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A better way to invoice is now here

Posted 4 years ago in Product by Xero
Posted by Xero

In December, we published ‘introducing a better way to invoice‘, our first blog post on the development of your new, better way to invoice – being more intuitive, reducing clutter, and saving time by automatically taking care of accounting information for you.

We’ve been listening to feedback from beta users ever since, which has helped us enormously to improve and refine our invoicing. For example, we found that you really value being able to enter an invoice from start to finish using just a keyboard – especially when you’re busy doing lots of invoices in a row – so we will be incorporating that into your new invoicing workflow.

As you explore and get used to the new invoicing experience in Xero, you’ll find that it ticks these boxes:

  • Better user experience: more intuitive and easier-to-use invoicing.
  • More efficiency: simplified and automated workflows and the use of machine learning save time and effort, creating less cleaning up for the accountant. One of the super handy features of new invoicing is Auto-save. You’ll no longer experience lost time over repeated invoice entries, making your business day just that little bit easier.
  • Increased flexibility: show and hide entry fields for those with less complex invoicing needs.

At the same time, we’ve been busy building out the multi-currency capability for you – a crucial component for many of our invoicing customers – making sure that security and user roles are fine-tuned and in place. Under the hood we’ve been fine-tuning the performance of the new invoicing, so you’re not slowed down – and so far, we’ve had some encouraging feedback from early users about the improved layout and ease of use.

How can I get started?

Over the next week, those of you in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Singapore will be able to try and see the benefits for your business of the new invoicing experience. We know that everyone is busy, so we’ve made it easy for you to test drive new invoicing when it’s convenient for you.

Soon after, we’ll be staggering the release to our UK and global users to help us understand the various challenges that exist in different parts of the world. This feedback will allow us to learn and improve the experience for everyone. Once we are comfortable that you are happy with your new invoicing experience, we will look to phase out classic invoicing sometime in 2019. You’ll hear from us before this happens, and don’t be alarmed  – you’ll have plenty of time to get used to the new experience.

We’ll regularly release features to your new invoicing pages, to make sure it really is a better, more seamless and quicker way than ever to invoice your customers. Additional features coming soon after the initial launch include a slicker way to add discounts, a refreshed history and notes section, and performance improvements behind the scenes.

Jump in today and try out the new invoicing: On your regular invoicing page, you’ll see an option which will take you to a new screen. Once there, this will be your default invoicing experience, however you will still be able to change back to the classic invoicing screen – whatever works best for you.

As always, your opinion matters to us and we encourage you to take the time to tell us what you think.


Diane Parkes
November 29, 2018 at 10.33 am

Why fix something that isn’t broken? Very frustrating. Just the same as when you changed the Creditors and Debtors name tags.

Suzanne Bovaird
December 3, 2018 at 2.12 pm

I have just tested the new invoicing and find that I cannot overtype the invoice date. I now have to use my mouse and click through screens to get the date I require which I hate as it makes the invoicing a very slow process. The ‘+’ or ‘*’ options don’t seem to work for the due date. Also I can now no longer make amendments to line descriptions when adding an inventory item to the invoice. We produce a magazine and bill our clients for advertising. The page that their ad appears is entered into their invoice as part of the description and I can no longer do this.

At this stage it would seriously affect my work flow if I could no longer access the classic invoice option

Adam Clarke
December 5, 2018 at 9.34 am

+1 for this. Stop degrading the user experience just to make things look pretty.

Mark Presnell
December 3, 2018 at 3.00 pm

The invoice just sent with the new invoicing doesn’t look anything like the previous invoices sent out. The email did not include the green “Pay now” button. The font size on the invoice itself is too small. But worst of all is the way separate timesheet entries sync’ed across from WorkflowMax were bunched together into one big blob of text with not even a space between the last entry and the next… Very poor job. This was obviously not tested.

How do we get back to the old invoicing…?

Adam Wright in reply to Mark Presnell
December 4, 2018 at 9.55 am

Hi Mark, appreciate your feedback and the frustration with your timesheet entries. We are looking into this, as we have clearly dropped the ball in this area, apologies for the inconvenience. I’d suggest that switching back to classic invoicing might be better for you at the moment – and you can do this with the “switch to classic invoicing” link at the bottom of the new invoice page.

