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Why we’re making changes to Xero and what it means for you

Posted 2 months ago in Product by Anna Curzon
Posted by Anna Curzon

We recently marked 15 years since Xero was registered as a company, which is a long time in technology. In 2006, Facebook had only just opened up to the world, and Internet Explorer was the world’s favourite web browser. I’ve loved hearing stories from our founding team about the incredible changes they’ve seen over that time in our technology and the way we work.

Continually improving your experience

Of course, we’re planning to be around for many more Xero Days to come. I like to think we’ll be around to support multi-generational businesses with cloud-based tools well into the future. This long-term thinking isn’t just important for the way we work, but also the technology that underpins our platform as we continue to scale globally as a company.

That’s why we are ramping up our investment in technology. It’s no coincidence that this correlates with our biggest hiring drive ever. From this year, we’ll be getting more Xero teams around the world to focus on continuously upgrading and improving our technology, to make sure it doesn’t slow us down over time. This builds on our capability to deliver new features faster. 

This kind of work is essential for a tech company like Xero. Just as you need to upgrade your phone every few years, or refresh the apps on your device, we need to keep upgrading Xero’s technology to make sure we can build the features you need and help you make the most of new tools in the years to come (imagine how many of these innovations are still merely ideas in people’s minds?).

What you can expect in the months ahead

We make changes ‘under the hood’ of Xero every single day. But as we focus more heavily on this work, you may notice that some of our products are updated with a fresh new look. It’s a sign that our teams are working hard to upgrade the underlying technology. But it also gives us an opportunity to release some new features that I think you’ll really like.

We’ll also be making some bigger changes that will have an impact on the way you work. This may mean things like switching to a new version of a product, finding the information you need in a new place, or changing a workflow while we roll out product updates in stages.

I recognise that these changes may be hard, but we believe they will create a better experience for you in the long run. Every feature in Xero represents countless hours of development, care and attention from our teams, so these are not decisions we make lightly. But when it comes to technology, change is inevitable and necessary.

Please know we’ll do everything we can to support you and reduce the impact of any changes we make. We understand these kinds of things can be frustrating when you’re busy running a small business or practice, but we’re committed to keep you updated and make things as seamless as possible.

Standing the test of time – 15 years and beyond

Finding a balance between what our customers need today, and what they will need in the future, isn’t easy. But we truly believe this work will be a game-changer for Xero – so we could reimagine what is possible in Xero and help make it even easier to run your business on Xero. 

As we update Xero’s technology, we’ll be able to speed up development across these products and you’ll start to see many things you’ve been asking for come to fruition. 

Personally, I’m excited to see what the next evolution of Xero will bring. I want to say a big thank you to everyone in our technology team who are working so hard behind the scenes to make this as easy as possible for you. As always, please do reach out if you need support or want to share your feedback – we’re always listening.


September 20, 2021 at 11.51 pm

Hi Xero, Sorry to add to the list of comments but we have only started using you since April and only just getting to grips with all functionality when you have updated the contacts so that you are not able to search by account number. Please advise if this is going to be sorted soon? We rely on the account number as this was a much quicker and easier way to find contacts.
I really hope this will be updated sooner rather than later.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Tarryn Xero
September 21, 2021 at 4.41 pm

Hi Tarryn, yes – improvements to search by account number is on our roadmap to rebuild so you will see this functionality return in coming iterations.

Diane Woodcock in reply to Beeny Atherton
September 21, 2021 at 9.33 pm

Please can you sort asap as this is the way most companies search for customers

Anita Marshall
September 22, 2021 at 7.24 am

Yes I agree, I used this all the time and now it’s gone! Surely it was providing no harm Xero – please bring it back, along with being able to merge and turn invoice reminders on and off from the front screen, via the check boxes! :-S again it seems removing this is a step backwards making it harder to manage…

Graeme Bartlett
September 21, 2021 at 12.43 am

This is very disappointing! I used to be able to right-click on a Contact to open in a new tab…not any more! Quite a painful procedure now.

I don’t accept that the cosmetic changes are “paving the way forward” …

Please consider reverting to the old system or at the very least make sure that ALL features are still working as they should be/have done in the past.

Totally frustrated!!


Beeny Atherton in reply to Graeme Bartlett Xero
September 21, 2021 at 4.38 pm

Hi Graeme, I’m sorry to hear that you are frustrated by the latest changes. To enable us to deliver on features that our customers really want, we need to upgrade our technology. In doing so, we have made some changes to the user interface along the way and the Classic List Page refresh is a part of that journey – however, these updates signal positive changes beneath the surface to prepare these products for new features in the future.

September 24, 2021 at 11.04 am

I agree this was a crucial part of our every day , along with the search by account or name or email , come on Xero listen to your customers

Vincent Tiong
September 21, 2021 at 3.55 am

Hi Xero team

I implore your product team to kindly read the comments given by so many users. I frankly do not care how easy it will be for you guys to update the version behind the new interface. I am finding it harder and harder to use xero. You have shown me that xero treats us simply like a bunch of lab rats, simply pushing out new interface, while you gather feedback, with no concern if it has affected my business.

I will dare say, if I treat my customers like this. I will not see the end of the year.

You guys have reminded me of my nightmare management team in my previous corporate job. You simply wish for something and it shall happen, by hook or by crook. It’s plain tyranny.

Please understand, we the users are the consumers. Not being paid by you to make things happen. If anyone of you still thinks they’re right. You can contact me and try to prove me wrong.

