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Xero Global Release Update May 2018

Posted 12 months ago in Product by Aqua Delaney
Posted by Aqua Delaney

Check out the latest updates for small businesses and partners, plus a peek at what’s coming out soon. Xero changes and release updates can be found in Xero Central.

Recently released  

  • Email-to-bills full release
  • Automated bill entry from Xero invoices (BETA)
  • Xero Central (new help centre)
  • Find and Recode search enhancements
  • Pilot: Invoice payments via Outlook with Stripe
  • Stop-start timer on Xero Projects (Android & iOS)
  • Copy a project in Xero Projects
  • Delete a Project on Xero Projects
  • New AU Report Templates & Report Codes
  • Xero HQ client industry filter
  • Xero Checkup
  • More flexible invoice reminder design
  • Convert a quote to an invoice on mobile
  • Attach files directly from cloud file storage services (iOS)
  • Mark bills as paid on mobile

Payroll update

  • Improved contractor onboarding (NZ)
  • Improved Direct Deposit onboarding (US)

Coming soon

  • Updated Trial Balance report
  • Improved contact search on mobile
  • Payroll: electronic tax and filing in New Mexico


Easier bill entry – full release

After rave reviews and significant time saving, we’ve recently released a new feature to all Xero Businesses making it quicker and easier to create bill entries in Xero. Simply forward PDF bills to your organisation’s unique Xero Bills email address and a draft bill is automatically created in Xero. The PDF will open up side by side to the draft bill on your screen so you can easily enter the bill details. Then Xero automatically attaches the PDF to the bill.  If it works for you, setting up an auto-forward rule in your email inbox settings can save you even more time.

Capturing your bills helps you make informed decisions and manage cash more efficiently, start using email-to-bills today – learn more.  

Automated bill entry from Xero invoices (BETA)

Following on from email-to-bills (above), we are making the process of creating bill entries in Xero even more accurate and efficient. Those in the Beta will be able to forward PDF bills received via email to their unique Xero Bills email address. The Bill Date, Total and Supplier will automatically be extracted to generate a draft bill and pre-populate these fields within 10 seconds or less.

Early beta testing has proven over 90% accuracy on these results, which is pretty darn close to the 95% average from humans. Don’t worry, you’ll still have the option to approve the bill before it’s created so you’ll stay in control the whole time.

During the Beta, we want to gather a wide range of feedback and learnings from different Xero subscribers and partners so we can be sure we’ve considered a variety of user needs and deliver the best possible feature at launch. If you’re keen, please register your interest at and we’ll be in touch if you’re able to join.


Xero Central (new help centre)

Introducing Xero Central, a faster way to get to the right content and answers. We know thousands of you check the online help pages every day, and finding what you need is super important to getting you back on track with the work you’re doing.

Turbocharged by machine learning, now you won’t need to visit multiple help pages. Searching is more personalised, accurate and powerful reducing frustration and saving you valuable time and effort. Learn more on our blog.  

Find and Recode search enhancements

Partners can now find and fix up their clients mistakes even faster through new search enhancements to Find & recode in Xero. Search by bank account, invoice number or reference, recoding tracking to unassigned. Manual Journals are also coming soon.

Pilot: Invoice payments via Outlook with Stripe

We are piloting an exciting new partnership with Stripe and Microsoft to help Xero businesses get paid faster by making payments as easy as sending an email. Invoice emails sent from Xero to Outlook accounts can be paid with just a few clicks, using credit or debit cards saved to your customer’s Microsoft account. Businesses currently in the pilot can let their customers pay a Xero invoice from within their Outlook email account with Stripe. Learn more on our blog.  

Stop-start timer on Xero Projects for Android & iOS

Find yourself struggling to recall and calculate when work started and stopped at the end of a busy day or week? Never miss a minute of billable work again. If you’re using Xero Projects, simply download Xero Projects for iOS or Android and use the stop-start timer to accurately track and record your time while your on a job site, in the office, or anywhere your work takes you. Learn more.


Copy a project on Xero Projects

Xero Projects users can save time and effort creating new project entries from scratch by copying similar projects (including their tasks) to create a new project. To keep things easy, any time entries, expenses, linked invoices and spend money transactions or bills will not be transferred from the original project. Learn more.

Delete a Project on Xero Projects

Now Xero Projects users with Admin and Standard Projects user permissions can delete project entries that don’t have assigned time, expenses and invoices against them from the Projects List or from the Project Detail page. Learn more.  

New AU Report Templates & Report Codes

Additional report codes and simplified templates now make it quicker, easier and more profitable for Australian accounting partners to produce annual financial reports, management reports and tailored financial statements for a wider range of clients.

Client industry filter for Xero HQ

Filter your clients by industry within the client list, even those that aren’t on Xero. Simply update their industry details within the the business details tab for your clients. Learn more.  

