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How to Get More Actionable Insights from Xero

8th Apr 2024
Brought to you by
Tugger Logo
With our plug-and-play Power BI reporting for Xero we support accountants and bookkeepers like you...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

If you’ve stumbled across this article, we’d put money on the fact you’re already a Xero user. (Or at the very least, you’re thinking of becoming one.) 

How to Get More Actionable Insights from Xero
Tugger

And it’s no wonder – hailed as the superhero of accounting software, its incredible ability to streamline workflows, automate tasks and gather information into one tidy database is pretty much unmatched. 

But even with its undeniable benefits, there are still a few areas where Xero falls short. For example, managing data from different branches or subsidiaries and getting a clear, unified view can be a bit of a puzzle. Or when you just need more timely insights to make those game-changing decisions for your business or clients.

Enter Tugger.

Our tool is like Xero's trusty sidekick, here to save the day. The plug-and-play business intelligence tool connects seamlessly with Xero and other platforms like Power BI, meaning you can analyse your data in ways that were once just an exciting dream.

So, let’s take a look at how we marry these two dynamic data powerhouses together (it’s a match made in heaven, if we do say so ourselves.)

Enhancing Financial Reporting with Xero and Power BI

Right, before we get stuck into all the juicy bits, let’s start by talking a bit about data.

Long gone are the days when accountants could rely solely on manual spreadsheets and static reports to manage their clients' finances. Now, data is almost the sole driver of decision-making, which means accountants and their clients are on the hunt for top-notch tools that do more than just your basic number-crunching.

Xero is just one of these tools, offering a powerful piece of accounting software that has become a staple for businesses worldwide. As Xero certified app partners ourselves, we’re definitely fans. However, while it has its benefits, it comes with a few quirks – especially when it comes to good ol’ data visualisation. 

Thankfully – for your sake – that's where Power BI steps in to save the day.

Brought to you by the folks at Microsoft, this platform is designed to transform raw data into interactive and visually immersive insights. It gives you the power to analyse data, share insights across your organisation, and make those all-important decisions. It's like seeing your finances in technicolour!

Now, sure, these tools are pretty awesome on their own. But trying to connect them? We’ll be honest. It can get a bit messy. This is where Tugger steps in.

How you can bring Xero and Power BI insights together

We’re sure you’ll be pleased to know that our platform seamlessly integrates with Xero AND Power BI – and it’s a total game changer for financial reporting and data analysis. 

Not wanting to toot our own horns or anything (although we’re definitely going to), but we’ve spent ages doing all the grunt work for you; building out a heap of ready-to-go reports that dive deep into your data toshow it off fabulously. And the best part? You can tweak them to suit your needs. No more digging around in the nitty-gritty details – they’re all there for you at the touch of a button.

Viewing your data like this shines a super bright torch on all the hidden trends and golden opportunities that were previously tucked away – plus, you can get a lot more accurate with forecasting your future performance. Very exciting stuff. Being able to properly visualise key metrics such as revenue, expenses, and profitability means accountants like you can make informed decisions that drive business growth. You’re welcome. 

There are also tonnes of automation opportunities, meaning you can say goodbye to manual data wrangling and hello to simplified, done-for-you reports. And it can all be updated without needing to lift a finger. Ahh. 

But here's the cherry on top: Tugger won't break the bank. No long-term contracts, just straightforward pricing that's friendly to companies of all shapes and sizes.

Key benefits of using Xero with Power BI

So, now we've covered some practical elements of connecting your Xero account with Power BI, let’s delve into some of the big benefits that could revolutionise the way you work.

Consolidation of data from multiple entities

Loads of companies operate across various branches, subsidiaries, or international borders, and that can cause a pretty major headache for accountants trying to manage and consolidate all that financial data and actually make sense of it. One of the big complaints we hear from most people who come to us is “why doesn’t Xero let me see all our entities in one place?”

Good question, we don’t know. But we do have a solution. 

Take our client, UDL Group, for example. When they moved their operations over to Xero, they came up against this exact problem. Despite being able to report on each company within the group individually, visibility at the top level was severely lacking. Executives and directors found themselves effectively making decisions in the dark. Less than ideal.

To get around this, they took a stab at building their own Xero-Power BI connection. Spoiler alert: it didn't end well. But then they stumbled upon Tugger. By plugging in our out-of-the-box solution and collaborating on custom report development, we successfully brought together data from their multiple entities into one comprehensive report.

