Xero enriches connected platform for businesses and advisors

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Digitisation takes centre stage at Xerocon London as Xero removes friction, helping small businesses and advisers do their taxes, run projects efficiently, and make their businesses more profitable

LONDON, 14 NOVEMBER 2018 — Xero, the global small business platform, today announced major innovations and partnerships that help small businesses and their advisors do their taxes simply, access the data they need most, and ensure they can run more profitable, more efficient projects for customers. Xero also announced the acquisition of Instafile, a UK cloud-based accounts and tax return preparation company that will automate tax filing and financial reporting for businesses in the UK, helping them prepare for Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements.

The new features, unveiled in front of 3000 attendees at Xerocon London 2018, make Xero an even more powerful business platform for small businesses in the UK and around the world. They include:

Full compatibility with HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) : Xero is officially ready for MTD for VAT, so businesses who must comply with new HMRC rules for VAT from April 2019 can now submit their returns directly from the platform to HMRC. Customers will have greater control and visibility of their VAT, with the assurance of being MTD-compliant and connected in real-time to HMRC.

Xero acquires Instafile to automate tax preparation: Xero is bringing accounts preparation and tax filing to the accounting platform with the acquisition of Instafile, a cloud-based accounts preparation and tax filing solution that connects UK accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses to UK compliance bodies including HMRC. With Instafile, Xero is future-proofing UK accountants for 2020, the current expected date for mandatory MTD filing across all tax types.

Faster bank feeds from five leading UK fintechs: Tapping into Xero’s new, industry-leading bank feed API, leading financial institutions including Tide, Starling, TransferWise, Revolut and Soldo will now provide faster direct feeds into Xero so businesses can track foreign exchange payments, manage expenses and uncover deep insights about their performance.

Direct onlinefilings for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS): Available as an open construction contractors will soon be able to file Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) returns directly from Xero, reducing errors and administration.

Automated connections to 150 companies for businesses and advisors: Hubdoc, the newest member of the Xero family, now fetches bills, receipts and other financial documents from more than 150 financial institutions and vendors UK small businesses interact with daily.

Streamlined payroll administration tools: Business owners and their accountants can spend less time on payroll, and more time growing their business, with new payroll employee bulk uploads and direct integrations with NEST, the UK’s largest pension provider.

Powerful integrations with Xero Projects, payroll and Trello: Xero Projects, the simple job costing and time tracking tool, is now more powerful than ever, with integrations to Trello and Xero Payroll, giving businesses a single source of truth on the profitability and efficiency of their projects.

A new Xero dashboard to improve user controls: Navigating the Xero dashboard is now more intuitive than ever, ensuring business owners can find what they need quickly, while accountants and bookkeepers can help guide their clients.

“Making Tax Digital will make business taxes more accurate and more efficient but importantly, with Xero it will be easier than ever for business owners, accountants and bookkeepers to meet their compliance requirements in the UK,” said Steve Vamos, Xero CEO. “The features we’ve announced at Xerocon London make sure that UK small businesses can spend less time on their business and more time growing it.

“From tax and compliance to financial performance, projects and payroll, the new features in Xero make it easier, simpler and more efficient for businesses to get on with what they do best. And for our accountants and bookkeeping partners, it means less time searching for information, and more time giving their clients the valuable insights they need to help them grow. We fundamentally believe in the power of technology to help small businesses, and the UK economy as a whole, continue to expand.”

An all-new VAT solution for Making Tax Digital

Customers will have greater control and visibility of their VAT. with the assurance of being MTD-compliant and connected in real-time to HMRC. The solution provides an easy-to-use and beautiful VAT experience for customers. Xero is officially ready for MTD for VAT so businesses can easily keep and maintain digital records and submit their VAT returns digitally to HMRC. After a successful pilot with customers, Xero’s MTD for VAT readiness means businesses and their advisors can get ready for the April 2019 start date.

