A new look for bank reconciliation in Xero

In the weeks ahead, Xero will be rolling out a new update that gives you two ways to view transactions on your bank reconciliation screen. You can choose between an enlarged, zoomed-in view, or a compact view that displays more transactions on screen. Simply move the toggle to choose the view that best suits your needs.

This is all part of the evolution of bank reconciliation at Xero, and brings the design in line with other Xero features, like Single Touch Payroll in Australia and others. Creating a consistent look and feel across their platform not only makes it a seamless experience for you, but also helps newer customers learn how to use Xero.

As Xero continue to test, learn and refine this feature, please know that they’re listening to your feedback – both positive and negative.  In fact, building the compact view is a direct result of your feedback on the initial rollout of the updated design, so thank you. With this update, they can balance your preferences with the need to upgrade their technology and make accessibility improvements over time.

Prioritising human-centric design

Customers are at the centre of everything they do at Xero. So the accessibility of the products in their global small business platform is really important. The changes to white space and font size may be a little different to what you’re used to, but this makes it more visually accessible for some people, who can use Xero more comfortably in this setting.

Xero are working diligently to exceed global accessibility standards. While these design changes may take some getting used to, they will ultimately mean a more seamless experience – especially when learning how to use a new feature or switching between tabs.

A better bank reconciliation experience

Xero’s updates to bank reconciliation extend beyond the design you see on your screen – they leverage Xero’s powerful automation capabilities to help you save time, reduce manual data entry and increase accuracy. For example, you’ll soon benefit from their powerful machine learning algorithms that will offer accurate predictions for your transactions’ contact and account codes.

Bank reconciliation is one of Xero’s most loved features and a critical part of your accounting work. So your opinions are important to their continuous improvement. They’ll continue to take your feedback on board as they test, learn and refine the bank reconciliation experience now and in the future. So please do reach out if you need support or want to share your feedback  – they are always listening.

Are you looking to increase profitability on your projects?

Xero Projects is the simplest way to keep the time and profitability of any project on track – from any device. It’s perfect for any client with simple time and cost tracking needs.

Here is what it can do

  • Track projects in real-time
  • Track time, cost and expenses for any project
  • Add task estimates and budgets with ease
  • Monitor performance with live tracking and key insights

Create invoices in less time. You can create fixed price, time and materials, or progress payment based invoices

Stay in control – with multiple user permission settings, you can control what level of access to give your staff. Its all in Xero so its automatically integrated with client accounts

Helps increase profitability and you know which jobs are delivering the best ROI and which need to be reined in. Help clients change what they’re worth based on the time, cost and profitability of previous projects

Xero projects offers many benefits:

  • Time and job cost tracking
  • Stop start timer on Android and IOS
  • Calculate and set staff cost rates
  • Manage via IOS and Android apps
  • Flexible invoicing
  • User access and permissions
  • Real time overview
  • Unlimited projects & flexible plan

Talk to us about adding Projects to your Xero account from £5 per month

Forecasting the future with Xero Analytics Plus

At Xero, they believe every small business should have access to trusted, insightful data that helps them understand where they are now, and where they might be in the future. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce that they’ve developed a powerful new tool called Xero Analytics Plus, which is available now.

Analytics Plus is the next evolution of Xero’s short-term cash flow and business snapshot features, with greater customisation and more accurate projections. they’ve also bundled short-term cash flow and business snapshot into a free tool called Xero Analytics. It comes with some exciting new features, to help you better manage your cash flow and measure your financial performance.

Powerful predictions at your fingertips

If you’re like many businesses, you probably use a number of different tools to predict what your cash flow might look like in the future. With Analytics Plus, you can do it all within Xero, using data from your Xero account to analyse trends and get a deeper understanding of how your business is performing.

You can:

  • view a projection of your bank balance 7, 30, 60 and 90 days in the future, to give you better visibility of your potential cash flow in the longer term and help you plan ahead
  • see a prediction of future recurring transactions in short-term cash flow (such as Xero Payroll expenses), in addition to repeated invoices and bills that are already scheduled
  • manually add or remove transactions, so you can see how certain changes might affect your cash position and do some scenario planning
  • quickly analyse trends in your business performance, by customising the date ranges and account codes displayed in business snapshot
  • drill down to a transaction level at any point, to see how they’ve arrived at a particular prediction

The beauty of Analytics Plus lies in its simplicity – the dashboards are clean, simple and easy to use. Even after launch, our predictive algorithms will keep improving, providing better forecasts and actionable insights to help your business thrive. It’s also useful for advisors, giving them the opportunity to have deeper conversations with clients and help them plan ahead.

