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Our five favourite automation features in Xero

Posted 1 year ago in Product by Tim Bradley
Posted by Tim Bradley

Think of automation as the brawn in your business or practice. When you use tools and features that do the heavy lifting of all of those little daily to-dos, you free up the brain to focus on the bigger picture. 

At Xero, we want every customer to say goodbye to mundane data entry and hello to increased productivity and clarity, with a suite of automation tools that are designed to lighten the load of every part of their workflow.

Here’s a list of our existing automation favourites (and some new improvements) to include in your toolkit, offering you ease and speed when those things matter most.

A new look for bank rules

Setting up bank rules is an easy way to get Xero to automatically code transactions on your bank reconciliation screen, based on criteria you’ve set. They can save you time, reduce human error and ensure consistent coding, which means you can enjoy more efficient reporting.

We’ve recently given bank rules a new look that aligns with other features in Xero. It’s all part of our work to upgrade the technology that underpins our platform, so we can release new features faster than ever before. We’ve also improved the functionality, including streamlining the steps to create or edit a bank rule, as well as the ability to switch between rule types without losing data.

Powerful, accurate bank reconciliation

Ultimately, our goal is for you to open your bank reconciliation screen and, with as little input as possible, have an accurate and up-to-date general ledger. The progress we’ve taken to automate how easily and efficiently you can reconcile represents a big step towards this.

Last year, we announced that we’re building machine learning algorithms to power bank reconciliation predictions, so we can accurately predict your transactions’ contact and account codes.

Our system suggests the who and the what of your transaction, eliminating the mental load of having to remember and log everyday business activity. All you’ll have to do is click ‘OK’ to reconcile the transaction fully, and it’ll be coded to an account from your chart of accounts. 

Speedy invoice management

For a small business, cash flow is king. But when you’re knee deep in everything from sales meetings to life admin, creating, sending or following up on invoices can easily fall to the wayside. New invoicing helps you to add a layer of ease to your invoicing, which in turn, looks after your bottom line. 

Features like automatic invoice reminders and repeating invoices helps lighten your workload, so you don’t have to remember to send or chase invoices. Adding GoCardless and Stripe (with Apple Pay and Google Pay) as a payment method on your online invoices can also help you automate the process of getting paid in a way that suits your customers’ desire for a low-touch, digital payment experience.

Speed up bill entry with eInvoicing

We believe that anything that helps small businesses and their advisors get paid faster is a worthwhile endeavour, and our focus on eInvoicing (available in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore) automates the process of exchanging invoices with other businesses and government departments.

Xero’s eInvoicing solution offers near real-time delivery of invoices directly into the recipient’s accounting software, appearing as a draft bill to be approved and paid. Overall, it’s a safer and faster way to send and receive invoices, saving you time and helping facilitate you getting paid sooner.

If you already use Xero and are in Australia or New Zealand, sending eInvoices won’t be too different from your usual process, and you can register to send or receive them right now. If you’re in Singapore, you can find out more about how to register using Invoici from Xero.

Improvements to Hubdoc

Logging expenses is a critical part of running a business or practice, but the work involved in manually inputting these details has involved a hefty time investment in the past. When we acquired Hubdoc, we wanted to ensure that its leading data capture technology would help to lift this load.

We’re continuing to invest in Hubdoc and will be rolling out a number of enhancements soon to improve your experience and continue to improve speed and stability of the product. The additional features include the ability to upload HEIC/HEIF documents from your iPhone, and a faster response when typing in the Xero ‘contact’ field. We hope these improvements offer you greater value from Hubdoc, so you can extract the information you need in seconds.

Ultimately, the more day-to-day business practices you can automate, the better. After all, less time on manual toil means more productive time to focus on growing your business and serving your customers. We want to make business beautiful for everyone, so we encourage you to start using one (or more) of our automation favourites in Xero today.


March 16, 2022 at 8.42 pm

Please add multi-currency – everything works very inconveniently when reporting is in Hong Kong dollars (for example), bills, for example, in euros or yuan, but paid from bank account in US dollars – this has to be cleared on additional balance accounts and creates confusion and completely unnecessary confusing wiring.

March 31, 2022 at 10.25 pm

Automation suggestions.
Where the amout on the bank statement is an exact match to an invoice, Xero suggests matches and we simply ‘confirm’. But where there is no direct match, can Xero recommend close matches with possible rouding errors, again within a few cents / pence? In most cases the reference includes the payee or the invoice no, so it should be matchable.

Then, when we import invoices into Xero with multiple transaction lines, there is often a 1-5pence / cents rounding error between what the customer was invoiced, and the way XERO calculates the invoice. When reconciling the invoice to the bank receipt, we select and match the invoice, then select ‘minor adjustment’ to load the rounding error. If Xero would auto populate the adjustment amount with the difference between the invoice and the receipt (especially when dealing with a few pence / cents), it would make the matching process a lot simpler.

The majority of our manual workload on Xero, is taken up by these two shortfalls.

April 21, 2022 at 12.28 pm

Another time saving suggestions would be the ability to add a supporting document directly from the bank reconciliation window. There is room for that small icon.
Currently you have to reconcile the transaction… then go to Account Transactions – then Individual Transaction – then Open Transaction – then Add the Document. Super slow if you are adding receipts for multiple documents.

Xero in reply to Mark Xero
April 27, 2022 at 4.30 pm

Hi Mark, thanks so much for your feedback and suggestion – your comment has been shared with the team.

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