“I've never encountered something as user-friendly as Tugger – a simple flip of the switch, and it's up and running. I was genuinely impressed. With standard reporting templates right from the start, I gained instant visibility into our individual companies and entities. To be honest, it was quite remarkable.”
 - Matthew Hughes, Chief Information Officer

Now they can seamlessly blend financial info from their various subsidiaries into a single, harmonised view. Great! But remember, this isn't just about making reports prettier (although this is a lovely side effect); it's about gaining a crystal-clear picture of your organisation's financial well-being, paving the way for smarter decisions and more strategic moves. That’s what we like to see. 

Comparative analysis

Side-by-side analysis becomes a breeze with this integration, making it simple to compare financial performance across different branches, subsidiaries, or departments. This means you can easily spot trends, outliers, and areas for improvement in a snap.

You can get all your key metrics laid out neatly side by side, making it super easy to catch any discrepancies or anomalies at a glance. This means you can quickly dive into targeted investigations and take corrective actions. For instance, you could compare revenue growth rates across different regions or scrutinise expense patterns between quarters to pinpoint potential inefficiencies. What’s not to like?

This integration also lets you compare profitability between different years. So, you can take a peek at what January looked like last year, compare it to this year and gauge whether your business is raking in enough profit or not.

With all this comparative analysis at your fingertips, not only can you make data-driven decisions with confidence, but you can also flex your accounting prowess to optimise resource allocation and drive performance improvements across the entire organisation. It’s a win-win!

Forecasting and budgeting

Historical data is an absolute goldmine for forecasting and budgeting, offering valuable insights into past trends to inform future projections. By leveraging historical data from Xero within Power BI, you can boost the accuracy of your forecasting models and provide reliable insights to support budgeting processes.

Areas such as historical revenue, expenses, and cash flow patterns are some of the key areas where you can dig out some value. They help forecast future performance, identify risks, and set realistic financial targets. These insights are great for building all those predictive models that help you influence your business performance, like market trends, seasonality, and economic conditions. This means you’ve got all the little nuggets of info you need to make decisions, allocate resources and make sure your organisation is growing nicely. 

Customised reporting

One awesome perk of linking Xero with Power BI is that you get to whip up reports that are tailor-made for your business. You can design Power BI reports and dashboards showcasing all the juicy financial stuff – metrics, KPIs, you name it. 

Whether you're all about tracking profitability, keeping an eye on cash flow, or diving deep into expense trends, Power BI lets you customise reports to suit whatever you need. It's your trusty go-to for nailing those financial updates.

Integration of different data sources for ‘one source of truth’

Last, but definitely not least, let’s talk a bit about the other data sources you can bring in. Oh yes, that’s right, it’s not just Xero and Power BI that can make magic for your business. While we know financial data is definitely a big deal, it’s just one piece of a very large puzzle. To really get the full picture of how your business is doing, you’ve gotta mix in some other stuff – like sales numbers, inventory levels, maybe even customer information. 

Tugger can help with this too (are you sensing a theme yet?) You can seamlessly integrate your Xero data with other goodies from HubSpot, Excel, or even Microsoft Teams, creating a unified dataset for analysis. By pulling all this data together, you're creating a single source of truth, meaning the info you're working with is consistent, up-to-date, and totally on point.

This approach isn’t just about crunching numbers, but getting that real deep dive you need to fully understand how your business is working. Integrating these datasets can be monumental when it comes to uncovering new insights and making strategic decisions that drive your business forward.

How to connect Xero to Power BI with Tugger

If this article is doing what we want it to, by now you’re pretty sold on the idea of connecting Xero and Power BI with Tugger. But how, we hear you scream? 

Don’t worry. Bringing these two powerhouse systems together is a breeze – and you don't need any tech wizardry to do it. Check out our video for a step-by-step guide that'll have you up and running in no time.

Summary

So there you have it. Integrating Xero with Power BI through Tugger isn't just about breaking free from the constraints of old-school year-end reporting – it can be absolutely transformative for accountants wanting to tackle their financial analysis.

From side-by-side comparisons to future forecasting and personalised reports, the possibilities are endless. And once you've got these tools working together, there's no limit to what you can achieve. Everything can be completely tailored to fit the unique needs and goals of your business in no time at all. Sounds pretty good, huh? We agree.

Keen to find out more? Get in touch with the team here at Tugger to find out more about how you can get the best out of these systems for you and your clients.