What customers say about Analytics Plus

“I feel that as a business owner, Analytics Plus reduces the anxiety of cash flow. It is quite stressful when you employ people and have bills to pay. Just knowing that you’re going to have enough money to cover everything – I feel like you can’t really put a price on having your stress levels reduced.” — Small business owner, NZ

“I really like the business snapshot tool in Analytics Plus. It is very helpful for me to take a look at the year-to-date view and compare my performance (like revenue earned and revenue billed) to last year and my internal goals. I am constantly trying to grow my revenue and this is making it much easier.” — Small business owner, US

How to choose the right business advisor for you

A business advisor is an individual who is committed to supporting you as a business owner, manager or leader.  Sometimes referred to as a business coach, they work with their clients to help them achieve the life that they desire through their business.  A good advisor is one who has ‘been there and done it’, one who has the experience, made the mistakes and has the scars to prove it.  They can help their clients find a way out of the dark when a client has struggled alone for years, often, having not asked for help or support for fear of looking like a failure.

I have to say at this point, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for support, motivation or help in business at any level, it’s a sign of strength to reach out.   In fact, with a fresh pair of eyes and with an outside view, an advisor can frequently foresee problems or solutions before they become an issue, and once the client understands and accepts this benefit, it can make for sea-change in their thinking.

Most business advisors have specific areas of expertise they specialise in, for some it may be systems and processes; others, financial; business strategy; planning or leadership skills… The list is endless but when you are seeking out some support, think about the areas of business you feel that you may need support in and find an advisor who has the skills and experiences in that area.  Ask for their résumé.

Here are my six top tips on choosing a business advisor suitable for you and your business.


Speak to others you trust in business, maybe you are in a networking group or business group, ask those whom you trust. WARNING: You may find well-meaning colleagues, acquaintances or friends who will insist that: ‘you have been in business for years, what can anyone tell you about the business’, or if you are a start-up business, ‘go and speak to the bank, they can lend you some money and away you go, you don’t need an advisor, I can help you’.


Have a look on Social Media; check out local Business Advisors websites, are they up to date? Have a look at testimonials and do not be afraid to contact them and ask for recent case study examples of clients they have worked with and what they have done. (Advisors, however, will rarely give out clients names unless the clients have specifically said they are happy to be known).

Look for an advisor that is already where you want to be:

What are your business targets? What is important to you? How do you envision your ideal life and business? Choose an advisor that has reached and surpassed the same (or very similar) targets you are looking to accomplish.

For example, if you want to build a seven-figure business and the advisor you are looking into has not accomplished that themselves, how are they going to guide you to do it? Forget the old saying, ‘those who can do, those who can’t teach’. Those who can will teach you how to do it too.

Reflect on, and question, your needs:

Before speaking with potential advisor consider what do you truly need to help you put your best self forward? Do you need additional support in between sessions? How much support do you need? Do you prefer communicating by email, phone or face to face? How many sessions do you feel you need each and how often?

Whatever you feel you need, look for an advisor that can provide it. If an advisor does not provide it or tells you that you don’t need that, look elsewhere.

Ensure your values are aligned: 

Let’s face it. Life is not just business. At some point, there is spillover from your personal life. What happens in your personal life affects your business life and vice versa. You need to feel comfortable enough with your advisor to bring up personal issues.

You will be spending a lot of time with this person. Go with your gut. Make sure you feel that their values are aligned with yours. Make sure the chemistry is good.

First Meeting:

When you first meet your Advisor, take along a notebook, write a list of subjects and areas you would like to cover and be ready, willing and able to listen to their advice, follow the action plan, stay accountable and trust them. If it feels right and you build a good rapport with your advisor, you will have success and find it’s probably one of the best investments you have made in your business, your life and your time!

Remember, it is down to the advisor to, not only, help their clients reach their full potential, but also hold their clients accountable and challenge them.

A good advisor ensures that you are continuously going outside your comfort zone and will push you to accomplish more than you would on your own. They also provide you with tips, strategies and advice based on their own knowledge and experience to help you get where you want to be.

Bottom line: why try to save money by going it alone, when a business advisor can help you get there faster? With the right advisor, you end up saving time, making more money and getting even closer to your best self.  Investing in the right business advisor will pay for itself many times over.

Why Xero is The Best Option for Small Business Owners

How many SMEs rely on their administration team to look after the interests of the business?

It’s okay you can admit it; you’re in a safe space here.

So many of us overload administrators with tasks that they have received no formal training for. Accounting and bookkeeping is a prime example. As part of the daily duties, many team members are tasked with primary accounting responsibilities. They may have received minimal instruction from the company’s accountant but were then left to their own devices.

As a business owner, it can be imperative that your financial data is accessible at a moment’s notice. Will your administrator know how to obtain this information? Probably not.

