A Look into Xero Invoicing Updates

Unlocking Enhanced Flexibility and Functionality

Xero has announced that they will be retiring the older version of their invoicing product ‘classic invoicing’ on 2 September 2024.

Xero teams are busy building a new invoicing product that is going to give users more flexibility and customisation in the future, with better checkout experiences and unlimited payment methods.

Building new features you love

There are so many great ideas about what invoicing features we’d like to see in Xero. Unfortunately, they can’t be rolled out in classic invoicing because of the limitations faced with the older technology (think of it like trying to plug an electric charger into a classic car).

The new invoicing solution is a flexible and scalable solution that’s built on the latest technology, so Xero can build the features you need now and in the future.  Some of the features being worked on at the moment include:

  • adding multiple delivery addresses on an invoice
  • requesting partial payments and deposits via invoicing
  • more customisation of invoicing templates and on repeating invoices
  • improved control and smarter scheduling of reminders
  • easier statement creation and statement payment capability.

The changes made so far (and what’s next)

In addition to this list of features exclusive to new invoicing, there are a number of features from classic invoicing that Xero is planning to bring across to the new version, many of which will be available before September.

So far, they have already introduced the following improvements to new invoicing:

  • Copy information from invoices to quotes
  • Option to ‘Create another invoice’ once an invoice is approved
  • Add ‘Reference’ when adding a payment without an extra click
  • Option to ‘Send receipt’ after a payment is added to an invoice
  • Quickly create and save a contact on the fly without extra clicks
  • View item code on the ‘View invoice’ page
  • Paste numbers with commas or dollar signs into line items
  • Delete line items in just one click.

Many of these changes are in response to feedback about the design and usability of new invoicing, and development teams are working hard to make sure these will improve processes and workflows.

There is plenty of time to keep exploring new invoicing, as new functionality is rolled out. Remember, you can keep switching between the two versions until classic invoicing is retired on 2 September 2024.


Learn how to take advantage of all Xero’s cool and sophisticated bookkeeping features, with personalised training from a Notch Above Bookkeeping Certified Xero professional. Book personalised Xero training »

Artificial Intelligence AI

Navigating Artificial Intelligence

How small businesses are navigating AI

The hype around artificial intelligence (AI) is making small businesses feel that its development and adoption are moving at lightning speed.

Curiosity outweighs concerns

Even with ethical concerns in the frame, and with AI tools becoming more easily accessible, small business owners want to be proactive and stay ahead of the curve. New Xero research found that globally, 32% of businesses are experimenting with AI tools, and 21% are investing in them. The results also showed:

  • one in five small businesses were dedicating more resources to AI
  • more than half (51%) said they trusted AI tools with identifiable customer information
  • 45% of respondents said they would trust AI tools with sensitive commercial information

In fact, new Xero research shows that 80% of small business owners globally are concerned that the fast pace and nature of AI are leaving regulation in the dust. They told Xero they want governments to do more, given the potential big impact on industries and the workforce.

Xero launched their Future Focus research on AI at Xerocon Sydney this year, taking an in-depth look at how 3,000 small business owners from across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, the UK and the US feel about AI and the potential impact on their business.

Mixed feelings about research findings

So, what did the research say? In a nutshell — small businesses have mixed feelings about AI. They’re curious and excited, but there’s also concern about ethical implications and data privacy.

Almost a third (32%) of small businesses are intrigued about AI, while others are feeling anxious (31%) and excited (30%). Half of small businesses believe AI will be more helpful and have a positive impact on their people, processes and workflows, compared to 20% who said they believe it will be more harmful.

Sensitive information disclosure (41%) and data privacy violations (41%) were considered to be the biggest ethical challenges relating to AI use in their business. Some (38%) respondents were also concerned about the ethical challenges around worker displacement that could be caused by AI utilisation.

The challenges of using AI

While AI has piqued the interest of small business owners, it’s not the top priority for small businesses just yet. Only 8% of respondents ranked adopting or investing in AI as their number one priority over the next 12 months.

