Shaper accountants

Cloud accounting and Xero experts

Call 01603 516304 or get in touch here

Insight and intelligence from Shaper Accountants

discover a new approach to accounting

  Book a consultation 

5 Time saving Xero Tips to make your life easier

5 Time saving Tips to make life easier for Xero Users

To make your life easier we’ve highlighted 5 top tips that you may not know about – to make working in Xero Accounts more efficient and speedier.

Xero Tips to save you time

Tip #1 Get the Xero Touch App for free.

This will mean you can see and process your accounts on the go or from anywhere you have an internet connection. But you can also snap a photo of a receipt, upload and process it there and then OR store the phot to Files and deal with it later. No more lost bits of paper, receipts or invoices. If you’re VAT registered keeping an on-line copy of a bill with your accounts will make that next VAT return easier, and you’ll have copies of your paperwork with you wherever you are.

Tip #2 Trip Catcher app for mileage claims and vat reclaim.

If you drive your car on business it can be hard work keeping records that satisfy HMRC and it is easy to forget those small trips because they are just too much trouble. Using a mileage App like Trip Catcher can make this so much easier. With just a few taps on your smart phone you can capture all of the information you need when you make the trip. You can then send it to Xero or to Receipt Bank if you have automated your bookkeeping processes. This will save you time, give you the feeling of control and allow you to check mileage claims from the staff team.

Tip #3 Keep contacts up to date

If you take the time to complete the details in contacts, you’re all ready for invoicing your customers or you can contact suppliers fast, at the click of a mouse. No more logging on to other systems, no more hunting around for phone numbers, guarantee certificates or engineers numbers. You can then use smart lists to create simple CRM lists or export the lot to an Add-On CRM app to do more meaty marketing. Don’t forget you can import a contacts list into Xero as  CSV file too.

Tip #4 Credit Control on Xero

When you e-mail or call a late payer, make use of the “payment due” dates in Xero, and use “Notes” to add a comment about what was agreed. Xero will automatically add the date and the user for you. That way you can keep track of your credit control conversations and follow up as needed. It’s also visible to anyone you’ve given user access to, so anyone of your team can follow the process and make sure you get paid.

There are lots of excellent Xero Add-Ons for credit control reminders, but for a low cost, low volume DIY approach follow our tip.

Tip #5 The very useful Xero to Xero key

If you hate paper invoices, and you get lots of bills and receipts sent to you electronically there are now many solutions to the task of then re-keying a bill into your Xero accounts. If you deal with suppliers who also use Xero, give them your Xero To Xero key number and they can send the bill direct to your Xero draft bills to pay, on your dashboard.

So save yourself time and ask suppliers on Xero to deliver their invoice (linked to their account and coded to the ledger) into your draft invoices in Xero. All you have to do is approve the invoice. You can return the favour by doing the same for your customers and making their lives easier. All you have to do is exchange your Xero Key with anyone who wants to do business with you this way, and setting up some default General Ledger codes for your suppliers. Another time saving feature of Xero Accounting Software.

Throughout this post we’ve added in links to the detailed How To websites for you.

More Tips from the Norwich Xero Accountants

Here’s a few tips and tricks to make your life even easier on Xero.

Feature of the week – Files!

You can check out this powerful feature on your dashboard – top right “Files” icon.

Xero Accountants from Norwich

This lovely feature gives you the ability to link documents, invoices and even your own notes to a source document. You can send e-mails direct to your Xero files as well – keeping all your key backup together. You can store records here too, as Xero gives you masses of free storage, so for example, warranties for your Espresso Machine, engineer call out details, insurance documents and last year’s statutory accounts, can all be stored in your file directory for reference.

Extra Tips with the Files Feature in Xero

  • You can use it as a parking bay!

If you haven’t got time to deal with an item right now, or you need more information, you can avoid forgetting about it by snapping it using the Xero Touch App, send it to Files, and process the items later when you have time.

  • Smile please!

You can attach a photo of a customer to their contact details. Always handy to out a face to a name.

  • Use it for On Billing

You can attach a bill to an invoice to re charge to a customer. If you charge on costs to clients you can attach the original bill to their invoice, boosting trust in you and reducing queries.

  • Show off a Presentation

Or you can even attach a presentation for directors who access Xero. This way everyone knows where to find things and you can stay process focussed & more efficient.

How do you attach files?

The answer is in any way you want. You can simply email or drag and drop them in. Or send photos via the Xero Touch phone app.

The “email documents straight to your Files inbox in Xero” feature is a great way of forwarding bills you receive from your suppliers, this is efficient, and you can deal with them later.

Tips from a Xero Accountant

Should you care?

When you’re busy it’s understandable that you may overlook simple features like Files. But it’s an easy and simple way for you and your business to improve compliance and efficiency.

Make sure you’re keeping the information you need, by adding documents, contracts and other important records to your accounting transactions or just storing them in one place.

You can also increase collaboration with your accountant by dragging and dropping what they need, when they need it, into Files.

Xero makes keeping everything together in one place easy and smooth. We think you’ll agree it’s another business life changing feature you’ll love. Don’t forget you can get more free courses and help from Xero U.

How to use Xero better – 5 top tips

So, you’ve made the move to Xero Accounting Software for your small business.

Hooray, welcome aboard.

Here are 5 ways you can get a better grip on Xero, and boost your knowledge of what this software can do for you and your business.

Xero U and TV Education

1.  Get good start up tips and training from your Xero accountant

Many of you will have been introduced to Xero by your Accountants. If you are lucky they will be Xero fans who specialise in this software. Choose an accountant who doesn’t sell every cloud software on the market, that way you’re more likely to get the support you need, as the level of expertise will be greater – helping you faster and making your accounts automation more efficient.

Your accounts should have been set up for you, or converted from another system; and you should be given a good overview and training to get started. Tip – try to ensure you have 1 or 2 future dates scheduled with your Accountants so they can give you training in bite sized sessions rather than the big bang approach where you can be left to sink or swim.

Most Xero Accountants will offer free phone advice – just call if you get stuck, as you’re only a few clicks away from them. Many will also offer workshops or extra training as needed – some for free and some at extra cost.

2.  Xero U – Education for small businesses and their Accountants

Want self help fast and for free? All the free resources and courses found here will help you enormously. Not only is the content refreshed frequently, it’s free to use.

It is a totally transparent view of the software and what it does. If you plan a DIY approach to your accounts and bookkeeping this site may well become your best friend – and you’ll definitely want to favourite it.

3.  Xero TV

Need a quick solution? Or want to watch over a cup of coffee? You can watch what’s possible on Xero, in quick-fire clips that show what Xero can do for your business. Perfect for deciding if you need to learn more about a particular feature, or for just keeping up to date.

Xero anywhere theres internet

4.  Xero You Tube Channel

If you like You Tube this one’s for you. Packed full of great content. You’ll find some of the older, American style promotional videos, alongside some useful how to? videos. You may also like the features, tutorials, tips and tricks for small businesses. 

5. Ask your expert as often as you need to

Finally, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. That way you get the most of the software that will become the beating heart of your business. Once you’ve mastered the accounting basics you can turn your attention to the many add-on apps that integrate seamlessly with Xero. You’ll find an app for most of your business needs, meaning Xero becomes your business system, not just your accounting system. 

Best Xero Accountants

For help or advice you can contact us info@shaperaccountants.co.ukaccountants.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @ShaperAccounts