I see this happening time and again in offices across the UK. Your hardworking admin staff are logging payments, issuing invoices, and doing what you’ve asked of them, but they have no experience or knowledge of accessing the actual figures.

What if I told you there was a way to simplify your processes and make your financial data accessible with the touch of a button?

Using Xero for business


Who owes you money? Who do you owe money to? Not everyone has an ‘Annette in Accounts’ to provide these answers. Most of us don’t even understand the bookkeeping jargon!


With Xero accounting software, you won’t need to Google accounting terminology when you get stuck. No, this smart software works behind the scenes, to help you and your business save valuable time.


Technology now plays a critical role in our business development and day-to-day duties. With Xero, it can benefit your business in many ways, including time management, productivity, and stress relief, as well as improving your cash flow.


SMEs in the UK generate 47% of the nation’s revenue, but without a positive process in place that optimises staff efficiency, you risk preventing business growth.


How can we help ourselves and our businesses?


Cloud accounting – it’s not fluffy!


Cloud accounting is a software solution where business owners can transfer and keep their account books online. Income, expenses, assets, and liabilities are moved to the cloud and accessed remotely by you from anywhere in the world.


Only your immediate team can access the information via your login details, giving them the facilities to find data about your sales, purchases, quotes, bills, and invoices.


You can see the current financial position of your business at any time, without having to disturb Annette in Accounts! Because Xero is cloud-based, you don’t have to update or install anything as back-ups are done automatically, while you sleep.


Never again will you have to harass your poor admin staff for financial data or customer information as this is now available immediately. You can create a dashboard that shows you, your team, and any business advisors, all the crucial financial information that may influence your daily decisions.


Work smarter


The flexibility and freedom you (and that poor stressed out administrator) will have by switching to Xero accounting software are just two of the many perks.


You can run your business from work, home, or virtually and be confident that the information you access is up-to-date, giving you a snapshot of your accounts within seconds.


Never be frightened of accounting or bookkeeping again. Let me help you work faster and more efficiently by guiding you through the entire transfer process from paper to cloud.


To find out more about Xero and how I can help support you and your business take advantage of my FREE consultation call (add LINK).

Going Digital with Accounting Tax and VAT

You may have heard about Making Tax Digital, a UK government initiative to transform the tax system and make administration more efficient, effective, and easier for the taxpayer.

Self-employed businesses with annual income above £10,000 will need to follow the rules for MTD for Income Tax from their next accounting period starting on or after 6 April 2023.

To a business owner, the thought of going digital may seem terrifying. What happens to your shoebox of till receipts and dog eared invoices?

Spending hours (or days) sifting through paper documents is outdated and time consuming. In today’s climate, you need to free up as much valuable time as you can to spend working on your business rather than in it.

Today’s bookkeepers work smarter, but how did it all begin? 

If you look back through history, you’ll find bookkeepers emerging whenever people bartered over goods. If Mr Smith gave Mr Brown a sheep and two chickens in exchange for a barrel of ale you can guarantee a bookkeeper was present to document the deal!

If Mr Brown later implied that he had only received one sheep and one chicken, the bookkeeper had the proof to dispel any grievances.

As the world evolved, and the exchange of currency became popular, bookkeepers were employed to keep more meticulous records. They began to record all transactions in a book with information about money paid and owed – single-entry bookkeeping.

It was the Italian monk Luca Pacioli who set the groundwork for modern accounting in the 15th century when he published a book in 1494 showing the benefits of a double-entry bookkeeping system. This led to the creation of a balance sheet of debits and credits, which meant bookkeeping became more efficient and offered a business owner a much clearer picture of their wealth.

As the world evolved, business owners recognised the importance of attracting investors and started to share the information the bookkeepers collated using balance sheets, cash flow and income statements. They provided the necessary proof that a business was making a profit.

Today’s bookkeepers use automated systems rather than single or double-entry cash books. They have progressed from the adding machine to life-changing software such as Xero, saving them time and effort.


How can you ditch the shoebox of receipts and go digital?

As the bookkeepers throughout history have advanced, believe me when I say that you can too! Making the switch from paper to digital is easier than you think.

Before you worry that your beloved shoebox will become redundant, allow me to assure you that it’s pretty impossible to eradicate every piece of paper in your office. Think of that as your comfort blanket – you’re welcome! However, reducing the sheer volume of paper will improve the efficiency and productivity of your business.

With the Xero accounting software, it’s easy to scan your digital documents and file away for when you need them. Of course, switching everything over to Xero can take time, which is why we support you and your team throughout the entire process of set-up and remain on hand to offer guidance until you’re confident with the transition.


Embrace Xero software

Are you ready to ditch the shoebox?

