Think You Are Using Xero Well?

Are you on Xero but still finding it clunky to use? You are probably not using the full features or processing in the best way. Here at Sllick, we’re all about finding the most efficient way to manage your accounts and finances. We’ve put together a list of handy tips to help you start using Xero to its fullest!

We often find that Xero helps you save the most time when you really know what it needs to do for your accounts. For example, knowing the financial processes Xero automates can give you a better understanding of what it is you would like shortcuts for. The following is a list of the most commonly automated areas of accounting on Xero:

  • Bank rules
  • Bank feeds
  • Find & Recode
  • Repeating invoices
  • Repeating journals
  • Automatic chaser emails for overdue customer invoices
  • Remittance advice
  • Statements
  • CIS module
  • Payroll module
  • VAT and Making Tax Digital (MTD)
  • Payment solutions for suppliers

If you’re unfamiliar with the aforementioned processes, don’t worry! We’ll give a brief summary with tips and how you can set up each with your business, however, Xero is not limited to these solutions. If you would like to automate your financial processes specifically to your industry and business, reach out to our expert team to find the right mix of Xero extensions for you.

Bank Rules

Setting up bank rules specific to your business is the first step to making your financial processes efficient and specialised. One of the easiest changes to make to customise your Xero account, bank rules are also modifiable at any time, including the choice to delete any bank rules you no longer wish to implement.

  1. Find the Accounting menu and select Bank Accounts, then Bank Rules.
  2. Choose between the Spend Money Rules, Receive Money Rules, and Transfer Rules tabs, then click Edit to make your desired changes.
  3. Click Save to finish it all up!

Find out more about editing bank rules on the official Xero page.

Bank Feeds

Bank feeds in Xero are essentially lists of transactions from your connected business bank accounts. Setting up your bank feed in Xero is as easy as connecting it to your bank accounts, it will be the most important step in getting your Xero up and functioning properly. Without importing your accounts information, you cannot use Xero for your business.

  1. Find the Accounting menu, click on Bank Accounts, and Add Bank Account.
  2. From here, you will be able to enter all of your business’s banking information and will be led through an easy-to-use set-up to connect your accounts to Xero.

Xero has also created a blog to keep users around the world updated about Bank Feed Statuses. Updated every day, you’ll be able to check when the bank feeds in your region will be updated and whether there are any delays expected. You can also find this by:

  1. Finding the Accounting menu and clicking on Bank Accounts.
  2. Click on Manage Account and you’ll be able to select View Status Updates under the Bank Feeds section.

Find & Recode

This procedure is usually recommended for accountants and bookkeepers to manage, as find and recode includes the editing of individual lines of transactions. Xero describes that the most common recoding scenarios are typically:

  • “Changing the account code or tax rate,
  • Cleaning up contacts when there are variations of a contact name,
  • Combining accounts, or
  • Adding or changing tracking categories.” (Xero 2022)

There are two ways these changes can be made within Xero, either recoding the source journal or recoding using a manual journal. As we mentioned previously, we do not recommend you recode without accounting or in-depth Xero experience, however, in the case that you would like assistance with this, our team is always one call away.

Repeating Invoices

Repeating invoices in Xero allow you to create and save recurring transactions, with the option to create templates and attach files to these templates. You’ll be able to find these in the Repeating tab. To add or edit repeating invoice templates, follow Xero’s instructions below:

  1. Find the Business menu, click Invoices, and then the Repeating tab.
  2. Select New Repeating Invoices to add a new template, however, if you wish to edit a template, simply choose one from the Repeating Invoices list.
  3. Input any of the necessary information you wish to include in the transaction fields and set up the type of payments you wish to accept on your invoices by clicking Get Set Up Now.
  4. For annually repeating invoices, click on Repeat This Transaction Every and you will be able to enter the number of weeks or months you would like to wait before the invoice is sent again.
  5. Press Save.

Repeating Journals

Within the Payroll Module, Xero creates an automatic journal with all of the payroll information of your business for each day, giving you the opportunity to easily look back on past payroll records when necessary. This may be of particular interest around late February, early March, when most businesses start to prepare for the new tax year starting in April.

