1 Xero Reviewers Guide 1 Xero reviewers guide Xero is the world s leading online accounting solution. Use this guide to understand Xero s key features and how we are helping small businesses thrive. Updated February 2016
2 Xero Reviewers Guide 2 INTRODUCTION Xero is a complete suite of applications for seamlessly managing money and back-end operations. Now small businesses can enjoy total control over their finances anytime, anywhere from virtually any internet-connected device. Xero is a simple, smart and secure solution for streamlining the accounting process. Small businesses can quickly and easily reference a more complete financial picture of their business, allowing them to: automate the banking and payment process view all accounts and activity at a glance reconcile statements issue custom sales estimates and invoices handle expense reimbursements make payments manage payroll track inventory issue reports and filings store documents and files in Xero manage contacts and see what transactions have taken place send invoices and manage expenses on the go using Xero s mobile apps add new features with add-on tools (including CRM and ecommerce)
3 Xero Reviewers Guide 3 SETTING UP YOUR XERO ACCOUNT Xero offers small businesses total control over all financial aspects of their business including managing sales, payroll, inventory, expense and reporting functions. To begin reviewing Xero, sign up for a free 30-day Xero trial account. You will receive an asking you to verify your account. Once you ve activated your account, you ll be asked to enter some information. But you don t have to have your own small business to check out Xero. You can started with a demo company, that uses dummy data. To try out features and get familiar with Xero: 1. click the list icon 2. select My Xero 3. click Try the Demo Company (located at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen) 4. from the Xero Dashboard, access Xero s most popular features Alternately, you can use your actual business data with Xero, importing bank accounts, credit cards and similar information using the software s built-in instructions. Visit the help center for more information. To begin managing your money from the cloud, watch Xero s step-by-step quick start guide. To familiarize yourself with Xero s basic features, start by: watching the Xero 101 series of introductory videos accessing Xero s handy quick start guide connecting Xero to your bank account setting up your organization with this helpful tutorial Now that you re up and running, let s get down to business.
4 Xero Reviewers Guide 4 GETTING STARTED Once logged in to Xero, business owners are presented with the Xero Dashboard to help them understand their real-time cashflow. The dashboard is a central hub which shows a snapshot of their organization s financial position, including bank accounts, an account watchlist and money coming in and money going out. The main menu provides easy access to all of Xero s features. United States
5 Xero Reviewers Guide 5 KEY FEATURES From the dashboard and main menu, you can access Xero s most commonly-used functions including: Accounts Setting up bank feeds Managing and reconciling bank accounts Configuring payment services and transferring money Issuing online sales quotes and invoices Customizing invoices and branding materials Managing purchases, checks and inventory Processing expense claims and reimbursements Recover costs incurred on behalf of your customers Using inventory to manage products and services Uploading file attachments directly to transactions and contacts Working with other currencies Additional resources: Bank Reconciliation for Beginners Setting Up Your Bank Account Reconciling Bank Accounts in Xero Payroll Adding employees and contractors Configuring payroll settings Enjoying seamless payroll and accounting functions Processing pay runs online and on-demand Managing time sheets Processing taxes and filings Additional resources: Payroll in Xero: An Introduction Setting Up Your Organization s Payroll
6 Xero Reviewers Guide 6 Reports Getting insights into business performance Generating summaries, statements and reports Accessing balance sheets Viewing cash summaries Reviewing income statements and sales tax reports Accessing information on aged payables and aged receivables Additional resources: Reporting in Xero Contacts Targeting customers using smart lists Entering and editing contacts Importing and exporting contacts Viewing and working with contacts and groups Advisor If the user is an advisor, or someone given those permissions, a number of additional functions are available: Manual journals Management report Sales tax report Year end reports Reconciliation reports Export History and notes activity Find and recode transactions
7 Xero Reviewers Guide 7 POWERFUL FINANCIAL REPORTING To get a quick snapshot of their budget who owes them or who they owe, and overall financial performance small businesses can check out Xero s financial reports. Using them, businesses can view and share interactive reports and budgets in real-time with a single click and complete their sales tax returns in minutes. Reporting options include: income statements balance sheets statement of cash flows aged receivables and payables summaries Xero has over 40 basic and advanced financial reports: profit and loss, balance sheet, management reports, sales tax return, depreciation schedule, foreign currency gains and losses. Xero s approach to reporting is to provide a range of reports that can be configured and customized to meet a small business s needs; as a result, Xero can cater for most reporting needs with fewer reports. All reports can be prepared with a single click or made completely configurable. Benefits include being able to: prepare and manage budgets quickly create quick and easy 1099s export detailed overviews and snapshots to Excel, PDF or Google Sheet track how business departments, regions and areas are performing close off accounts at key reporting periods
