With the year hurtling to a close, it’s time to reflect on our favourite releases for 2017. Some were huge, others small, but the thing we’re most proud of here at Xero is that they’ve each made a real difference to so many entrepreneurs and advisors just like you.
Looking through the slew of updates, enhancements and shiny new products, it’s clear that today’s Xero is so much more than beautiful accounting software. Our mission is to give small businesses and our partners the tools they need to work seamlessly with each other and improve their respective business. And we’ll stop at nothing to do just that!
Whether your goal is more time with family, better cashflow, or world domination, we’ve prioritised features and products that help you to build the business you want. Ultimately, we hope you spend less time on admin and more time doing what you love.
With thousands of releases throughout the year, it was tough to pick our favourites. In no particular order, here’s some of the greatest hits from 2017.
Xero Projects – web, iOS & Android
Profitability and time are the linchpin of a small service business and Xero Projects was built with this in mind. Geared at businesses with straightforward time and job tracking needs, Projects will really appeal to those still fiddling around in spreadsheets, hunting lost post-its, or who find most project management software too complex.
No more forgotten invoices, or crossing your fingers and waiting to see if you made budget after a project closes out. With everything working together in Xero, and real-time information, it’s the simplicity and visibility that really sets Projects apart and helps businesses drive profitability.
Not to be outdone, the slick new Projects mobile apps were also released, making it super easy for you and your staff to keep track of jobs on the run.
Note: Xero Projects is coming to the US in early 2018 but you can get early access via your Xero accountant or bookkeeper.
Account code suggestions for bills & invoices
Accurate account codes mean better insights and less tax-time pain but, let’s face it, there’s about a million things you’d rather be doing than applying codes to bills and invoices.
We want to take the accounting out of your accounting. So we tasked invisible robots with learning how you do business and produced a mathematical model that replicated your invoice and bill coding behaviours, even correcting default answers and mistakes along the way. It’s like having your very own personal assistant, so you don’t need to think!
Ask in Xero HQ
Getting information from clients can be really hard and time consuming, so we decided to do something about it. Ask lets accountants and bookkeepers request and receive information from all their clients right within Xero HQ.
Say goodbye to the plethora of mailing questionnaires, emails, phone calls and meetings typically employed to extract information from your busy clients. You’ll find everything you need to know over here.
Flexible check printing & design (US and Canada)
In Eftpos and credit card dominated economies, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of checks but, for US and Canadian folk, checks are the preferred method of business payment.
Thankfully, our clever Xero techies knew what’s what and released a flexible check style editor with multiple print layouts, custom templates and the option to preview. If you want to know more, you can check out this quick demo (see what I did there?).
Not technically a release but, when you love something so much, it’s OK to break the rules. Two-Step Authentication adds an extra layer of security to your Xero account and, given the increase in online fraud over the past few years, we’ve made a conscious effort to encourage all our wonderful customers to take a moment to better protect their valuable information.
Curated Xero HQ Apps
From clever marketing and reporting, to more efficient document collection and management, we curated nine third-party practice apps to seamlessly integrate with Xero HQ. These were handpicked based on benchmarking studies and talking to accountants and bookkeepers just like you. We know they’ll make a real difference to you and your clients.
Here’s the best bit – The Xero HQ Activity Feed gives a real-time view of all the activity from these apps in one easy place. Knowing which clients need actions, and when, helps you prioritise tasks and keep on top of your workload. We know every practice is different, so make sure you remove actions you don’t want to see and set up custom actions for others.
Create bank rules
Time is money and setting up some simple bank rules is a great way to win a little back for yourself. After loads of votes in our community, we added the ability to create a bank rule to transfer money between bank accounts. When you do a bank transfer between two accounts in your Xero, we’ll match the transactions and automatically code for you. Pop the kettle on, you’ve earned it!
Siri reminders for quotes & invoices on iOS
With far too many ‘to do’s’ running around in my head, and a need for at least four more free hands, I was excited to learn that Siri could set up quote and invoice reminders just by chatting with her.
When viewing an invoice or quote on your mobile screen, simply activate Siri with a voice command – “remind me of this invoice/quote tomorrow”. This creates a reminder in the Apple reminders app with some details about the invoice/quote. Then simply tap on the reminder to open the invoice or quote in the Xero app.
82 new apps joined our marketplace
We get it, every industry and small biz is different and it’s likely you’ll need specific, tailored tools to really get things humming. Cue the Xero Ecosystem: we cherry pick clever third party apps and make it super easy for you to use them with Xero.
We’ve added 82 awesome new apps to our marketplace this year. From expense management and HR, to apps that help you capitalise on new market opportunities, there’s an app to solve almost every business need – we’ve tipped the total to over 600! Take a peek to see what can help you with your goals for 2018!
WorkflowMax for Android
Did you know WorkflowMax is part of the Xero family? It’s a highly customisable, end-to-end project management solution with granular user permissions, powerful reporting, and highly configurable fields, making it the perfect tool for businesses with more complex requirements.
WorkflowMax for Android topped our list. Many of our clients spend a lot of time out and about during the day, now they’re able to check in on clients, visit job sites, complete tasks and record time as they go.
Whew, what a year! Hopefully there’s something there for everyone but do let us know in the comments if there’s any favourites we’ve missed.
We hope you manage some well-earned rest over the holiday season. Strap yourselves in, 2018 is going to be bigger than ever!