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Xero’s new navigation – a simple, beautiful experience

Posted 2 weeks ago in Xero news by Rachel Bowater
Posted by Rachel Bowater

At Xero, we believe 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. We’re launching the new navigation in the last week of November, but you’ll get a sneak peek from Tuesday 13 November.

The improvements we’re making are based on research and testing with hundreds of people, including accountants, bookkeepers and small business users, plus those brand new to Xero.

Once you’ve got used to the changes, it’ll be easier and more efficient to complete everyday tasks in Xero. For new users, it’ll be much quicker to learn and more obvious how to get to where they need to go.

The biggest differences are new and intuitive menus that will make it easy to find the tools you use most often – whether you’re a novice or an expert.

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.

At the left hand side is the organisation menu which includes the file library, settings for the organisation, and links to apps that connect with Xero.

The dashboard is still there – and so is contacts.

New Business and Accounting menus

Everyday tasks have now been grouped more logically. The Business menu holds the tools that most small businesses use, like quoting, invoicing, bills, purchase orders, and expense claims. If you’re 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 compliance items that your accountant or bookkeeper uses often, including bank accounts, reports and advanced tools and settings such as chart of accounts, find and recode, and manual journals.

Financial settings, chart of accounts and tax rates are now in Advanced accounting. The reports and features and settings that you set as favourites show here.

  • Create a favourite report: click the star on the report within Reports. It will appear in the ? Reports list on the dropdown menu.
  • Create a favourite advanced feature or setting: click the star on the item within Advanced accounting or Reports and it will appear in the ? Advanced list.

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.  Here’s where you’ll also find the ‘Demo Company’.

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 modules such as Xero Payroll and Xero Projects.

Settings related to the everyday running of organisations are in Organisation Settings

Search shortcuts 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.

More help and tools

For small businesses: check out these FAQs and shortcuts to ease the transition

For accountants and bookkeepers: find everything you need to know in this blog

Jump in to see the new navigation and how it means a better way of working, and enjoy a more beautiful experience with Xero.


November 13, 2018 at 11.29 am

I got an email telling me about these changes, and it said to try it out in demo company, so i switched to demo company and i only get the old menus, whats the deal?

Dina Veljanovska in reply to alex Xero
November 13, 2018 at 3.18 pm

Hi Alex – sorry about the confusion! As this is a global release we tried to pick a time that meant partners and small businesses in all our regions got the navigation in their demo company on the same date (13 November). This does mean though that with all the different timezones, some will see it in the morning and some later in the day. For NZ it will be available at approx. 7pm NZT. We hope you’ll check it out later this evening or tomorrow morning, and enjoy your new nav experience.

November 13, 2018 at 3.46 pm

So, to access reports is now going to take more clicks and basic things that haven’t been working for months, and in some cases now years, like the Monthly payment date in Payroll and the bank reconciliation summary reporting and the simpler BAS still haven’t been fixed. I want to advocate for Xero so badly but you make it so difficult when you keep introducing new features that are more time consuming and don’t fix the features that you do have that your customers are crying out for.

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Corinne Xero
November 13, 2018 at 5.13 pm

Hi Corrine – thanks for your feedback and sorry to hear you’re frustrated. All your reports that have been favourited in the old navigation will still be available in the Account dropdown menu – and you can add any additional favourites by staring them on the Reports page. We understand it’s going to take a bit of getting used to but are confident once you do, the new nav will really be of benefit.

I know it can be hard too when it seems like you’re not getting the features you want. A useful blog that outlines some of the complexity of deciding what next to build is here and if you want to take a look at what is coming up you can view our feature timeline. If you haven’t formally requested any features or updates, please add your vote on the feature requests in the Xero Community


Rob Gage
November 13, 2018 at 11.36 pm

Hi to be honest I prefer the original version. It works perfectly fine as it is. More menus mean more clicks so less efficient. So tell me where is the VAT return as I can’t locate this on the new menus?

Joanne Tait in reply to Rob Gage Xero
November 14, 2018 at 11.27 am

Hi Rob – thanks for your feedback – nothing wrong with being honest!

