Xero For Dummies


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Table of Contents

Foreword xv Introduction 1 About This Book 2 Foolish Assumptions 3 Icons Used in This Book 4 Beyond the Book 4 Where to Go from Here 5 Part 1: Getting Started With Xero 7 Chapter 1: Getting to Know Xero 9 Understanding the Advantages of Xero 10 Exploring Xero's Different Editions 11 Homepage: Checking Out the Dashboard 15 Understanding Your Team's Needs 16 Integrating Xero into Your Strategic Planning 20 Generating accurate, complete and timely data entry 20 Introducing Management Reporting and the analysis capabilities of Xero 20 Taking Advantage of Support Options 21 Using Xero in a Training Environment 22 Chapter 2: Getting Organised: Setting Up Xero from Scratch 23 Preparing for Set-Up 24 Checking your browser and system requirements 24 Collecting your business data 26 Signing Up for Xero 28 Getting started 28 Organisation Settings 32 Financial Settings 34 Understanding Bookkeeping Basics 35 Working out how account types affect your reports 36 Creating a chart of accounts that works for you 39 Developing your own chart of accounts 40 Setting Up Your Chart of Accounts 42 Using Xero's default Chart of Accounts 42 Customising your chart of accounts 43 Putting Your Accounts into Practice 47 Checking your conversion balances 47 Adding comparative balances 49 Entering historical invoices, bills and credit notes 51 Adding Ways to Get Paid 51 Setting up bank accounts 52 Including credit cards 53 Online payment options 54 Tax Rates 55 Chapter 3: Converting to Xero from Another System 61 Preparing to Import Data from a Non-Accounting Program 62 Converting paper-based records 62 Working with spreadsheets 62 Getting Ready to Convert from an Accounting Program 63 Getting ready to convert 65 Converting exported CSV files into Excel 68 Preparing data for import 71 Mapping tax rates 73 Importing Data into Xero 73 Chart of accounts 74 Contacts 76 Inventory items 77 Sales 79 Purchases 80 Bank transactions 82 Manual journals 84 Fixed assets 85 Unpresented payments or uncleared funds 86 Turning Off Your Old System 87 Accessing historical data 87 Moving to the new system 87 Confirming the switchover date 88 Chapter 4: Fine-tuning Your Set-Up 89 Tools of the Trade: Understanding the Dashboard 90 Xero balance versus bank balance 91 Account Watchlist 92 Invoices Owed to You 93 Bills You Need to Pay 93 Dealing with expense claims 94 Setting Up Users 94 Understanding user access levels 94 Inviting other users to access Xero 95 Taking Advantage of Live Bank Feeds 99 Activating live bank feeds 100 Organising bank accounts on your dashboard 103 Managing bank feeds 103 Manually Importing Statements 104 Bank Rules 105 Setting up bank rules 105 Managing bank rules 109 Using File Storage and the Xero Inbox 109 Part 2: Daily Activities 113 Chapter 5: Managing Your Contacts 115 Setting Up Customers 116 Setting Up Suppliers 124 Connecting Your Email Account to Your Contacts 124 Tweaking Your Contacts after Set-Up 125 Finding your contacts 125 Managing your contacts 126 Grouping your contacts 127 Merging your contacts 128 Unpicking accidentally merged contacts 128 Archiving your outdated contacts 129 Setting Up Employees 129 Utilising Smart Lists CRM functionality 132 Chapter 6: Managing Your Sales 135 Navigating the Sales Dashboard 136 Money Coming In 138 Customers Owing the Most - list 139 Customers Owing the Most - pie chart 139 Mastering Basic Invoice Functions 139 Creating a new sales invoice 140 Saving, approving and cancelling invoices 144 Sending an invoice to a customer 146 Mastering More Advanced Invoice Functions 151 Designing clear invoices for a positive cash flow 151 Working with repeating invoices 159 Invoicing contact groups 161 Managing credit notes 162 Creating a new quote 164 Recording Payments 164 Receipting against sales invoices 165 Sending receipts 165 Recording income for a simple cash business 166 Making use of batch payments 167 Removing allocated payments 170 Taking Advantage of Email Templates 170 Defining your user email addresses 171 Creating a new email template 172 Deleting customised templates 173 Connecting with contacts via social media 174 Following Up on Outstanding Debtors 174 Setting up invoice reminders 175 Making use