Let me help you leave the dog eared world of paper based accountancy behind and show you how to be more cost-effective, organised, and inspired. Switching to Xero software gives you the freedom and flexibility you deserve – don’t delay, switch today!

The Making Tax Digital initiative is a brilliant way of improving accounting for ourselves and future generations, so why not become part of the history lesson and go digital.


To find out more about Xero and how I can help support you and your business take advantage of my FREE consultation call (add LINK).






Top 10 Things You Should Demand From Your Accountant to Help Your Business Be More Successful.

Like most entrepreneurs, you deserve proactive advice and business growth support from your accountant.

The vast majority of UK businesses feel their current accountant is ‘just a bookkeeper’ and are unable to give you, the client, the support you need. Statistics show that 70% of UK business owners would not recommend their advisor to others.

I’m delighted to share this guest post from Grant McKnight, as they share their Top 10 Things your accountant should do to help you grow sales and profits.

Uncover the hidden financial data and host of sales growth, cost savings, and profit enhancing opportunities your accountant should be helping you with.

Do you get the support you deserve?

67% of businesses want to grow, and they need reliable financial performance. Here’s how GMK believes your accountant can help you be more successful.


1. Focus on your future, not on the past.


Imagine driving your car and only using your rearview mirror to see where you have been, but never looking forwards. What do you think would happen?

You need to know what is happening in your business and the status of your financial position right now. Even more importantly, you need to be aware of what’s going to happen next so you can prepare and be ready.


2. Understand your key drivers for success


You can’t change the past, but producing meaningful reports with up-to-date details of what happened in the previous month can help you plan for what may occur in the month ahead.

Having this information is vital for your cash flow forecast. You can track the key performance indicators that matter to your business. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.


3. Understand what discounting does to your profits


It’s crucial to track your key revenue drivers (clients, transactions, and transaction value) to be able to understand and control your margin rate.

A discount of 10% is easy to calculate and far too easy to ‘give away’. It would be best if you resisted the temptation to discount as the negative impact it has on your bottom line is considerable. Make gross margin rate your key performance indicator (KPI).


4. Manage your risks, cash flow, and working capital requirements


To manage your cash effectively, you need help with credit control, cash flow management, forecasting, and planning.

It is better practice to raise your invoices immediately, don’t provide extended credit, and collect your cash as quickly as possible. You can also negotiate longer payment terms with your suppliers, and don’t hold too much in stock.


5. Manage costs and identify areas for savings


By helping you monitor and manage supplier costs, your accountant can help you find better suppliers where necessary. They should also help you analyse your overheads, letting you know when you can renegotiate and introduce you to suppliers who can be trusted to provide the very best terms.


6. Customer value and where there is customer risk


You need to know your current client trends, the rate at which you acquire new clients, and the rate at which you lose them.

Knowing this rate of client gain and loss is critical to accurately forecasting what your future sales will be so you can focus attention on the most appropriate strategies to grow your business.


7. Forecasting: seeing into your future


Use your current data to produce a plan of where your business will be in terms of sales, profit, and the future value of your business.

You need a financial forecast. This should be reviewed and updated regularly so you know what’s happening and the impact it has on your projected figures for next year and beyond.


8. Track your key business drivers to make improvements continually


Six key areas drive the performance of every business, and your accountant should help you understand, monitor, and improve on each of these:

  • Customer acquisition rate
  • Customer retention
  • Average transaction per customer
  • Average transaction value
  • Gross margin
  • Overheads


9. The easiest customer to sell to and the ones you already have


Your accountant should help you identify the customers who could buy more from you by tracking cross-sales targets.

Recording purchases via your accounting system is simple, and it allows you to highlight opportunities to sell more to your existing customers, which is eight times less expensive than selling to new customers.


10. Sales is vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality


Does your accountant help you manage your cash? Too many profitable companies fail because they don’t have a handle on their cash flow – don’t become another statistic.

Your accountant is in the best position to help you understand, manage, and plan your cash requirements to make sure your business has access to sufficient working capital at all times.


How can Grant McKnight help you?


We monitor profitability analysis by quickly identifying profit drivers, allowing you to maximise opportunities and mitigate risks. Our automated forecasting evaluates your current trading performance and creates a forecast for the next twelve months.

Business intelligence modules allow us to help you create a bespoke analysis for each client. Our simple user interface means no training is required, and we can analyse your business performance at the click of a button. We effortlessly distribute insightful monthly performance analysis to your clients, and via our unique algorithms, combine financial and sector expertise to identify opportunities automatically.

Your data is automatically refreshed and kept entirely up to date for a true one-time setup. We can benchmark against your other clients and externally benchmark against similar profile businesses.


If you would like to find out more about Grant McKnight and how they can help you boost your business book a FREE Consultation Call or email the team at info@grantmcknight.com