You can now upload files individually or in bulk to the Xero inbox, where they can be organised into folders or linked to transactions and contacts.
Cloud accounting software provider Xero has beefed-up the ability to store digital documents with accounting records.
As we noted in our Small Business Accounting Toolkit, Xero and Saasu both allow users to attach files to transactions. For example, a scan or a photo of a receipt can be linked to the corresponding bill, or a sales contract to an invoice.
This makes it easier to find any source documents relating to a particular transaction, especially when you are working away from the office.
Given the way many business owners seem to keep up with the accounting chores at home in the evenings or weekends, that could be very beneficial. It also makes those documents readily accessible to your accountant or bookkeeper.
Xero has now generalised this feature to provide a shared online location for the storage of digital documents, whether or not they are linked to transactions.
Files can be uploaded individually or in bulk to the Xero inbox, from where they can be organised into folders or linked to transactions and contacts.
But if a file is only relevant to a particular transaction - such as that scanned receipt mentioned above - it can be dragged and dropped from the desktop onto the transaction.
According to Xero, the files are encrypted for security and are stored in multiple locations for reliability.
The initial storage limit is 1GB, and the company is working on mechanisms for the bulk export of files stored in Xero. Closer to hand is an enhancement that will allow files to be emailed instead of uploaded to the Xero inbox. That would be particularly convenient for businesses that receive invoices via email, as with a carefully-crafted rule they could be automatically forwarded to Xero.