In terms of the small businesses that are already using AI, 69% are reporting some drawbacks, and 23% have seen increased security or privacy issues since using generative AI tools. These drawbacks included:

  • increased biases or inaccuracies in content (18%)
  • decreased employee morale (18%)
  • decreased efficiency due to time overseeing the quality control of AI content (16%)
  • reduced headcount (14%)

While reduced headcount can be seen as a drawback, it can also support small business owners to be more efficient and save on costs. Though 59% of small business owners said they don’t see their hiring plans changing over the next three years, a third (31%) said they plan to hire fewer people.

A reminder to use data responsibility

The interest in generative and predictive AI is understandably driving curiosity among small businesses. But if exploration of this technology leads to sharing personal identifiable information, that could put their customers’ data at risk.

Because of how important protecting sensitive data is, Xero has had, for many years now, responsible data use commitments that guide them as a business, and help support Xero customers as they navigate their own data use.

Xero also announced a number of new, exciting AI-powered features and generative AI experiments at this year’s event.

Considering Xero for your business? Notch Above Bookkeeping’s Xero Certified Advisors are here to answer any questions or to help your business upgrade to or optimise using Xero. Contact us on 1300 015 130.

Source: Xero

Annie of Notch Above Bookkeeping providing Xero training

Xero Beautiful Business Fund submissions now open

Submissions open for inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund

Xero small business customers have until 6 October to enter for a share of $750,000 in funding globally

Xero, the global small business platform, marked day one of Xerocon Sydney 2023 by opening applications for its inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund, designed to celebrate small businesses, empower success and help accelerate their growth. The initiative is now open for submissions with Xero funding available to support the future aspirations of small businesses globally.

The Xero Beautiful Business Fund is open to Xero small business customers in Australia, New Zealand, Canada (excluding Quebec), Singapore, South Africa, the US and the UK and will recognise companies who are eager to take the next step in various aspects of their business.

There are low barriers to entry and to apply

Xero small business customers will need to submit a 90-second pitch video and complete a brief written form for as many categories as they would like to enter:

  1. Innovating for sustainability: For small businesses who want to take the next step on their sustainability journey. For example, it could be to move to sustainable packaging, implement energy-efficient equipment or carbon-neutral transport.
  2. Trailblazing with technology: For small businesses seeking to innovate. This could include digitalising parts of their operations or integrating new emerging technologies.
  3. Strengthening community connection: For small businesses or non-profits who strive to give back to their communities. It could be to contribute to philanthropy, social good, or make an impact on the community in a meaningful way.
  4. Upskilling for the future: For small businesses seeking to support upskilling for themselves or their employees. This could include access to training and other professional development opportunities.

Each submission should be future-focused and detail how the funding would benefit the small business.

“Supporting and celebrating small businesses and their owners is at the core of Xero’s mission, and we’re energised by the opportunity to empower these companies and trailblazers with funding that can help them achieve the next level of success,” said Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero CEO.

“We already know that so many of our customers embody Xero’s values, and we’re pleased to be awarding funds to help our customers in an area like sustainability or upskilling, where they may not have had the cash to do so.”

A total of 28 regional winners, one from each region for each category, will be determined by regional judging panels before being put forward to the global judging panel to select the global winner for each of the four categories.

Good luck! Winners will be announced later this year.

Considering Xero for your business? Notch Above’s Certified Xero Bookkeepers in Brisbane are here to answer any questions or to help your business upgrade to or optimise using Xero. Contact us on 1300 015 130.

Source: Xero

xero user

Apply for Xero Beautiful Business Fund

Xero Users can register to apply for a share in $750k Xero funding

Xero has announced the launch of their Xero Beautiful Business Fund, an initiative backing business for the future with a share of $750,000 funding available to Xero customers globally so your business can keep doing what it does best.

