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Online payroll is a smart business decision

If your business has employees, one of the most important tasks is to ensure they are paid in a timely and accurate fashion. Maintaining accurate payroll information is critical for small businesses. However, meeting the compliance obligations can be a huge administrative burden. Online payroll reduces the risks involved in paying employees and keeps you on the right side of government requirements.

Online Payroll Benefits

Some of the main advantages of using online payroll include:

Speed. You can access information or perform calculations quickly. Once setup, you can process payroll from anywhere, at anytime, with a few simple clicks.

Accuracy. If you’re managing payroll tasks manually, you’re opening your business to human error. Online payroll does the calculating automatically for you, which keeps mistakes to a minimum and makes sure you’re paying your employees and taxes correctly.

Flexibility. You can manage payroll yourself without the need to hire a third-party service. This cuts down costs and gives you more time to run your business.

Collaboration. Online payroll allows you to easily collaborate with employees and your accountant. If you don’t want to manage payroll yourself as a business owner, you can invite your accountant, bookkeeper or payroll specialist to access payroll and process on your behalf. Online payroll also allows employees to self-service their information and submit requests for time off without seeing the rest of the business financials or payroll information.

Convenience. Now you can break away from your desk and manage payroll anywhere, anytime on any web-enabled device. You can also access information and view history whenever you need it.

Compliance. A major risk for business owners is keeping up with ever-changing government regulations. With online payroll, you don’t need to worry about missing any tax or reporting changes. Updates are automatically applied to ensure you’re compliant without downloading and installing updates.

Payroll in Xero

We’re committed to making the lives of business owners easier by providing beautiful, flexible, smart and connected online accounting and payroll software.

online payroll

Payroll in Xero currently processes billions of dollars of payroll every year in Australia and the United States. We’re committed to bringing this nationwide across the US as quickly as we can. We’re also really excited to make this available to businesses in New Zealand and the United Kingdom in time for the upcoming new financial year.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see lots of information about New Zealand and UK Payroll in Xero. And if you’re joining us for Xerocon in London next week, you’ll be the first to see this in action.

We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been building.

 

 

 

Start spreading the news! Payroll for New York is here with e-file and e-pay

Following on from our last major update two weeks ago, we’re pleased to announce payroll for businesses in New York, the Empire State.

Why the Empire? According to the Empire State Development Agency, small businesses comprise 98 percent of all businesses in New York and employ more than half of New York’s private sector workforce. Now, we can give around hundreds of thousands of small businesses access to beautiful seamless payroll and accounting software.

E-File and E-Pay New York payroll taxes

You see upcoming payroll filing and payment obligations on the Payroll Overview with detailed information available under Taxes & Filings. Payroll in Xero calculates relevant business days and displays both the File By and Due By dates to make sure you know the key dates. Enroll now for Payroll in Xero e-file and e-pay.

All existing and new Standard and Premium customers have access to e-file and e-pay for payroll taxes at no extra cost.

Power the payroll

You no longer have to export and import your payroll data. With the general ledger automatically updated, you can easily follow the payroll data through payroll reports and the balance sheet, income statement and other relevant accounting reports. Payroll administrators are empowered with an easy-to-access dashboard, which provides a quick overview of the payroll with employee timesheets and time off requests seamlessly pulled into the payroll.

Serve with pride

Xero is proud to be serving New York businesses. For more information on small business in New York, check out these important resources:

  • Your Business. a downloadable guide to owning and operating a small business in New York State.
  • Business Services Web Portal. NYS Department of Labor (DOL) provides links to information on employee/employer issues and programs that can benefit employers.
  • New York Tax Guide for New BusinessesGuidance, online services, and forms that help taxpayers and tax professionals comply with the tax law.

New York’s motto is ‘Excelsior’, meaning ‘ever upward’. Xero is exactly the same.

Many of you have requested Payroll in Xero support in your home state – and we’re working quickly to expand Payroll in Xero nationwide. Ever upward, indeed.

For more information please see the release notes.

 

 

 

You made the tax deadline. Phew! So now what?

