Xero’s Business Snapshot – A very useful tool

Xero Accounting software is a wonderful tool that helps you get a bigger picture of your business financial health. Even if you are not an accounting and finance expert and starting a startup, this software is going to do wonders for you. As it is easy to learn and understand, well-structured and user friendly. By just a look at the dashboard, you get to see the most important numbers of your company. Also, the dashboard is perfectly editable so you can prioritise the numbers and insights you want. You can organise them in your desired sequence. You can add and delete things. It will allow you to generate some useful reports. Xero’s business snapshot tool is one of the amazing functions to explore and we will tell you what it has to offer.

Through this tool, you can even you how much money you have which you may want to invest later in real estate or cryptocurrency. Hence, a Xero is a useful tool for any business. You can read its introduction for beginners.

What is Xero’s Business Snapshot?

Xero Accounting Software has introduced many new features in recent times. This is to develop more helpful insights. One of their recently introduced feature we are is ‘Business Snapshot’. So let’s talk about what is Xero’s Business Snapshot, how to manage its dashboard. And most importantly, what is it for?

Business Snapshot is a powerful tool, built in a dashboard-style, to generate the overall financial health of any business. This includes visuals and graphics. As well as numbers to give a quick understanding of the situation. If you are a person of visuals, this feature will be fun for you. This is how Xero’s Business Snapshot looks like;

Xero's business snapshot

The dashboard shows important numbers in a precise manner. Such as profit and loss, income and expense, cash inflows and outflows and so much more. You can easily explain the numbers easily to your investors or accountants by using this tool. The reason is that it is well structured and easy to understand. You can also compare and contrast the data by selecting a period, for instance, year to date, with the previous period. This will help you understand the salient points as compared to the previous experience and may drive better solutions for the future.

Where to find it?

You can find this tool by going on to the main menu of the Xero software. Open the drop-down menu of ‘business’ and from there select ‘ business snapshot. For better understanding, the figure is given below;

Xero's business snapshot

If you click here, your dashboard will open giving you are a snapshot of how your business is doing in a set period of time. To know the financial situation, the dashboard gives you insights on efficiency, profitability, account balances and much more. But first, you have to set the period range. And for that, go on top of the page and click on Year to date. There will be the option of choosing data on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. Or you can choose the year to date option. You can also set whether you want the data on a cash basis or on an accrual basis. Both the filters will be shown on the top of your dashboard. The figure is given below

Xero Analytics Plus

The advanced dashboard of Xero’s Business Snapshot is Analytics plus which allows some amazing features. But for this, you will have to buy a subscription. To do so, go to subscription and billing and choose your monthly plan. This tool will allow you to choose custom dates for the time period other than yearly, quarterly or monthly. You can also add or delete bank accounts from your dashboard while using analytics plus. This feature will let you have a better picture of your cashflows by showing underlying transactions on the dashboard.

To avail of this function, get your Xero Accounting Software subscription today!

Business Snapshot Dashboard

Now, let’s take a look at the insights provided by this business snapshot dashboard one by one to know which numbers tell what? The dashboard has profit and loss visuals, income and expenses graphs, gross profit margin, account balances, the payment you will be receiving and the bill you have to pay within the due date. The layout of the dashboard can be edited by clicking ‘edit layout’. Here you can move the boxes up and down or add or delete a box. In order to get perfectly accurate results, make sure that you have added transactions for almost 3-4 months.

Profit and loss

profit and loss

The figure above shows the profit and loss your company has bared under a set time period. Here we have chosen year to date based data. If the is above the line, it shows profit while if the bar is below the line, that will represent loss. If the previous data is entered into the system it will also show the increase or decrease in profit in percentage thus the comparison helps you make future strategies. The blue bar tells that the company has made a profit of 3,030 pounds in the given period of Jan to Jul 2021.

Income and expenses

income and expenses on XERO'S BUSINESS SNAPSHOT

As the figure above shows a company’s income and expenses. The amount generated and coming into the bank account is the income while the amount spent by the company is their expenses. If the company’s income is more than its expenses, then there is profit. Just like in the figure above, we see that this company is going in profit. The matrice also shows the cost of goods sold and operating expenses which then adds up to give total expenses. If the previous data is available, the graph will show a dotted line for both income and expense as a comparison with the previous time period. You can also see the comparison of both written in percentage. However, for the comparison, data of the previous time period must be added.



In the above figure, the box is telling us the gross profit margin of this company. Gross profit margin is the income left to cover up the company’s expenses after paying the cost of goods sold. Here the GPM is 97%. If your company sells any product for instance and has a 97% gross profit margin available to cover its expenses, they might want to consider reducing the price of their product. Similarly, if there is less margin, the company would increase product price to cover up its expenses.

Financial position of cashflows


The financial position of any company basically shows its balance sheet. And the balance sheet is comprised of assets, liabilities and equity of any company. It also tells you to combine cash available from all your accounts. One thing to remember is that Xero software considers your credit account as cash so it is something important to consider while looking at your cash position.

Overall balance

The overall balance box is there to tell you the balance of each account separately. Whether you have added 2 or more accounts, you can see the current balance situation on just one screen.

Largest operating expenses

Xero’s business snapshot also categories your expenses into the largest operating expenses. As the name suggests, this box is all about which expenses are taking the most of your company’s money. Let’s take a look at the given figure


Here, we can see that the major expense of this company is advertising which is taking 9,657.05 pounds for the year to date ie Jan 1 – Jul 30, 2021. The table also shows that this expense has increased as compared to the last time period. Similarly, all other major expenses are also listed down below.

The next up two insight boxes are of outstanding receivables and payables.


Average time to get paid

This box tells you the average time your customers take to pay your amount. I the above figure its 42 days. It depends on your organisation whether the time is too long or it’s ok to take 42 days. But if it’s too long, you should be reconsidering your relationship with customers. In order to get accurate results, use Xero invoicing to list down all the outstanding receivables.

Average time to pay suppliers

On the other hand, the average time you take to pay your suppliers shows the outstanding payables. That is the money you owe to your suppliers and it’s yet not paid. In the figure above, it’s 1140 days and is quite a lot of time and you should be addressing this as an issue. Solving this will help you improve your relationship with the suppliers.

Comparison of Data

The Xero’s Business Snapshot is a dashboard that offers some very powerful insights into your business for a set period of time. The best part about this tool is that it allows you to compare the data of the current period with the previous time period if the data has been added. So, you can see the trend your company is following and it can help you work on your problems and making better strategies in future.

Investment Working Group is a platform where you can learn to manage your personal finances through our insightful articles. Managing small transactions for multiple accounts can be a lot tricky especially organising them. Xero Accounting software helps you to maintain all the data in order. Through Investment Working Group we can teach you how to use this tool.


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