It starts by registering your interest for more information here »

Complete a quick online form to receive further updates about the Xero Beautiful Business Fund when it opens for applications from 23 August 2023.

Apply in one or more categories

Small businesses using Xero in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the US can apply.

There are four categories and no limit on how many you can enter. If you think you qualify for each, Xero encourages you to go for it:

  1. Innovating for sustainability
  2. Trailblazing with technology
  3. Strengthening community connection
  4. Upskilling for the future

Key dates

  • Applications open on 23 August 2023 and close on 6 October 2023
  • When entries open on 23 August, complete your application along with a pitch video
  • Winners will be announced November 2023.

Good luck!

Certified Xero Bookkeepers

Notch Above Bookkeeping are Certified Xero bookkeepers and feature agreed-price monthly fees so you know exactly where you stand. No hidden extras and no ticking clock. Browse our range of Xero bookkeeping services below and get in touch today to discuss the plan which best suits the needs of your business.

Related reading

5 tips for Xero users

Five tips from this year’s Xero quarterly product updates

Did you know that Xero has an inbuilt calculator? Are you across Xero’s inbuilt timesaver features? Across useful ways to use contact groups?

1. Save time with the inbuilt calculator

Did you know that Xero has an inbuilt calculator? It allows you to calculate amounts as you create transactions. When you are in a numeric field in Xero, you can enter a calculation and then press Enter or Tab, and Xero will calculate the result. For example, entering 7+2 and then Enter will display as the number 9 in the field.

The calculator is available in the Quantity, Unit Price and Disc % fields in transactions, and the Debit and Credit fields in manual journals.

In new invoicing, discount percentages are calculated automatically, so the calculator isn’t needed.

2. Add planned payment dates from the Awaiting Payment tab in bills

This tip helps you manage cash flow and plan when to pay bills. You can add a planned date to a purchase invoice in the Awaiting Payment tab to create a planned payment schedule.

This is great for businesses with a daily payment limit on their bank accounts, because Xero totals the bills as you select them — so you can see if the total exceeds your daily limit. If you’re using short-term cash flow in Xero Analytics, this also makes it easy to keep your planned payment dates up to date, so your cash flow forecast is more accurate.

3. Use keyboard shortcuts to navigate around Xero

Here’s a great timesaver which you can use from most screens in Xero. If you enter the forward slash (/), you’ll open the global search. You can then type a letter to navigate straight to a page.

For example, entering ‘/b’ will take you to bills,  ‘/c’ will take you straight to contacts and ‘/d’ will take you to the dashboard.

4. Use repeating invoices for customers who pay a monthly fee

For businesses with regular sales to particular customers, repeating invoices can be a big timesaver. Let’s say one of your customers pays you a monthly fee. You can set up a repeating invoice template so Xero automatically creates a new invoice each month.

Set how often you want Xero to create the invoice, choose the date of the first invoice and then select when the invoice is due. If it’s the same amount each month, click ‘Approve for Sending’. Then each month, Xero will create the invoice, approve it, and email it to your customer.

5. Add suppliers to contact groups for the method of payment

This is a useful way to use contact groups. If you pay some suppliers by bank transfer and others by direct debit, add them to contact groups for the method of payment.

This lets you search the bills ‘Awaiting Payment’ page by payment type and you can sort, group, or filter the Payable Bills reports to make managing your bills payable and generating bank transfer payments easier.

Got a question about making the most of accounting or bookkeeping in your business? Get in touch with our Xero specialists who will be able to assist you with all your cloud accounting queries on 1300 015 130.

tax time

Complete tasks for your tax period

EOFY business countdown

As a small business owner, you want to do what you love and managing your accounts might not be what you got into business for.

Use your time wisely to help give you the space to start analysing how your business is tracking and really focus on the growth opportunities available.

Completing financial tasks regularly will give you the ‘creative/thinking space’ to focus not only on marketing and growing your business but also take time away from your business to enjoy a holiday.

