This article was updated on Wednesday, 3 August 2022.
Today, we’re pleased to share a new milestone on our journey to improve the contacts experience in Xero for our small business customers and their advisors. It’s a refreshed design that will make it easier to create and manage customer and supplier contact information from the list view page.
Contacts is a core part of our global platform and many of our products rely on it, from invoicing and bank reconciliation to quotes and purchase orders. So to deliver the features you want in contacts over the long term, we need to upgrade our underlying technology.
This milestone is a positive sign that our product and technology teams are making progress ‘under the hood’, so we can deliver a better experience for you in the long run. I hope you enjoy the new experience and look forward to your feedback, so we can continue to refine it over time.
What’s changing in contacts?
These changes are the first step in transforming contacts from simply an address book, to a dynamic tool that gives you at-a-glance information on your customers and suppliers. The result? Better relationships and more informed business decisions.
On the new list view page, you can:
- bulk merge contacts, by selecting multiple contacts from the main ‘Contacts list’ page and merging their transaction history with a designated contact
- navigate between customers, suppliers, archived contacts, custom groups and smart lists using the new navigation bar at the top of the page
- organise your contacts into custom groups and send invoices in bulk – this is handy for customers with common invoicing needs, like those with subscriptions
- search for contacts by name, email, account number or company number (introduced in latest iteration of the new list view page)
- add a new contact or click the overflow menu (three dots) beside the ‘new contact’ button to export contacts, import contacts, or send a customer statement
- sort your contacts by name, email, date added (new), what you owe and what’s owed to you, to quickly find the contact you need
- edit a contact, add them to a custom group, or archive them from the overflow menu (three dots) on the right-hand side of the contact row
- see which contacts have amounts overdue via the red calendar icon on their contact row, and hover over it to see how much is overdue
When you click into a contact record, you can:
- get at-a-glance views of their contact and financial details, including money in over the past 12 months, as well as the customer’s credit limit and credit available
- see a breakdown of activity, including notes and emails (connect your email to store all emails from that contact in the one place, or add an email so your staff can see them too)
- select edit to update their contact details or add a sales discount that will be applied to all invoices for that customer moving forward
- merge duplicate contacts within the contact record, to make sure you’re merging the right information (you can also do this using find and recode)
- turn invoice reminders off and on, to tailor the invoicing experience to each individual customer
We’ve removed some sort options (Skype, account number, you’re overdue, they’re overdue) that had quite low usage among customers. As we rebuild the list view page with our updated technology, we want to focus on building the features you need most.
Why we’re making these changes
Some of these changes may take some time to get used to, but please know they are not being made purely for aesthetic reasons. As a tech company, it’s vital that we continuously upgrade our technology and redesign experiences so we can deliver the features you want.
It’s also important that as we upgrade our technology, we improve our accessibility too. Our refreshed list view page is mobile friendly and meets the latest accessibility requirements, to make it easier for everyone to use Xero on any device.
It also brings the design in line with other Xero features, so there’s greater consistency across our global platform. This makes it a seamless experience for you, while also making it easier for new customers to learn how to use Xero.
What’s next for contacts?
The changes to our list view page means we’ve reached an important milestone in our technology upgrade, so that new features in contacts can seamlessly flow across all products on our platform. You’ll notice other changes happening across Xero that will enable this work.
This is just the first step in the upgrade for contacts, so we’ll continue to listen to your feedback and improve the experience over time. However, rest assured that each milestone brings us closer to delivering the features you want (like being able to add multiple addresses to a contact).
These are not easy fixes, and we have entire teams focusing on tackling the challenge. The good news is that we’re well underway and will keep you updated on our progress. Your feedback is an important part of our ‘test, learn, refine’ process, so please let us know what you think.
For the love of god, please let us add two contacts with the same name.
I cannot have the system reject my customers when I have two John Smiths.
Is not acceptable.
Please for the love of god fix this. It has been a full decade of this nonsense.
And add dates back to the forum. It is near impossible to keep a proper flow of what is happening over time without dates. Your own mods are adding dates manually to their posts. This is absurd.
Sorry to hear your frustrations James but thank you for your comment, which I have shared with my Product Team.
I absolutely second this. It’s madness to use name as a unique identifier. Why are you not sorting this over pointless cosmetic changes? Get the functionality right first.
You can do this per invoice
It would be great if we can add notes about a customer such as just spoke to them on the phone about their invoice but have this notes we a column field so when I run my accounts receivable and payable, I can.m glance who i have spoken to rather than tl into each customer to read the notes
Hi Alan, thank you for your comment, which I have passed on to our Product Team.