Thank you

Kelvin Bradley
September 21, 2021 at 1.51 pm

Why have you changed the contacts, we use customer account numbers which our customers use for making payments and now we can no longer find a customer using the account number, this is a problem as for some reason people pay under different names and the account number was our way of locating the correct customer. Is it possible to change the contacts list back to what it was previously.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Kelvin Bradley Xero
September 21, 2021 at 3.46 pm

Hi Kelvin, – thanks for your comment. You can read more about why contacts has been updated here. Improvements to search by email and account number are on our roadmap to rebuild so you will see this functionality return in coming iterations.

Felicity Maree
September 21, 2021 at 3.44 pm

Hi – I agree with all the comments. I need the account number search to be returned in the contacts ASAP. This is how we look for customer details. It is a nightmare if this is not returned. And the large font that has been rolled out in both the bank reconciliation and in contacts. Although temporary, working from home on a laptop screen during Covid lockdown, this large font creates inaccuracies and wasted time. Please roll back the original screens. Not all enhancements are improvements Xero.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Felicity Maree Xero
September 21, 2021 at 4.17 pm

Hi Felicity, thanks fro your comment. We continue to work on improving some of the existing features and rebuilding search by email and account number is on our roadmap for contacts so you will see this functionality return in coming iterations.

Mickey Woo
September 21, 2021 at 7.42 pm

We used to be able to search with customer’s account number but since you have changed the contact search interface we no longer able to do it. This is extremely inconvenient as some of our customer pay online with their account number, that is the only way we can know who paid what.

Please kindly get back to us and change back to how it was before.

Thanks, Mickey

Xero in reply to Mickey Woo Xero
September 22, 2021 at 11.34 am

Hi Mickey, thanks for your comment – your feedback has been shared with our Product team.

September 22, 2021 at 1.54 am

Every time I attempt bank reconciliation I now have to spend 20 minutes checking Xero’s discussions to see if there’s any news on fixing it. It is an absolutely dismal experience. I just want to be able to see enough transactions to get the job done without giving me a headache.

PJ Puterbaugh
September 23, 2021 at 5.58 am

I agree!!! It takes forever for accounts to refresh and now of my 5 accounts they only refresh one at a time instead of all of them at once. If I try to update the other accounts too soon, I get locked out. Ugh!!!

Anita Marshall
September 22, 2021 at 7.51 am

Order and search by account number 🙁 I used this all the time and now it’s gone! Surely it was providing no harm Xero – please bring it back!

Being able to merge customers from the front screen, why has this gone? You’ve added more clicks and page loads to this previously fast job.

Being able to turn invoice reminders on and off from the front screen, via the check boxes for multiple customers! :-S I have hundreds of customers, and about 30-100 more imported each day…. I don’t have the time to click into hundreds of customers individually and wait for pages to load and then turn reminders off one at a time, and then go back to the customer screen, re-sort, remember which one I need to do next….. I can’t see anything from the front screen!
So I’ve had to turn reminders off on Xero so reminders dont auto send to non-credit customers – one of the main reasons I came to xero was this reminder function! So sad 🙁 I’d only just started getting used to all the fab stuff I could do!

It seems removing all the above is a step backwards making it harder to manage… please could you reassure me the above will be reinstated?!

Xero in reply to Anita Marshall Xero
September 22, 2021 at 11.57 am

Hi Anita, your feedback has been shared with our Product team. Thank you!

September 22, 2021 at 3.04 pm

What is your time frame to fix this totally unnecessary change you have made. I have had my team complaining about how it now takes them a lot longer to find the contact as they only knew them by the account code, not the name.

Libby Sexton
September 22, 2021 at 3.59 pm

Can someone please explain why customers / contacts/ suppliers are now colour coded and what the coding means? or is just to make the page pretty? Suppliers and Customers have the same colours so……

I am trying to apply Group allocations and wondering if the colour codes will make the job quicker.

I clicked on to Suppliers and there are only 7 listed??? Yet on the support screen it says “Contacts are automatically classified as customers or suppliers once you’ve entered an invoice, bill, or credit note transaction for them”

Xero in reply to Libby Sexton Xero
September 23, 2021 at 11.15 am

Hi Libby, thanks for your comment. The colours have no significance – they are simply a design element to bring some vibrance to the page. Xero does auto assign contacts as customers or suppliers so are you able to raise a case with our Support team so we can get a better understanding of what may be happening here for you. Thanks!

September 23, 2021 at 11.20 am

This morning I see that Payroll > Leave has been changed to Payroll > Time Off.

Why ‘fix’ something that isn’t broken? This is not an improvement or an enhancement, it’s just a dumbing down of terminology especially as the subsequent screens continue to use the term ‘Leave’.

Xero in reply to Jenny Xero
September 23, 2021 at 1.32 pm

Hi Jenny, this was an error and the wording will be changed back (if it hasn’t already). While doing a technical upgrade, the localisation changed on this word. This was unintentional and will be corrected. Thanks! ^BA

Dale Nursten
September 24, 2021 at 3.37 pm


You need to start listening to your users. We all understand that you need to update and improve the product however you have taken the whole platform backwards with the interface changes. I have not spoken to a single person that thinks what you have done is an improvement. It has seriously reduced the usability and efficiency for all users. To blindly continue rolling this out without taking on the avalanche of negative feedback is sheer folly. You are already losing customers – https://central.xero.com/s/question/0D53m000079iwRC/the-new-format-is-terrible-change-it-back

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