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How we’re adding more value to our practice tools in the UK

Posted 4 weeks ago in Advisors by Luis Sanchez Castillo

It was great to connect with so many advisors at Xerocon London today. You could really feel the excitement and buzz in the air, and my team and I were thrilled to share the latest developments in Xero. Here are some highlights of the announcements we made today.

Coming soon: Document packs

You know all too well how vital it is to collect approval signatures from clients on financial statements, tax returns, and other key documents to keep work flowing and meet deadlines. Today, Xerocon attendees were treated to a sneak peek of our new document packs feature, coming soon to Xero HQ. 

This secure online portal allows clients to easily view, download, electronically sign and return documents to their accountant or bookkeeper — all in one secure, accessible place. And, it will integrate seamlessly with Xero Tax, which means you can share company and personal tax returns and annual accounts directly with your clients for review and signature.

We hear that the time — and stress — that document packs will help you save is huge. It’ll help you easily keep on top of reviews and approvals, and make printing, collating, scanning and sending files back and forth for signing, a thing of the past.

This fantastic new feature will be available to all our UK accounting and bookkeeping partners in October this year. Even better, it’s free to use until the end of November, so you have a real opportunity to try it out and experience the benefits for yourself. 

From December, there are a range of bundles you can purchase, depending on your practice’s specific needs. You can also join our Insiders’ programme for early access to document packs and other Xero features.

For those who use the free Xero Tax e-signature tool in company accounts and tax, don’t worry! That’s not going anywhere and will remain free. But if you find that tool a time saver, you’ll no doubt enjoy the more advanced benefits of document packs.

A new-look Job Manager in Xero Practice Manager

Xero Practice Manager (XPM) is used by accountants and bookkeepers around the world to streamline their workflows and boost their efficiency.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Paras Shah, from DSK Partners, on stage today about how XPM helps solve the biggest challenges in his practice. Sarah Pink, Xero Partner Consulting Manager, then ran through a demo showing how to manage a practice on XPM.

You may be familiar with XPM’s benefits for workflow management, timesheets and invoicing. But to really benefit from XPM, you need to delve deeper and harness the powerful reporting that helps you track the value of your work in progress. Metrics such as productivity, visibility of recoverability, and internal time can truly help you get time back, by streamlining workflows and staying on top of how your practice and team are performing. 

The flow-on effects of this kind of reporting are incredibly freeing — helping you move towards value-based pricing by giving you confidence about what you should charge.

One really exciting update to XPM that Sarah demonstrated today was the improvements we’ve made to job manager. Using job manager is a great way to increase efficiency, stay in control of your practice and ensure collaboration across your team. 

The updates make it easier to see, find and track jobs, with a new modern table that helps you immediately see what needs attention. Staff can also sort and filter to view information that’s relevant to them, including filtering by state or by staff assigned, as well as sorting by priority or time spent on a job.

If you’re using XPM and a member of our Insiders’ programme, you’ll soon be invited to try it out — we’d love to know what you think.

The next step in our journey towards a unified client record

In her keynote this morning, Anna Curzon, Xero’s Chief Product Officer, touched on the next step in our journey towards a unified client record across XPM, Xero Tax and Xero HQ. This incredibly valuable stream of work will reduce double handling of data and give users more confidence in the accuracy of their records.

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to upgrade the technology that underpins our platform. While we work on this upgrade, we’ve switched off the client sync feature for all new practice connections. If you currently have a client sync between XPM and Xero HQ, read this blog post for more information about the changes and how they might impact you.

This is a temporary change, and one which ensures a better outcome for practices in the future. Soon, you’ll be able to access accurate client records across Xero tools, making it easier to manage and run your practice.

More to come

We’re committed to building products that help you serve the small business community in the UK, and we look forward to sharing more changes and developments as we continue to evolve our practice tools. But we can’t do it without you. 

If you have a feature in mind that you’d love to see built into Xero, head over to our Product Ideas site to share your idea with us or vote on features other advisors are requesting. We’re always listening to our accounting and bookkeeping partners and building the features that you want to see.

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