Are you registered for GST?

One way to set regular timeframes is if you report GST or Goods and Services Tax to the ATO.

GST is reported via a business activity statement or BAS, monthly, quarterly or annually. Use your GST period as your time frame to work towards.

Check the ATO or speak to your bookkeeper to see if you need to report GST. You can also find the ATO lodgement and payment dates for BAS’s here.

If you don’t have a bookkeeper, see if Notch Above could be suitable for your business.

Not registered for GST?

You can still set regular time frames for your business to work towards and keep yourself accountable.

TIP! A great period to work towards is quarterly, so you can start to compare business performance from one quarter to the next.


Complete the following day to day tasks for each time frame

  • Record all sales
  • Record all expenses, such as bills, wages and other business expenses
  • Reconcile your bank accounts regularly
  • Keep business documents stored within the file library in Xero
  • Keep your payroll and superannuation up to date

What should you be doing at the end of each period?


Reports that help with comparing periods include:

  • The Profit and loss report: to show your income and expenses for current and past periods
  • The Balance sheet: to understand the financial position of your business

Also start to prepare or chat to your bookkeeper about preparing budgets for your business.

If you don’t have a bookkeeper, check out Xero’s Advisor Directory to find one suitable to your business.

Check out our video on cash flow for an in-depth understanding, and how we can help you to track and manage your cash flow more effectively.

Having this knowledge is going to empower you to start making business growth decisions and have more meaningful conversations with your bookkeeper the next time you talk.

Setting yourself up for the new year

Financial year-end is the perfect time to do a check-up, celebrate your successes, and refocus on business goals.

For more Xero tips, advice and bookkeeping essentials for your business, visit How We Help You and get started today with Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide.

Source: Xero


EOFY resources for small business

End of financial year resources for your small business

Get help with tidying up the books and wrapping up the accounts this end of financial year (EOFY).

Dates to mark in your diary

Here are the key EOFY milestones you need to know. Check out Xero’s handy key dates calendar so you can meet your year-end requirements on time.

  • 30 June: The Australian financial year runs from 1 July to 30 June. At midnight on 30 June, the financial year ends and your business books are closed off. Super contributions must be paid to qualify for tax deductions.
  • 14 July: Reconcile your payroll in Xero so you can submit your end-of-year finalisation declaration via Single Touch Payroll (STP) by 14 July. Your employees can then complete their income tax returns.
  • 28 July: Lodge and pay your Q4 business activity statement (BAS). If you lodge online, you may be eligible for a two-week extension. If you have employees, your super and PAYG instalments are also due.
  • 31 Oct: You have until 31 October to submit your tax return, but there are exceptions. Check the ATO website or ask your tax agent.

Processing payroll

Understand how to review, reconcile and amend your payroll, so you can finalise and lodge your Single Touch Payroll (STP) declaration by July 14.


If it’s your first time using Xero to complete your end of financial year:


If you’ve used Xero to complete your end of financial year before:

Closing the books

Familiarise yourself with bank reconciliations, closing off accounts in Xero, EOFY adjustments and more.


Setting yourself up for the new year

Financial year-end is the perfect time to do a check-up, celebrate your successes, and refocus on business goals.

For more Xero tips, advice and bookkeeping essentials for your business, visit How We Help You and get started today with Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide.

Source: Xero

smokey chimney

Struggling to go green?

How digital tools can help small business

With the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference now behind us, did we make any progress in the small business community?

We all have a role to play and, while small businesses may be facing many challenges on the home front – from Brexit fallout to Covid recovery and more – there are still ways to contribute.

While no single business or organisation has all the answers, what everyone can do is take action by making reductions to their carbon footprint.

Putting your best foot forward

Calculating your carbon footprint – the first key step in tackling the business’ impact on the environment – is often a granular, laborious process.

There isn’t much support for small businesses looking to make a tangible impact on their carbon footprint, while putting sustainable practices in place can be seen as complicated and expensive.

