Here we are with yet another amazing feature of Xero software that will make your life easy. Running after customers and asking for the payments can be really exhausting and time-consuming at the same time. With hundreds and thousands of invoices, it’s almost impossible to catch up. Especially when then payments are overdue and you don’t know. To solve this problem, Investment Working Group has compiled a guide for you that talks about how to create invoices and quotes in Xero software.
We will talk about different functions that are available, how to create and use them and what are their advantages. Most importantly, how to read the sales overview dashboard so that you know what is actually going on in your business bank accounts. These insights are very useful for your business activities. There is an amazing feature of setting alerts so that you can know beforehand which payments are almost near to their due date.
Do check out our previous articles on introduction to Xero, how to generate reports, how to use a chart of accounts and so much more! We will be providing a complete guide featuring most functions of the Xero Accounting System for easy learning so that you can manage your personal finances effectively.
Invoices in Xero
Billing and recording invoices were quite a task back in old days. It required a lot of time and effort and there was huge room for human error. Keeping a track of all the records at the end of a time period was much of a hassle and because the issues weren’t very transparent, they would turn into big problems. This is why we need a more synchronized way of noting things down. With Xero software, you can create invoices, you can import and export data. The data once entered will be saved and will automatically fill the field when needed. Which saves time from entering the information again and again.
To create an invoice, go to the ‘business’ button from the main menu. It will show a drop-down menu from where you can see the invoice option. If you click on this, you’ll be directed to the following page.
There is a list of invoices that you can see in this figure. Some are in the drafts section, some in pending approval, some in pending payments while a few of them are approved and paid. If you wish to see all of them, click ‘all’. At the top, you can see an option of creating a new invoice, click here and see further options.
Create new invoice
You are given an option of creating an entirely new invoice or you can select an invoice that has already been added but you have to re-enter that. So for that click on the new repeating invoice. Now you can also choose to whom you want to send the invoice. For this you can send to an already created contact group or a new contact group can also be created. Let’s first take a look at how a new invoice is generated. Once you click on ‘new invoice’ you’ll be taken to the following page
On this particular screen, you will be asked to add all the information related to a particular invoice you want to generate. The field includes the name on which the invoice is to be generated, add that to the ‘To’ box. Then add the current date and due date of the invoice to be paid. You can add a reference if any. Lastly, you can prioritize your invoice as a standard or special project. here is an option of selecting the required currency so you can click on the down arrow to choose. Also, mention details of tax in the ‘accounts are’ section.
The table down below these details requires information on the product or products. Such as mentioning the item name, its description, quantity, and per-unit price. Then you can also add rax rates. All of these once saved will remain in your records. By going into the item section, you can also choose from already available items in the record and the rest of the fields will be automatically filled. Once everything is added, click on ‘save’ to preserve the data. You can add the invoice into approving, approve and add another, approve and next and approve and print option.
In Xero software, a credit note is created to cancel out an invoice that shows a customer owes you a payment. It is either made to cancel out the payment or when duplicate invoices are made. Thus, it’s a negative invoice. To create a credit note, again click on the down arrow saying ‘new invoice’ and select the right option from the menu. You will be directed to the page of creating a new credit note. It is very similar to the one for generating invoices.
Just like the invoice section add to, current date and due date. Then start adding the items, their description, and other details. Finally, save it to create a new credit note. It is to remember that the credit note shows a part of the invoice’s outstanding amount. If you add the whole amount, the status of the invoice will be changed to ‘paid’. Thus you cannot create a credit note for the paid invoices. You can apply multiple credit notes on a single invoice however the condition is that the total amount should be less or equal to the invoice amount. Another important thing to note is that a credit is applied on the invoice on the credit note date however if the credit note is older than the invoice then the invoice date will be applied.
Add contact group
In Xero software, you can manage your contact list based on groupings. For your own ease, sort the contact list into different groups so that if you wish to send any amount to a particular set of people, the contact group is already made for efficient transactions. Here is creating invoice section, you can pick a group that I already made or choose to create a new contact group from the same drop-down menu. The system will ask for some information related to the contact such as name, email address, mobile number, etc. You can always import and export your contact list here in Xero software. Since the lists are usually long, you can always apply a filter for a quick search.
In this section, a statement will show you all the unpaid voices from a customer for a set period of time. There are two types of statements; activity statements and outstanding statements. The activity statement shows all the activities performed by any particular customer within a time period such as sales invoice, payments received, pre-payments and over-payments. While outstanding the payments owed by the customer for a certain period of time.
If you go to the ‘send a statement’ section from the invoice, you will be redirected to this page. Now here you see that you have to select the type of statement. That is the activity or outstanding statement. Then set the date range and so the entire list will appear on your screen. You can either print this statement or send it through email.
How to edit, print, and export invoices in Xero?
To play around with any particular invoice, first, click on that invoice from the list. The complete details will open for that particular invoice. You can edit this later. For doing so, go to the invoice option and click on edit. You can import and export these invoices very easily. And you can print them as well. You can also set reminders that can alert you when the date is near for receiving payment.
Quotes in Xero
In contrast to the invoices, your company can also create quotes to up forward and get the order. For this, you can create a well-organized quotation efficiently. The format is very similar to that of generating invoices. So, let’s take a look at how it is made.
You will see six tabs on the top of the table that says all, draft, sent, declined, accepted, and invoiced. So you can sort the quotes into the above-mentioned groups for a better tracking system of the data.
Add a new quote
To create a new quote, click on the + New Quote button and you will be taken to the next screen. Just like the invoice, you will have to add your name, date, and due date. Then item, its description, quantity, and per unit rate. Save all the information and you will see the total amount at the bottom of the table. Now you can send it forward by either taking a print or emailing it to the concerned party.
To edit an already added quote, click on the quote that you wish to edit from the list as shown in the above figure. The same text box will re-open that you used to create a new quote but this time all the information would be saved already. That’s because you created a quote and now you want to do some changes. You can change whatever in the added details, you can create a credit note. You can import and export data and can take a print as well.
For getting a sales overview in Xero software, go to the business tab and you will see an option of sales overview. So click here and you will be taken to another dashboard that will look something like this;
Here you can see the total amount you will be getting from all the invoices that are added into the system of a given period of time. The numbers in red are the overdue payments that are yet to be received and are late from the customer side. Also, the graph tells you, how much money is coming in from these invoices every month. If you click on the blue bar, it will show you all the important details for that amount. Then right next to this bar chart, you can see a list of customers that owe you the most. So you can see the customer’s name and how much money is overdue from their side. The amount is written in blue is either received or yet to be received but has not reached its due date.
Similarly, you can see the status of your quotes as well. The table shows the quotes worth 4500 have been sent out to the parties. 5921 pounds quotes have been accepted and similarly, some are present in the draft. So, you get an entire picture of what is coming in your bank accounts from the voices and quotes. Hence, a very useful tool to track all your payments that are on time, overdue or prepaid ones. It is important to keep a check on who is delaying your payments and then you should be reconsidering them while giving orders in the future.
The Last Word
Xero software keeps a nice check and balance on your bank accounts and different activities that are taking place in order to record the transactions. You can create invoices. You can create quotes and whatever that is coming in as money is recorded to show you the activities going on in any certain period of time. It’s efficient, it’s easy to use and it is a very important tool that even entrepreneurs can start using for their start-ups.