From XU Magazine, 
Issue 26

Updates from Xero

What we’ve been working on...

Boosting digitisation across UK and EMEA

We recently became the first accounting software provider to launch an eFiling beta trial with the South African Revenue Service (SARS). For the first time, businesses in South Africa will be able to prepare, store and submit VAT Returns within the Xero platform. This will mean greater efficiency, fewer errors and reduced admin, giving businesses better control over their finances.

This new partnership with SARS follows our successful integration with tax bodies in other countries, including Single Touch Payroll (STP) in Australia and Making Tax Digital (MTD) in the UK. We’ve seen first hand how smart and simple integrations with tax bodies have sparked new opportunities for businesses in these regions, and look forward to seeing these benefits extend to South Africa.

We are also set to launch South Africa’s first fully digitised direct API bank feed with Nedbank. Once live, small businesses and their advisors will be able to seamlessly connect their Nedbank account to Xero and import banking transactions automatically and securely from their account each business day.

In the UK, we are continuing to build Xero Tax to become the best digital practice management platform for accountants and bookkeepers. We’ll be launching a module for Personal Tax this summer, after comprehensive testing with a number of accounting partners.

Other product updates in the UK include a new non-MTD VAT

Return form in Xero for customers who have not yet signed up to MTD for VAT. It includes all the functionality of the latest MTD VAT Return, including the ability to adjust VAT Returns, track history and add notes.

We are also helping businesses adjust to the new Postponed VAT Accounting (PVA) requirements following Brexit. It’s a faster and more efficient way to recover VAT on goods imported to the UK, as customers don’t have to create

accounting transactions to populate PVA amounts to the VAT

Return. The new feature is  available in both MTD and non-MTD VAT Returns for businesses on standard VAT schemes.

Other Xero updates...

We’ve made a number of other updates on the Xero platform over the past few months, including:

Global

Get notified of duplicate documents in Hubdoc

Our latest release in Xero’s data capture tool, Hubdoc, will notify customers of any duplicate document uploads. They can move the duplicate to the trash, or mark it as ‘not duplicate’ if they would like to keep it. This new duplicate detection feature avoids the need to double-check uploaded documents, saving time and reducing errors.

Verify a PayPal account in Xero

We’ve improved the PayPal set-up experience in Xero. It now only takes a few minutes for customers to connect and verify their business PayPal account in Xero. Their clients can then pay using the ‘pay now’ button on the Xero invoice.

Navigate from Hubdoc to Xero

The new year is bringing Hubdoc and Xero even closer together. Customers can now navigate directly from Hubdoc to the corresponding transaction in Xero, to streamline their workflow.

See more information about clients in Xero HQ

We’ve continued to improve the client list in Xero HQ. Partners can now see their clients’ connected bank feeds, unreconciled items and business numbers at a glance, simply by customising their columns. Our UK partners can also add a column to see which of their clients’ bank feeds will expire and when, as well as quickly see unreconciled lines and financial year-end dates for all clients

Submit PDF receipts on the go in Xero Expenses mobile app

Employees can now easily upload PDF receipts into the Xero Expenses mobile app and it will automatically extract relevant data from the PDF and create the expense claim. The PDF file will also be attached to the claim as a proof of purchase. They can then review and submit their claim in one click.

Search for filter options in reports

We’ve improved the way customers use filters in their new reports. They can now access all filters with a single button, and see which tracking categories and options have been archived. We’ll also display which tracking filters have been selected in the report.

Custom Chart of Accounts (COA) templates in Xero HQ

Partners can now create their own COA templates in the practice menu of Xero HQ. Once the custom templates are set up, they can be applied to any new clients that are added to Xero HQ (they can’t be used to overwrite an existing client’s COA).

See the data that can be shared with lenders

Getting a loan can be the difference between business growth and failure. That’s why we’ve created a new cash validation report in Xero. It allows customers to see the data points they can share with lenders, giving them confidence in the quality of their accounting record. The report shows the degree to which a business’ accounting transactions are driven by verified activity in the bank account.

Australia

Automate excess super calculations

Advisors can now automatically calculate excess superannuation contributions and Division 293 tax for high-income earners in Xero Tax. The new feature includes a superannuation contributions worksheet, as well as an ‘other amounts that may affect the tax estimate’ section on the Estimate tab. This automation will save time and improve the accuracy of calculations. 

Get ready for JobMaker Hiring Credit payments

Employers can now keep track of what’s required to receive JobMaker Hiring Credit payments, in Xero Payroll. The JobMaker Hiring Credit is an incentive for businesses to employ job seekers aged 16-35, to help the economy recover from COVID-19. Eligible employers can register for the scheme for each additional employee they hire in the 12-month period from 7 October 2020.

Automate bonuses and commissions

Employers can say goodbye to manual tax calculations on employee bonuses and commissions. Xero Payroll now automates this process and files the data with ATO via STP. We are using the ATO’s most accurate calculation method for determining the tax to be withheld.

US

View both sides of the accounting journal

We’ve added a new column called ‘related account’ in the Account Transactions report. This update gives customers a better overview of their accounts. They can see how the other side of the accounting journal has been coded, and understand the context of each transaction entered into Xero. This feature will be rolled out globally in the coming months.

Access new Schedule C report templates

A new 2020 Schedule C report template is now available in Xero HQ, to help our accounting and bookkeeping partners in the US prepare their sole proprietor clients’ tax returns for the 2020 tax year. Partners will need to download the custom Schedule C chart of accounts in Xero Central before they start.

Report miscellaneous and contractor payments

Our latest 1099 reporting  features help customers identify 1099-related transactions made in 2020. They also help generate a 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC report in a single workflow. We’ve increased the rules limit to provide greater flexibility in how customers report payments in different boxes. And we’ve provided the ability to select any chart of accounts (not just expense accounts) when creating 1099 rules.

Xero business update...

Xero included in 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index

As part of Xero’s continuing commitment to gender equality, we are proud to announce our inclusion in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The GEI is 380 companies strong, representing 44 countries and regions around the world committed to a more equal and inclusive workplace.

Xero expands partnership with Carr, Riggs & Ingram

Xero has extended its relationship with Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors (CRI), one of the top 25 full-service accounting and advisory firms in the United States, which serves more than 100,000 clients.

Caring for the mental health of our community

Xero has teamed up with Shift Collab to offer a series of mental wellbeing workshops for our accounting and bookkeeping partners, and small business customers.

Five technology trends set to shape 2021

Xero’s Chief Product Officer, Anna Curzon, says technology has been the backbone of survival for many businesses this year, but that we should continue to prepare for an explosion of digital growth to shape how we live and work in 2021.

These are the biggest technology trends she says we should

watch that will shape 2021:

  1. The rise of predictive insights
  2. The digitization of compliance
  3. A greater focus on privacy and security
  4. A connected suite of business tools
  5. The acceleration of open banking
Xero appoints Faye Pang as Canada Country Manager

In December, we announced Faye Pang as the new Xero Canada Country Manager. She will oversee the planning and execution of Xero’s go-to-market strategy in Canada, help increase market share, and advance Xero’s position as a leading cloud accounting software provider.

New Zealand Prime Minister appoints Xero Chief Product Officer to APEC Business Advisory Council

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has appointed Xero Chief Product Officer, Anna Curzon, to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). Members of ABAC provide advice to APEC leaders on business priorities, ensuring work is informed by business community perspectives across the Asia-Pacific region. As host of APEC in 2021, New Zealand is also chairing ABAC, so members have a significant role to play. Anna Curzon was previously a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.

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