What's New in Xero?

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Xerocon London 2019 

This is the name of the annual conference for some 4,000 Xero Partners and once again it lived up to its reputation as a stunning showcase of all that is great in the cloud accounting world, and in particular the UK Xero world – a world that has grown tremendously in the past year with UK subscriber numbers now standing at an impressive 536,000 businesses.  Collectively these businesses process some 6.9 million supplier bills every month and some £474bn of transactions have been processed through UK Xero businesses.  Did someone say this was small business software?

There are a host of new features being released to all subscribers in the coming months.  Some of these will make life easier and more informed whilst others are quite simply game changing.  

This blog summarises the major announcements.

 

Xero Tax

For accountants the major announcement was arguably the March 2020 launch of Xero’s integrated tax software.  This will greatly assist accountants in providing year end services to their clients without the need for moving data into other software applications with its consequent time demands, complexity and risk of error.  Tax returns in future will be produced directly from the data in Xero.  Yes, a great benefit to accountants but indirectly one for small business owners too.

 

Supplier Payments

This is the game changer for me.  Xero and their partners have previously enabled the automation of the process of collecting payment from customers and now they have sprinkled the same magic on the supplier payments side of the business.  

From February 2020 there will be a new solution called Pay with TransferWise. This is a transformative way for UK small businesses to pay bills, no matter who they bank with, reducing time spent paying suppliers and increasing efficiency with seamless reconciliation.  All this will happen directly from Xero eliminating the need to sign into your bank's online portal and enter payment data.

It will also be possible to automate the payment process for the first time and this will go a long way to overcoming a major problem in our economy - the scourge of late payments.  According to the FSB 50,000 annual insolvencies are caused by late payments and 48% of invoices are paid after their due date.  Xero is delivering functionality to change this for the better .... much better.

 

Real-time insights with Business Snapshot

Launching in Q1 of 2020 will be an automated dashboard summarising business critical performance metrics all in one easily accessible and digestible format.  

These beautiful visualisations are part of a suite of efforts Xero is making to help small businesses grow and thrive. In September Xero announced the launch of a short term cash flow tool. This gives small businesses a 30-day view of their business health in the platform. It enables them to make decisions on payments and bills based on potential impacts to cashflow. Business Snapshot is the next stage and provides the all-important context to understanding the relationship between cashflow and profit.

 

Xero Expenses

Xero expenses is an excellent mobile phone based application that enables business employees to quickly and efficiently submit expenses for reimbursement whilst at the same time uploading to Xero the expense receipt thus ensuring full VAT and Making Tax Digital compliance.

However, there was one rather obvious gap ….. which has now been fixed.  Xero Expenses will from December 2019 include a new mileage tracker that automatically calculates fuel and mileage expenses – typically the major expense item for employees.  It isn’t just about the reimbursement of course as the need to keep proper records for HMRC purposes is also satisfied with this software addition.   A great job all round.

 

So 2020 already looks like being a great year to be working with Xero.   I am already looking forward to Xerocon 2020 and what is sure to be another series of enhancements to this great accounting software.

If you want to learn more about how Vertis Accounting and  Xero can transform the way you work in your business please contact us for a no obligation free of charge discussion.  E Mail: info@vertisaccounting.co.uk.  Telephone: 01905 928128.