Thankfully, there are digital tools available on the new Xero App Store that enable small businesses to simplify this process.

One of these tools is Spherics – an app that automates the process of carbon accounting, offering a comprehensive snapshot of the environmental impact of a business in minutes. Spherics combines transaction data from Xero with a carbon intensity database to convert pounds spent with a merchant into an estimated Carbon Dioxide equivalent.

What does this mean in practice? For small businesses, the hugely time-consuming, finicky process of capturing every carbon-intensive aspect of their operations is instead carried out – quickly, affordably and with accuracy.

Share your sustainability story

This is just scratching the surface of the work done by a number of Xero’s partners, delivering solutions to help small businesses achieve their sustainability goals.

It’s good to know that businesses can take matters into their own hands and effect genuine change right now.

For more tips, advice and bookkeeping essentials for your business, visit How We Help You and get started today with Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide.

Source: Xero

Car-Driving-Over-Globe-with-Trees,-Flowers-and-Birds-96420121_4636x3593 copy

Business sustainability

Is sustainability good for business?

According to a study commissioned by Xero, 68% of small businesses want to improve their sustainability practices.

But, the question is: How is sustainability specifically good for business?

What does sustainability in business mean?

Harvard Business Review defines sustainable business practises as those that:

  1. at a minimum, do not harm people or the planet and at best create value for stakeholders and
  2. focus on improving environmental, social, and governance performance in the areas in which the company or brand has a material environmental or social impact (such as in their operations, value chain, or customers).

What are the benefits of going green?

There are five key benefits that you can reap by building sustainable practices into your business:

  1. Accelerated innovation
  2. Risk management
  3. Customer acquisition and retention
  4. Talent attraction and staff retention
  5. Financial gain

Accelerated innovation

An awesome by-product of investing in sustainability for businesses is the increased capacity for innovation and the rewards of constantly striving to change things for the better.

There are many different ways being green drives companies to keep innovating and evolving their product, production methods or service offering. These include using new technology to minimise waste during production, redesigning a product to incorporate the latest advancements in recycled materials, or investing in faster, more energy-efficient equipment.

The team at Great Wrap recognised the need for food wrap that doesn’t contribute to the plastic pollution crisis. They’ve produced the world’s first compostable cling wrap, made from potato waste and biopolymers that break down in a compost pile in 180 days. As such an innovative bunch, they continue to strive to improve their product formula and will soon extend their range to include commercial cling wrap and pallet wrap.

Continued innovation, driven by sustainability efforts fosters more efficient production. It also conserves resources and streamlines employee tasks, and by doing so reduces overall running costs and maximises profits.

Risk management

Investing in environmental initiatives safeguards a business’ ability to operate long term, particularly if their supply chain relies on natural resources. These initiatives can be as simple as composting your kitchen waste, installing motion sensors on your office lighting, or even switching to renewable energy.

This is especially relevant for businesses in the agriculture, textile, food and beverage industries. The impacts of climate change, like increased natural disasters such as floods, bush fires and drought, have the potential to negatively impact growing conditions and seasons, increase pests and disease, and decrease crop yields.

Customer acquisition and retention

Customers today expect a lot more from brands in terms of transparency, responsibility and sustainability.

Research into consumer behaviour shows, in the last 12 months:

  • 55% of Australian consumers are ‘conscious consumers’ who make purchase decisions based on their environmental values, ethics or fair trade
  • 2 in 5 consumers are willing to pay more for ethical and sustainable products in Australia
  • 24% of Australian consumers find it difficult to identify whether a brand operates ethically or sustainability

PayPal, says “Aussies are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to environmentally and socially sustainable products. Every buying decision has the power to change the world a little and we’re beginning to see a shift as 73% of global consumers are willing to change consumption habits to lessen their negative impact on the environment.”

Having well publicised and documented sustainability practices are key for businesses to get a competitive advantage, attract new customers and keep existing customers coming back.