It’s the beginning of February and there are three good reasons for UK small business owners to celebrate: Dry January has come to an end, payday has finally arrived, and the tax deadline has passed.

If you were one of the many self-employed small business owners, freelancers, investors or landlords obliged to file a return this month, you’ll have had to spend time crunching the numbers – unless you were super organised and did it early.

According to our recent research, 8% of UK small businesses waited to compile their self-assessment tax return the day before or on deadline day! Seems stressful.

But as Xero users will no doubt testify, when you’re getting your head down and getting to work on this annual task, having all your figures in one place can go a long way to easing the time burden.

So now that you’ve filed your return, there’s no point getting too bogged down with the finances, is there? Well actually, if you’re a small business owner or trader, the answer is definitely yes. Remember: no matter how well your business is doing, financially and strategically, you can’t afford not to keep one eye on the numbers at all times. In fact, our research also showed tax and accounting inefficiencies are amongst the biggest worries to UK small business in 2015, with 16 per cent saying they would like to make their accountancy and payment systems more efficient.

Inefficiencies

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Data Privacy Day – time to smarten up on information security?

Today is Data Privacy Day. As an annual event, it’s probably not the best excuse for a team meeting at the pub and it almost certainly lacks the fun of Burns’ night or the sexiness of Valentine’s Day. Yet, in the digital era, Data Privacy Day is a good excuse to take a step back and consider the potential risks we expose ourselves and our businesses to.

Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day is about getting us thinking about how well we guard our personal and business data, and our all-important customer information. The fact that a hoax caller got a direct line to the British Prime Minister just days ago shows that no organisation is immune from the type of human error that culminated in his number being given away inappropriately.

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Streamline your sales process with Quotes

Many small businesses win work by using sales quotes. They drive sales, which, in turn, generate revenue and build relationships with customers.

Yet many businesses don’t realise that quotes can also cost them business. Revenue can be lost by not following up on a quote, or by not turning quotes around fast enough.

At the same time, many businesses are unable to forecast capacity when quotes are successfully won and they realise they don’t have the people to do the work. Like many aspects of running a small business, there are always many moving parts.

Introducing Quotes

Today, we’re releasing Quotes in Xero. It’s now easy to create, send and manage your quotes workflow all the way through to customer acceptance. By making it easy to create a quote, you can quickly respond to an opportunity, anytime anywhere, keeping your business moving forward.

Then, with a couple of clicks, Quotes can also be turned into invoices so you can be paid for all of your hard work.

You can access and create quotes from the Sales dashboard. Here you can also see a summary of your quotes in progress including draft, sent, accepted and expired quotes. This makes it easy to track the status of a quote, follow up on the ones that have been sent but not accepted, and generally keeping your business moving. Continue reading ›

 

New year, new features

After a bumper 2014, today Xero is being updated for the first time in 2015, starting off what is shaping up to be a busy year.

Today’s release includes new features that touch on reporting and a number of other things across Xero:

  • Building on the addition of text blocks a few releases ago, you can now choose to add numbered headings or even have no headings on your text blocks. This gives you more flexibility when adding additional commentary and insight to reports.
  • We’ve added a new field to the new Aged Receivables and Payables report (this was the first of the new-style reports we released last year). It will show you which invoices are overdue, but have not yet reached the first aging period.
  • Getting up and running on Xero is even easier with the addition of an inbuilt calculator on conversion balances. It’s great for things like consolidating those messy multiple sales tax accounts from your previous system. In case you didn’t know, the inbuilt calculator is available in many parts of Xero, including spend money, receive money, sales, bills and manual journals.
  • Sending customer statements can be a pain – but not in Xero. If you need to generate statements for more than 50 customers it’s now much easier with the option to show and send 100 or 200 statements at a time.

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Ringing in the changes – 13th century pub takes to the cloud with Xero

Xero is well known for giving small business owners remote access to their books. However, for the Ring of Bells pub it has also helped a first-time publican in a remote location to get on top of his accounts. Two years ago, a move to Devon saw former city professional Richard Edlmann set up his ‘destination’ pub with rooms in the picturesque village of North Bovey in the Dartmoor National Park.