The new nav is a really exciting foundational step for us though as it allows us expand on the Xero product and feature set within more logical groupings. We also have plans to start creating more tailored navigation experiences for our diverse range of users – so this is just the first step in the new direction. You can read more about this here.

VAT returns still live within the Reports page, accessed via Accounting > Reports. You can favourite reports by clicking the star next to them, and they will then appear in the Accounting dropdown menu too.


Richard B
November 13, 2018 at 11.50 pm

Does this mean that we no longer have to have the Projects menu? Never used and do not intend to use this feature – just gets in the way – not “beautiful”.

Joanne Tait in reply to Richard B Xero
November 14, 2018 at 12.22 pm

Hi Richard – if you don’t have access to Projects, this will no longer appear in the main navigation for you. It previously showed for any person who was the subscriber for the Xero organisation.

For users like yourself that don’t have access, Projects (and Payroll and Expenses) will only show in the Organisation menu dropdown in the Do more with Xero section. If you change your mind, that’s where you can find more information about them within Xero.

For users that do have access to these products, they will appear as normal within the main navigation.


November 14, 2018 at 3.40 pm

Hi, I just tried the ‘improved’ navigation in Demo and couldn’t really see any improvement. It would have been great to see Reports on the main menu rather than having to click down for them.

As you’ve already pointed out it’s a stepping stone for Xero to further improvements so don’t imagine our comments will make much difference.

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Jenny Xero
November 15, 2018 at 4.24 pm

Hi Jenny
Thanks for your comments – you’re right, this is the first step to allow us to provide navigation experiences that work for our wide range of customers, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t taking on board your feedback!

Regarding reports – you can still ensure your favourite reports are just a click away by favouriting them. Just click the star on the Reports page and they’ll appear in the Accounting dropdown menu. Any of your reports that have been favourited in the old navigation will be carried across to this menu too.

November 14, 2018 at 7.01 pm

How do we access the demo company?
Also how do we get rid of the annoying “see why we are making the change” banner??

Dina Veljanovska in reply to John Xero
November 15, 2018 at 4.24 pm

Hi John,

To access the demo company log into Xero, click on the name of your organisation, select ‘My Xero’ then click ‘Try the Demo Company’.

At this stage we don’t have the ability to allow you to dismiss a banner (although it’s something we are working on!) so the banner will stay be there until closer to launch so as many people as possible have the chance to see it.


Rohan B
November 15, 2018 at 2.42 pm

Not a fan, appears to be more clicks to get to simple things, especially for advisers such as exporting data. Other user examples are the folder for documents in no under a drop down menu, Business menu does not have spend and receive money

I have no problem with changing label names, but don’t also move their location at the same time.

It was not that broken before, but now…

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Rohan B Xero
November 15, 2018 at 4.25 pm

Hi Rohan – thanks for your feedback.

While the current navigation wasn’t broken, we became aware of some challenges, with our research showing us there was room for improvement. Ensuring that using the Xero platform is a beautiful experience is paramount for us. The changes we have made aim to improve the overall experience, make it faster and simpler to find the tools used most often and reduce the amount of jargon.

We know it can take a bit of getting used to but are confident once you do, you’ll see how beneficial the changes are.


November 16, 2018 at 2.10 am

Are you getting rid of user roles? Some of our employees have access to only sales screens and they don’t need access to our bank information of money coming in and going out. However, when I demo’d the new features as one of their profiles, it took me to all screens accessible. Please do not get rid of user roles. Bank data should not be shared with all employees that just need access to data entry of orders. thanks! Nadia

Dina Veljanovska in reply to Nadia Xero
November 16, 2018 at 4.28 pm

Hi Nadia – the navigation changes don’t impact the user roles and permissions at all.

If you are seeing these screens within the Demo company, that’s nothing to worry about, as the Demo company looks the same for everyone irrespective of roles. However, if you are part of our early release group and seeing pages within an actual Xero org, then we’ll need to look into this. If it’s the latter, could you please contact


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