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New Xero navigation simplifies everyday tasks

Posted 4 weeks ago in Xero news by Rachel Bowater
Posted by Rachel Bowater

With Xero, a simple experience is a beautiful experience. That’s why we’re simplifying the navigation within Xero to make sure that everyone can get on with daily tasks easily and efficiently. Everyone can read the details on the Xero blog from 6 November 2018 but as a partner, we wanted you to be the first to know.

These improvements are based on research and testing with lots of people, including accountants, bookkeepers and small business users, plus those brand new to Xero. This is the just the first step in making the navigation more flexible and useable. We’ll continue to learn from how you use it to tailor it for different subscription and role types in the future.

The biggest improvement is that the accounting tools you use have been separated from the business features your clients use in their day-to-day activities. Together these improvements mean it’ll be faster for your clients to learn and use Xero.

This video highlights the improvements:

Here’s a closer look

When the new navigation is available, you’ll see a few things have moved and there are new headings, but everything you know and love about Xero is still here.

New Business and Accounting menus

Everyday tasks have now been grouped more logically. The Business menu holds the tools that most small business use, like invoicing, bills and expense claims. If you or your clients are looking for ‘Inventory’, it’s now called ‘Products and services’ to better describe the information that people record here.

The Accounting menu leads to the accounting tasks including bank accounts, reports and advanced tools and settings such as chart of accounts, find and recode, and manual journals.

You’ll find that most of your ‘Favourites’ now sit under the Accounting menu. Certain items related to an organisation that you may have favourited previously are now accessible from ‘Settings’ within the organisation menu (see below).

If you haven’t favourited a report or tool before, it’s a great way to customise Xero so you can get to what you need fast. To create a favourite, just click a star on a report, or on a tool or setting within ‘Advanced accounting’ and that item will appear in your Favourites.

Now’s a good time to check out Xero’s new reporting formats as well to see how much more detail they offer.

All organisation info is now in one place

The top left of the navigation bar now features your organisation menu. If you have access to more than one organisation, you can switch between them easily or find them with a search. You’ll notice that ‘Files’ and business ‘Settings’ have moved here to keep everything related to an organisation in one place.

Under the new ‘Do more with Xero’ section, an organisation will be able to connect to third-party apps in the ‘App marketplace’, or to features like Xero Payroll and Xero Projects.

Here’s where you’ll also find your practice tools and the ‘Demo Company’.

New search shortcut will save you time

To get to areas of Xero even faster, click the forward slash (/) and the search box will open. Then type a single letter to get to popular tasks. For instance ‘i’ lets you access all invoices and ‘b’ leads to all bills. Here are the keyboard shortcuts:

a = bank accounts

b = bills

c = contacts

d = dashboard

e = employees

i = invoices

p = purchase orders

q = quotes

r = reports

There are additional shortcuts for jumping to commonly viewed screens, or to add new items in Xero.

You can test-drive the changes from 13 November

Everyone can read the details on the Xero blog from 6 November but as a partner, we wanted you to be the first to know so you can familiarise yourself with things and advise your clients if they come to you with any questions.

All Xero Partners can test out the improvements in the Demo Company from 13 November 2018, before the full roll out to everyone in the last week of November. To access the Demo Company, log into Xero, click on the name of your organisation, then select ‘Demo Company’ from the drop down menu.

More resources for you and your clients

We’ve put together a list of FAQs for you and a list of FAQs for your clients. There’s email copy you can send to your clients and new screenshots you can use to update your training material.

You can also attend the Xero Product Update webinar on 7 November 2018 where a Xero specialist will take you through the new navigation step-by-step.

Jump in to see the new navigation and how it means a better way of working for you, your colleagues and your clients. Enjoy a more beautiful experience with Xero.

21 comments

Charles Klvana
October 31, 2018 at 2.05 pm

Will clients have the option to opt out initially and change over to the new navigation at a time that suits them a little later? Or will it be forced on everyone without the option of opting out in the short term?

Also, is there still an advisor tab where we can get to the assurance dashboard etc in one click?

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Charles Klvana Xero
October 31, 2018 at 3.00 pm

Hi Charles, thanks for your comments. We decided to go with a big bang approach so that all Xero customers get the new navigation at the same time – this way everyone is using the same version at the same time and we can all work through the change together.

Our research has proven that the change itself is easy to get used to. We’ll be providing information about the changes along with FAQs so that everyone can grasp these quickly and get on with their day.

The advisor tools are now within Accounting > Advanced accounting. This keeps these specialised tools all in one place and out of the way for those who don’t need them. These can also be favourited so that they appear in the Accounting dropdown menu too – so they’re still just a click away.

Thanks,
Dina

Shannon Patterson in reply to Dina Veljanovska
October 31, 2018 at 4.23 pm

Following on from Charles’ dashboard question, will it be possible to have preferred reports/settings marked as favourite across ALL organisations? For example, report codes and COA were previously available with couple clicks…where as now it looks like all the advisor tools are hidden under Accounting > Advanced > {find setting…tag favourite}

When there are 100’s of orgs…gets annoying to fid/tag each time. Sadly appears advisors are again forgotten about with the ‘improvements’.

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Shannon Patterson Xero
November 1, 2018 at 10.52 am

Hi Shannon

We definitely haven’t forgotten about our advisors! The changes just mean that all your specialised tools are in one place and they can be favourited to appear in the drop down menu too.

We will be porting across any items that are currently favourited in the old navigation, and we will be adding in a set of default advanced accounting favourites to help with this transition. The default favourites will be: Manual journals, Find and recode, Chart of accounts and Fixed assets. We based these default favourites on usage.

