard product. Rather than force it on all users, it was made an optional upgrade – and grandfathered in so if you had a standard version of Xero you could turn on multi-currency for free. Why not do the same for expenses?

Sam Kerins in reply to Martin Dowse Xero
July 12, 2018 at 3.12 pm

Hi Martin,

Thanks for your comments.

We truly don’t think that it’s a more for less situation though. With Xero Expenses, the entire expense claim process is automated within the Xero platform – providing, simplified workflows, powerful analytical tools, API connections and integrated accounting. It gives accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses deeper insights and more control over their expense claims and spending on one platform. It’s a superior product and we are confident it’s going to be worth it.

Re. your comment about not being straightforward – that’s certainly not our intention. To clarify, much like our invoicing, Expenses is a specific feature within the standard and premium plans that is not charged for separately and therefore cannot be opted-out of.

Thanks,
Sam

Diana
July 14, 2018 at 8.57 am

Xero Expenses does not equate to zero expenses! Everything is just going to become more expensive. No, you haven’t hit the mark…but you’ve definitely hit me in the pocket. We don’t need, want and didn’t ask for this feature. And we did not have any input into this decision to add more unwanted ‘features’. See you later xeros.
Time for a change!

Sam Kerins in reply to Diana Xero
July 16, 2018 at 11.59 am

Hi Diana,

Thanks for taking the time to pass on your feedback.

We develop all our plans based on the core needs of our different customer groups which is why you’ve seen the addition of Xero Expenses.

To take a look at other features coming up that might be more relevant for you, please see here, or you can add your vote on the feature requests in the Xero Community.

I hope we get a chance to prove our value to you.

Thanks,
Sam

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