Our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Xero answered!

We often receive the same Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Xero software by both our clients and prospects.  So to help everyone out we are going to be regularly posting them in a blog – along with our answers of course!

Here is the first batch:

My bank statement per Xero doesn’t agree to my online bank balance.

There could be a couple of reasons that they don’t agree.

It may be that transactions are missing or duplicated in Xero.  The bank feed may have broken down or the transactions were missing from a manually imported statement. To fix this you will need to find what is missing or duplicated by comparing to the actual bank statements.

Firstly, run a Reconciliation Report at each month end and compare it to the bank balance per the statement at that date.  Start from when you last knew they agreed and work forward up until the difference between Xero and statement doesn’t change from month to month. This will help you identify when the balances fell out of sync and where you need to concentrate your checks by comparing the statements to Xero.

Once you identify how the statement differs from Xero, you can use the ‘Import a statement’ function to import in the missing transactions, or just delete out the duplicated transactions, to bring you back in sync.

If you have only just started using Xero or you have completed the checks above and there is still a difference, then it may be your ‘Conversion Balance’ is incorrect.  The balances you enter when you first start using Xero need to be the bank statement balances, not the reconciled balance from your existing accounting software so check you have the correct one.

I want my invoices to look as though they are sent from the Accounts Department rather than a personal email.

You can specify both the ‘from name’ and ‘reply to’ email addresses on emails that you send.

Under the Settings menu, select General Settings, then under Features select Email Settings. There you can pick and set the email addresses you want your emails to be sent from. The video below shows you how:

I am going on a business trip abroad.  Can I enter my expenses in other currencies on the expense claim?

No, the expense claim function only works in GBP£.  You will need to enter the amount that you spent out of your GBP£ bank account as the expense amount which will account for the conversion, and maybe bank charges.  You can use the notes field to record the foreign amount if you wish if you need it as reference.

How safe is my data?

Very safe. In order to have bank feeds with all the major banks Xero has had to pass rigorous security checks.

They use 128 bit SSL encryption – which is the same as used for internet banking – and their servers are hosted by a Tier One hosting provider who monitors their computer security and is physically guarded 24/7.  Data is stored on their secure servers and backed up continuously so your data is safe even if your computer is lost or stolen. You will be notified if someone uses your log in on a device that has not been used to access your account before.

I already have a way of raising sales invoices on bespoke industry software. Can Xero integrate?

Xero integrates with hundreds of existing systems but not necessarily bespoke software.  As long as you are able to export your sales invoice information to a spreadsheet format, then you can import them into Xero.

I have bills from HMRC that are purely for VAT and duty on imports I have made.  How do I enter those on Xero?

Raise a purchase invoice in Xero in the normal way.  Have one line for the duty amount, posted to Duty costs in the profit and loss with ‘No VAT’ as the tax rate.

Then have a second line for the VAT amount, posting directly to code 820 VAT and ‘VAT on imports’ as the tax rate.

This will ensure the numbers hit the VAT return, balance sheet and P&L account in all the correct places.

When is the best time to move to Xero from my current system?

You can move at any time as your data can be moved across with you. Just after a year end is a great time as you can start afresh in a new system, but you don’t have to wait until then.

It’s best to move after the completion of a VAT period as moving in the middle of a period will mean that you have to account for half of your return on one system and half on another, which is not impossible but there’s no point making things trickier than they need to be.

If you have a question about Xero you would like answered, please send it to enquiries@squaremileaccounting.co.uk and we will try to include it in one of our future posts on Xero Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

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