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We’re making changes to some fields in our practice tools

Posted 7 months ago in Product by Luis Sanchez Castillo

From early November 2022, we’ll be updating some fields in Xero Practice Manager (XPM) and Xero HQ. This is all part of our work to provide you with a more unified client record in the future, so you can enjoy a seamless connection between our practice tools. 

What’s changing in XPM and Xero HQ

Over the coming weeks, the fields in your practice tools will look a little different. Here’s an overview of what’s changing and when.

From 1 November 2022, the first name and last name fields in your Xero Ask email template will be replaced with one single name field, which will include the full name of your contact. 

The following changes will come into effect from 8 November 2022:

  • XPM will have a mandatory display name field for individual and sole trader client types that can be edited, instead of an auto-generated field that you can’t edit (first name and last name fields will remain, but will be optional)
  • First and last name fields for contacts in Xero HQ will become one single name field rather than two
  • A new display name field in Xero HQ will now be mandatory for individual and sole trader client types (first name and last name fields will remain, but will be optional). For connected practices, previous client list settings from XPM will also be reflected in Xero HQ
  • Relationships in Xero HQ will now be known as additional contacts to match the language used in XPM, and located in the sidebar on the right instead of the navigation bar on top

Most changes will apply to individual client types (like sole traders) and contacts you add or edit from 8 November 2022 onwards. Relationship changes will be available to all client types. You won’t have to go back and edit any existing records and no existing entries will get lost.

How display names will appear for existing individual client types

Once these changes take effect, your display name for existing individual client types will be in the same format as your client records. So if you have a client saved as ‘Last name, First name’, then the display name field for that client will appear in the same order. 

If you notice some inconsistencies in how your client names are appearing, we suggest editing the impacted records manually. If you’d like to edit them in bulk, you can manually export and re-import your client list in your preferred format. If you’d like to standardise your client list ahead of these changes on 8 November 2022, you can update your settings.

Unlocking more value from our practice tools

This update is another crucial step we need to take to give you a more consistent and streamlined experience across our practice tools. We know these changes may take some getting used to, but we believe that taking the time to do it right will mean a better outcome for you in the long run. We’re deeply committed to delivering this and thank you for your patience as we work towards this goal.


November 3, 2022 at 10.42 am


If single name field will merge first & last names. How will I be able to pull reports based on last name?

Xero in reply to Laura Xero
November 4, 2022 at 11.33 am

Hi Laura, the first name and last name fields will remain, but will be optional.

James in reply to Xero
January 31, 2023 at 11.18 am

I agree with the other comments, this is a step backwards.

XPM for all its faults enabled you to maintain a fairly clean and consistent database.

Now the inconsistent mess that is Xero HQ gets replicated in XPM.

Why make first and last names voluntary for an individual? if people want to enter a sole trader under a business name they can create a different client type.
The database should also allow us to set mandatory fields…

November 8, 2022 at 11.41 am

So by taking away the auto-generated Display Name, you’ve effectively doubled the time it takes to enter a clients name? We now need to enter Display Name, and First Name, Last Name? Surely having the auto generated name preserves the integrity of data? Why not leave this auto generated name as default, but just give those firms who wish to edit it the option?

I fail to see how this is a useful update for many people, in fact it is now causing headaches with our import/exports to other apps (such as Seamlss, Suitefiles, Blue Xero, etc)?

We request an option to switch back to the old format please

Display Name
March 7, 2023 at 6.23 pm

Totally agree

Jacinta Hoare
November 8, 2022 at 7.24 pm

Unhappy with this change – for an individual taxpayer we now need to enter the same data TWICE. The legal name is not a searchable field and the legal name does not feed through to tax returns if its not entered. Seriously Xero what is beautiful about that?

Name, Ugly Display
March 7, 2023 at 6.25 pm

I totally agree

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