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Help with Xero and bank reconciliations - please

Help with Xero and bank reconciliations - please

I have just taken on a new client, who is currently using Xero.  The software looks to be really good, but they didn't really understand what they were doing with the bank reconciliations.  Lloyds online banking doesn't appear to be providing the feeds that they need.  They have entered all entries manually, which is fine, butI can't see how you tell the software that this is a bank that is going to be reconciled manually.  I am sure that the feed problems can be sorted out, but am not surewhat would happen to all of the manual entries if I upload months of bank data.  If I go into the tab marked 'bank statements' there are a large amount of bank statement files with nil opening and closing balances and maybe one transaction on them.  What would happen if I deleted all of these?

I think that the client has just been ticking away at all entries that match his bank statement but there has never actually been a closing balance to reconcile against.  

If someone could please let me know how to reset the whole reconciliation mechanism, it would really help me.  

Thanks.

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01st May 2012 22:52

How much is involved?

It's difficult to say what to do without knowing the scale of the problem.  It sounds as if the import has been a bit hit and miss.

If you delete the statements in Manage Account > bank statements then you will lose the reconciliations, which might be no bad thing,  The manually entered transactions will still be in the system, but will be unreconciled.

You can then download the Lloyds statements afresh and set about reconciling - Xero will automatically match some transactions.  You can decide whether to import one massive statement or break it down into management chunks of a month (or three) at a time.

You will probably end up with a number of manually entered transactions that don't reconcile, but those can then be deleted, albeit individually.

I suppose that it's a question of rolling back to a position that you are comfortable with and moving forward from there

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By jem
02nd May 2012 08:32

Xero bank reconciliation

 

 

There haven't been masses of transactions, until fairly recently. The bank account was only opened last August, so its not going to be a massive job.  

If I can't get the Lloyds streaming to work, is there a way of manually entering a closing balance and then manually ticking off the transactions?  I think that this will be really easy once it is working.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. 

 

 

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DJKL
02nd May 2012 12:06

Manual reconcilation

You can reconcile manually, but you don't set a closing balance.  You can go to the list of bank transactions, which shows which transactions are reconciled and which aren't.  You can manually tick a transaction to mark it as reconciled, and when you save it the reconciled balance updates.

Depending on the volume of transactions, I might export the bank account transactions to Excel and then match them against the actual bank statements.  That would reveal any transactions that aren't in Xero, and any in Xero that haven't gone through the bank. It's not a difficult process, and you do say that there aren't loads of transactions

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By ntravs
02nd May 2012 14:11

Manual Imports

Hi,

There is also the option to manually import OFX (Microsoft Money) and QIF (Quicken) format files (or CSV files as a last resort) that may be available from Barclays. Failing that you can even recreate the bank statement in a CSV with 3 columns for date, amount and description. Creating transactions from within the bank reconciliation after importing manual statements should be quicker (using Cash Coding if a Financial Advisor or Bank Rules etc) than entering each transaction manually and marking it as reconciled.

This should also mean the Statement Balance in Xero is a reflection of the actual statement balance, so in effect you will be reconciling to the balance at the date of the last imported bank statement.

Nathan Travers
Training Manager, Xero 
@ntravs

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By jem
02nd May 2012 23:41

 

 

I was struggling to find a way of exporting the bank into Excel last night.  I couldn't work out how you did it from the account activity, but I think I need to just do it from the reconciliation reports even though they are wrong.  

I will work on getting the feed from Lloyds up and running once I get past this VAT quarter.

 

Thanks again, I think the software is really good just badly set up in this instance.

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Manchester_man
03rd May 2012 08:34

Exporting

Go to reports>all Reports>Account transactions (in the detail reports section)

Select the bank account and date range and you will see the export button with a drop down arrow to include pdf, Excel or Google Docs

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By jem
03rd May 2012 21:19

 

 

 

Thanks for that Cloudcounter, I had tried this but was trying to use 'detailed account transactions' which didn't seem to provide what I needed.  My bank is reconciled now.

Would you recommend this software as a viable alternative to Quickbooks?  I am very pro QBs but the charges are increasing and there always seem to be issues when the software is upgraded.

 

 

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Henry Hobbs
04th May 2012 08:58

Alternative to QB

For my own bookkeeping I started on Sage, then moved to Quickbooks, which was a vast imrprovement.  I switched to Xero over two years ago, and wouldn't consider going back to QB.  Xero just saves so much time on the bank rec it's worth it for that alone, and even for my own files the fact that I can access from home, work or even at a client's premises is invaluable. 

Having client data immediately accessible is priceless and it's much easier to sort out issues when you can see what's going on.

There are however some things that QB does that Xero doesn't - stock control springs to mind - so it's not possible to say that Xero is best in every case.  I quite like Quickbooks (apart from the issues that we continually seem to have with VAT reporting) but much prefer to use Xero.  I do recommend it in preference to Quickbooks - if it's suitable

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By jem
Manchester_man
04th May 2012 21:58

 

 

 

Thanks for that.  I have had some very strange experiences with Quickbooks where clients have upgraded.  I have one now, where the VAT entries to clear down the last quarter seem to have disappeared, but the figures won't come up again in the VAT return window so its not as if you can redo the quarter.  

 

I really like the look of Xero and can think of a number of clients who would benefit from using it.  The client I have currently using it, seems to pay off supplier invoices one by one on the system, instead of in batches that correspond to the actual payment made.  Is this because Xero can't handle a payment for multiple bills?  Also when using journals, it appeared that you couldn't make bank movements in this way.  What I mean is, I couldn't get the bank accounts to appear as an option in the box where you select the account.  That could be something to do with how this particular file has been set up.

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RedFive
05th May 2012 08:30

@jem

jem wrote:

 

 

The client I have currently using it, seems to pay off supplier invoices one by one on the system, instead of in batches that correspond to the actual payment made.  Is this because Xero can't handle a payment for multiple bills?

 

... you can indeed pay supplier invoices in batches, just click on 'accounts payable' and then I think it's 'awaiting payment' and you can tick them off in a batch - if you need any help drop me a line.

... incidentally, we LOVE Xero and will never be changing!

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05th May 2012 10:19

Batch payments

As Jaybee says, batch payments of purchases are simple.  Once you are in the "awaiting payment" tab you can re-order the list by clicking on the headings, so it's easy to present them in order of supplier.  As you tick, Xero keeps track of the total value, so you can keep an eye on what you are paying.

You aren't allowed to make journal entries to bank accounts - it must be done via a spend money or receive money transaction.  I don't have  a problem with that.

I'm glad in a way that it's not just me having issues with QB, but I'd be even happier if there were no issues!  I don't recommend it any more but sometimes you can't get to the client before Barclays have sold them a package with either Sage or QB

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