This article is an extract from the book 'Everything you need to know about Xero Practice Manager'
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In this section we will first look at how invoices sync from XPM to Xero, and the limitations we need to be mindful of. We will then look at the differences between Progress and Final invoices and how to do work in progress (WIP) wash-ups on jobs. Finally, we will run through the four different ways you will ever need to invoice in XPM.
Invoice sync with Xero
When we raise an invoice in XPM, the invoice will also be created in Xero via the API. We therefore need to consider the question – where do we send our invoices from? All time-charge invoices will be created in XPM but once approved, a copy of the invoice arrives in Xero. Do we send our client the invoice from Xero or from XPM?
As explained in Chapter 4: Practice Settings, we send them from Xero. Although XPM gives us an invoice that we can email to our clients, we will be sending the actual copy from Xero. The main reason is consistency. We don’t want the risk of sending a follow-up invoice that shows completely different information to the original invoice. We therefore draw a line in the sand and say all invoices are sent from Xero.
Do keep in mind that this has implications on the level of detail we put on the invoice. The options are quite limited, having only three, none of which work for all scenarios, so you will have to select the option that causes you the least effort. Here is a recap of the options that are found in the Xero integration settings:
Option A: Job or miscellaneous invoice total
If you’d prefer to send a single-line invoice to your clients, select ‘Job or miscellaneous invoice total’. This will be a free-type description using the ‘Job Description’ field, which populates the Xero invoice with the text. This is the most commonly used option as it gives you the ability to write a paragraph description for the work completed. The downside of this method is if you want to break out the invoice into multiple lines, this will need to be done in Xero once the invoice is posted through. In this case, option B might be better for you.
Option B: Individual tasks and costs
This option sends to Xero all of the individual ‘Task’ and ‘Cost’ line items from your XPM to your Xero, including ‘Task Descriptions’ and ‘Cost Notes’ if you choose to. This provides more detail but ends up creating more work for you if you typically send a single-line or paragraph blurb describing your services. This is because you will have to edit the invoice in Xero to remove these itemised invoice lines. If this is you, option A might be better for you.
Option C: Time sheet notes
The most invoice detail you can send to Xero from XPM are task name, time sheet date, time sheet notes and time sheet hours. You will need to use option B above combined with the ‘Task Description – Time Detail’ setting found at ‘Business > Settings > Practice Settings > Time Sheet Notes’. This works best for any hourly based consulting-type invoices you may generate where you itemise the time spent on the various activities. What is missing here is staff name and staff rates. Where multiple staff may work on a task at different rates, Xero will default the quantity to ‘1’ and use the total line item value for the unit price.
Which option is best?
The challenge we are faced with is that we can only select one invoice format to control the way all the invoices that we generate are sent to Xero. Neither of the three options above will work well for all jobs you may have in your practice. If you opt for more detail arriving in your Xero, you’ll be editing invoices for jobs that are fixed price with a single-line description. If you opt for less detail, you’ll be needing to copy and paste time sheet detail from XPM or write your own descriptions for tasks where we may invoice on the hourly rate.
The most common option used is Option A, but the option that is best for you will be determined by the volume of invoices you have for each type. It is okay to update this setting in the future, however we do not want to be updating this setting each time we create new invoices.
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