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Ready, Set, Go - how to get started with Xero

22nd April 2017

If you have carried out your research and decided to take the leap to migrate your accounts to the cloud then getting your Xero account set up in the correct way is so important to get the most out of your accounts package.

From including automation of repeat invoices to self-reconciliations, these will save you both time and money. 

Below are a few tips to help you get the best out of your Xero subscription if you were tackling it yourself however as we are a Xero certified advisor we can help ensure you reap all the benefits of using this great package and leave you to concentrate on your business.

Company Details

Ensure that you have your company number, registered office and all your social media contacts to hand. It will mean you only have to visit this page once.

User Details

Xero will allow an unlimited number of Xero users and each can be set with their different access levels and permissions. Users levels can be customised and amended throughout the lifetime of the user. Invite your Xero certified adviser for additional help on the more complicated steps.

Chart of Accounts

Xero will automatically default to its standard chart of accounts. It’s worth speaking to your Xero certified adviser to help specifically tailor the codes to your company. They can make sure you can achieve all the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) you require to grow your business. For example, would you like your sales split into different categories or your direct expenses expanded so you can explore the main costs associated with your business?
If you do need to create new nominal codes, ensure they are reflected in the correct areas of the account or it will make future coding clumsy and disjointed. You don’t want to go too granular or the codes will become too complex to use. These points really need some serious thought as they are the backbones of Xero.

Invoice Templates

Sales invoices are one of the first documents that your customer will see. It is your brand and is key to getting right. Your Xero certified adviser can assist with using a doc.x file as this is quite technical but the standard template will usually suffice. Create a dummy sales invoice and print to pdf to check and test the template.

Conversion Balances

Where the company is already established, entering the conversion balances correctly goes hand-in-hand with the setup itself and is key to ensure a smooth transition of record keeping and reliability of the company ledgers. In order to achieve the full reporting capabilities of Xero, it is worth entering in the full Trial Balance to include the profit and loss account. Although unprecedented in old desktop packages such as sage it will allow for much more complex reporting and comparison through the year.

Bank Balances

The bank balance in the conversion TB should be the bank statement balance as at the conversion date. Create a suspense or bank clearing account for outstanding payments and receipts at year end. This will ensure no transactions are duplicated.

Contacts

Xero will allow a slick import of customer and supplier data in one simple transaction. Xero will not separate between the two and classes both categories as contacts. This means should a supplier also be a customer, the balances of what is owed and owing can be seen on one screen.

VAT

To ensure a smooth conversion with no differences or errors pulled into the VAT reconciliation report, the VAT balance can be dealt with in much the same way as the bank account. The outstanding VAT return figure should be posted as the conversion balance and any adjustments not yet accounted for, posted to a VAT suspense account, allowing these to be correctly cleared and dealt with through a clearing account without your conversion balances changing and causing errors within the VAT reconciliation in Xero

Lock Dates

An extremely important tool which stops any mispostings into a previous financial year or which may impact on your conversion balances.

Bank Feeds

With your data now correctly entered into your new Xero account, you can connect the bank. This will allow the transactions at the bank to automatically be fed into Xero for quick and easily reconciliations. It is always best practice to get your direct bank feed installed, which can be backdated to your conversion date.

Summary

With the setup and conversion balances firmly under your belt, you are ready to start inputting data and explore all Xero has to offer with regard to its processing and reporting capabilities, in the knowledge that your records and ledgers are accurate and complete.

Happy Xero-ing!