Cloud accounting provider Xero debuted a number of new products and offerings at its user conference, Xerocon, held here this week.

The new offerings include revitalized PayPal integration, a Xero personalized certification program, and a new reporting tool to save accountants’ time.

PayPal Express Checkout for Xero

Xero has been partnered with PayPal for eight years, but, according to CTO Craig Walker, that integration has never been truly seamless. At Xerocon 2016, the company announced a new partnership that fashions the integration more sleekly, making the payment process for Xero users faster.

According to Xero, its customers sent almost 9.5 million invoices in the last 30 days alone. More than 60 percent of those invoices will be paid late. The new integration with PayPal allows clients to pay invoices with a few clicks from directly inside an invoice, instead of being directed out to PayPal first, which is designed to save time and encourage timely payment.

“Our previous integration between Xero bank feeds and PayPal was the easiest way to do things, but perhaps not the best way,” Walker told Accounting Today. “There was an extra step that seemed stupid. The updated method of making payments makes the visual our customers’ customers see much cleaner.”

Features of the new integration include auto-marking invoices as paid, auto-creation of a separate PayPal fee line item, and One-Touch-enabled checkouts so customers won’t need to log in and out of different sites as they work.

Personalized Certification

Also new is Xero’s upcoming personalized certification program for bookkeepers and accountants.

The company has invested in an learning management system to create a certification program that will be customized to each customer’s specialized needs. The program will consist of units that all certificants will be required to take, as well as units that will function as electives to create a personalized certification.

“There is a direct correlation with the growth of a practice, and the more people their practice has Xero-certified,” Amy Vetter, global vice president of education and accounting for Xero, said in a statement. “We’re seeing this first­hand with entire firms investing the time to get all of their people certified, and reaping the rewards. They’re reducing the time spent on compliance work by becoming more efficient and allowing them to utilize their experience to help their small business clients to thrive.”

Xero Certification is expected to debut at the end of September.

Reporting

At Xeroxon, Walker was most proud of Xero’s new reporting tool, which will be available in September.

“The efficiencies to be gained from the new reports template cannot be understated,” he told Accounting Today. “It’s already live in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to massive effect.”

Xero Report Templates is designed to give accountants and bookkeepers the facility to design and compile customized management and financial reports that can be saved for future use as templates across all of their clients. The tool comes with a number of predefined templates that can be tweaked and customized with, the company claims, almost “unlimited flexibility” over the reports that can be created.

Features include practice-wide reporting based on report codes instead of individual charts of accounts; an in­built report codes mapping system; and a layout customization editor.

 

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