Xero acquires Instafile to automate tax preparation for UK businesses

Xero has acquired Instafile, a cloud-based accounts preparation and tax filing solution that connects UK accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses to UK compliance bodies (including HMRC). Instafile links directly to underlying Xero data to allow preparation and filing of Corporation Tax returns together with statutory accounts. With Instafile, Xero is future-proofing UK accountants for 2020, the current expected date for mandatory MTD filing across all tax types.

Direct CIS filings from Xero

Construction businesses will also be able to make CIS returns directly from Xero. Available for free in open beta now, once it’s out of beta it will be a chargeable add on. The new feature makes filing CIS returns an easier task for thousands of construction businesses in the UK, reducing errors and time administration.

Faster, more intuitive feeds from five leading fintechs

Xero is integrating with five leading fintechs Tide, Starling, Transferwise, Revolut and Soldo through its new, full-featured bank feeds API. The integrations mean small businesses and their advisors can more easily track foreign exchange payments, manage expenses and uncover deep insights about their business’ performance in their accounting dashboard, all made possible through Xero’s API, which enables financial institutions of all sizes to increase time-to-market for new services.

The new integrations demonstrate the success of the new bank feeds API, which uses secure standards including OAuth to connect businesses with vital data from hundreds of sources in one platform. It means financial institutions of all sizes across the world — from fintech startups to major institutions in developing regions — can securely integrate with Xero, dramatically improving time-to-market for direct integrations as they gain access to a consistent development platform to serve their customers.

A more connected platform for businesses and advisors

Hubdoc now automatically fetches bills, receipts and other financial documents from more than 150 financial institutions and vendors which UK small businesses interact with daily, feeding them directly into the Xero accounting platform. The features make financial document collection and data entry, often time-consuming for accountants and bookkeepers, more efficient by extracting key financial data from documents and seamlessly syncing it with Xero.

Hubdoc was acquired by Xero earlier this year to streamline administrative tasks such as financial document collection and data entry so accountants and bookkeepers can run their practices more efficiently.

Payroll gets more efficient with seamless imports, pension payments

Xero is making it easier for businesses their accountants and payroll administrators to pay and manage staff, and their pensions, helping them spend less time on admin tasks and more time growing their business.

Setting up a payroll system is often a major time drain for business owners, their administrators and accountants face. Xero’s new payroll employee bulk upload feature lets users drag and drop a spreadsheet of all employees in one go, dramatically cutting time by up to 10 minutes for every employee and reducing potential input errors.

Xero is also making it simpler and easier to file pension payments. We have built a direct connection to NEST, the largest pension provider in the UK, to enable businesses to file their pensions contributions directly into NEST from within. A direct integration with The People’s Pension will be made available in the coming months.

New Xero Projects integrations make it easier to run more efficient, more profitable projects

Xero Projects is now working more closely with Xero Payroll for UK businesses, and Atlassian’s popular task management platform Trello. Now, payroll administrators can pull Xero Projects time entries for hourly paid workers into Xero Payroll rather than entering the information twice. This enables them to pay employees from a single set of data, reducing risk of payment errors and saving time.

Xero Projects is integrating with Atlassian’s Trello to help businesses deliver on projects more efficiently. Once the integration is enabled, businesses will be able to track time against a client project directly from Trello, giving them an all-in-one view of project completion and time, cutting down on data entry, and improving accuracy. Businesses can let Xero Projects take care of the financial side of project management, use Trello to schedule and manage work across time, and have a single way to track productivity across projects.

Invoicing is also now easier in Xero Projects — businesses can create deposits, task & expenses or fixed amount invoice directly from within Projects and seamlessly sync with their accounting dashboard, ensuring any credit notes or invoicing irregularities are available in one view.

A new, more refined interface for the Xero dashboard

Navigating the Xero dashboard is now more intuitive than ever, ensuring business owners can find what they need quickly, while accountants and bookkeepers can help guide their clients through issues as they arise. The new navigation makes it easier to on-board customers and scale in growing practices.