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Enjoy better visibility of your contacts in Xero

Posted 2 weeks ago in Product by Simona Turin
Posted by Simona Turin

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:

  • 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 a contact by name, 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

These changes will be rolled out in a phased approach to all subscribers over the next couple of months.

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.

Of course, this is just the first step on a bigger journey for our teams working on the contacts experience. 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.

15 comments

James Moore
September 10, 2021 at 5.42 am

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.
John Smith1
John Smith2

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.

James

Beeny Atherton in reply to James Moore Xero
September 13, 2021 at 2.24 pm

Sorry to hear your frustrations James but thank you for your comment, which I have shared with my Product Team.

Gary Douthwatie
September 16, 2021 at 2.19 am

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.

Alan
September 12, 2021 at 7.36 am

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

Beeny Atherton in reply to Alan Xero
September 13, 2021 at 2.22 pm

Hi Alan, thank you for your comment, which I have passed on to our Product Team.

Robin Fisher
September 13, 2021 at 9.25 pm

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.

Steven Case
September 15, 2021 at 4.33 am

I really hope it’s better than the new bank reconciliation screen. Having to scroll down on every item is giving me RSI!

Justine Kelly
September 15, 2021 at 8.47 am

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

Beeny Atherton in reply to Justine Kelly Xero
September 15, 2021 at 11.01 am

Hi Justine – thanks so much for your feedback, which I have passed on to our Product team.

Angela Aylward
September 15, 2021 at 8.28 pm

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.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Angela Aylward Xero
September 16, 2021 at 11.28 am

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.

Harry Seran
September 16, 2021 at 3.29 am

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.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Harry Seran Xero
September 16, 2021 at 12.12 pm

Thank you for your comment – Harry, which I have shared with our Product Team.

Halina Steele
September 16, 2021 at 1.09 pm

It would be great if you could manually identify a contact as a customer or supplier without having to raise an invoice first.

Beeny Atherton in reply to Halina Steele Xero
September 16, 2021 at 1.24 pm

Hi Halina – thanks for your feedback, which I have shared with our Product Team here.

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