Anything that isn’t favourited at launch is still accessible by three clicks, and if it is a frequently used tool or setting, then you can favourite to ensure it is always only two clicks away.

Thanks
Dina

Heather Smith
October 31, 2018 at 3.12 pm

Will we be able to star payroll reports?

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Heather Smith Xero
October 31, 2018 at 4.01 pm

Hi Heather, the reporting favoriting capability will remain the same – so any reports that could be favourited in the old navigation can still be favourited in the new navigation.
Thanks,
Dina

Megan Hale
October 31, 2018 at 3.22 pm

This has already been requested before online to Xero. Any chance of having an indicator on the front screen that there are documents waiting for attention/processing in the Files location. This would save a few clicks going there all the time to check if your clients have deposited/forwarded any documentation that needs attention.

Thank you.

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Megan Hale Xero
October 31, 2018 at 4.01 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Megan – in this version of the navigation design we aren’t adding an indicator like that – but one of the major benefits of this change is that we now have to ability to consider these requests and respond quickly to get them into the product.

We’ll keep this in mind for any future versions of the navigation.

Thanks
Dina

Duncan Folkes
October 31, 2018 at 11.29 pm

What are the thoughts behind having bank accounts under the “Accounting” heading? They seem out of place here, I would expect to find them under “Business”.

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Duncan Folkes Xero
November 1, 2018 at 11.46 am

Hi Duncan

This was something that we discussed a lot during the user research. We tested the position of ‘bank accounts’ within both the Business and Accounting tabs.

What we found was that during these tests there was an overwhelming proportion of people who clicked on the Accounting tab first.

For example, when we tested this by asking users to reconcile bank accounts. The Business > Bank accounts solution didn’t test well with 90 percent of participants clicking on Accounting first. When testing Accounting > Bank accounts with the same task, 80 percent of participants clicked on the Accounting menu first.

Cheers,
Dina

Mike
November 20, 2018 at 12.05 pm

Business and Accounting menus are totally the wrong way round. My clients will expect to see reports and bank accounts in the Business tab not Accounting . I will have to tell them Xero has gone in for some weird naming conventions and tell them to ignore the Business tab. What have the product team been drinking to come up with this?

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Mike Xero
November 21, 2018 at 3.17 pm

Hi Mike – this was something that we discussed a lot during the user research. We tested the position of ‘bank accounts’ within both the Business and Accounting tabs.

What we found was that during these tests there was an overwhelming proportion of people who clicked on the Accounting tab first.

For example, when we tested this by asking users to reconcile bank accounts. The Business > Bank accounts solution didn’t test well, as 90 percent of participants clicked on Accounting first. When testing Accounting > Bank accounts with the same task, we still saw 80 percent of participants clicking on the Accounting menu first.

I know it may take a while to get used to but once you and your clients do, we are confident you’ll see how the changes are beneficial.

The Business tab should still be useful for your clients too as they hold the tools such as invoices, bills and expenses. Hopefully the resources at the end of this blog make it easier to communicate the changes to your clients, but let us know if not as we want to make this as easy for you as possible.

Thanks
Dina

Judy
November 27, 2018 at 8.51 am

Hi Just wonder where to find the tracking historical transactions for each user in the new Version of Xero.

Thanks

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Judy Xero
November 27, 2018 at 9.25 am

Hi Judy – if you’re referring to History and notes – this can now be found on the Advanced accounting page that can be accessed via Accounting > Advanced > History and notes.

You can favourite anything on this page by clicking the star next to it, and it will then appear in the Accounting dropdown menu too.

Thanks
Dina

Kayleigh Richmond
November 28, 2018 at 3.21 am

Where has financial settings gone? I can find settings but not financial settings.
Thanks
Kayleigh

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Kayleigh Richmond Xero
November 28, 2018 at 9.09 am

Hi Kayleigh – you can now find Financial Settings on the Advanced accounting page (Accounting > Advanced), grouped with all other advanced accounting tools and settings.

You can favourite anything on this page by clicking the star next to it, and it will then appear in the Accounting dropdown menu too.
Thanks
Dina

Cindy
November 29, 2018 at 3.39 pm

Hi,

Is it possible to restore back the “files” under the “files” tab itself instead of together with settings and all ?
As it’s troublesome for us users when we need create bills from files uploaded , we need to go back & forth countless time.

Or are there any alternative ways u could suggest ?

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Cindy Xero
November 30, 2018 at 10.00 am

Hi Cindy – thanks for your feedback. This is something we are monitoring closely, will continue to monitor usage and the impact of this change to inform any further design decision.

We’re also looking at other shortcut options which we’ll be able to share soon.
Thanks

Matt K
December 4, 2018 at 12.41 pm

I can understand some of the changes but as an advisor having it “all in one place” it’s just a click away. Its a click, scroll scroll scroll before I can access the Advance section. I tend to favourite many reports because I use them. Thus the Accounting menu is a long scroll. Of course the vacant blue to the right of the Contacts is a “beautiful” waste of space on a PC.

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Matt K Xero
December 7, 2018 at 10.38 am

Thanks for your feedback Matt. We have measures in place to see how people are using the favourting functionality and what kind of impact it has on completing tasks within the product. Rest assured we are keeping an eye on this.

We also expect the navigation to continue to evolve so that it works better on a wider range of screen sizes. As our customer base diversifies so do the range of devices. The current layout of the navigation enables flexibility and sets us up to continue to modernise the product.
Thanks
Dina

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