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

Posted 11 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.

217 comments

Malc Gilliver
December 16, 2021 at 3.50 am

Ok, now I can’t get a single inventory item on a 24″ monitor, where have you hidden the box to mark as inactive ?

Thanks.

Xero in reply to Malc Gilliver Xero
December 16, 2021 at 4.51 pm

Hi Malc, sorry to hear that you’re experiencing some trouble. Can you please raise a case with our support team so we can take a closer look and give you a hand. Thanks!

Andrew Brundle
February 17, 2022 at 3.28 am

The changes are absolutely worthless, all of the reporting formats have gone, along with so many useful options that I use.

Have Xero not heard of a user group?

We have a fairly large and growing organisation, but pointless changes such as these just push me further to other platforms.

Most software houses that know what they are doing would advise of very specific upcoming changes and help users through the transition period.

I now have a huge amount of work to undertake, because of Xero’s incompetence’s in implementing change!

Xero in reply to Andrew Brundle Xero
February 21, 2022 at 1.29 pm

Hi Andrew, we’re so sorry to hear that you have not found the recent changes helpful. We did conduct qualitative user experience prior to beginning the early access to the new bank reconciliation screen. This provided us with a large feedback loop to review the user experience before rolling it out further. We’d like to assure you that there is a purpose behind the changes we are making to Xero and a strategy for the future. We are investing a lot into strategically creating new standards to support a number of factors, such as increasing accessibility to make Xero more user-friendly. These changes also allow us to improve the user experience for the growing number of devices people are using today. We appreciate your honest feedback and are certainly taking it on board as we move forward.

Kathy Magill
December 16, 2021 at 12.09 pm

Hi XERO,
I am not happy with the change that has been made to the Products and services; when entering adjustments, I used to be able to start typing in the tracking categories and it would find and match the item, but now I have to use the dropdown list and there are far too many items to locate, which will make my entries take that much longer to do. I thought that when you make these changes that it should be more efficient, but that is not the case with this change. Can you please look into changing it so that there is a search window for the tracking categories.
Not happy.
Kathy

Adam Scott
January 8, 2022 at 3.55 am

Xero is meant to be ‘beautiful’ to look at, but now the Reconcile page has changed for some unfathomable reason. The shading is now inverted from the home page, with grey immediately around the boxes, rather than around the page as a whole if that makes sense. It’s really ugly and looks like a backward step towards the very first attempt to make online screens look like some sort of tax form from 30 years ago. It’s skeuomorphism of some sort. Very ugly. It makes the writing look so busy, with multiple different fonts … it looks amateurish.

Xero in reply to Adam Scott Xero
January 11, 2022 at 9.36 am

Hi Adam, thank you for sharing your feedback with us, which has been passed on to our product team who are evaluating all the feedback we are receiving on the recent changes to the bank reconciliation screen.

Philip Duncan
February 2, 2022 at 12.04 pm

I agree with your point about multiple fonts. I count at least 6 different font variations of colour, size, and weight. From a design point of view that is too many.

Usually text is displayed differently to make it stand out from the text around it for emphasis e.g. bold or red colour. If everything looks different the page looks too busy with various blocks of text all vying for attention.

Also there are some pages within xero that are not consistent with each other with their design and layout. It’s more fragmented than it used to be.

Mike Roe
January 19, 2022 at 2.32 am

Not happy ! When exporting data (P&L , balance sheet etc) . The names of the accounts have changed slightly. We use this export data in other spreadsheets. The formulas are now all messed up as it does not recognise the new names.

Xero in reply to Mike Roe Xero
January 26, 2022 at 9.55 am

Hi Mike, sorry to hear that the change has messed up your formulas. Can you please raise a case with our support team so we can give you a hand here? Thanks so much!

Philip
January 20, 2022 at 12.45 pm

Still nothing on handling sales back-orders?

Xero in reply to Philip Xero
February 17, 2022 at 4.48 pm

Hi Philip – sorry, we don’t have an update yet on handling sales back-orders but this is something the team are looking at. Thanks for your comment.

