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How to maximise Xero for your business: Our top tips

Here at Blu Sky we love Xero – we’re even a Xero Platinum Partner. But enough about that! Jon, our co-founder shares six top tips to maximise Xero for your business!

1. Invoice clients with repeating invoices

If you have regular bills to pay or send regular invoices to customers, you can set up a template and Xero will automatically create a bill or invoice for you depending on the frequency you specify.

Alternatively, you can set up a repeating invoice so that the majority of the information remains the same except for the amounts that you can edit before sending it out to a client. This will save you loads of time as everything is automated. 

2. Track when you have or have not been paid by a customer 

Tracking that your clients have paid you using invoice reminders in Xero or via an add app such as Chaser means credit control is consistent and professional.

Xero can automatically send customers a reminder if one of their invoices remains unpaid, depending on how far an invoice is past due. You can choose the wording on the email that is sent to the client. You can set this up under Settings > Invoice Settings > Invoice Reminders. 

Alternatively, Chaser’s credit control software enables you take your automated credit control process to the next level. This Xero app partner automatically sends personalised polite reminders to your customers, creating and nurturing good customer payment habits. This will save time – 7.3 hours on credit control every week and boost cashflow by c.£4,400 for every £100,000 of turnover

3. Use Direct Bank Feeds in Xero – no more paper bank statements!

Xero offers direct bank feeds with pretty much all the UK banks including and payment gateways – Starling, Tide, Revolute, Stripe, Paypal, Barclays, HSBC, Metro Bank, NatWest, Lloyds, Santander, Silicon Valley Bank.

 These direct feeds enable users to have their bank transactions automatically refreshed on a daily basis, greatly reducing the time needed to reconcile a bank. This is because you no longer need to enter data manually or import CSV files. 

As an added bonus within the Bank Reconciliation facility on Xero, there is an option to use bank rules. This great feature automatically allocates bank statement lines to a profit or loss code. Which means using a direct bank feed to manage your bank account transactions is fast and pain-free.

Set up correctly, Bank Rules will save you time when entering recurring transactions such as bank interest or direct debits where a bill is not entered.

Of course sometimes Xero and bank statement balances do not match. There can be numerous reasons for this, for example unreconciled transactions entered in Xero, missing statement lines, duplicated transactions or errors recording transfers between accounts. To check if your bank account balance and the balance in Xero match, review the Bank Reconciliation Report.

4. Instantly view your company’s financial reports

Making a report favourite within Xero is a great way to save time. If you go to “All Reports”, click on the little star next to the specific report you want to favourite. You will then be able to go straight to the report directly from the dashboard. Reports include accounts receivable, accounts payable, your profit and loss, your balance sheet and many many more.

You can publish your financial statements and other reports and save those directly within Xero, which can also keep a copy of a specific snapshot in time. This is important as your accounting information changes daily. In order to do this, click Publish, and either save it as a draft or publish it. To access reports again, click Reports > All Reports > Published. 

A good Xero add-on app for enhanced reporting is Futrli. This is a great tool to get an even clearer, live, customisable view of your business’s future performance and cash flow. This allows you to customise your reporting and add in your own predictions of future performance of tax, profit, cash, payment, customer behaviour, trends, seasonality, risk, dependency, you name it.

5. Streamline your staff expense process

Using Xero for your business means employees can capture receipts and submit claims for their work expenses with their mobile device, just by sending them straight into Xero. By simply taking a photo of the physical receipt, receipt details are automatically read and added to the draft expense claim for you to approve. Receipts can even be submitted in numerous foreign currencies and multiple user permissions can be used to offer maximum flexibility.

There are also links to multiple features in Xero, such as Projects, Tracking and Clients to enable you to track and review the claim quickly so that your employee are paid back into their bank accounts quickly.

Should you have a bigger team the amazing add on app Receipt Bank allows you to further revolutionise the way you can capture and track your employee’s expense spending. Receipt Bank is so easy to use allowing expenses to also be emailed in many formats, and they appear in your employee’s expense report, by the next day, so you can quickly get a view of the employee expenses.

6. Give your employees electronic payslips

Xero Payroll’s flexibility in managing employees’ working hours and updated statutory sick pay functionality means you can pay staff using encrypted e-payslips. Xero payroll is fully integrated giving you the ability to use flexible pay calendars, multiple pay rates, built-in timesheets, easy pensions filing, detailed payroll reports, streamlined HMRC Submissions and a mobile app for all our employee’s. 

Want to start using Xero for your business?

We’re a Xero Platinum Partner, so think we’re pretty well placed to help your business get the most out of it. Got questions? Give us a try! Just email dave@blusky.co.uk.

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