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February Roadshows: it’s been another great ride

From the top to the bottom and from coast of coast of Australia, our Evolve February Roadshows have rolled into town across all over Australia. Registrations have been off the charts (to put it mildly) – we managed to fit in around 7,200 partner attendees. This easily makes it our biggest rollout of roadshows yet. We were keen to start 2015 in a big way, and attendance numbers like these are certainly a good sign.

Signs from the Evolve February Roadshow

This week we wrapped up the #xeroroadshow in Perth after visiting 20 cities and towns across the country, so I was keen to check in and have a look at the wonderful feedback from our accounting and book keeping partners:

It is great to see so much excitement for cloud accounting in the market.  @xero strategy validated. Feel the tipping point is very soon.

I attended the Xero Roadshow yesterday and I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your time and your knowledge. I have only recently ventured out on my own and I found the information you and James discussed very interesting and gave me some great ideas for my business. Continue reading ›

 

Service disruption: Xero API (resolved)

Due to a change in SSL certificate installations, we are currently experiencing disruption to the Xero Partner API, used by most Xero Add-ons, and products such as WorkflowMax, Xero Practice Manager and Xero Workpapers.

The team is working on a resolution to this issue and we will post updates as soon as we have them.

This incident was first reported at 23:09, Feb 24th UTC.

Developers should monitor progress on our developer status page and subscribe to be notified of progress via email / SMS.

Update 12:11, Feb 25th UTC.
This incident has now been resolved. Xero support and developer relations teams are now contacting all affected partners to advise that the API is now fully functional.

 

Xero adds new Investor, Director and US President

Another big day at Xero this morning with three announcements that will excite our customers and partners.

Xero Attracts World-Class Investment + Talent To Fuel Growth

  1. Accel, one of the top US tech investors, has invested $US100m into our company. With other investors we have put another $NZ140m in the tank and will head into the 2016 financial year with over 1/4 billion in the bank to fund innovation and growth.
  2. Graham Smith, who was most recently CFO at Salesforce, has joined our board. It’s great to have Graham on the team.
  3. Russ Fujioka has been appointed US President. Russ is one of the smartest marketing and growth executives I’ve met. We’ve been working with Russ for five months and are thrilled to complete our US leadership team.

We’re already getting some great feedback – and we welcome any questions in the comments section.

Continue reading ›

 

Auto enrolment: what does it mean for you?

Automatic enrolment (or auto enrolment) is government legislation that requires all UK employers to enrol certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and make contributions, starting on their staging date.

With an ageing population, the Government is implementing this legislation to help more people save for retirement. However, this means employers now have the responsibility to enrol employees in pension schemes and administer them on their behalf.

With UK Payroll in Xero coming soon we thought this was a good time to share some details on Auto Enrolment and how it will work in Xero initially .

When will auto enrolment affect you?

Your business must comply with the auto enrolment legislation by your staging date. You can find out the staging date for your company using The Pension Regulator’s staging date tool.

Staging dates are being phased in over a six-year period, and have been set based on the size of employer’s PAYE Scheme on 1 April 2012. Companies with a large number of employees had the earliest staging dates (eg those with 120,000+ employees staged in October 2012), and smaller businesses will start between now and 2018.

Modified staging dates

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has stated that businesses can now change their staging date. You can bring forward your date by notifying TPR, or you can also move your staging date back to a later date if you:

  • had fewer than 50 staff on 1 April 2012; and
  • had, or were part of, a PAYE scheme that has more than 50 people in it.

The original staging dates for small employers who had fewer than 30 employees were set as soon as June 2015. The modified staging dates indicate that those who were originally set to stage at March 2015 or later, can now stage in April 2017 (or later, if you are an employer who set up after 1 April 2012).

Original staging date Date you can choose to move to
1 October 2012 and 1 November 2012 1 August 2015
1 January 2013 and 1 February 2013 1 October 2015
1 March 2013 and 1 April 2013 1 January 2016
1 May 2013 and 1 June 2013 1 February 2016
1 July 2013 and 1 August 2013 1 March 2016
1 September 2013 and 1 October 2013 1 April 2016
1 November 2013 and 1 January 2014 1 May 2016
1 February 2014 and 1 April 2014 1 July 2016
1 May 2014 and 1 July 2014 1 September 2016
1 August 2014 and 1 October 2014 1 November 2016
1 November 2014 and 1 January 2015 1 February 2017
1 March 2015 and 1 April 2015 1 April 2017

Modified staging dates for some small employers from The Pensions Regulator

TPR has issued modified staging dates, and for the vast majority of small employers this means they don’t have to comply until 2017, and have no legal requirement to even notify The Pensions Regulator that they have moved their staging date.

