Stewart's February Xero Tips

Many users will have bank feeds set up which enables bank statement lines to filter through to Xero, however this may often require a ‘refresh’ or the re-input of your online banking login details. If this process becomes a bit frustrating, you may be able to set up ‘Direct’ feeds – which means that transactions for a specific day will appear in your Xero record the next morning – with no refresh etc required. There may be a small extra charge for this service depending on which bank you use – which will be added to your Xero bill. At present there are only a limited number of banks which allow this function, but more will be added in time: 

  • Barclays.
  • Adam & Company.
  • Coutts.
  • HSBC.
  • Metro Bank.
  • NatWest.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland.
  • RBS International.
  • Santander UK.
  • Santander Corporate & Commercial.
  • Silicon Valley Bank.

During a recent webinar, I learned that  online invoices with a link to make payment electronically are paid (on average) 12 days faster than invoices with no link to pay. On Xero you are able to ‘add a payment service’ to your invoices to allow easy online payment for your customers. To set this up, click on ‘Settings’, General Settings’ then ‘Payment Settings’ and work through the steps – or alternatively you can contact a member of the team at Argents to help you get this set up.

If you have any sales invoices which are overdue, you can send a reminder to all of these customers in one go. To do this, all you would need to do is follow these steps: 

  • Click on ‘Accounts’ at the top of the screen and select ‘Sales’ from the drop-down menu.
  • If there are any overdue invoices, you will see these in the ‘Overdue’ box – click on this.
  • Tick the invoices which you want to remind customers to pay, and click on ‘Email’.
  • This will bring up a box which will allow you to send a bulk email to various contacts, with the same message going to each. There is a suggested message on the text box, but you can override this as you wish.
  • Before clicking’ Send’, you can tick the box to re-attach a copy of the original invoice to the email – which should hopefully prompt payment.

If you’ve raised a sales invoice to a customer in the past, the next time you raise a new sales invoice and select their name, you may notice that a small line of text labelled ‘add last items’ appears under the name. If you click on this, the same description, prices and nominal code will be copied over from the last invoice you sent to them – which is useful if the details are the same/similar from invoice to invoice.

When entering a sales or purchase invoice, your preference may be to enter either the gross or net values in the unit price boxes. Whichever value you choose, just make sure that the correct VAT treatment is selected in the drop-down box near the top right hand corner of the screen: 

  • Amounts are      Tax Exclusive                     (when entering net amounts)
  • Amounts are      Tax Inclusive                     (when entering gross amounts)

I should add that whatever option you choose, this will apply to the whole invoice, and not just that particular line.

If you have a large proportion of bank transactions on Xero which aren’t ‘matched’ against invoices which have been previously entered, then the ‘Cash coding’ function may be a big time saver for you. Cash coding is a quick, alternative way to create and reconcile multiple spend and receive money transactions to match imported bank statement lines. 

  • The Cash coding tab displays unreconciled bank statement lines in a spreadsheet format.
  • When you use cash coding, you'll create a spend or receive money transaction that matches and reconciles with the bank statement line. So don't use cash coding to reconcile transactions already entered in Xero.

Cash coding allows you to reconcile bulk bank statement lines in one go, which is great for recurring payments through the bank (see below):

To enable this feature, please contact one of the Argents team.