Julia Bastin
January 27, 2022 at 9.36 pm

Why oh why do you remove functionality when making “improvements” surely you should be adding to functionality not removing things that we CUSTOMERS rely on every day to do our jobs. You seem to insist on FIXING things that aren’t broken but ignore adding functions that customers have been asking for for YEARS. When will we be able to have simple functions like setting different holiday years in Payroll or be able to revalue Assets. We keep asking and we keep being fobbed off because you are busy making “improvements” which in reality appear to be backward steps. Xero is becoming increasingly frustrating!

Sorene Plews
January 30, 2022 at 10.43 pm

Hi Xero development team!
I’d prefer if Xero spent their time making changes that include better processing & reporting, easier stock tracking and management . Instead you waste time on the “look” of what is already working.
We don’t need the same report looking differently (and I do not like the new reports – it’s too big and we’ve had to re-do our reporting, which was linked to Xero reports); we need the reporting we requested you to develop, the reports our clients have been asking us for.
That would be appreciated. Thanks

David Petreides
February 3, 2022 at 6.44 am

It is imperative that any changes being made and introduced be communicated well in advance. Logging in to find that locations & functions have changed is not a recipe for a happy customer base.

Michael Dagel
February 16, 2022 at 12.42 pm

I have never worked with a company who has such low regard for their customers. I have scripts that I paid to have written which export contacts from my database based on the template Xero told us to use at sign up. I now see that the column headings have changed. I sincerely hope they don’t do anything with the invoice importing as that scripting was even more involved than the contact import. If Xero continues to spring “improvements” on me, I’m gone.

I agree with so many of the comments above. Your developers broke the first rule of database design with is to have a unique ID for each customer. Instead of using a customer name field, record creation should be based on an account number. What happens when you have twelve customers all named “John Smith?”

Xero Xero
February 16, 2022 at 3.24 pm

Hi, thank you for your feedback over the past few weeks. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and suggestions with us and we are taking it all on board. Your comments have been passed on to our Product team to take into consideration as they work on upcoming iterations. Your input is a very important element to this work. Thanks again!

Mindi
February 25, 2022 at 12.22 pm

Will there be the ability to add a service date (preferably with a drop down calendar) on the invoices?

Xero in reply to Mindi Xero
February 28, 2022 at 3.30 pm

Hi Mindi, thanks so much for your enquiry. We have shared your question with our Product Team, who are currently working on the next iteration.

Ivy pearl silva
March 1, 2022 at 9.32 pm

Nice changes

Xero in reply to Ivy pearl silva Xero
March 29, 2022 at 4.44 pm

Hi Ivy, we’re really pleased to hear that you like the recent changes.

Tom Diehl
March 23, 2022 at 12.56 pm

Instead of adding more USELESS “Features” How about addressing long standing confirmed bugs? Prokjects STILL does not honor the sales tax settings for a customer. It adds sales tax to ALL invoices it creates. Even non-profits that have the sales tax set to “No Tax”. Please do not tell me top open a support case. I have already done that and been told that it is a known issue that MIGHT get fixed someday. This is just plain STUPID that Xero NEVER fixes bugs and keeps adding USELESS features.

Xero in reply to Tom Diehl Xero
March 29, 2022 at 6.26 pm

Hi Tom, sorry to hear that you’re encountering issues in Xero that hasn’t yet been addressed. The changes that we are making to Xero goes much deeper that just the look and feel – we’re setting up the foundations for the future of our products to enable us to deliver new features, which hopefully will also fix some of the bugs you’re experiencing. We have escalated your comment with our product team so they can take a look into the issue you have raised with Projects. Thanks for sharing your feedback with us.

Norman
March 27, 2022 at 6.52 pm

As a pretty new user to Xero, I’m unlikely to notice many of these changes.

But more importantly (as a pretty new user to Xero) I would much rather you spent some time on help documents for new users. And even specifically sole traders or TINY businesses.

I can literally find nothing in the Support section about a workflow for using Xero. There is a video about setting up your Company in Xero, but that is just the foundation. Not the day to day.