I agree Alan, it is making credit control much more protracted! I do not like this at all. The old system was much more practical why change something that works well
I have 8 accounts for British Gas numbered 1-8. The old version of contacts used to show the account numbers for the supplier under each name. Now all it shows is their contact details such as name, telephone number and email address. This information is hardly ever required, but the account number is so important so that I can select the correct account to post an invoice to, so that it posts to the correct property associated with the expense. For the love of god, ditch the contact information and show the account number field in the contact details. Everything accounting-wise needs to be posted to the correct account. You’ve just removed that facility which is utterly disgraceful. Kindly change this immediately, else we shall be moving to a new supplier.
I agree – a lot of our companies have a trading name we use for our CRM system which is entirely different to their parent company, who we send invoices to in Xero. Being able to see and search by the account number is essential to make sure we match our records up. Now I can’t search by it it is taking me ages to manually look up their accounts in xero and a lot of guesswork. It has taken a two second search into a 10 minute investigation.
We agree – we desperately need to search on account number too. Please prioritise the return of this functionality!
I really hope it’s better than the new bank reconciliation screen. Having to scroll down on every item is giving me RSI!
Can’t search by account number – surely this is an oversight. This is the only unique number we have. Names can e duplicated as can company addresses. Payments come to us via account numbers so at this point it is very difficult to reconcile.
Please put this on the update list ASAP
Hi Justine – thanks so much for your feedback, which I have passed on to our Product team.
Hi Team. How do we search by the account number now?
Hi Michael – search by account number is on our roadmap to rebuild and so you’ll see this functionality return in coming iterations.
The removal of the account number as a search field is a disaster and is now adding time to my my day having to search by name. Also not being able to put the same name in more than once is a pain, asking for a middle name or putting a . after the name is not acceptable. I use Xero with several companies and some of your changes will stop me advising other companies to use it.
Hi Angela, thank you for sharing your feedback with us – we are reviewing all the feedback that we are receiving so I have passed your comment on to my Product Team.
Its crazy that the account number search field has been removed. will this be coming back
We have alot of people with the same name and it was easier to find people using the account number
Hi Helen, our Product Team is looking to prioritise search by email and account number based on customer feedback so please keep an eye out for further improvements. Thanks!
Well it is May 2022 and this has still not been prioritised. You say that this had quite low usage among customers, I would say you only change it if it didn’t have any usage. Many people are struggling without this function. I thought xero was all about saving people time by having an efficient product. Please put this function back.
As mentioned elsewhere and probably by every finance professional, you need to allow search by account number and other fields. Not only does this help in the situations as described above, but searching by say the skype name was a workaround for mass updating contacts to a group.
This is totally unacceptable and needs addressed immediately or allow us to revert back to the old screen.
Thank you for your comment – Harry, which I have shared with our Product Team.
I have previously contacted Xero support who sent me this blog.
They say it was done to “simplify the expereince” – it has made the experience a whole lot harder, slower and painful!
Come on Xero… please address this…
Hi Craig, we apologise for sending you around the houses. The Product team are working hard to roll out the next iterations – this is just the first step in the upgrade for contacts.
This is awful, I can no longer see how many people are in my Groups. I use Group invoicing regularly and I need to be able to check quickly and easily that the number of people in the group matches what it should be.
It seems that these upgrades are going in the wrong direction. The reconciliation screen is also a nightmare.
Hi Tracey, thank you for sharing your feedback with us and I’m sorry to hear that you are finding the latest changes a “nightmare”. I have shared your feedback with my Product Team.
It would be great if you could manually identify a contact as a customer or supplier without having to raise an invoice first.
Hi Halina – thanks for your feedback, which I have shared with our Product Team here.
I agree with all the comments above and have already also submitted at least three support queries.
Your “improvements” have actually totally destroyed what was an intuitive and easily usable product in one fell swoop – I do the work of 3 people and could manage it happily before your changes – now it is a nightmare.
On the cashbook side:
– I had to redo all my bank rules since the bank feed has changed the import format from reference to description
– The size of the recon screen is so big that one spends half the time scrolling up and down instead of just clicking and moving on
– Not to mention the issue with Yodlee changing our reference numbers on import.. Fortunately this issue has now been resolved – thank you.
On the contacts side:
– Please re-introduce the ability to search by account number; it is truly crucial and a unique identifier across our entire business. At the moment I can’t find anyone because I’m looking for an account number and I don’t know the name to search by. Have had to Export the contact list and filter in Excel to find anyone – beyond frustrating
– Same issue here as with cashbook; why is the view so large that one has to spend half your time scrolling
– We used to be able to keep a contacts list open in a tab and open a single contact in a separate tab, but that functionality is also missing so now I have to go up and click on contacts every time instead of just opening several in tabs to do what needs to be done. Beyond time consuming.
