Bank Feeds Live in Xero — It Worked!

So I’ve logged onto Xero today and yippee, my bank feeds are activated and yesterday’s two transactions have come through automatically. Seems amazing.

This means that when I click the Reconcile Now button, I can view these transactions and choose either to import them, or to match them to an existing transaction. (I’m a little confused as to why these transactions aren’t appearing yet in my Account transactions listing but I imagine that’s because I haven’t coded them yet.)

So, driven my animal cunning, I click the Cash Coding tab and I see this screen:

Coding transactions in Xero

Coding transactions in Xero

All seems pretty straightforward. I choose what accounts I want to allocate these transactions to (one goes to income, the other to drawings) and then I click the Save & Reconcile button. (I’m not sure I really want to reconcile these transactions, as I’m yet to manually import all the transactions from July up until now, but there doesn’t seem to be any other options.)

I get a message saying that the second transaction has been rejected because the ‘cash coded statement line was not valid’. What a bummer. Time to get some help.

I type the error message into the ‘Ask a Question’ box in the top-right. The help responses don’t have an exact match to my error, but I do find a document that tells me that ‘all fields other than tracking and description fields (if you use them) are required’. Sounds fine, except I’m not sure what a tracking field is. Anyway, I obediently type stuff into the fields where I hadn’t entered anything and try again. Great, it works.

I go to the Bank Statement tab of the Bank Reconciliation report and it looks amazing! I guess what I like best about this report is it looks a whole lot like my actual bank statement. Also, because the transactions were imported via a bank feed, the Reference column is exactly the same as what my printed bank statement is going to be. I can see already that getting my bank account to reconcile is going to be a painless affair.

Xero's Bank Reconciliation report

Xero's Bank Reconciliation report

The report looks good, doesn’t it?

The next thing I’m going to explore is to create ‘rules’ so that these transactions get coded automatically next time. More on that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to choose between gin and tonics on the veranda with my mum (who’s currently visiting from snowbound Scotland) in the lazy summer afternoon warmth or continuing to update the ninth edition of my book Making the Most of MYOB (in preparation for the new MYOB release out next year). Ninth edition means 130,000 words written or edited nine times, which makes over 1 million words over the course of the last 14 years. That’s an awful lot of hours spent on an extremely dry topic!

Sigh. Speaking of dry, that gin and tonic is surely gonna win.

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About veechicurtis

a one-woman geekspeak to plain-english converter
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4 Responses to Bank Feeds Live in Xero — It Worked!

  1. Glen Barnes says:

    So why use Cash Coding when you can just use the standard Reconcile statement lines tool? Cash coding seems to be for the more ‘expert’ user when most end users tend to use the reconcile feature. It is pretty straight forward and once you’ve done it a few times it starts to remember transactions. I also recommend setting up rules once you start seeing repeating items. I use rules for just about every bill I pay monthly, it saves you making any mistakes (I kept on forgetting to set GST to none for overseas bills) and saves a couple of seconds a line which can add up over a year.

  2. veechicurtis says:

    Thanks Glen, I’ll try using the standard Reconcile statement tools next time. (The mob at Xero have suggested I enrol for a course, but part of my experiment is to see how easy it is to do my accounts without any product-specific training.)

    I am excited about setting up rules for my transactions, I suspect I’ll end up not having to spend much time bookkeeping at all once I have it all set up.

  3. I know you’re trying to work this all out with no specific training or help so I didn’t jump in right away when you posted – but now I will because there’s a couple of points I wanted to clear up for you.

    As to why transactions you’ve imported might not appear in your Account Transactions list – if you haven’t already specifically entered them manually in Xero, they won’t be there. It really depends on your working style and the types of transactions you’ve got. If you type everything into Xero as you go for cash transactions and invoices they’ll be listed in Xero, then when you import your statement lines you can simply match them up (& here’s where Xero will learn to recognise how you matched things last time) and reconcile. Alternatively, if you work off the imported statement then when the statement lines land in Xero you need to ‘create’ the transaction in Xero to reconcile each one to, which you can do from the main Reconcile screen by completing the ‘Create’ tab or on the Cash Coding screen which just provides a grid view of the create function. One thing to note if you’re working off your imported statement though – this is really designed for cash transactions – if you’re working with invoices you do need to enter those in Xero first then match the payment when it’s imported from your bank.

    Now for tracking – that’s our description of cost centres or departments – it’s a way of letting you further categorise your transactions within each account. Saves you ending up with a large list of accounts to code things to, especially if you’ve got some common elements to track across all your accounts. The primary function of tracking is reporting – later on you can run your Profit and Loss report showing a breakdown by tracking category if you like.

    Hope this helps … but not too much so that you get to experience this on your own!

    Catherine

  4. Pingback: A Candid Review of CashBook Online | Cloud Accounting Review

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