Xero Hints, Tips & Shortcuts

As if Xero isn’t great enough, these extra hints and tips can help to make the Xero processes even smoother!

Inbuilt Calculator

Within transactions, such as invoices, you can enter a basic arithmetic operation into the fields Quantity, Unit Price and Discount.  Xero then calculates the result when you press enter: 

You can also use the inbuilt calculator in the debit and credit fields in manual journals:

Favourite a Report 

In the ‘Accounting’ menu, select ‘Reports’.  If your preferred report isn’t listed, click ‘More Reports’ to expand a section.  Click the empty star next to the report you want to add to the ‘Accounting’ menu; alternatively click a filled-in star to remove a favourite from the ‘Accounting’ menu. 

Reconciliation Adjustment

In the event of a slight under or over payment when reconciling the bank account, you can make a minor adjustment so the amounts match. The following process posts a reconciliation adjustment account transaction to the system rounding account. 

On the bank reconciliation screen, next to the bank statement line that doesn’t quite match, click ‘Find & Match’.  Find the transaction entered in Xero, then select the checkbox next to the transaction that you want to match with the bank statement line. Click ‘adjustments’ then select ‘minor adjustment’.  Enter the adjustment details and click ‘Reconcile’.

Add accounts from transactions 

You can add Chart of Account codes whilst entering invoices or bills, by selecting the first entry in the drop-down box labelled ‘Add a new account’: 

Find voided items

To find all voided invoices, bills and credit notes, go to the Business menu, then select either Invoices or Bills to pay as appropriate and select the All tab.  Click on the Status column header twice to get a reverse alphabetical list by status which will show ‘Voided’ at the top of the list.

Repeating invoice

If you have regular bills to pay or send regular invoices to customers – use Xero’s repeating invoices or bills.  Set up a template and Xero will automatically create an invoice or bill for you according to the frequency you specify and drop it on the Draft tab (if you need to vary the amount or something else each time) or the Awaiting Payment tab (if the it is the same every time).

Expense claim codes

If there are only a few accounts you want displayed when coding expense claim receipts, limit that number by going to the Accounting menu, selecting Chart of accounts and editing the accounts that you do not want to display by clearing the ‘Show in Expense’ claims option on each account.

Customise report layout

Change the default layout of some reports by choosing your own groupings for accounts or move accounts to be displayed on a different part of the report using a ‘Custom layout’.  The layout can be applied to other organisations you have in Xero or set as the default for all users of an organisation.

Date entry shortcuts

ShortcutShortcut key(s)Date fieldsDue date fieldsExamples
Today’s dateTab
t
 
Tomorrow’s datetom 
Day in the next weeknext [day]If today is Monday, using shortcut: next fri enters the date of the next Friday
Next week (7 days from today)next w 
Next month (today’s date, next month)next m 
Next year (today’s date, next year)next y 
Any month after today’s date (today’s date, for that month)next [month]If today is 20 October 2012, using shortcut: next sepenters 20 September 2013
Date in current month[number]Enter 21 for 21st of current month
Date in a month[number]/[month]
[number]-[month]
[month]/[number]
[month]-[number]
Enter 1/oct or oct/1 for 1 October
Enter 1-oct or oct-1 for 1 October
Enter 3/12 for Mar 12**
First of any month in any year[month]/[year]
[month]-[year]
Enter July/2012 or July-2012 for 1 July 2012
A date next month*[number]If today is 20 October 2012, using shortcut: *12 enters 12 November 2012
Days after today’s date
Days after the invoice or bill date
+[number]
+[number]d
In the date field, enter +2 or +2d for 2 days after today’s date
In the due date field, enter +2or +2d for 2 days after the invoice or bill date
Weeks after today’s date
Weeks after the invoice or bill date
+[number]w 
Months after today’s date
Months after the invoice or bill date
+[number]mIn the date field, enter +1mfor 1 month after today’s date
In the due date field, enter +1m for 1 month after the invoice or bill date
Years after today’s date
Years after the invoice or bill date
+[number]y 

Reverse Charge VAT

The reverse charge procedure has been designed by the HMRC to try to counter some forms of criminal attack on the UK VAT system by means of fraud, such as Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud.

