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How we’re creating a single source of truth for your client data

Posted 3 weeks ago in Advisors by Luis Sanchez Castillo

If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper, you’ll know that having consistent information across your practice management tools is vital. That’s why we’re working hard to create a single source of truth for your client data across Xero Practice Manager (XPM), Xero HQ and Xero Tax. Here’s why it’s so important to us, and what changes you can expect to see soon.

The value of connected practice tools

Imagine having one client list that you can easily access from all your practice tools in Xero. You would spend less time double handling data, looking for client information and checking the accuracy of your records. Sounds great, right? That’s what we mean when we say we’re building a single source of truth for your client data.

It’s the biggest priority for our practice teams at Xero and we’ve been working hard to make sure that our platform is ready for the change. Right now, we’re updating our technology to make sure our practice tools all align ‘under the hood’ so data can seamlessly flow between XPM, Xero HQ and Xero Tax in the future.

Of course, this means we need to make some changes now that will impact the way you use Xero in your practice. I know this can be difficult when you use these tools every day, but removing technical barriers is a crucial step in preparing our platform for a single source of client data in the future.

This is going to create benefits that go far beyond your clients — onboarding and managing staff, setting profiles and roles, assigning clients and other workflows will all become more consistent and streamlined. It will also mean that we can deliver the features you want faster than ever before.

What’s changing in XPM and Xero HQ

You may have already noticed some changes in our practice tools this year that offered a glimpse into our plans — we introduced a simplified client sync and made some changes to fields in XPM and Xero HQ. Here’s an overview of what’s changing in XPM and Xero HQ in the weeks ahead.

  • We’ll ask you to connect your XPM and Xero HQ accounts, so you’ll be ready to reconcile your client lists when our single client list is available
  • When Xero HQ administrators start an XPM trial, we’ll make sure both accounts are automatically connected when they activate their XPM account

We’re also making changes to the following fields in Xero HQ, so they align to XPM and allow us to connect both tools in the future. These will come into effect on 12 December 2022.

  • Multiple websites: you will no longer be able to add more than one website in Xero HQ. If you already have more than one, these will remain and stay editable
  • Balance day date: we’re removing the ‘Balance day’ field in Xero HQ, but the ‘Balance month’ field will remain and align to the balance month in XPM
  • Annual return filing month: this field will be removed for practices in New Zealand as it is not commonly used in Xero HQ
  • Changing industry: once a client is connected to an organisation in Xero HQ, you won’t be able to edit their industry (you’ll need to update your organisation settings instead)

At Xerocon, we announced that we were introducing some enhancements to the job manager ‘All Jobs’ tab in XPM. We’re excited to share that these will be coming in December 2022. The redesigned page will feature new sorting, filtering and search functionality, as well as the ability to update the priority and state directly within the table.

Working towards our vision

These changes may be small, but they’re exciting as it means we’re making good progress on our vision of a single source of truth for your client data. But this is just the beginning. Next year, we’ll be making some more changes, to reduce duplicate records across our practice tools.

  • We’ll align business structure entities across XPM and Xero HQ, so the client data is the same across both tools
  • We’ll add reusable contacts in XPM, to reduce duplicated and mismatched data (we know you’ve been waiting for this one!)
  • We’ll align the archives of both XPM and Xero HQ, so they behave the same way and give you access to a single archive

This will put us in a really good place to consolidate your client lists in a thoughtful way, so you can enjoy all the benefits of trustworthy and consistent data in Xero. As always, please reach out if you need a hand managing any of these changes, and share your suggestions in Xero Product Ideas — we’re always listening.

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