– The Group view that was so convenient before and one could see at a glance the number of contacts per group has now also become a serious navigation pain as every group has to be opened separately – one at a time – and one has to scroll down down down to find that information.
*Please add a report to provide the summary information for the groups.
*Please add a page forward bar to the top of each contact view as well so that one can move forward without having to scroll to the bottom every time
*Please consider allowing users to add a custom dashboard screen for contacts, with the option to use a layout like the old one, which is part of why you have so many followers, I suspect.
I love Xero because you are an out the box thinker that provides so much more flexibility than a traditional accounting package and I’ve worked on many. I “sold” you to my employer for that reason as we do a lot of transactions with too few staff and manage because of the functionality on Xero and now it seeems like your improvements are making you even less user-friendly than the old guard. Not cool at all.
Hi Nicky, thank you so much for sharing your feedback with us. I’m sorry to hear that you are not finding the latest updates user-friendly. We are listening to all the feedback that we are receiving as we continue to work on improving some of the existing features. I’m pleased to say that improvements to search by email and account number are on our roadmap to rebuild and so you will see this functionality return in coming iterations. In regards to your other feedback – I have passed this on to our Product Team. Thanks again!
I can see others have raised this issue – not being able to search contacts using account number anymore. This is a crucial search field for our business. What used to take one second to find a client via the account number is now taking me minutes. I find it unbelievable that you would remove that function within the search field. I really hope that this oversight can be rectified quickly.
Hi Amanda, thank you for sharing your feedback on the latest updates to the Contacts screen with us. Based on customer feedback, I’m pleased to let you know that improvements to search by email and account number will be prioritised.
Where has the facility to search contacts by account number gone to please?
Hi Jennie, our product team are prioritising improvements to search by email and account number based on the feedback that we have received from customers so please watch this space. Thanks!
Just hate the new format – useless for desktop users!! Give your customers at least the option which layout they want to use.
Hi Rowe – sorry to hear that you hate the new format but thank you for your feedback with us. I have shared your comment with our Product Team.
Unable to seach my account number, abn or email. Unable to merge contacts….. screen is busy on the eyes…. more scrolling…. more clicking…. I am seeing no improvements here. I understand the “Look” seems to be sooooo important to Xero at the moment…. but PLEASE, stop taking away the basic functionality that we have all come to love… AND the main reasons we switched to Xero in the first place!
Hi Linda – thank you for your comment. We are listening and as we continue to work on improving some of the existing features, we will be prioritising improvements to search by email and account number based on customer feedback. I have shared the rest of your feedback with my Product Team.
Well, you have just totally stuffed how we HAVE to work. It’s bad enough that two (or more in our case) same names cannot be added to the system without adding numbers or symbols to a name but we use contract numbers to identify our customers. For example, we have 67 contacts with the same name and we now have to search for the right contact. Prior to this unacceptable change it was a simple matter of entering the contract number to find the customer. Such a waste of everyone’s time.
We have been considering going back to MYOB – perhaps it’s time we do.
Thanks for sharing your feedback with us, Susan – which I have passed on to my team. Improvements to search by email and account number are on our roadmap to rebuild so you will see this functionality return in coming iterations.
Appreciate your feedback too Beeny but today I cannot sent an invoice because there is a new owner of a property so details have changed in our FileMaker system – would have been no issue if I could search by account number. Pleeeeaaase make this reversion the utmost priority.
A vital part of our accounts is the ability to search by account number. This will have a very negative impact if we can no longer use this function. Also the ability to open a contact in a new tab once selected has been removed which is another big negative and more time consuming. Please this needs to be rectified!
Hi Tsara, thank you for sharing your feedback. I’m pleased to share that improvements to search by email and account number will be prioritised by the Product Team. Watch this space.
Again – please can you allow search on the account number field. I use this as part of the reconciliation to match payment identifiers with the customers. This update does not give ‘better visibility’. I’m having to export the list of contacts to excel to find the information I need.
Hi Catherine, we have prioritised improvements to the search by email and account number based on customer feedback so thank you for sharing your feedback with us.
We use Contact Groups for managing our data. We can no longer see how many contacts are in a group. Is there any chance that this functionality could be returned, please?
Hi Brenda, thanks for your comment – I have passed your request to our Product Team.