Talent attraction and staff retention

It makes sense that employees who feel proud and engaged are more likely to stick around when they are working for a company that is proactive in terms of a sustainability strategy.

report by the Society for Human Resource Management found that companies that implement sustainability programs have 55% higher employee morale, 43% more efficient business processes and 38% improved employee loyalty.

Employees enjoy being involved in sustainability initiatives, training sessions and activities that help galvanise team relationships and culture. When employees are asked for their input on what areas of the business can be improved, amazing insights and huge value can be gained.

In 2016 after being inspired by Unilever’s sustainability slogan – ‘Small actions can make a big difference’ – employees at an English, Unilever-owned tea factory suggested the size of their paper tea bags could be reduced. The move saved the company just shy of $75,000 in the process and reduced their paper waste by 9,300 kilograms.

During the recruitment process, you’re more likely to attract like-minded environmental innovators if you make your commitment to sustainability widely known. Having a reputation as a green business shows you have a bigger purpose beyond making a profit. This is extremely attractive to job hunters wanting to work somewhere value-aligned and contribute to something that’s having a positive impact on the world.

Financial gains

While rolling out green initiatives can come with an initial financial outlay, you’ll most likely save money in the long term.

Examples of this can be installing solar panels to power the office or factory space, exploring creative ways to put waste products or offcuts to good use or investing in the development of more environmentally friendly materials.

The latest figures from the electricity market show that Australian businesses using rooftop solar save up to 31% on their energy costs compared to businesses without solar.

Another example is Nike’s Flyknit, which has generated the sportswear giant over $2 billion revenue since its launch in 2012. Shoes made with the innovative Flyknit technology create 60% less scrap waste, require minimal labour, have reduced waste by 3.5 million pounds and transitioned from virgin yarn to 90% recycled polyester. That’s the equivalent of 182 million plastic bottles diverted from landfill.

Being a sustainable business can also open up a world of investors, as well as government grants and funding to help businesses, like yours, become more sustainable.

How can I make my business more sustainable?

There are so many things businesses can put in place to make their operations and offering more sustainable and to lessen negative environmental impacts. Here are some ideas to help get you started with your sustainability initiatives:

  • Offer remote working and consider how to reduce employees’ carbon footprints
  • Opt for virtual meetings instead of travelling to meetings
  • Reduce air travel where possible to lessen emissions associated with doing business
  • Encourage green commuting options among employees such as carpooling, biking and public transport
  • Introduce composting and improve recycling at the office and during manufacturing (for product-based businesses)
  • Make your workplace completely paperless – think paperless billing, receipts and keep all company documents in the cloud
  • Opt for recycled office supplies like toilet paper, green cleaning products, tissues, pens and bin liners
  • Create a sustainability group to develop new green initiatives and hold the business accountable
  • Offer team volunteer opportunities for environmental causes
  • Run regular sustainability surveys and forums where employees, customers and other stakeholders can share observations, ideas and thoughts on where the business can be more sustainable
  • Consider passive solar design for your business premises to reduce heating and cooling costs
  • Invest in renewable energy or shift to a green power option
  • Assess and offset carbon emissions
  • Donate to environmental organisations
  • Choose green hosting for your website
  • Delete old emails and unneeded files – you’d be shocked by the amount of carbon produced while storing old emails
  • Opt for plant-based or recycled materials for production and packaging, where possible
  • Investigate an ISO 14000 certified factory if your business manufactures products
  • Consider your products’ end of life and build circularity into your offering (for example, offer lifetime free repairs or a recycling program)

At the end of the day, businesses stand to benefit in numerous ways by investing in sustainability. It may take dedication, drive and a willingness to evolve to go green but the rewards in terms of business growth, productivity, staff morale and longevity are well worth the effort.

For more tips, advice and bookkeeping essentials for your business, visit How We Help You and get started today with Notch Above Bookkeeping, Australia-wide.

Source: Xero