As I’ve used Xero, its become very clear that in some areas, there is some workflow we have to follow, or Xero punishes us mercilessly. But there is no documentation for the workflow.

eg. Getting receipts / invoices etc out of Hubdoc into Xero seemingly requires you to do everything in the exact right order, or it won’t correlate the receipts with transactions.

But regardless… PLEASE, give those of us doing this on our own some good help.

Workflow, a link to simple accounting terms and practises. Stuff like that.

As it is, the money and time I’ve spent is a sunk cost. And if there aren’t solutions that help, then Xero is no better (and in some ways, worse) than the spreadsheet and box of receipts I’ve used for the last 20 years.

Xero in reply to Norman Xero
March 29, 2022 at 4.52 pm

Hi Norman, we are so sorry to hear that you are not able to find the information you need to help you with the day-to-day running of your business in Xero. Your feedback has been shared with our education team to look at how we can improve our support section in Xero to help new users like yourself. If you still need a hand to get set up and running on Xero, please get in touch with our support team, who’ll be more than happy to help answer any questions that you may have and work through any workflows together. Thanks again for sharing your feedback with us – it’s incredibly helpful to enable us to improve.

Joshua hewetson
May 25, 2022 at 11.45 am

Is there anywhere we can go to view detailed release notes? Be good to know all the changes that are about affect my team before they happen.

Thanks,

Xero in reply to Joshua hewetson Xero
May 30, 2022 at 12.16 pm

Hi Joshua, thanks for your comment. We provide an update on upcoming product feature releases in our monthly product news blog posts – you can read our latest update here. We try to communicate any significant changes in advance via the Xero Blog or via email.

sandy
May 25, 2022 at 3.37 pm

When can we expect to have ‘Recap Transaction” in Xero?

Debbie
May 29, 2022 at 10.34 pm

Why do you have such an issue with listening to your end users or Customers.
If you are planning changes, may I suggest you notify which parts of your product you are looking to change, then ask your customers if this is something they would like to see or use.
I know these changes might seem like a great idea to your developers but we are the ones paying for your product
If it isn’t broken don’t fix it !!
Its also really disappointing to find out that as a very small business I had to Double my outlay and upgrade to the Standard Plan because I had more than 5 Bills a month, then find out that Xero has wiped the 5 Bills limit on the starter plan for so many other countries due to the impact of Covid. Seriously annoyed and shopping around.. !!!!

Xero in reply to Debbie Xero
May 30, 2022 at 3.42 pm

Hi Debbie, we’re so sorry to hear that you are unhappy – would it be OK for us to give you a call to chat about how you feel and perhaps how we can do better? If so, please raise a case with our support team so we can get in touch with you directly! Thank you so much!

Rochelle
June 19, 2022 at 7.18 pm

Hi team
May I ask when dot points, bold text etc will be added to the quotes & invoices layout? I know it’s been requested over many years but still not updated.

Claire Turner
June 20, 2022 at 9.56 pm

Best comment so far : You seem to insist on FIXING things that aren’t broken but ignore adding functions that customers have been asking for for YEARS

Logged in this morning to find the new “improved” quote layout – it isn’t – it is now so big, I can see the whole quote on one screen. There is loads of unused white space around the boxes and seems to be designed purely for sending quotes by email or viewing on a mobile. We only use quotes as sales orders (as a handy sales order workflow isn’t something Xero has any interest in adding) so this is a real step backwards in terms of user experience. Moved to Xero from Sage as the interface was so easy in comparison – now ordering what mess will come next – any chance we can have a choice on the layout?

Columba Mwandembe
June 21, 2022 at 1.36 am

The new changes in quotes has messed up with our taxes,the quotes are picking up an old tax rate and one is not able to change to the current tax rate,please check and address it urgently.

Xero in reply to Columba Mwandembe Xero
June 21, 2022 at 10.15 am

Hi, can you please get in touch with our support team by raising a case so we can investigate what is happening her with your taxes. Thanks so much.

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