Xero’s new automation features

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Xero’s new automation features

The cloud accounting system is getting some new time-saving features for bill entry, bank reconciliation and more.

Xero has used its recent US partner conference, Xerocon Atlanta, to announce a number of improvements to its cloud accounting system.

Automated bill entry

Xero is applying AI to automatically extract the details from PDF bills received from other Xero users, automatically populating a transaction with that information. Beta testing suggests this reduces the time needed to enter bills by 20 percent, while the automated coding increases the accuracy of business data. (Our guess is that this will at some stage be extended to handle bills generated by other popular accounting systems.)

Automated bank reconciliation

Coming soon to selected beta customers, a new Xero feature will automatically approve bank reconciliation rules set up by the business or its advisor. The company claims 97 percent of Xero bank rules are already correct the first time, but this intelligent automation will significantly reduce the time needed for reconciliation while retaining complete visibility of the process.

Xero Projects

An updated Xero Projects app (for iOS and Android) includes start/stop timers to accurately track billable time associated with particular projects. Access permissions are now more finely controlled, with admin, standard and limited user tiers to control access to information and the actions that can be performed.

Xero HQ

The Ask feature for seeking information from clients is being enhanced with automatic reminders about unanswered questions. Also under development are changes to the Relationships feature to more easily maintain client contacts information.

“Xero has long had a vision to rewire the global small business economy by giving small businesses and their advisors access to a powerful, global platform,” said vice president of product and partnerships Herman Man.

“With the features introduced at Xerocon Atlanta today, we're delivering connected accounting so accountants and bookkeepers can help their clients ask the big questions, on cash flow, profit and revenue.”

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