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How to use Xero: Tips & tricks to make Xero REALLY work for you

Here at Kirkwood Wilson Accountants, we are all about giving you that one priceless gift back, TIME! It’s the one thing that we never seem to have enough of, and the one thing that we always waste lots of, especially when it comes to admin tasks. Learning about a new piece of software can be daunting and can take time. So to give you some of that time back, we’re here to show you exactly how to use Xero as a time saving device.  Discover some of our very best Xero tips and tricks for making this incredible software really work for you and your business.

1. Use Direct Bank Feeds

Almost all banks now have the ability to connect to Xero directly, and this is called a Direct Bank Feed. Natwest, Barclays, Santander, Lloyds, HSBC, Paypal and some online banks such as Starling allow their account holders to upload information from the banking system straight into your Xero software. This can be done as often as you like, you are in complete control of it. From here you can also set up bank rules which streamlines everything even more.

Using Direct Bank Feeds means no more typing in manual transactions, which means less time bookkeeping and MORE time for you! 

2. Set up repeating invoices

Almost all our clients pay us on a monthly basis. The amount is the same every month, so we use the Repeating Invoice template to cut down on the amount of time spent invoicing out. This will also work on invoices that YOU pay every month, for example, window cleaning. This is usually the same amount every month, and when your bank feed is connected, Xero will automatically want to match the payment to that Repeating Invoice amount. If the person paying you/person you are paying is the same every month but the amount changes, Xero can be set so that you can edit the amounts BEFORE they go out. More time back for you!  

3. Keep track of your debtors

You can use Invoice Reminders in Xero if one of your clients has not paid their invoice to you. You can tailor the email that is sent to your client so it’s a little more personal too. 

4. Make bulk payments

Anything you can do in bulk will ultimately save you time somewhere. If you are responsible for and/or know what all the payments to suppliers are for and you are comfortable that you can pay all of the invoices you are entering on to the system, then do it all in bulk! 

This also works very well if you have an assistant who might be entering the supplier invoices on (potentially using an add-on like Receipt Bank) and you have to approve the invoice. 

5. Invest in some add-ons

Xero as it is, on its own, will work tremendously for you and your business. It will even take some of the work away from you which is always a bonus. However, if you have a lot of receipts, expenses or a lot of debt to chase, then adding an app can give you so much MORE time back. 

At Kirkwood Wilson, we use Receipt Bank for expenses and Chaser for credit control. We’ve been using these add-ons for a long time now, and the difference is incredible. Credit control used to take us at least 2 days a week, now we can have it all done in 1 afternoon, sometimes less. 

6. Set up your system properly at the start

If you populate as many fields as possible and set the system up as well as you can right at the very beginning, you’re going to be able to do a lot more with it. There are so many different types of reports that you can access to help run your business, but you need to have the information in there to start with. You can also build your own reports (which we’ve also done here at KWA).

Helping you learn how to use Xero

As Xero Gold Partners, we’re well versed in getting our clients set up with Xero. If you need a hand getting started with Xero, or want to talk to us about any of the Xero tips and tricks listed here, get in touch with one of our Xero Champions today who’d be delighted to show you exactly how to use Xero. Call us on 01704 546 000 or email [email protected]

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