Previous experience working in the hospitality industry and as a management accountant provided him with good grounding, along with five-star hospitality training at The Savoy. Like many small business owners, it was a desire to be his own boss combined with his passion for hospitality that spurred him on to buy the Ring of Bells pub. Continue reading ›

 

6 Ways To Take the Pain out of US Payroll

We hear all too often that payroll is one big headache for small-business owners and their advisors.

They lose sleep and countless hours trying to get payroll right. And all too often they get it wrong – incurring costly fines. In fact, one third of US small businesses get fined for doing payroll incorrectly. When every dollar counts, this is a huge strain — $4.5 billion in fact — on US businesses yearly. They also waste 120 productive hours a year on inefficiently managing payroll rather than winning new customers and growing the business.

small business payroll tips
Most payroll services were designed for the needs and budgets of big companies. So many entrepreneurs duct tape together multiple products and services to make it work for them.  Often time is wasted re-entering data manually without an accurate view of where the business stands. And accounting and other systems don’t sync with payroll data.

So, we chatted to a number of our accounting partners and bookkeepers and identified six steps for taking the pain out of payroll. We then built them into Xero.

1. File taxes electronically. Filing taxes electronically from within your accounting platform ensures that you pay your taxes on time and avoid costly fines or penalties. With Xero, as of today in California, Texas and Florida, you get it done quickly and affordably right within the accounting software.

2. See your payroll and cashflow in real-time. You might have been on top of your payroll in your payroll software or service but struggled to reconcile that with your overall financial standing. Xero gives you one single view of where you stand and what obligations you need to meet. Information is power.

3. Stop printing and using snail mail. It’s a hassle to have to get back to the office or to go home, print everything out and send it. With Payroll in Xero, you can send your forms and payments electronically to the appropriate agencies from anywhere in the world.

4. Manage your cash better. Every business aspires to manage their cash better. With Payroll in Xero, payment is only taken when you process the payment. It is not taken automatically after running payroll, so it helps maintain a healthy cashflow.

5. Save money and time. What if you could pay for your accounting and payroll with one simple and all inclusive subscription? As of today, making direct deposit employee payments is available to all Xero customers on Standard and Premium plans. Paying your staff is one of the most important task for small business employers and Payroll in Xero gives everyone the option to pay their staff electronically.

6. Get help when you need it. Make sure to investigate and read reviews about your payroll providers customer support. When you need help, you don’t want to get stuck in call center hell. Xero’s no wait service means you log your request and Xero employees here in the US quickly respond.

We know this works. Forty percent of Xero customers already use our payroll software in countries where it’s available, such as Australia. In fact, we pay hundreds of thousands of employees over US$1.2B of payroll a month globally. And we are just getting started. Watch for additional US states over the next year and the launch of integrated accounting and payroll in NZ and the UK over the next few months.

The time is right for every small business to take the pain out of payroll.

 

Introducing receipts for iOS

For many of Xero’s customers, today is a red letter day… Yesterday morning we released a hotly anticipated update to our expense claims functionality (currently for iOS, Android still in development). This is a complete overhaul of the UI, and features several clever tweaks. Read on below the video for a guided tour!

Default to one line item

Gone are the days where you had to explicitly add a line item before you could fill in the details. A little research showed over 95% of all expense claims only contained a single line item, so for those cases the new flow is vastly simplified. Of course you can still split your claim into separate line items if you need to!

new_expenses Continue reading ›

 

Promoting entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and teamwork with #UnitedApp2015

As part of Xero’s sponsorship of 7billionideas, we were thrilled to host more than 50 students and teachers at our UK HQ last Thursday for the #UnitedApp2015 final, an entrepreneurial app competition for Year 9 students.

Run by United Learning in partnership with 7billionideas, and supported by Xero, the competition promotes entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and team work across schools and introduces participating pupils to the world of coding. In October, 7billionideas visited 37 secondary schools in 22 days to build up excitement behind the competition and encourage participation. More than 180 teams made up of around 700 students entered, and on 8 January the final was held.

7billionideas & Xero – #UnitedApp2015 Finals from Xero Limited on Vimeo.

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