of statements 176 Chapter 7: Managing Your Payables 179 Navigating the Purchases Dashboard 180 Managing Your Supplier Bills 183 Creating a new bill 183 Approving and cancelling bills 187 Generating a purchase order 189 Making Payments 191 Recording an individual payment 192 Recording batch payments 193 Removing allocated payments 196 Mastering Other Payment Considerations 196 Printing bills 197 Working with Repeating Bills 197 Scheduling payments 199 Stylising your check 200 Sending remittance advice 201 Managing credit notes 202 Entering Expense Claims 204 Adding a new expense claim 206 Making mobile expense claims 207 Submitting a claim for approval 209 Reviewing and authorising the claim 210 Paying the claim 211 Understanding Xero Expenses Functionality 212 Defining Xero Expense Settings 214 Adding a new expense claim in Xero Expenses 215 Making mobile expense claims in Xero Expenses 216 Submitting a claim for approval in Xero Expenses 218 Reviewing and authorising the claim in Xero Expenses 219 Paying the claim in Xero Expenses 220 Chapter 8: Reconciling Your Bank Accounts 221 Preparing to Reconcile 222 Automagically Reconciling Accounts 224 Understanding the hierarchy for matching 225 Accepting transactions Xero has matched correctly 225 Tweaking Transactions to Reconcile 229 Matching misfit transactions 229 Create 234 Transfer 235 Discuss 235 Reviewing other possible matches 236 Taking Advantage of Cash Coding 236 Getting familiar with Cash Coding 237 Understanding bulk coding 238 Viewing Bank Statements 240 Viewing Account Transactions 241 Using the Spend Money and Receive Money Options 242 Direct payment 244 Prepayment 244 Overpayment 244 Underpayment 245 Processing prepayments and overpayments 245 Searching for a transaction 246 Fixing Errors 247 Resolving the difference between Xero balances and bank balances 247 Undertaking detailed searches to find and recode transactions 249 Unreconciling a bank transaction 253 Removing and undoing a bank transaction 253 What Happens in Life Happens in Xero 254 Part 3: Making the Routine, Routine 257 Chapter 9: Generating Reports 259 Understanding the Reports Available in Xero 259 Accessing Xero's business reports 260 Selecting your favourite reports 265 Sorting and filtering 265 Customising Reports 266 Customising report layouts 267 Adding reporting 'bling': Summaries and footnotes 275 Changing views 276 Understanding Xero's Different Reporting Options 277 Draft 277 Published 278 Connecting reports 279 Archived 280 Exporting Reports 280 Accessing Management Reports 281 Chapter 10: Mastering Your Weekly and Monthly Tasks 283 Confirming Accounts are Complete 284 Reconciling Bank Accounts, Credit Card and Online Payment Gateway Accounts 285 Reconciling Your Clearing Accounts 286 Reconciling Your Consumer Tax Control Account 288 Reviewing Your Business Information 290 General Ledger Exceptions report 291 Invoicing 291 Aged Receivables 292 Aged Payables 294 Reporting to Your Tax Authority 295 Australian reporting 295 New Zealand reporting 299 US reporting 302 UK reporting 304 Recording payments to your tax authority 306 Taking Advantage of Xero's Budget Functions 307 Creating a budget 308 Reviewing and editing your budget 310 Setting a Period Lock Date 311 Chapter 11: End of Financial Year Reporting 313 Getting Ready for the End of the Financial Year 314 Finding out where you're at 314 Being prepared early 315 Reconciling tax payments for the year 316 Processing a bad debt 316 Preparing Accounts for Your Tax Accountant 317 Helping with Tax Accountant Tasks 321 Enabling your tax accountant to work directly in Xero 322 Exporting general ledger transactions 323 Entering manual journals 324 Special Considerations 326 Publishing end-of-year reports 326 Locking down accounts 327 Part 4: Getting the Most Out Of Xero 329 Chapter 12: Monitoring Your Business 331 Identifying Key Metrics 332 Using Xero to set realistic targets and strategies 332 Setting KPIs and rewarding success 333 Reviewing your business strategy 335 Generating Useful Information 335 Taking advantage of management reports 336 Delving deeper into the Executive Summary report 337 Assessing your performance 343 Evaluating your position 343 Unpicking the details 343 Customising the Management Report 344 Unravelling the