The heat, the food, the music, the energy. There’s really no place like New Orleans, Louisiana (known affectionately as NOLA). It was the perfect location to reconnect with our valued accounting and bookkeeping partners, and share some exciting plans for new tools and features designed to make inventory management, bank reconciliation and tax management simpler and more seamless. If you couldn’t make it (or need a recap — there was a lot going on!) here are a few of the highlights from day one.
Helping you navigate sales tax in the US
We announced a new strategic partnership with Avalara that will allow us to build a sales tax solution in Xero, so you can easily calculate sales tax on invoices, compile flexible, state-based reporting, and access Avalara’s trusted e-filing tools. The partnership will also unlock advanced functionality across Avalara’s suite of products — easing the administrative burden of managing and reporting on sales tax for your clients.
Delegates at Xerocon got a sneak peek of the sales tax solution and were invited to register their interest in early beta access, which will be available next year to a limited number of users before the official release.
Giving you a clear picture of inventory
Following our acquisition of LOCATE Inventory last year, we’ve been building a new inventory solution that will help your small business clients track and manage their inventory in real time across multiple locations, provide a clear overview of their financial performance, and save time reconciling inventory data. It will also allow your clients to streamline workflows so they can get quotes, print labels and fulfill orders — all in one place.
We know having an accurate picture of inventory is crucial in understanding the true cost and demand of your clients’ products — which then impacts their revenue and cash flow. This solution will be available to the US market first, and Xerocon attendees were able to register their expression of interest for more information and beta opportunities.
Speeding up workflows with automation
Many of our customers enjoy bank feeds, which automatically imports data into Xero so you can reconcile your accounts. But if you’re an advisor with simple year-end clients, or need to catch up on older bank statements that are no longer available in your bank feeds, then you may need another way to get transaction data into Xero without resorting to complex, manual workflows.
At Xerocon, we were excited to share that customers in the US and Canada can now instantly import and reconcile transaction data from PDF bank statements with our Hubdoc bank statement extraction feature. The new feature is now available for customers of Chase Bank in the US, Royal Bank of Canada, and TD Bank in Canada, with Wells Fargo in the US available later this month and more banks coming soon.
Syncing BMO transactions to your Xero account
At Xerocon, we announced a new partnership with BMO Financial Group that will enable automatic transaction syncing between BMO and Xero. The new integration, coming later this year, will help you and your clients gain back time previously spent on data entry and reconciliation. You will:
- see your daily BMO balances and transactions in your Xero account automatically (no need to sign into online banking or manually export or upload files)
- have a 1-year transaction and balance history included right from the start
- be able to to modify or deactivate this integration at any time from your BMO account
We are incredibly excited to work with BMO and enable your clients to use technology designed to help them gain back time during their day. We share the same vision of better serving small businesses across the US and Canada, and this partnership is a major first step in our relationship to do just that.
Making tax season in Canada less taxing
There were a range of annual compliance updates for our Canadian partners who joined us at Xerocon — most notably our expanded integration with TaxCycle to support the T2125 form, as well as an updated tax mapper in Xero. We gave delegates a sneak peek of these solutions, which will be released to our Canadian partners ahead of the next tax season, to help you better serve self-employed businesses.
The exciting news is that as of September 1, Xero partner program discount rates for Canadian subscriptions will also apply to all TaxCycle products, for those with a standard license agreement with TaxCycle (more info here). If you’ve already purchased your 2022 TaxCycle license, we’ll retrospectively apply the discount if you’re eligible. Chat with your Xero account manager about this one!
Other exciting updates we’re making to help make tax preparation more simple and efficient for our Canadian partners include a Canada-exclusive beta for the Working Trial Balance. This beta will allow you to generate a read-only Working Trial Balance report directly in Xero Workpapers and easily view and validate all account balances and adjustments. This beta will be available soon to all Canadian advisors. We also shared a new integration with our app partner Countable — a working paper automation and management tool — to provide greater optionality for workpaper solutions.
Getting you quick access to answers in Xero reports
We were thrilled to share some exciting features in reporting to help you get quick access to answers and streamline your financial analysis. Along with a refreshed design, we shared our latest functionality, including customizable management reports, report annotations to help you explain financial information to clients, and 28 new commonly-used formats to save you time and clicks.
We’re also running a pilot in the US and Canada that includes a chart in our Expenses by Contact report, which is the first step to more beautiful visualizations. If you haven’t had a look yet, I encourage you to check it out! We also announced that we will soon release global settings that will let you set reporting preferences like cash basis, so you don’t have to manually update them each time.
Staying connected at Xerocon and beyond
There was plenty of product news to share, but by far the most rewarding part of Xerocon New Orleans was being able to connect with our accounting and bookkeeping partners who continue to be such a vital part of our DNA at Xero. Whether you were at Xerocon New Orleans or not, I want to thank you for everything you do for small businesses across the US and Canada — we could not do it without you.