December 3, 2018 at 5.24 pm

Is anyone able to switch back to the old version?
If I use the “Switch to classic invoicing” button at the bottom it redirects me to an error page.

Adam Wright in reply to Fabio
December 5, 2018 at 12.40 pm

Hi Fabio – that doesn’t sound ideal. Could you please get in touch with our support team via Xero Central. That shouldn’t be happening, and we’re sorry it did!

December 4, 2018 at 1.37 pm

I have just tried using the new invoicing format and I am not a fan. I like to be able to add additional information to the description field and the new version makes this really fiddly and difficult, with it instead inserting a different account or ignoring the additional info or a mix of the two. I like to be able to individualise most of my invoices and this version seems designed for companies that use very generic invoices with little variation. I will find this very time consuming and frustrating and impact my ability to offer the service I want to offer. I will not be using the new version and dread the day you force me to use it.

Adam Wright in reply to Valamaya
December 5, 2018 at 12.29 pm

Hi Valamaya, we appreciate that you gave the new invoicing a go, and we’re sorry you found it difficult. For you, it may be better to continue to invoice using our classic product for the immediate future. This new way to invoice will continue to evolve and we will learn and adapt based on customer feedback – so we hope that when the time is right, you’ll give this another go and ultimately find that it works for you and your business. We’ll post regular updates in a variety of ways.

December 5, 2018 at 11.28 am

Is the discount option still available in the new invoicing interface, I just created an invoice and couldn’t spot it.

Adam Wright in reply to Adam
December 5, 2018 at 12.23 pm

Hi Adam, great name! Thank you for trying our new invoicing product. With regard to discounts – this feature, and a few others aren’t quite ready yet, but will be coming soon. For you, if discounting is a key part of your workflow, you may be better off sticking to our classic invoicing product. You can do this by clicking the “switch to classic invoicing” link at the bottom of the new version.

Sam Collins
December 5, 2018 at 11.48 am

How do you add attachments to the new invoice? This new screen is frustrating and only seems to make something simple more difficult to work around.

Adam Wright in reply to Sam Collins
December 5, 2018 at 12.22 pm

Hi Sam, it’s great that you’ve tried our new invoicing product. With regard to attaching files – this feature, and a few others aren’t quite ready yet, but will be coming soon. For you, if files is a key part of your workflow, you may be better off sticking to our classic invoicing product. You can do this by clicking the “switch to classic invoicing” link at the bottom of the new version.

sarah knight
December 6, 2018 at 11.26 am

Hi there, just had a quick peak at the new invoicing system…. where are the billiable expences allocated?? I can’t seem to find them on the new invoice product? Is this yet to be developed too?

Adam Wright in reply to sarah knight
December 6, 2018 at 1.07 pm

Hi Sarah, thanks for taking a look at new invoicing. You’re right – billable expenses is yet to make it into new invoicing. We will be better able to give a specific time early next year.

Anne McPhee
December 6, 2018 at 2.24 pm

Very glad I read these comments before switching as these issues would affect us also (ie +1 for invoice date, ability to edit descriptions – very important, the discount column and to a lesser extent attachments)

December 6, 2018 at 5.34 pm

I’ve noticed that the formulas are no longer working in the pricing field? Please assure me this feature will exist with the final roll out. Otherwise I will no longer be able to use Xero which would be devastating. If you are incorporating it – can you add the ability to save formulas? So that you can look back to see how items were calculated.

Adam Wright in reply to Verity
December 10, 2018 at 10.37 am

Hi Verity, You’re correct – this feature isn’t quite ready yet but don’t worry, we are working on it and it will be part of our new invoicing experience soon.

December 6, 2018 at 7.30 pm

It seems invoices cannot be edited in this new system. I liked the look at first but had to switch back to classic to make a change to a tracking option on an invoice.

