Any way you slice it, the past two years have tested us all. None more so than you all — our valued accounting and bookkeeping partners — who have helped your clients navigate a digital acceleration and shift their business models to survive (and thrive).
Today at Xerocon Sydney, we were able to celebrate what we can achieve when we work together to support small businesses across Australia and New Zealand. If you missed it, here’s a recap of the product highlights.
Simplifying people processes with Xero and Planday
We launched our Changing world of work reports for Australia and New Zealand, which shine a light on the workforce challenges that your clients face, the workplace experiences of their employees, and the critical role of technology in this changing world of work.
The reports found that small businesses are struggling to stay on top of requirements around employee entitlements and payments, with around half agreeing that it’s stressful and confusing. In fact, 37% of small businesses in Australia and 29% in New Zealand are worried their staff will be paid incorrectly due to confusing payroll obligations.
Our suite of employee management tools at Xerocon — including Xero Payroll, Xero Me, and Xero Expenses — make it easier for employers to manage their employees, giving them the tools they need to create an empowering and positive experience, which helps them attract and retain talent in an increasingly competitive environment.
We were excited to launch a new beta trial of Xero Payroll plus Planday at Xerocon. The Planday beta is available now for eligible small businesses using the Retail and Clerks Awards in Australia. This integration will empower your clients with seamless scheduling of time and attendance, so they can enjoy accurate payroll data and compliant rostering.
We also showcased our recently-added start, end and break times functionality in the Xero Me app. This feature helps your clients capture accurate employee timesheets, save time on manual processes for a faster pay run, and support timesheet record-keeping requirements.
Managing Australian payroll in the digital economy
With Single Touch Payroll (STP) Phase 2 on the horizon for our Australian customers, we dived into the tools we’re building in Xero to make it easy for you to meet the new STP Phase 2 filing requirements. Don’t forget to visit our STP Phase 2 portal within Xero Payroll to understand and action the steps to transitioning your practice.
Another compliance update we shared with advisors at Xerocon Sydney was one of our most highly requested features: payroll history. We shared the first phase of this new feature — employee records — and explained how it will help you identify, audit, and reconcile your clients’ payroll quickly and accurately.
Helping your clients avoid the cash flow crunch
Cash flow continues to be an issue for small businesses across Australia and New Zealand, with our latest Xero Small Business Insights report finding that 92% of small businesses in Australia and 95% of small businesses in New Zealand had at least one month of negative cash flow — or ‘cash flow crunch’ — in 2021.
At Xerocon Sydney, we shared some tools to help your clients manage their cash flow. These included a new pilot that will surface your clients’ GST and PAYG figures from their BAS, so they can see them in their short-term cash flow projections. A second beta that’s coming soon to Xero Analytics Plus will predict bill and invoice payments, including those that come from our app partners, making our short-term cash flow forecast more accurate.
Getting quick access to answers in Xero
We shared some new updates in Xero that will help you quickly find the information you need. In Xero Practice Manager, our redesigned job manager will make it easy to find and manage jobs with sorting, filtering, as well as updating the priority and state directly in the table. You can get early access to the new-look job manager by signing up to the Xero Insiders’ Program.
There was plenty to share in reporting too — including some new features on the way, including:
- a new tool to help you bring saved layouts from old Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet reports, across to the new versions
- the option to automatically group accounts according to their account code
- a beta that features a visual chart in the Expenses by Contact report, to help your clients understand their data
- the ability to apply default settings across all reports in an organisation, such as whether reports are on a cash or accrual basis
- upgraded versions of more reports, including Bank Reconciliation, General Ledger, and Journal reports
- foreign currency columns and disclosures in new reports
It was great to share all the ways we’re supporting you as you prepare to make the switch to new reports before the older versions are retired on 31 July 2023.
Harnessing the power of community
There’s something truly special about our partner community and I have no doubt that we are a better business when we work closely with you on products that are smarter, simpler and more seamless than ever before. Thank you as always for everything you do, and please enjoy the rest of Xerocon!