Xero Whinges and Workarounds...

What workarounds do you use/suggest to clients to manage Xero's shortcomings?

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I'd drafted a comment to Tom's interview with the CEO of Xero which was part (well mainly) a rant about the declining value for money of Xero but as an aside included several of the ideas that Xero has chosen to ignore (in some cases for years) and the workarounds our businesses have implemented. I didn't post the comment but thought a discussion on Xero's shortcomings and workarounds might be useful - hopefully others have solutions they can share that make user's lives easier/reduce errors.

I'd really love for Xero to stop hiking prices and adding unasked for bells and whistles (and whitespace) and focus on addressing the numerous customer requests that would improve core functionality. While waiting for that to happen,  here are a couple of our 'workarounds' to common issues/frustrations.

No Flag for Disputed Bills

Xero has no way to 'flag' disputed bills from suppliers so that they don't get approved/paid by mistake.

Our workaround: Add [Disputed] to the front of the bill reference. Once the dispute is resolved, remove the prefix. Make sure that the notes are really comprehensive.

Can't filter bills to pay by payment type

There are two types of bills. Ones that get collected automatically (direct debit or recurring credit card debit) and those we have to take action to pay. Xero has no way to differentiate or filter them and lumps them all together.

Our Workaround: Put [DD] or [CC] as a suffix on the supplier name. If you see the suffix on the 'bills to pay' list then skip it when adding to the payment file.

Multi-month reports are in the wrong order.

This really winds me up - Xero even re-wrote the reporting engine and decided to leave this 'feature' un-fixed. Multi-month reports have the most recent month on the left, the oldest on the right and the total on the far right. Nobody else does this.

Our workaround: Build a series of custom reports that have the months in the right order. It took a while to do but once done, is done.  We have M1, M2 ... upto M12. The number indicating how many months are included in the report. That said, copy typing into Excel and generating dashboards there is a far better solution for Management overview and budget comparison. We could cut and paste from the excel export of a report but the copy typing means that we look at each line as it is entered and helps us recognise 'funnies' - our excel management dashboards are much better than anything Xero can produce.

What are your whinges and workarounds? For example, has anyone found a way to easily archive obsolete repeating manual journals (like insurance pre-payments) without having to Select. And. Delete. Every. Single. One. Individually? What about a simple way to generate supplier statements?

Replies (7)

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By FactChecker
25th Jun 2024 18:32

Whilst I understand the Whinges ... it's the Workarounds that add value here, and which I hope others will be kind enough to add theirs for general consumption.

[Might be worth asking the mods to edit the thread title to make that focus clearer?]

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
26th Jun 2024 09:03

No Transactional TB (just a Period TB). The workaround seems to be to run a transactional nominal ledger.

Or has that been fixed yet?

By "transactional", I mean all the entries with transactions dated between eg 1st April 2023 and 31st March 2024 inclusive. In short, a date range (or, alternatively, a transaction range).

The issue with a Period TB is that it carries cumulative balances from earlier years' Balance Sheet accounts.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By SkyBlue22
26th Jun 2024 12:53

The 'General Ledger Summary' report does what you're asking if I remember correctly.

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Replying to SkyBlue22:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Jun 2024 17:01

SkyBlue22 wrote:

The 'General Ledger Summary' report does what you're asking if I remember correctly.

This. You can do it for any date range and any account codes you want. Its pretty slick.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
27th Jun 2024 08:15

Thanks guys, for confirming. It would be useful to have a transactional TB - come on Xero, pull your thumb out! You've managed it with a general ledger; why not a TB as well? Sage manage it, and very useful it is for accounts production.

Ummm.. are nominal ledger and general ledger still synonymous these days?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
27th Jun 2024 17:18

Yes, but don't get me started on accounts receivable...

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Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
27th Jun 2024 13:16

Sage has a very useful transaction ID, which is shown on reports, so it is easier to work out in what order transactions were posted. Xero's dates only approach is frustrating. The ID exists, as it is shown on the Journal Report, but being able to select it on other reports would be very useful!

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