How to get the most out of Xero

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As a small business owner, you know first-hand how important it is to use an accounting software like Xero to help organise your finances. Designed for small- and medium-sized businesses, Xero is a cloud-based accounting software platform with a range of time-saving features and processes.

Among the many advantages, being cloud-based is clearly winning hearts and minds. Storing data in the cloud allows you to access any vital accounting information wherever you have a mobile internet connection, and its two-step authentication means it’s more secure than a filing cabinet. As a busy business owner who is constantly on the move, the ability to retrieve data at your fingertips and share them with your team members, partners, suppliers, vendors and even your accountant so they can take the necessary action is priceless.

At Berley, we are chartered accountants working with small businesses across London. Helping our clients to get on top of their day-to-day accounting is our priority, which is why we encourage our clients to use Xero and partake in Xero training to take full advantage of the software. For those who don’t have time to sit through a training session, this blog post aims to highlight essential Xero features.

1. Create bank rules

Minimise your time spent entering data by reconciling your business accounts with bank feeds. Bank rules allow you to set criteria for transactions, search for them in your statements, and automatically allocate them to accounts. For example, if you regularly purchase computer equipment from a company, you can set Xero to search for all payments made to that company and create supplier bills. You have the option of creating just one condition – such as the name of a payee – or add several more, and you can allocate percentages of one transaction to different accounts, such as 20% to VAT. Once you’ve done this, you no longer need to manually add every single payment to every connected account. Utilising bank rules is one of the best time-saving features of Xero and will make your transactions a breeze.

2. Do business through Xero

Xero is a popular accounting software in the UK and you’re likely to do business with other companies that also use Xero. Save time doing data entries by asking your associates to share their Xero network key with you – this way, you’ll be able to connect your files and use a portal to send invoices and more. Sending out invoices faster means they will be paid faster, and you get to maintain a point of contact with other businesses and contractors every day. This feature is also useful if you own or manage several small businesses.

3. Repeat sales and purchases

If you have a lot of transactions – such as sales or invoices – that occur on a regular basis, you should be using the ‘repeating bill’ feature. This can be done weekly, monthly, or annually. You can either create a new repeating bill from a template, or you can repeat a bill you already have by going into ‘bill options’ and selecting ‘repeat’. By utilising this feature, you can automatically invoice clients, which will help to maintain your cash flow better and let you focus on other aspects of your business. It will also keep up with bill payments, making you a reliable business to work with. If you have invoices that are of the same amount to the same supplier, but not sent on specific dates, you can simply save the draft and use them when you need to.

4. Track your performance

Tracking features allow you to create categories for your transactions and monitor their performance in your reports. This feature is most popular for businesses that have several departments or locations, as it allows you to compare elements like sales, payroll expenses, or profit and loss instantly. With custom columns, you can compare up to 36 columns side by side with customisable formulas and dates, and you can add tracking categories to previous transactions as well. By quickly locating the weaker and stronger parts of your business, you can address issues as soon as they arise and make decisions with confidence.

5. Discuss

If you have been sending emails to your accountant about Xero, or if you are frequently talking to other Xero users in your company about specific transactions, you should consider using the ‘discuss’ feature instead. Discuss is a tool that allows you to have conversations and leave notes for other users without leaving the Xero platform and can be used for anything from invoices and quotes to bank transactions and bills. You can link to items, comment on issues, and have them fixed without the need for lengthy emails. Linking directly to the transaction also means the person who needs to look at it won’t have to search through rows and rows of data first.

Business growth with Berley & Xero

When running a small business, you want to focus on building yourself up and not get stuck dealing with paperwork or endless data entry. Xero’s features are designed to help you make your accounting faster, easier, and more accessible. You also want to make sure you are optimising your experience by getting to grips with everything cloud accounting has to offer – and that’s where Berley Chartered Accountants in London come in.

Berley is a Silver Champion Partner to Xero and together we can make your accounts easy to understand and use. If you have a small business, you need a small business accountant who understands your specific needs. We can walk you through Xero and show you the features that will help your business grow – so call Berley Chartered Accountants today at 020 7636 9094 or use our Online Form.

For more information about Xero, you can check out:


Xero cloud accounting software