The reverse charge procedure results in, essentially, a business-to-business (b2b) tax-neutral chain of transactions, with the seller no longer having to account for VAT, so it removes the opportunity to steal the VAT in b2b transactions within the UK.  Supplies of relevant goods and services remain subject to the reverse charge until they are excepted from the procedure or are exported or dispatched to another Member State.

Whilst the reverse charge effectively removes VAT in a series of b2b transactions, it still has its own revenue risks.  For example, a buyer disappearing without accounting for the reverse charge output tax.

The reverse charge for specified goods does not apply universally throughout the EU.  Therefore, some taxable persons who use the reverse charge might be acting as conduits (taxable persons who facilitate MTIC fraud in the EU, where the tax loss is in another Member State).

The reverse charge: How the reverse charge works – an example

Example 1: From a VAT registered distributor to a retailer to an end consumer

A VAT registered UK distributor of mobile phones sells a number of mobile phones to a VAT registered UK retailer for a VAT-exclusive value of £6,000, an amount that is above the de minimis limit. The distributor does not charge VAT on the supply (£1,200), specifying on its invoice that the reverse charge applies.

The retailer will account for the distributor’s output tax (£1,200) but will also reclaim the amount as input tax, thus producing a nil net effect. The retailer now sells the mobile phones to members of the general public, charging VAT on the supply as normal.

Example 2: From a VAT registered distributor through a series of wholesalers to final dispatch

A distributor sells a number of mobile phones to a wholesaler (WS1) for a VAT-exclusive value of £6,000, an amount that is above the de minimis limit. The distributor does not charge VAT on the supply (£1,200), specifying on its invoice that the reverse charge applies.

WS1 will account for the distributor’s output tax (£1,200) but will reclaim the tax as input tax, thus producing a nil net effect. WS1 now sells the mobile phones to another wholesaler (WS2) for a VAT-exclusive value of £7,000. WS1 does not charge VAT on the supply (£1,400), specifying on its invoice that the reverse charge applies.

WS2 will account for WS1’s output tax (£1,400) but will reclaim the tax as input tax, thus producing a nil net effect. WS2 now sells the mobile phones to a third wholesaler (WS3) for a VAT-exclusive value of £8,000. WS2 does not charge VAT on the supply (£1,600), specifying on its invoice that the reverse charge applies.

WS3 will account for WS2’s output tax (£1,600) but will reclaim the tax as input tax, thus producing a nil net effect. WS3 now sells the mobile phones to a taxable person registered for VAT in another Member State for a VAT-exclusive value of £9,000. WS3 does not charge VAT on the supply as this becomes zero-rated.

If we look at how this would translate onto the VAT returns, we have:

                                                Distributor        WS1                 WS2                 WS3

Reverse charge output tax*       £0                    £1,200              £1,400              £1,600

Input Tax*                                £0                    £1,200              £1,400              £1,600

Net Tax                                    £0                    £0                    £0                    £0

Outputs                                    £6,000              £7,000              £8,000              £9,000

Inputs                                       £0                    £6,000              £7,000              £8,000

The above assumes that the distributor made no purchases and WS 1-3 made no other purchases or supplies.

Useful Excel shortcuts you need in your life!

Nowadays life is so fast paced that we could all do with more time to get things done, so anything that can be streamlined should be! These really handy Excel shortcuts will save you some precious minutes (or hours!) so you can fit in the more important things.

There are tons of shortcuts in Excel, but here are the most frequently used ones:

Navigation Shortcuts

These simple shortcuts can help you navigate between workbooks, sheets, rows and columns:

Move up through a selectionShift + Enter (PC and Mac)
Jump to the top of a columnCTRL + ↑ (PC); Command + ↑ (Mac)
Jump to the bottom of a columnCTRL + ↓ (PC); Command + ↓ (Mac)
Jump to the corner of a selection (Note: Rotate to each corner by repeating this keystroke)CTRL + . (PC and Mac)
Close the active workbook windowCTRL + w (PC); Command + W (Mac)
Switch to previous workbook windowCTRL + Shift + F6 (PC); Command + Shift + F6 (Mac)
Switch to the next open worksheetCTRL + Tab (Mac only)
Switch to the previous open worksheet (Mac)CTRL + Shift + Tab (Mac only)
Start a new chart sheetF11 (PC and Mac)
Insert a new sheetShift + F11 (PC and Mac)
Repeat the last actionCTRL + y (PC); Command + Y (Mac)
Fill selected cell with the content in the cell above selected cellCTRL + d (PC and Mac)
Fill selected cell with the content in the cell to the left of selected cellCTRL + r (PC and Mac)

Format Shortcuts

Formatting in Excel can be difficult if you don’t know of what you’re doing. Here are a few shortcuts that will help you easily format your cells. To start, here’s a featured formatting shortcut you might not have known about:

Excel Strikethrough Shortcut

The Excel strikethrough shortcut will strike a line through the middle of the value or text in a highlighted cell. To strike a line through a cell, highlight the cell and press CTRL + 5 on your keyboard.


Find and replace values
CTRL + F (PC); Command + F (Mac)
Show all values as percentagesCTRL + Shift + % (PC and Mac)
Show all values as currency (Note: Replace $ with your own country’s currency key)CTRL + Shift + $ (PC and Mac)
Show all values in general number formatCTRL + Shift + ~ (PC and Mac)
Apply or remove bold formatting to selected cellsCTRL + 2 (PC); Command + b (Mac)
Apply or remove italic formatting to selected cellsCTRL + 3 (PC); Command + i (Mac)
Hide selected rowsCTRL + 9 (PC and Mac)
Unhide selected rowsCTRL + Shift + ( (PC and Mac)
Hide selected columnsCTRL + 0 (PC and Mac)
Unhide selected columnsCTRL + Shift + ) (PC and Mac)
Insert current dateCTRL + ; (PC and Mac)
Insert current timeCTRL + Shift + : (PC); Command + ; (Mac)
Insert a hyperlinkCTRL + k (PC); Command + k (Mac)
Apply an outline border to selected cells (see screenshot below)CTRL + Shift + & (PC); Command + Option + 0 (Mac)

Shortcuts for Selecting Rows & Columns

Save yourself the manual dragging and selecting rows and columns with these handy keyboard tricks. To start, here are two featured rows-related shortcuts you might not have known about:

Excel Insert Row Shortcut

The insert row shortcut in Excel will create a new row below a highlighted cell. To insert a new row, highlight a cell or entire row and press CTRL + Shift + + on your keyword, literally pressing the plus sign after Shift. This will open a small window of options where you can insert a new row or column.

 Expand the selection by one cell either upward (↑) or downward (↓)Shift + ↑ [or] Shift + ↓ (PC and Mac)
Expand the selection to the last non-empty cellCTRL + Shift + Arrow Key (PC); Command + Shift + Arrow Key (Mac)
Select entire columnCTRL + [spacebar] (PC and Mac)
Select entire rowShift + [spacebar] (PC and Mac)
Select entire sheetCTRL + a (PC); Command + a (Mac)
Select only the visible cells in the current selectionAlt + ; (PC); Command + Shift + z (Mac)

Formula Shortcuts

Start a formula (e.g. “=A4+A5”)= (i.e. press the “equals” sign; PC and Mac)
Insert AutoSum formulaAlt + (PC); Command + Shift + t (Mac)
Edit active cellF2 (PC); CTRL + u (Mac)
Display the Formula Builder after you type a valid function name in a formulaCTRL + a (PC and Mac)

Miscellaneous Shortcuts

Here are a few more time-saving shortcuts. To start, here’s a final featured shortcut for managing the size of your Excel worksheet:

Excel Delete Row Shortcut

The Excel delete row shortcut will delete the row below a highlighted cell. To delete this row, highlight a cell or entire row and press CTRL + – on your keyboard, literally pressing the minus sign after CTRL. This will open a small window of options where you can “shift cells up.”

Save your work as…Control + Shift + s (PC); Command + Shift + s (Mac)
Open spelling & grammar checkF7 (PC and Mac)
Insert a comment (see screenshot below)Shift + F2 (PC and Mac)

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