Continue reading ›

 

Getting ready for New Zealand Payroll in Xero

We’re getting ready to bring New Zealand Payroll in Xero to life! Soon we’ll be offering a seamless online payroll and accounting experience for our New Zealand customers.

Changing payroll software is a big decision, so we want to share details on what you should expect. This will make it easier than ever for you to process your payroll, stay compliant, pay your employees and report to the Inland Revenue.

Integrated accounting and payroll

With New Zealand Payroll in Xero, information from payroll seamlessly flows into your accounts – eliminating manual data entry and processing. In short, it’s designed to help make running your business easy.

We’ve built beautiful, smart payroll that’s easy to implement and can be used from anywhere. We’ve designed the experiences for businesses with less than twenty employees. If you work with your accountant or bookkeeper they can be invited in to manage payroll for you. Or you can invite someone in to manage payroll without seeing the rest of the business financials.

 

New Zealand payroll overview

 

New Zealand Payroll in Xero features

New Zealand payroll supports Small & Large employers for Inland Revenue reporting & filing obligations. You can also:

  • Save time and increase productivity when payroll and accounting software work as one. You’ll decrease the amount of time spent on data entry. Payroll journals are automatically created on the general ledger when posting the payroll.
  • Relax with the peace of mind that Xero automatically looks after tax calculations for you. Built-in Tax, ACC, Student Loan, Payroll Giving & ESCT calculations. Updates to New Zealand payroll regulations and tax rate changes are handled automatically so you don’t have to worry about staying compliant.
  • Manage KiwiSaver details including employee eligibility, employee & employer contribution rates, opting out and contributions holidays.
  • Electronically report your payroll information with the Inland Revenue. Your reports are created, pre-populated for downloading and upload to the Inland Revenue with ir-File including KiwiSaver, Additional & Voluntary Student Loans and Child Support.
  • Create unlimited and flexible earnings, deductions, including Payroll Giving, and reimbursement types to meet the needs of any business. No limits on the number of pay calendars you can create so you can easily have multiple pay frequencies to suit your business needs.
  • Manage Statutory Deductions for Child Support, Court Fines, MSD Repayments and Inland Revenue Arrears.
  • Download your bank’s payment file for ease of upload into online banking to pay your employees. Email your employees their payslips to give them instant access to their pay details.
  • Easily and accurately accrue and record employee holidays and leave accruals including managing leave entitlements for individual employees. Manage statutory leave types including Holiday Pay (8%) and unpaid parental leave types.
  • Invite employees to access pay history, payslips, view leave requests and request new leave via the employee app without seeing the business or payroll financials. Available online via the web on release along with iOS and Android phones shortly afterwards.
  • Collaborate with your accountant or bookkeeper on payroll. Allow them to manage payroll on your behalf by giving them the Payroll Administrator user role.

This is just the beginning. You’ll see constant enhancements, improvements and features being made available as we get your feedback and strive to make it smarter and more powerful. If you’re using the current ‘Pay Run’ feature you’ll be able to continue using this if you wish. Any new businesses will not have this option available to them from Wednesday 4 March.

And if Payroll in Xero does not meet the needs of your business we recommend selecting one of our payroll partners from the Add-on Marketplace.

Continue reading ›

 

Reflections on Xerocon, desktop data amnesty

Apparently the true measure of any conference that claims to be worth its salt these days can be quickly discerned by weighing both the quantity and colour of the social media chatter the following day. Indeed, judging from the large number of “Post Xerocon Blues” tweets that peppered my timeline twenty-four hours after Xerocon London 2015 had closed its doors, our UK conference seemed to have very much hit the spot for a good many of our 800 attendees this year.

