Xero has published a roundup of their March releases in a blog as the company continues to make improvements to its cloud accounting solution. The blog lists nine updates for March including end of year fiscal updates for payroll in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Xero moves machine learning capability forward
As showcased at the Xero Roadshow in London, the codeless invoice solution was released to a pilot group. The software learns how invoices should be coded for customers and then validates how users have coded the invoices. The solution, explained in this blog, helps users to code their invoices automatically, using prior entries to improve accuracy.
This is a major step forward for accounting systems as it starts to deliver a commonsense interface for small business users who do not want to have to understand ledger coding. Access to the underlying codes is still available to bookkeepers and accountants to validate but they should have to spend less time on corrections once this becomes generally available.
Improvements for users
There have been some changes to reporting, including an improvement to the date picker. There is also a new version of Xero for Android. This allows quotes to be generates and sent from the mobile devices as well as track and update their status as responses are received.
The latest update in April is a new bank feed from CIMB in Malaysia.
Improvements for practices
There were also improvements aimed directly at advisors. Collaboration with clients has improved as comments on bank rules now flow through from the discuss tab in find & match. In Xero HQ, practices are now able to see their partner status in real time. With the new levels of partner status defined last year this means that practices are able to check how close they are to the next level. This gamification should help encourage competitive practices to drive forward and reach higher levels.
The blog also highlighted future improvements. These include a new integration with Equifax for customers in New Zealand and Australia. It will provide a credit risk (AU) or payment risk (NZ) rating with a supplier or customer using contacts lookup. It will then be possible to request, with further payment, a full credit report from Equifax from inside the Xero software.
For advisors the long awaited find and recode release is also due. This will rapidly decrease the amount of time manual corrections take for accountants. Other improvements include additional reporting features, preset bank transfer rules for check printing for the US market.
Xero continues to invest heavily in development. While some changes are minor, others will make a significant difference to its accountants, bookkeepers and customers. Of these changes the most exciting is probably the codeless invoicing. It reduces the time taken to code invoices by users and removes the stress of getting it wrong. It also frees up accountants to spend more time helping to advise customers on how to grow their businesses.