Explore Xero Add-On Solutions - dummies

Explore Xero Add-On Solutions

By Heather Smith, Rod Drury

Xero has many online networking capabilities, including add-on features. Xero is a ‘social’ software and it talks to a wide range of other solutions that in turn can help you with routine business tasks. This allows you to get on with the job of managing your business.

There are many add-on possibilities to explore, and there are plenty of benefits that come from implementing them. As well as opportunities to reduce storage space, grow capacity and increase profits, there are add-on solutions to use with Xero that also offer the opportunity to save time.

Here are some tips about using add-ons with Xero, and information to help you find which add-ons may be most useful to you. Also keep checking Xero add-ons for the latest add-ons that integrate with Xero.

  • Debt tracking: Rather than spend a lot of time pursuing invoices, a debtor tracking solution can act as your very own accounts receivable clerk. There are a number of these kinds of solutions that connect with Xero, which typically recognise an outstanding invoice’s due date and send out automatic email reminders to the customer’s accounts payable department alerting them that payment is due.

    If you invest in this type of solution, make sure all details are correct, such as the email address you’re sending the invoice to — there’s not much point sending a reminder into outer space or unattended email accounts!

  • Bills and expenses: If you want to run a paperless office and find it too time consuming to extract data, manually scan documents, and store them electronically then there is a better way.

    There are a number of solutions that scan receipts and invoices, extract relevant information and upload the information to Xero. Receipts and invoices are stored electronically in retrievable format so, as well as saving time entering data you can also save time locating invoices. They’re just a few clicks away and you can at access and download a scanned version at any time.

  • Sorting website sales: At the end of the month instead of spending time sorting out sales from your website, you can use the popular website platform WordPress and install the free ecommerce plug-in called Woocommerce, which works as a shopping cart. You then purchase and install the Xero for Woocommerce plug-in. Once the links are set up, sales feed into Xero, which not only saves, but also give you the confidence to pump up the promotion of your website, generate sales and increase income.

  • Stock/Inventory: If you require a robust inventory management solution, you need to look at some of the Xero add-ons on offer. These include features such as the ability to manage suppliers, purchases, stock control, shipments, purchases on consignment, multi-warehouse locations, multiple channel sales, and the ability to sync Xero contacts across solutions.

    Furthermore, some add-ons like Cin7 can integrate with website and online selling platforms like eBay and Trade Me. This powerful integration offers scalability to your business. As well as real-time management of stock, these solutions can feed cost of goods sold and stock on hand figures through to your Xero accounts.

  • Time Tracking: If your business operations involve labour then you may benefit from monitoring how time is spent in the business by utilising a time tracking solution. Available online solutions can assist in tracking the time staff spend on different business activities and how they manage appointments.

    An analysis of time can assist in tracking budgets, keeping projects on schedule, meeting deadlines and measuring team productivity. Employees have the flexibility of completing timesheet hours online, or via calendar bookings and, where relevant, tagging hours to a job. Tracked hours may also feed through to Xero’s in-built payroll solution.

  • Job Costing: Rather than manage your business with a ‘gut feeling’, utilise a job costing solution to understand revenue, expenses and profit (or loss) generated from each job, such as individual event management or project management activities. This information enables your business to analyse and manage current and future jobs, trim the fat and exploit profitable activities.

    Cloud-based job costing solutions can monitor labour and materials, and can sync contacts and send invoicing information to Xero. It can help management focus on getting completed jobs out the door and billed. Also when you start exploring available job costing solutions, you’ll notice that a number of them incorporate time tracking too.