The new features and upcoming features naturally formed the ‘main course’ of the conference.

Before we outline them, the organizers felt they were coming to the end of the beginning in the development of the software.  What they meant by this was that the first phase of their plans was to incorporate the main and important functionality of bookkeeping software.  They feel that soon this will be in place and they will turn their focus to some of the less obvious functionality.

This does not mean that they will stop improving and updating the existing functionality, but that they feel the main bases of the core product are nearly all covered.

Some of what follows has already been released but is worth mentioning, some is due for imminent release and some is a heads up on what is coming through the pipeline.  The main feature release for 2015 is payroll and we will focus on that in more detail.

Recently Released Features, some of the  features that you may not be aware of:

New Reports – New Reports allows the user to customise the way information is viewed.  Including grouping data sets, customizing report layout, filtering account headings from reports and searching across account headings.  It brings a level of interactivity we have never seen in any other bookkeeping software.

Quotes – generating quotes and progressing them through to Sales Invoices.

Enhanced Remittance Advice – letting suppliers know that you have paid.

Purchase Orders – producing and managing purchase orders.

EC Sales List – for VAT registered subscribers who sell to the EU.

 

Coming new releases.
Payroll – Xerocon’s biggest announcement was the release of HMRC integrated PAYE software.  The feature will allow payroll to be managed in Xero and reporting made direct from Xero to HMRC.  As well as this basic functionality Xero made much of additional features such as giving employees access to their payslips, P60s etc, allowing for scheduling holiday and a mobile app.

The update will be available from 4th March for users to set up and trial and from 1st April the integration with HMRC will go live.  It is priced as follows: Standard users will be given payroll for one employee.  Premium subscription                will incorporate 10 employees at the same price until Mar 2017 and thereafter the price will increase to £30/month.

Subscriptions will then go up in increments for every 10 additional employees.From Apr 2014 the existing payroll functionality will not longer exist for Standard subscribers.  There has been some complaint in the Xero community                   about this because some users do not want to pay the additional subscription but wish to keep being able to post their payslips in the way that Xero currently allows them to do.The additional functionality for people managing staff                   certainly looks exciting and the pricing seems reasonable.

 Inventory – Xero flagged updating the inventory feature as the most last ‘big’ piece of functionality that Xero currently misses from the point of view of the business owner.  There is already a basic inventory functionality for Xero but it does not give the option for the inventory that is logged to connect through to the balance sheet.  The future inventory system will allow business owners to see stock levels on the balance sheet.

Accounts Production – of less interest to small business owners but of great interest to accountants is the announcement of the ability to produce Statutory Accounts and submit to Companies House.

Performance Indicators – at present Xero reports will give raw data but it is not possible to create performance indicators such as Profit Margins, Liquidity Ratios and so on.  Xero now promise to bring these reporting features out in the next year.