Automatic Chaser Emails for Overdue Customer Invoices

Whilst Xero has built in features to allow you to email overdue invoices to customers, there is a specialised application designed to simplify your ‘chasing’ activities for you.

Chaser automates your invoice payment reminders by simply connecting to Xero and streamlining your accounts receivable process. Chaser makes it easier for customers to pay you, keeps track of all your “chasing” activity in one app, and gives you the option to schedule payment reminders at the time most fitting for you.

Chaser also connects securely to Xero in just 2 minutes, importing your company information, customers, invoices, credit notes, payments, and overpayments automatically. The app syncs with Xero hourly, ensuring that any reminders sent are always up-to-date.

Head to the Chaser website for more information!

Remittance Advice

Xero lets you view or email remittance advice by quickly creating templates, making your transactions as seamless as possible.

In order to view a remittance advice:

  1. Open the desired bill and click on the Payment link.
  2. Select Options and View Remittance (PDF).
  3. Pick your invoice template and press OK. Now, you’ll be able to open the PDF in downloads and double-check that everything is correct (Xero 2022).

Emailing a remittance advice is quite a similar process, with step 1 being the same as viewing a remittance advice. If your payment is for an individual bill, find Options within the Payment link and click Send Remittance. However, if you’re looking at a batch payment, simply click Send Remittance.

  1. You’ll be able to review and revise any information from the Send Remittance Advice window and you can even click to Send Me a Copy to save the remittance advice on your end.
  2. Press Send (Xero 2022).


Xero will automatically produce weekly or monthly statements for you, depending on the frequency you’ve set up. Nevertheless, we do recommend that around once a month, you do check your bank statement balance to make sure it is the same as your Xero bank balance.

Even with automatic syncing of transactions, your statements can have duplicate or faulty transactions. In Xero, you might find that duplicate contacts are especially common, which is an easy fix but understatedly important for correct statements and balances.

CIS Module

Xero allows you to purchase a module tailored to the construction industry from £12 per month, giving you the option to manage CIS scheme deductions and submit returns (Xero 2022). With this extension, Xero gives you the ability to automatically make CIS calculations, file your monthly CIS returns hassle-free, verify subcontractors online at the click of a button, and send statements directly to subcontractors from Xero.

You’ll have the option to choose between CIS for subcontractors or contractors, as Xero created different plans and features catering to both. The set-up of these features is simple and follows the same steps that other Xero add-ons take.

Payroll Module

Starting from an additional £5 per month (+VAT), Xero allows employees to put in holiday requests, sick days, or any other type of leave which can then be approved by managers. You will need to specify your location as things such as sick pay may vary from region to region, but is automatically updated by Xero.

You can also easily put together timesheets, namely digital timesheets, for you, your employees, and your accountant to show at a glance, who was working, on what days, for how long, and what they were responsible for.

VAT and Making Tax Digital (MTD)

Setting up VAT in Xero is as simple as it gets! Follow the instructions below and you’ll be set up in no-time. Before doing this, it’s important for you to make sure that you’re using the correct VAT return offered by Xero, as you can choose both Making Tax Digital (MTD) and non-MTD returns.

  1. Enter all of your transactions (income and expenses).
  2. Give each transaction a VAT rate – 5% or 20%, however much it may be for the transaction.
  3. Run the VAT Return report in Xero for your month or quarter.
  4. Review the return.
  5. Submit to HMRC.
  6. Pay VAT over to HMRC.

Xero allows you to record all of your financial transactions, link your banks to make bank reconciliations simple, and it links directly with HMRC to submit VAT returns.

Here at Sllick, we specialise in all things Xero, apps and automation. If any of the aforementioned Xero features confuse you or you feel like you’re not making the most of the software, book a free discovery call with our team to find out how we can help! We also offer a free Xero health check that takes 3 minutes to complete. Find out how you can improve your processes and tailor Xero to your industry and business needs.

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