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Using Xero

Xero – Return Of Live Bank Feeds & Other News

By October 2022October 31st, 2022No Comments

As you’ll know if you are a Xero user, one of the knock-on effects of Brexit was that Xero users in Europe lost the live bank feeds functionality for EU-based bank accounts. This meant that businesses banking at Republic of Ireland-based branches of AIB, Bank of Ireland, and Ulster Bank stopped seeing live bank feeds from 1st January 2021 onwards.

But there is good news… Xero live bank feeds are back! If you’re an AIB customer, you can already reconnect your accounts. Bank of Ireland customers need only wait a short time for their live feeds to come on stream.

We’re glad Xero followed through on their commitment to bring live feeds back, and we hope they are here to stay. To speed up your reconnection process, here is a recap of the connection steps you’ll need to take.

Connecting your bank accounts with Xero

Adding a new bank account in Xero:

  1. In the Accounting menu, select Bank Accounts
  2. Click Add Bank Account

Connect with your bank:

  1. Find the name of you bank (make sure to choose the right one, e.g. Bank of Ireland 365 vs Bank of Ireland Business banking)
  2. Click Agree and log in to bank
  3. Login to your bank account (your banking logins, not your Xero logins)

Select bank accounts to share with Xero:

  1. Select the accounts you’d like to connect with Xero and complete the sharing steps before you are redirected back to Xero. Confirm you can see all the accounts you expect to see.
  2. In Xero either select the matching account, choose a different bank account, or add a new account as necessary.
  3. For each account, select the start date that you’d like transactions imported from. You can import up to 12 months’ worth of transactions. If you don’t update this, transactions from today onwards will be imported into Xero.
  4. Click Finish and your transactions will immediately import into Xero

Importing transactions for the first time:

  1. Verify transactions have imported back to start date selected
    • Verify correct number of transactions have imported
    • Verify all transaction information is correct
  2. Confirm your Statement Balance on the dashboard against each of your accounts is the same as your online banking.

Getting your transactions in Xero

Passive (overnight) refresh:

  1. Transactions are refreshed twice a day. Confirm the following day that your new transactions have been imported.
  2. Verify transactions have imported
    a. Verify correct number of transactions have imported
    b. Verify all transaction information is correct

Active (user) refresh:

  1. In the Accounts menu, select Bank Accounts
  2. Find the account you want to refresh the bank feed for
  3. Click Manage Account, then click Refresh Bank Feed

It’s good that feeds are back, although in the end their temporary loss wasn’t as much of a blocker as we anticipated. While there was some initial disappointment, the inconvenience has mostly been low-level. For those clients who also use our bookkeeping service, there was almost no discernible change, as their bookkeepers downloaded bank statements regularly and manually uploaded them to Xero. Other clients have used solutions such as Dext or AutoEntry to manage data entry. All things being equal, however, we’re glad to have them again.

What’s else is new in the Xero universe?

In case you’ve missed them, here is a recap of some of the other changes in Xero from this year. The biggest one is the ongoing roll-out of Xero’s fresh new look. Xero has always had the most modern UI in accounting software, and this year they are also in the middle of upgrading the technology that underpins the Xero platform. As users, we can see this in some design shake-ups and a host of technical tweaks that make everyday tasks easier and quicker. Xero is also experimenting with more visualisation, such as the ability to show more graphs on dashboards and within reports.

New-look Xero reports

Things have changed a lot in reports, so I recommend you take a look around and give the new reports a try (especially as the old report layouts will be retired on 31st July 2023). Some of the changes include:

  • A report centre where you can search or scroll to find new reports and add them to your favourites
  • An extensive range of reports and common layouts to help you get quick access to answers when you need them most
  • Standardised formats and intuitive menus, so you can explore different ways of looking at your data in just a few clicks
  • Customisation tools that help you tailor the content and layout of your reports to your unique needs
  • The ability to group or sort data in different ways; add, hide or reorder columns; and use filtering options to find what you’re looking for
  • Features to help you streamline your financial analysis within Xero, including formulas, schedules, switch rules, notes and more

Personalise your Executive Summary report

A new Executive Summary report is now available. Located in the new report centre, it includes more flexible date ranges, more comparative periods, and the ability to add commentary text. Plus, you can save custom reports and can hide any rows you don’t want by using a filter.

Even faster bank reconciliations

Doing bank reconciliation in Xero just got easier, with an update to one of our favourite time-saving features: memorisations. This update will surface more suggestions in your bank reconciliation fields, to take even more manual data entry off your plate.

Create and edit purchase orders on the go

In addition to viewing purchase orders, you can now create and edit purchase orders on the Xero Accounting app (Android and iOS), to better manage your work on the go. However, if you’d like to send a purchase order, you will still need to do this on your desktop.

Centralise apps with Xero’s App Launcher

The new App Launcher is a free tool to group all of your Xero App Store apps in a single dropdown tab within your My Xero dashboard. Once set up, you can stay logged in to all of your apps via Xero single sign in (where two-factor authentication hasn’t been set up), and switch between them without leaving Xero. It also links to the Xero App Store, so you can browse and quickly add new apps.

The app launcher – find it in the top right corner

Send files as email attachments with quotes

Another new feature allows you to send files as email attachments with your quotes. This means your customers can open attachments (such as terms and conditions or a sales brochure) from the email itself, rather than a webpage.

Automatically add Xero contacts in Hubdoc

When Hubdoc publishes a document to Xero, it requires a contact name. Previously, you had to manually search and attach a contact for any new suppliers in Hubdoc. However, a new feature will automatically add the supplier extracted from the document if it’s already a contact in Xero. This automates more manual tasks, giving you back more time in your day.

Update overdue bills and invoices in short-term cash flow

You can now change the planned and expected dates of overdue bills and invoices in bulk within Xero Analytics and Xero Analytics Plus. This will ensure your short-term cash flow projection is as accurate as possible and will help you make informed decisions about your business.

View your Xero balance in the Xero Accounting app

Another new feature in the Xero Accounting app allows you to see your overall cash balance on the home screen. You can also select which bank accounts are included in your overall cash balance, as well as reorder your accounts and select the type of balance displayed in the bank account widget.

Xero continues to deliver on features and usability

As the only completely cloud native accounts system (meaning it was never a desktop solution but was born in the cloud), Xero has led the way in innovation and user experience and continues to lead the market over a decade on.

Want to find out more about the many benefits Xero can bring to your business? Get in contact today for a chat about what cloud accounting can do for you.
Rory