8 Xero Reviewers Guide 8 TOP FEATURES TO TRY Xero offers a complete, cloud-based solution for running small businesses, including access to all the core functions you need to run and grow your business: quotes, purchase orders, inventory, invoicing, reconciliation, bills and expenses, payroll, tax and compliance. Business decisions can be made more effectively with real- time information from live bank feeds, automatic bank reconciliation, and easy collaboration with bookkeeping and accounting advisors. To familiarize yourself with the software and its capabilities, please reference our guide: 10 suggestions for trying Xero Some additional features to test include: adding a sales invoice ing the newly created invoice to yourself importing a bank statement reconciling financial data entering invoices and receipts side by side processing expense claims configuring and processing payroll managing and tracking sample inventory creating and managing contact lists generating custom reports See more on Xero TV Learn more on Xero Help
9 Xero Reviewers Guide 9 NEW AND NOTEWORTHY FEATURES Several new and noteworthy additions to Xero include: Invoice reminders Cashflow is critical for small businesses, yet following up on invoices can be time consuming. Small businesses can use invoice reminders to automatically remind their customers when invoice payments are overdue. Businesses can set up one or more reminders and Xero will their customers when an invoice is overdue, based on the customer-specified criteria. They can also use pre-reminders for when payment is due soon. templates can also be customized so a business can tailor its message. To get started with invoice reminders, please see: Invoice reminders in Xero Search Search makes it easy for small businesses to quickly and easily find the information they want from anywhere in Xero. You can search across all your contacts and transactions to find the information you want, respond to queries faster and chase new opportunities. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to type in a character to go to the part of Xero you want. And in addition to locating existing records, it s easy to add new records from anywhere with a click. To get started with search in Xero, please see: Search in Xero
10 Xero Reviewers Guide 10 Contacts updates & Gmail integration Contacts in Xero now focuses on more than how to communicate with a customer or supplier. In addition to managing contact information, Contacts provides a financial snapshot of the relationship the business has with that contact, including providing a financial snapshot and details of the activities (including invoices and bills that have been sent). This helps a business make better decisions and focus on the actions that matter. Xero integrates with the leading platform, Gmail, to make it easier for businesses to keep on top of their customer relationships. messages appear alongside transactions and can be used to initiate new activities, helping Xero become the hub for a business s customer relationships. Note: Dozens of new features and free enhancements are constantly being added be sure to check frequently to see what s new in Xero. Read our blog or review the Feature Timeline. To get started with Contacts in Xero, please see: Managing contacts in Xero Payment Services updates Improvements to online payments in Xero help small businesses get paid faster. Faster payments result in better cashflow, helping small businesses stay in business. Setting up online payments is now even easier: businesses can get started right inside an invoice, and - for businesses in the US, Canada, UK and Australia - they can set up credit/debit card payments in a single click. For those businesses using online payments, their customers can pay using two options: credit card and PayPal. To get started with online payments in Xero, please see: Adding a payment service in Xero
11 Xero Reviewers Guide 11 XERO MOBILE The Xero mobile app for smartphones and tablets (for ios devices and Android smartphones) allows small businesses to manage their finances on the road. Xero for mobile can be used to send invoices, file expense claims, manage and reconcile bank statements and more virtually everywhere. Sample features include: Bank reconciliation Users can easily match transactions from their bank statement with matching transactions in Xero. It s fast and fun and can be done anytime, anywhere. Invoicing It s quick and easy to send an invoice as soon as a job's been completed, or when there are a few spare moments, to help drive payment and ensure cashflow. Mobile users can also access details on their business's invoices, including whether they are overdue or unpaid, submitted or drafted. Using Xero for mobile Using Xero for ios and Android you can: manage your money anywhere even from your bed reconcile bank statements quickly on-demand send invoices while you re still in the field follow up on outstanding payments while on the move create expense claims right from your mobile device Expenses Conveniently track drafted, submitted and completed receipts; and process new expenses and receipts. Small businesses can also capture those expenses immediately by taking a photo of a receipt and submitting it on the spot. Contacts Small businesses can keep track of their clients and contact details for easy access on the go. To download the app, and access Xero from planes, trains, automobiles and other locations, please visit: Find out more about Xero on mobile by visiting: Go mobile with our accounting app
12 Xero Reviewers Guide 12 ADD-ON MARKETPLACE Xero also integrates with hundreds of add-on business applications so that you can easily sync and streamline your data. From inventory management, invoicing and time tracking, there s specialized software that s right for your business. Customers continue to benefit from Xero s rapid innovation cycles with daily releases of new, free features and enhancements. Featured add-ons include: A Xero product offering all-in-one workflow service businesses trust WorkflowMax for quotes, time sheets, job management, invoices and more. Point-of-sale and inventory software retailers love. Vend is online, like Xero, so there is nothing to install and you can use it on almost any computer. Set up a beautiful ecommerce website you can grow with and sync your store with Xero to keep track of your revenue, expenses, and tax liabilities. A cashflow command and control system that manages accounts payable and receivable for businesses of all sizes.
