Online Accounting

5 tips to Improve the Purchasing Process

It doesn't help you find the money but there are ways that cloud accounting software and in particular Xero can help in making the process smoother. Other cloud accounting software may offer similar functionality.

Attaching copies of invoices and information

When creating a bill transaction in Xero you can attach a copy of the invoice or other important information relating to that transaction. Big deal I might here you say, well it is actually. No more having to keep paper copies taking up space in your office looking unsightly which for one thing is good for the planet and with the added bonus that HMRC accept electronic versions too so why wouldn’t you. But there are more advantages, you know exactly where it is if you need it. When handing over your records to your accountant no more having to lug files to their office, you can give them access and it is all there so will also reduce questions like “can I have a copy of ….” or “what was this transaction for?” which saves you time and possibly even money.


But Xero haven’t stopped there, they have joined forces with Hubdoc to make this even easier for you. Most invoices nowadays are sent electronically either via an attachment or embedded in an email but rather than them sitting in your email clogging up your inbox waiting until you are ready to deal with them you can ping these over to Hubdoc and they will start the process for you. By using AI it will extract the date, amounts and tax information as well as creating an attachment already linked to this transaction. All that’s left for you to do is review it and say where you want it posted in Xero, though it will remember where you have previously posted and then hit sync. Done. That all sounds great but how much is it going to cost? If you haven’t heard as of 18th March 2020 this is part of the Xero package so it’s included for free.

Assigning costs to customers

Do you have costs which you pass over to your customers? By assigning these costs to the customer at the time of creating the bill transaction there is no need to remember to include these in your invoicing later as these will appear as a reminder when billing that there are these costs to include which haven’t been included previously. For consultant clients this is a great way to ensure that all the expenses are reimbursed without having to keep separate logs or even think about it.

Repeating bills

This is a useful tool to mop up those expenses which come out each month for the same amount each time but you don’t always get an invoice for them. Set them up as repeating bills and Xero will include them in your bills to pay so you know that these are due.

Purchase orders

I am not claiming this is an all singing and all dancing purchase order system - as it’s not - but if you don’t need all the bells and whistles then it’s another tool included in the package. Once created and sent your purchase order to your supplier all the information can be copied to a bill transaction with a click of a button and can move the purchase order to the billed status so you can see what costs you have committed to but the invoice hasn’t arrived yet.