This article is an extract from the book 'Everything you need to know about Xero Practice Manager'
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There are some settings in XPM you need to get right. In this section we’ll be reviewing the essential settings to ensure your practice is set up to succeed.
To get started, go to ‘Business > Settings > Client Settings’ in your XPM.
There is very little you need to add, edit or modify with your client settings as most of these are already set up correctly for you. There are some areas and definitions that it pays to be aware of, which are covered below.
Clients represent entities that we work for. These may be companies, trusts, individuals, partnerships, soles traders etc. Client groups can be found under ‘Clients > Groups’ and represent collections of these entities, typically with the same point of contact who may receive a single invoice for all the jobs related to the entire group.
An example could be David Dickins, who is the owner of Dickins Doorknobs Limited and Dickins Family Trust. We will have a client set up for all three entities, but are all assigned to the same client group, which is generally the main entity, Dickins Doorknobs Limited.
Not all clients belong to a client group, but all client groups will have one or more associated clients. We’ll cover the importance of this distinction in Chapter 7: Setting Up Engagements, but for now it is important to understand the difference between a client and a client group.
Client groups can be set up one of two ways. You can either create and allocate clients to groups manually, or you can import them via csv. To create client groups manually, click ‘Clients > Groups > Create Group’. Give the group and name, select whether it is a taxable group. Taxable group will default as unselected. If you select this, it means you can view all tax returns for members of the group on the group page. This is generally left as unselected, but if you think this is valuable, you can check this box.
The fastest way to create groups is importing them via csv. The best way to do this is to export your clients by going to ‘Business > Settings > Export > File Type > Generic – Clients > Export’. This will give you a file to download at the bottom of the page. Open this file and create a new heading in the top row called ‘Group’ (without the inverted commas). You can then type group you wish to assign each client to in the cells below. Once you have finished, you can import this file into XPM by going to ‘Business > Settings > Import > File Type > Generic – Clients > File Format > Comma-separated > Update Existing > Yes > Select File > Import’.
Note that you are only able to import 500 lines at a time. If your client list is longer than 500, you will need to break the file into multiple csv sheets and import one at a time. Also note that importing clients will import them as ‘taxable group unselected. This will not cause any issues, but you can always go back and update these once you have done the import by clicking into the group, selecting edit, then checking the checkbox.
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