I used to right-click on a contact to open in a new screen, whilst still having the full contact list on the original screen, yet that simple function has now disappeared. Why?
Hi, please add back the ability to search by email address! A lot of our staff refer to our suppliers by acronym (as per the email addresses) but the contact has been set up under their legal trading name, and now I can’t find them.
I would also like back the ability to right-click on a contact to open them in a new window or tab, as I often need to have several contacts open at the same time.
Hi Sarah, thanks for getting in touch. I have passed your feedback in relation to being able to right-click on a contact to open them in a new window or tab over to our Product Team. In regards to searching by email address, improvements to this functionality is on our roadmap to rebuild so you’ll see this return in coming iterations.
Need to search by account number – this is a critical function. Please update ASAP.
Hi Kim, we understand and you will see this functionality return in upcoming iterations.
Removing the ability to search by account number has made using Xero harder. We used this function in our business to find the correct customer on our help desk and in finance. Ridiculous.
This has made reconciliation harder and a longer process and leaves more opportunties for errors. I am surpised no one at Xero thought of these potiental issues. I am very disappointed.
Hi Debra, thanks for your comment. Search for contacts by email, account number or company number is on our roadmap to rebuild so you will see the functionality return in upcoming iterations.
Typical Xero, does an upgrade, and we’re left floundering with “work arounds” to get what we need. We do searches on contacts, typically account no. and we record another unique reference for customers in the available ABN field as we do lookups identifying properties (which can’t be used in the address fields)
Now the search fields are limited to 4 options, and the “Smart” (not so smart) lists you can create only give certain fields to filter by.
I logged a help request, and it indicated a 1 day response time, meanwhile we can’t process basic updates from our customer customer contacts.
Not good enough Xero.
Hi Karen, I’m sorry to hear that these updates have left you floundering with ‘work arounds’ 🙁 but thanks for your feedback, which I have passed on to our product team.
Totally agree that we need to be able to open multiple contacts from a contact search result (right click open new tab). I don’t have the time to reload the page each time (and lose my place in the group list) to do something that took seconds previously.
Hi Peter – thanks for your feedback with us, which I have shared with our product team.
Why can we not send statements to selected groups? When sending statements we have to manually select to customers by scrolling through thousands of clients
I agree with all of these.
Ideintifying an account and searching under the account number was vital to us as managing utilities for a number of properties is a nightmare so to be able to split them by account number was excellent. Now they just all look the same. Much more time consuming for my purchases and cash posting teams.
Also right click to open in a new tab was so valuable to us. We use that all the time and so need that to continue.
I know the responses are saying that this will be in coming iterations, but do we have a rough timescale for this as I need something to be able to ease my very disappointed team with.
Hi Alison, I’m sorry that you and your team are disappointed with the latest changes. All I can tell you is that these changes are being rolled out in phases over the next couple of months so you shouldn’t have to wait too long for the upcoming iterations. Hopefully that gives you and your team some reassurance.
Hi , when will I be able to search by account number again, we have 450 customers which I can find by account number only.
Hi Bettina, thank for your comment. Yes, you will see this functionality return in upcoming iterations.
Sorry, not sure why you are so excited about this it doesnt seem to offer anything much better and weve lost important functionality.
Why can’t we have details at the side of the name rather than underneath? That way we can see more than 6 names on the screen. Why have the data in a little central box on our screen – it might look pretty but its not practical?
When are these new iterations coming out – they need to be urgent?
Hi Jo – thanks so much for your feedback, which I have shared with my Product team. We know that within Contacts there are some feature requests our customers really want. To deliver these features, we need to upgrade our technology. The design updates signal positive changes beneath the surface to prepare these products for new features in the future.
Am i losing the plot or missing something
Previously i could select multiple contacts at once and merge those multiple contacts into one – all in one go bosh.
Now we have lost that functionality and all you say is
“This includes giving Contacts an uplift to make it simpler and more beautiful.”
sorry it aint simpler if i have to do somethig 10 times rather than once now – it may be more beautiful if you care about the artistic aesthetics of how the layout is presented ( i dont sorry) – what would would be beautiful to me though would be if you don’t remove “integral features” as mentioned by just about everyone who has commented here – i cant see one post where anyone has said this is a step forward for xero.
All is forgiven though if you can give us an actual timeframe when all the lost features availble previously will be restored – that would be real customer serice !!!
Hi Richard – thanks for your feedback, which I’ve shared with our Product team. These changes are not being made purely for aesthetic reasons – it’s essential that we continue to upgrade our technology and redesign experiences so we can introduce more functionality to contacts. These changes are being rolled out in phases over the next couple of months.
