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Xero Tips and Tricks: the 9 Most Underutilised Xero Hacks

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In my experience as a Xero specialist, I have found that some features of Xero that are most likely to be overlooked are also most likely to be of the greatest value in reducing wasted time, stress and errors. Here’s my list of Xero tips and tricks that will help your business.

1. Using Multiple Tabs

This in not actually a Xero feature, but is from your browser or Windows – I’m no IT guru, I just know it works. I’ve seen it work in various ways which seem to vary depending on the computer and set-up, but the common point is that Xero is designed to work on multiple tabs. So you can eliminate the frustration of flicking to a new area of Xero to complete a task, and then having to navigate your way back. On my computer I hold down the Control Key, and then navigate as normal to another place in Xero (while holding down the Control Key) and this opens up another window. I might be navigating through menus, or I might be clicking on a blue underlined link – both work. I might have up to 10 tabs open to be working in various areas of windows at the same time.

TIP: To work in two different Xero files at the same time, use two different browsers.
https://central.xero.com/s/article/Tips-and-shortcuts#Generaltips

2. Built In Calculators

There is an inbuilt calculator in the Quantity and Amount fields of Invoices, Quotes, Bills and Purchase Orders and a few other places as well. Here’s the link to the article, which also lists some other potentially useful tips and shortcuts: https://central.xero.com/s/article/Tips-and-shortcuts#Xerosinbuiltcalculator

3. Find and Recode

If you have Advisor permissions you will see Find and Recode in your Accounting Menu. Not only is Find and Recode invaluable for bulk recoding transactions to a different GL code, but it can also be used to bulk recode Tax Rates, and to add or remove Tracking.

https://central.xero.com/s/article/About-Find-Recode

4. Email Bill PDFs to Xero

Each Xero file has it’s own unique email where supplier bills can be forwarded to appear as draft Bills in Xero. Some details may also be automatically filled in such as the invoice number, date, contact name and amounts. PDFs are automatically attached to the transaction.

https://central.xero.com/s/article/Email-PDF-bills-into-your-Xero-organisation

5. Cash Coding

If you have the correct permissions you will see the Cash Coding tab alongside the Reconcile/ Bank Statements / Transactions tabs in the reconciling dashboard.

Cash coding is used for super quick bulk coding of Spend and Receive money transactions as well as applying Bank Rules in bulk. You can sort the transactions by the column headers (contact name, amount etc etc). You can also add Tracking.

Cash coding is available on Standard and Premium Xero subscriptions and you can find out more about it here: https://central.xero.com/s/article/About-cash-coding

6. Hubdoc

Hubdoc is included at no additional cost for Standard and Premium Subscriptions. Hubdoc extracts data from your supplier bills, and pushes it through to Xero. As well as giving you more control on how the information comes through to Xero, it also automatically files the documents for future reference. Another reason you might use it is that you can give staff a separate log in to Hubdoc so they can process documents without having access to Xero.

https://central.xero.com/s/article/Hubdoc-in-Xero

7. Track Transactions

Also known as Tracking Categories, this is Xero’s way of providing “Sub-codes” to track various areas of your business. Transactions for both income and expenses can be tracked to a sub-code that might be a division of your business, an area, a sales person, or anyway you want to report. A P and L can be easily produced for one or more tracking codes.

https://central.xero.com/s/article/Track-transactions

8. Transfers in Xero

Sometimes I see movement of money between two accounts in Xero managed by creating 2 separate transactions. This is not required. For Transfers in Xero, you create the Transfer transaction from one bank account, then when you go to the other bank account, it will pop up automatically. Here are a couple of tips for Xero Transfers.

Only use Transfers when moving funds between two accounts both in the same Xero account.
Also, if a Transfer transaction is created from both the sending and the receiving bank accounts a duplicate will be created. Best practice is to start in one account and create the Transfers, then on the other account use find and match to find the correct transfer on the correct date.

https://central.xero.com/s/article/Transfer-money-between-your-bank-accounts-in-Xero#Createadetailedtransferduringreconciliation

9. Use a Bill to record Expenses paid personally

This trick is a quick way to record business expenses that have been paid from a personal account, where you don’t want to ask the director to reimburse the expense. You don’t need to use a journal.

Create a Bill in Xero for the Expense (either from scratch or emailing in the receipt, or from Hubdoc). Complete the details and approve. Scroll down the bottom of the Bill to “Make a Payment”. Fill in the details, selecting “Funds Introduced” as the account the expense is being paid from. If you don’t see the Funds Introduced account as an option, then go to the General Ledger and Edit the Funds Introduced account to accept payments (you’ll see a tick box).

https://central.xero.com/s/article/Enable-payments-to-an-account

Want more tips and tricks for Xero?

I’m a Xero expert who works with businesses every day to help them optimise their software and processes. I can assist you and configure the solution best suited to your needs. Get in touch to find out more.