Introducing Xero Checkup

We know how frustrating it can be to have trouble accessing Xero and, while we’re always happy to help troubleshoot, often issues can be quickly resolved by running through a few checks without waiting to chat with us.

Cue Now you can automatically identify any common issues with your web browser or internet connection as soon as the problem arises. Often this will be all you need but please feel free to get in touch with us if you’re still stuck.

More flexible invoice reminder design

We know how important looking professional and reflecting your brand is when sending out invoices and emails to your customers so we’ve made a few tweaks to the invoice reminder design to help you do just that. Now you can can choose to display either you logo or org name on invoice reminder emails, and control the presence of the View Invoice button. Learn more about invoice reminders.  

Convert a quote to an invoice on mobile

This one will put a smile for those that use quotes on mobile. Once you have finished a job, you’re able to immediately create an invoice directly from a quote. This saves you time and help you get paid faster. Also if you want to keep all your quotes neat and tidy, you can mark them as “invoiced”.

Attach files directly from your cloud file storage services (iOS)

We have made improvements to file attachments so you can choose files via the iOS Files App available in iOS 11. This will allow you to access files stored on cloud file storage services such as iCloud, Dropbox and OneDrive and attach them directly to invoices, receipts as well as upload to Xero files. This feature is already available on Android.

Mark bills as paid on mobile

Now you can mark your bills as paid on Android or iOS, helping you maintain a more reliable picture of your business’s expenditure and cash flow as a whole.

Payroll: improved contractor onboarding (NZ)

Small businesses and partners in New Zealand can set up new contractors in Payroll faster and more easily with an improved contractor experience for employers who need to deduct withholding tax from payments made to contractors. Learn more on our blog.  

Payroll: Improved Direct Deposit onboarding (US)

Small Businesses and Partners can meet their Payroll obligations and improve their cashflow through using Direct Deposit. Improved onboarding is the first step in making this easier.

Coming soon

Updated trial balance report

Soon you’ll have all the customisation features of new reports, plus a range of new features to the report itself. These feature will include; comparative balances, opening and closing balances. Plus the option to show nil accounts, and flexibility to run the report on cash basis when required.

Improved contact search on mobile

It’ll soon be even easier to find contacts on iOS and Android. In addition to searching by contact name and account number, you’ll be able to search by email address as well as the first and last name of the primary contact. This information will also be displayed on the search results to help you easily differentiate between customers.

Payroll: electronic tax and filing in New Mexico

New Mexico Xero Payroll admins will be able to file forms and taxes electronically from Xero instead of painful, time consuming manual process.


Conor Stanley
June 12, 2018 at 11.22 pm

Is there an update on Time Reporting from Projects?

Time Reporting (per employee/per project) was included in the ‘Coming Soon’ section of the previous Product Blog and is a key component of a proper time recording system. Without this reporting function projects appears to be pointless and ineffective from a management team perspective.

Aqua Delaney in reply to Conor Stanley Xero
June 13, 2018 at 8.43 am

Hi Conor. You’re right, the Time Detail Report will be super helpful when understanding how time is spent in your business and it’s definitely coming soon. The team are working away on this as we speak and we’re hoping to have it ready for everyone in the next month or so. Keep your eyes peeled, we should have a clearer update in the next blog.

Stuart Clark
June 15, 2018 at 7.36 pm

What about the ability to run the projects report based on the day the work was done rather than the time was entered in order that businesses can accurately record their WIP? At present if you posted the time to 31st May in June then this time wouldn’t show up on the WIP report to 31st May.

Aqua Delaney in reply to Stuart Clark Xero
June 17, 2018 at 3.23 pm

Hi Stuart, thanks for taking the time to share your feedback.

This hasn’t come up before but it’s a good suggestion and helpful for us to know that it would be a useful adjustment. I’ve passed it on to the Projects product team to consider.

All the best.

Alex Pogoriller
July 4, 2018 at 2.21 pm

Hi Aqua,
I was reading through the updates above and note that there have been changes to invoice reminders – in particular around the ability to control the presence of the ‘view invoice’ button. I have read through and followed the Xero community forms re this issue and note that it is still marked as ‘Working On It’.
I wanted to check if the matter has been resolved & updated in Xero (as suggested above) or if in fact the matter is still be addressed by Xero.
I look forward to hearing back from you.

Aqua Delaney in reply to Alex Pogoriller Xero
July 13, 2018 at 10.11 am

Hi Alex, thanks for your question. It turns out we jumped the gun a little and included this release in the wrong section of the blog. Instead, it belongs under ‘Coming soon’. Really sorry if this caused any inconvenience for you but the good news it is on the roadmap. Keep doing what you’re doing and read the blog or refer to the community for updates.
Cheers, Aqua

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