Expense claims are the simple truth of running most any business. From gas, flights, meals, supplies, and everything in between – there are countless expenses that need to be reimbursed to the folks who work at the company. But it’s amazing how the simple task of reimbursing employees turns into a paper-filled/process-filled/follow up-filled back-office nightmare. Not anymore. Today, we are excited to announce new Xero Expenses to tackle these issues all inside Xero.
That’s right, starting today, you can try new Xero Expenses within your practice organisation. Now accountants and bookkeepers can access powerful analytics and flexible controls to provide valuable advice and support to their clients around expense claims. For example, accountants and their small business clients can snap photos of receipts and automatically create that expense claim in Xero – without ever touching a scrap of paper. The new Xero Expenses can then provide reports and analytics to help better understand spending patterns.
What’s new in Xero Expenses?
You’ll notice a cleaner and easier to understand user interface, simplified workflows, powerful analytics and – most importantly – integration into accounting with automatic journal entries and payment through bills. This robust feature lineup gives accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses all the tools they need to process expense claims, analyze spending patterns and communicate and connect with their clients – quickly, simply – on one platform.
For you, this means better insights and support for your clients … not to mention less steps and reduced costs. All told, the new Xero Expenses can help your practice flourish and grow.
Read on for complete details.
Easily capture and submit expenses
You’ll find automatic receipt processing in our new Xero Expenses. Accountants and small business owners can easily capture and submit expense claims through their mobile device on both iOS and Android. Simply take a quick picture of the receipt and let Xero submit the expense claim. The design and workflow improvements make it easy to capture and submit an expense claim without the paper chase or endless follow up.
Flexible controls and permissions
The new user permissions model gives more flexibility and control to the right people at the right time during the expense claims process. This significantly simplifies the workflow and boosts efficiency. That’s because only appropriate people in the business can view, submit, approve or decline, and pay an expense claim.
You’ll also find a highly-requested feature – the ability for a user (typically an accountant) to submit an expense claim on behalf of other people in the organisation. The relevant folks will receive real-time push notifications on their mobile phones, which makes it easy for accountants, business owners and employees to keep each other up to date.
And soon, new settings at the organisation and user level will include the ability to set defaults around tracking categories and expense accounts upfront – so those who are submitting expense claims won’t need to guess how their expenses should be tracked or coded. This will make it easier for employees to submit an expense claim with more accuracy and avoid time-consuming, frustrating and costly rework for accountants and administrators.
Lastly, Xero Expenses includes a labels feature which allows users to “label” and organise multiple expenses as a logical group without the hassle and rigidity of a full-blown expense report.
Easy review and payment
You know all too well how difficult it is to review, approve and pay an expense claim quickly. But thanks to re-designed list views and expense drill-down views – you can save time and enjoy better functionality:
- The expense claim list immediately gives you a high-level view of your own or your employees’ expense claims in easy-to-consume groupings, such as by status or by employee. The most important information required for review, approval and payment are available at a quick glance. These include status, amount, expense account, description, vendor and date. From the list, just one click will let you drill down into the details of the expense – and provide a view of the receipt, tax details, tracking categories and associated label.
- Actions can be taken on expense claims from the list or the details view, whether it be editing, approving or paying. And because you can now view all of the expense claims that require review and approval in one list, batch approval is as easy as one click.
- You can view approved expense claims that are awaiting payment within bills. We’ll provide links to and from bills in Xero, so you can conveniently view bills associated to expense claim reimbursement side by side with vendor and supplier bills. This allows you to more easily make a decision around who and what gets paid in one simple view.
Quite simply, you have to know how your staff spends money and if they follow established rules and policies. An exciting new feature gives small businesses and their accounting partners deeper insights into spending and expense claims that will provide actionable findings. Accountants and business owners have access to a real-time and accurate view of their expenses.
What’s coming next?
Immediately after our first release, we’ll work to deliver highly-requested features such as mileage tracking and spend money transactions (non-reimbursable expenses). We’ll continue to provide a singular financial platform by tightly integrating expense claims with Xero and other Xero applications such as Xero Projects, Xero Payroll and Xero HQ. For example:
- Small businesses will benefit from the Projects and Payroll integration because they’ll now be able to bill their customers for expenses associated to specific projects and reimburse their employees through Xero Payroll.
- Bookkeepers and accountants will benefit from the integration with Xero HQ. This will keep them up to date with expense claims for specific clients and deliver a comprehensive view of expense claims across their entire client base. HQ Explorer will provide expense claims analyses, benchmarks and insights that they can use to support clients with intelligent advice in an accurate and timely fashion.
We’ll also look to support integrations to and from other third-parties, including banks and vendors. Think ride sharing, online and general shopping, and anything that’s typically expensed. Our goal is to make sure customers never touch a piece of paper ever again.
Want to try?
The new feature is available to Xero partners in Australia, New Zealand and Asia within their practice organisation. If you want to try it out, just go to the “Accounts” menu and select “New Expense Claims” or download the new Xero Expenses mobile app for iOS or Android. It is free as part of the Xero Partner Program in your practice organisation.
You can also invite your clients to try new it at no extra charge for a limited time. Once the introductory period ends, a monthly usage fee will apply. Just email us with their organisation name at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will expand availability to UK partners with a practice organisation at Xerocon London 2017 in October and to U.S. partners with a practice organisation at Xerocon Austin 2017 in December.