Business Performance dashboard 346 Understanding Xero's Tracking Options 349 Using Tracking 350 Working out what your business should track 350 Setting up Tracking 351 Editing, deleting and applying Tracking options 352 Reviewing Tracking reports 353 Tracking conversion balances 354 Maintaining Budget Control: Budget Manager 357 Exploring Xero Projects 358 Defining Project Settings 359 Adding a new Project 360 Adding a Project Task 363 Adding a Project Expense 364 Recording a Time Entry 365 Raising a Deposit Invoice for a Project 366 Invoicing billable Tasks & Expenses 367 Raising a Project Invoice 368 Tracking Project time entries from your mobile device 368 Project reporting 370 Chapter 13: Managing Your Inventory Items 371 Understanding Inventory Items 372 Periodic and perpetual inventory 372 Defining inventory accounts 373 Setting Up a Xero Inventory Item 374 Creating inventory items 374 Importing and exporting item details and importing opening balances 377 Managing Inventory Items 377 Making use of inventory items reports 377 Searching for and reviewing inventory items 378 Editing and deleting inventory items 378 Adjusting Inventory Balances 380 Periodic stocktakes 380 Adjusting untracked inventory values 381 Adjusting tracked inventory quantities 382 Adjusting tracked inventory values 383 Accessing Cloud-Based App Solutions 384 Chapter 14: Working with Fixed Assets 385 Recognising Fixed Assets 385 Entering a fixed asset into the register 386 Dealing with depreciation 393 Tax reporting and asset pooling 394 Selling or removing a fixed asset from the register 395 Accessing Fixed Asset Reports 398 Chapter 15: Working with Multi-Currency Transactions 401 Setting Up Multi-Currency in Xero 402 Upgrading your Xero plan 402 Adding currencies to Xero 402 Processing Multi-Currency Transactions in Xero 404 Understanding tax rates 404 Working with foreign currency exchange rates 405 Creating a foreign currency invoice 405 Purchasing in a foreign currency 410 Conversion Balances and Multi-Currency Bank Accounts 412 Viewing Reports in Foreign Currency 412 Chapter 16: Exploring the Xero Marketplace 415 Working with Xero to Xero Networks 416 Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Cloud App Solutions 417 Ascertaining implementation costs 418 Working out if the solution is right for you 418 Looking at longevity 418 Checking response times 419 Understanding intellectual property security 419 Making Use of Online Cloud Integration Specialists 419 Getting a Feel for Available Solutions 420 Connectors 421 CRMs 422 Debtor tracking 422 e-commerce 423 Bills and expenses 423 Inventory 423 Job tracking 424 Payments 425 Documents 425 Payroll 426 Point of sale 426 Financial services 426 Time tracking 427 Reporting 427 Looking at Custom Integration 428 Part 5: The Part of Tens 429 Chapter 17: Ten (Plus One!) Tips for Long-Term Success with Xero 431 Embrace the Cloud 432 Make Use of Networking Technology 432 Export Data to Create Graphs 432 Set up Bank Feeds and Reconcile Regularly 433 Use the Batch Payments Feature 433 Keep Bank Accounts for Business Use 434 Embrace Change 434 Use Tracking to Sharpen Reporting 434 Take Advantage of Repeating Bills and Invoices 435 Collaborate with Your Xero Advisory Team 435 Effectively Tap into Online Storage Features 435 Chapter 18: Ten Common Mistakes Made in Xero and How to Avoid Them 437 Not Making Use of Expert Help 437 Not Understanding Terminology Differences 438 Messing Up Bank Reconciliation Autosuggestions 439 Using a Communal User Account 439 Not Deleting Old User Accounts 439 Thinking Your Xero Emails Are Stored 440 Not Realising the Subscriber Owns and Controls the Data 440 Trying to Make Xero Do What Your Old System Did 441 Watching Your Bank Feeds Refresh 441 Paying Full Price If You're a NFP 441 Index 443

About the Author

Heather Smith is focused on helping cloud advisors embrace the add on market place ecosystem. Using her super power of 'explanation' she's educated over 1 million via her YouTube channel, her Cloud Stories podcast, an online MasterMind group, a curated ecosystem newsletter, all about Apps Advisory, and all available for free! Plus, she's written 9 business books including the Xero for Dummies series.

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