In barely more than two years, Xerocon London has grown to become what I believe is now the UK’s largest gathering of its kind, eclipsing the mainstream accounting industry bodies’ annual conference circuits, nevermind those of the accounting software industry.

Alongside some great guest speakers, forty-odd exhibitors and sneak previews of coming product updates to Xero, the bigger news items that featured this Xerocon were the UK launch of our new Payroll in Xero, the accelerating pace with which the UK banking community is now attaching itself to our platform with news of our new technical partnership with Metrobank, our desire to support our UK Partner community in telling the cloud story and the growing incidence of Sage and Quickbooks customers choosing to migrate to the cloud with Xero.

Continue reading ›

 

Capture billable hours with Time Tracker by eBillity

Tracking hours for clients and projects image00is a critical function of any business. Service based companies need to track hours for purposes of invoicing. Product based companies need to track employee hours to ensure payroll accuracy. The right time tracking software will help you maximize your client billings and reduce administration time in the payroll process. This will result in higher profits for your business. Time tracking software can also give you insight into your staff by measuring employee productivity and profitability.

Time Tracker by eBillity is a mobile time tracking solution designed specifically for teams. It offers a workflow where employees login to Time Tracker to record time for clients and projects. Time entries are submitted to you (the admin) for approval. Once approved time entries can be converted into branded invoices and emailed to your clients.

Time Tracker offers many apps to help your team track time. For office staff, time entries can be made from the office via the web app, desktop widget or Outlook add-in. For staff on the go, time entries can be made from the mobile app that is available for iPhone/iPad, Android and Windows Phone.

Time Tracker also supports the Stripe payment gateway to help you get paid faster. Easily export invoices and payment information to Xero. Most importantly, Time Tracker helps you measure the success of everything you do with productivity and profitability reports for employees, clients and projects.

Who is it for?

Time Tracker is designed for professionals looking for a mobile and flexible time tracking solution. Attorneys, Engineers, Architects, Accountants and Business Consultants, in particular, have found Time Tracker an excellent way to manage billable hours.

How Time Tracker works with Xero

Time Tracker allows admins to connect to their Xero account. Once connected to Xero, the admin can sync contacts and inventory items. Employees then log time against contacts and inventory items inside of Time Tracker. Invoices can be generated from time entries and exported to Xero. Payments, credit/debit adjustments, refunds and finance charges captured in Time Tracker are also exported to Xero.

Where you can use Time Tracker

Time Tracker is available globally and with several plan options.

Sign up to try Time Tracker

Xero small business customers receive a 30 day free trial and Xero Partners receive a 1 year free trial.

 

 

Five tips to create sales quotes that get accepted

Small businesses win work by using sales quotes (also known as price quotes). Yet they often don’t realise that how they prepare and create quotes can cost them business. Many lose revenue by not following up on quotes or turning quotes around fast enough.

According to a recent US survey, the number one financial challenge of small businesses is cashflow and getting paid.* Getting on top of the quoting process can reduce the number of days to acceptance, which reduces the number of days to getting paid and improves your cashflow.

So, getting on top of your quotes make a real difference. Xero’s Head of Accounting, James Solomons, offers the following tips to help you prepare and create quotes that get accepted:


Continue reading ›

 

Celebrating our partners: Xero Awards London

Last night we enjoyed an evening of dinner, dancing and decoration at the Xero Awards in London, celebrating the success of our partners in 2014.

Nineteen awards were presented across the evening, from our Regional Accounting Partners of the Year, right through to the Most Valued Professional, Add-on Partner of the Year and the Overall Accounting Partner of the Year.

Xero Awards room

A huge congratulations to all of our winners! 

Continue reading ›

 

Xerocon London 2015 – day two highlights

We welcomed our guests back to Xerocon day two after a big night of celebrations at the Xero Awards, acknowledging the success of our high achieving partners.

Branding your practice

Rita Clifton, chair of BrandCap, opened day two with why branding is so vital in the digital age. Successful branding is about being clear about who you are and what you stand for, communicating that in all that you do, and employing people who stand for what your brand stands for. “It helps if the CEO isn’t an idiot… they’ve got to epitomise who the brand actually is.”

“A brand is more than packaging and labelling,” she said. “It’s the substance that lies beneath.”

Rita Clifton Xerocon 2

Continue reading ›