13 Xero Reviewers Guide 13 EXTRA FEATURES Unlimited users With unlimited users and full control, businesses can have partners, accountants, bookkeepers and financial advisors all across the books at no extra cost. User roles There is one version of Xero, but two editions: the business edition (my blue Xero) and partner edition (my green Xero). The business edition (starter, standard or premium) is available to anyone, while the partner edition is only available to approved Xero partners. Every user invited into an organization in Xero is set up with a role determined by the person who invites them. A role determines the level of access to view and perform certain tasks. Roles also specify whether someone can change the role settings themselves. If you re using the demo company, you ll have the standard role. Learn more about user roles 24/7 customer support Xero prides itself on providing superior customer support through a range of sources: support, online help and online communities. These resources are free and unlimited for Xero customers. Xero U, our education and training service, delivers a range of in-person and on demand training solutions for both small businesses and advisors. The Xero Business Help Center also allows users to find almost everything they need to know. For more in-depth customer support, users can navigate to the Contact Xero Support link at the bottom-right hand corner of the help center screen to ask a question, make a suggestion or let us know if something is broken.
14 Xero Reviewers Guide 14 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Security We invest heavily to protect our customers sensitive financial information against unauthorized access and system failures, ensuring your data is guarded to the highest level. For more about Xero s system security: Bank-level data security Security at Xero Small business case studies Hear from our many different small business customers who use and love Xero. Customer stories Small business guides Read our small business guides for tips, tricks and essentials on cloud accounting, invoicing, online bookkeeping, payroll, online business tools and more. Small business guides Pricing Xero is available in a number of different pricing plans, subject to an organization s needs. Customers can move up and down plans easily, as their organization evolves. Pricing
15 Xero Reviewers Guide 15 EXTRAS Xero Partner Program Xero partners enjoy the benefits of a true partnership including free software, training, promotional materials, dedicated support and much more. Partner programme Education Xero customers and partners can access a range of online and in-person resources to learn about how to use Xero and how to improve the performance of their practice. Live tutorials, webinars or self-paced learning are available. Xero U Xero TV Ongoing support Every member of the Xero customer experience team has the right balance of accounting, technology and service knowledge. So when customers contact Xero through our free 24/7, unlimited, dedicated support they can be sure to receive the right answer the first time. Online resources are also available: Xero s online help center provides comprehensive documentation on how to get the most out of Xero, while the online community ensures small businesses and their advisors can collaborate, share advice and request features. Help Center Xero Community Accountant and bookkeeper case studies Accountants and bookkeepers have built or expanded their practices with Xero. Check out their stories. Case studiest
16 Xero Reviewers Guide 16 CONCLUSION As you can see, Xero makes owning and operating a small business easier than ever. Whatever the size of the organization or the industry, getting a complete picture and taking back control of their finances has never been simpler. As a reviewer, be sure to check frequently for new updates and features. As you ll see, Xero continues to grow and evolve, constantly adding new ways to help small business owners stay at the forefront of industry trends. Thanks to the growth and strengths of our partners, Xero continuously adds support for dozens of new applications and add-ons annually. Learn more at the Xero Add-on Marketplace. We appreciate your interest in Xero: the world s most beautiful and efficient online accounting solution for small businesses. For more information, please contact
17 Xero Reviewers Guide 17 Beautiful accounting software