Kieran Peters
December 6, 2018 at 9.24 pm

Tried the new interface. It looks very pretty. Switched back because you are not ready.
-When you add another line to a draft invoice it should show which account, sales person, tax rate, and job ID are associated. Most of our invoices include government rebates that are tax-free, so it is critical to enter the correct amounts and tax details. The new interface hides this information.
-It would be nice if I could tick a box or set a default to make every row’s account, sales person, tax rate, and job ID match the top row. Previously we had to copy/paste this info in for every single row, but with this new interface we have to expand the row, click the drop-down list, find the entry, and then minimise the row. This is an inefficient excercise that wastes a significant amount of time, and should be streamlined.
-We should be able to manually type in an invoice date.
-The ‘Saving/Saved’ indicator in the top left should follow as you scroll down. When you scroll down enough the saving text is not visible, and you could easily navigate away from the page without saving changes.
-Love the ‘Show or Hide’ button, you should add the Amount column as an option, so we can remove all $$ figures to make Picking/Packing Lists using this invoicing page (so just item and quantity). This would probably be a small change on the back end but provide significant benefits to your users.

Adam Wright in reply to Kieran Peters
December 10, 2018 at 10.34 am

Hi Kieran, thanks for taking a look at new invoicing and for providing us with this feedback. Releasing this early version of the new invoicing experience is an important step for us to learn where gaps are and take on feedback just like you’ve provided. I’ll be looking to post a general update that addresses some specific feedback, and gives more information on timelines later this week.

December 6, 2018 at 10.12 pm

I’ll have to wait till the add previous items, feature drops.

December 7, 2018 at 1.59 am

Just switched over to the new invoicing interface, this just doesn’t make any sense to me. Its accounting software and your burying things behind menus and clicks for the sake of visual appeal, as somebody that works on 1080+ and up screens it just completely empty, all that white space and you cant make the account and tax fields visible on 1080 and up viewports?

Katrina Trott
December 7, 2018 at 12.46 pm

Change is always a challenge and the layout will take a while to get used to.

One thing I definitely don’t like though is the inability to just type the invoice date / due date. Most of our invoices are dated end of month not the current date and it’s considerably more lengthy to have to grab a mouse and click around to find the date rather than just type it, press tab and, say, +7. PLEASE remove the dropdown boxes for the dates.

Peter Thornton
December 7, 2018 at 1.21 pm

I’m all for updating and evolving, but this release is very premature when the existing standard features like discounts, attaching files etc don’t work. My business issues about 500 invoices a day, and this is a no go for us.

Suggestion – don’t rush out incomplete ‘upgrades’ that degrade the user experience.

Adam Wright in reply to Peter Thornton
December 10, 2018 at 10.31 am

Hi Peter, thanks for taking the time to look at the new invoicing experience. As you point out, there are a few features not yet there and for anyone who relies on that, we’ve made the option to continue using classic invoicing seamless. We’ve released this early iteration so that we can learn far earlier where we can improve, and what are the most important things to our customers. We really believe that you’ll see a far better end product because of this.

December 7, 2018 at 1.38 pm

Hi there,

Will you be adding a progress payment feature in the new invoice any time soon? This is close to becoming a non negotiable for our business.

December 7, 2018 at 6.43 pm

Still no option to add a Title/Summary (which is available in quotes). Less functionality doesn’t equate to more efficiency…

December 15, 2018 at 10.49 am

Need to see “Account” and “Tracking” fields without having to expand!!

Lawrence Martin
June 2, 2019 at 5.17 pm

As a business that makes extensive notes on invoices (to describe the work done), the new invoicing format can be difficult because an errant click or keystroke into a field other than description will populate these fields with Zero amounts. It’s easy to start again by copying and pasting the information you’ve entered into a new invoice line and deleting the old invoice line, but having to do this rather than just being able to delete the accidentally populated fields of Quantity, Unit Price, Tax Rate, etc. (doing this doesn’t work), doesn’t feel intuitive. As a result, it feels as though the new invoicing format isn’t designed to be friendly for note making. Aside from this, I’m liking the clean new format.

June 10, 2019 at 4.18 pm

I’m using repeating invoices with ‘assign expense to customer’ from bills. Is it just me or does the ‘new invoicing’ not allow for the invoice to automatically add customer expenses to the auto-generated customer invoice? I have to switch to ‘classic invoicing’ to even see the expenses are available to add – is this coming to ‘New invoicing’ anytime soon Xero?

January 29, 2020 at 6.44 pm

You can’t use the new invoicing if customers also use Xero and you want use the Xero-to-Xero Network – is that correct? Seems strange that you would make it more difficult to connect with other Xero users. I thought the idea would be to make Xero-to-Xero collaboration easier, hence expanding your user base.

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