Agree with other posters about the absence of Account numbers. Account numbers have always been poorly integrated into Xero (notwithstanding the unique name nonsense). It’s not possible to search by account number when reconciling bank payments either – the one reference we ask all our clients to include on their payment…
Hi Mark – thanks so much for your feedback, which has been shared with our teams.
From the All contacts list, it seems ‘bulk’ actions (archive, add to group) can effectively only be performed on one contact at a time?
We used to search for a customer, check their name, search for the second customer etc to build up a list for a bulk action (eg add to a group).
Now that’s impossible: checked contacts aren’t retained after a new search, so the action has to be repeated per contact – much more time-consuming.
The way search is set up I can’t see how it would be possible to return more than one desired result per search – so if you can’t select more than one contact at a time then what’s the point in having bulk actions?
Hi Ed, thanks so much for your comment. Your feedback and questions has been passed on to our Product team.
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?!
Hi Anita, thank your for leaving a comment and sharing your feedback with us, which has now been passed on to our Product Team who are reviewing everything and working on the upcoming iterations for Contacts – this is just the first step.
Why change something that worked so well. You’ve created too many choices & steps.
Hi Pam, thanks for your feedback. 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.
What happened to being able to right click on a supplier and open it in another tab. For goodness sake, taking that option away has meant that when I click on a supplier, have to use the back button to go back to the list, instead of the list still being there. This will add extra steps into what I am trying to achieve.
The format of supplier is now very ugly. Please go back to the previous model.
If something is working, why change it?????
Hi Shelagh – thanks for your comment. We need to upgrade our technology to enable us to deliver on features that our customers really want. There will be further iterations over the coming months and we are reviewing all the feedback so we can test, learn and refine – so thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
It is very frustrating not to be able to search Customers by Account Number, we have customers who just use their account number when paying. Previous to this change we could do that, NEED IT BACK……………..ASAP
Thank you, Caroline – your feedback has been shared with the team.
Another step backwards functionally!
Where has the ability to show and sort overdue balances gone. Smart Lists only show >7 days overdue, did it not occur to anyone that users would want to see all overdues?
Does Xero have any business analysts/acceptance testers with real world experience?
I would like to have the right-click function back that allows me to open several accounts on separate tabs.
Hi Fred – thanks for your comment, which has been shared with our Product Team.
Hi Can you tell me what the coloured squares are in contacts if they are meant to be quick finding, they are not working correctly and I would rather make up my own quick find feature if I could. Your version is taking letters from a whole name not just the first 2 or 3. Very frustrating
Hi Leanne, the colours have no significance – they are simply a design element to bring some vibrance to the page. However, your feedback has been shared with the Product team. Thanks for your comment.
“It is very frustrating not to be able to search Customers by Account Number, we have customers who just use their account number when paying. Previous to this change we could do that, NEED IT BACK.” Cannot agree more. Lodged a case with your Support Team, no use. How does it count as an improvement when so many customers are complaining about the loss of the function? Please see what you can do. Thanks.
Can you please bring back the ability to search email addresses this is extremely important.
Thanks for your comment, Ashley – your request has been passed on to our Product team.
In the article you state: “We’ve removed some sort options (Skype, ACCOUNT NUMBER, you’re overdue, they’re overdue) that had quite low usage among customers.”
This is clearly not true when it comes to the account numbers, when you read all the comments left on here, as well as on other responses.
I did get feedback from you when I logged a case, but the answer is unacceptable. How it fixing the problem “Not Possible”?
You also keep on saying you passed this onto the Product Team – but there is no commitment to when the problem will be fixed.
I re-iterate by saying “Xero has become extremely UN-User Friendly with this poorly thought through up(down)grade.”
Hi Amy, thanks for your comment. We have been listening to everyone’s feedback on the first iteration of our technology upgrade of Contacts and are pleased to share that we’ve built the new version of search by email, account number and company number in the contact list view. As mentioned, we will continue to enhance and improve Contacts as we roll out changes. ^BA
Why has adding contacts to groups been made so hard to do? I can no longer search for multiple people and check them, and then add them all to a group. Every time I clear the search bar to search for another name, the check next to the previous persons name disappears, meaning I have to add people to groups one at a time. This is infuriating!
Does your product team not actually check the product changes before they go live??
Hi Tony, sorry to hear that you are finding is difficult to add contacts to groups. Here is some information on how to create and edit contact groups in Xero Central, which may help.
The recent re-design of contacts is awful. Just awful. Takes much longer to data enter contact details. Users hate it. Change it back, please,