What’s new

29 November 2018

Changes to Xero

Changes to Xero 

You may have noticed over the last week that the look of Xero has had a small upgrade, with changes made to the navigation panel and different functions moved into new categories.

The aim of the change is to make it simpler for small businesses and bookkeepers to access the functions they need, once we all get used to it that is!  While some things have moved, and there are a few new headings, the same tools and functions will still be available in Xero as before.

The main change is in the grouping of everyday tasks such as invoicing, purchasing and bank reconciliation that were previously encapsulated under the heading Accounts. These functions have now been split between the new headings, Business and Accounting.

The Business menu holds the functions most small businesses use regularly on a daily or weekly basis, such as:

  • Invoicing and quotes
  • Bills and purchase orders
  • Expense claims, and
  • Inventory, which is now called Products and Services, to better serve those businesses that use items & inventory to record the services they provide

The Accounting menu includes the compliance items that accountants and bookkeepers use often, such as:

  • Bank accounts and reconciliation
  • Reports
  • Chart of accounts
  • Advanced accounting tools like Find & Recode and Manual Journals

Favourite reports will show up in the Accounting menu, instead of the Reports menu (now removed) for quick access.

At the left-hand side, in the drop-down box under the name of your business, you can access the Organisation menu. This includes:

  • Settings for the organisation, such as invoice settings, payroll settings, users, subscription and billing details
  • Projects
  • File library
  • Apps that connect with Xero
  • Demo company

If you have more than one Xero subscription, you can switch between accounts from the Organisation menu. Select Change Organisation at the top of the menu and your other subscriptions will be listed here. Click on the business name to move to the relevant Xero account. 

The dashboard and contacts are still there, and so is payroll. The option for Pay Runs under the Payroll menu has been changed to Pay Employees to be more descriptive of the actual task.

If you have any problems finding what you’re looking for there are shortcuts available in Xero to help you access different functions easier. Just click on the forward slash (/) and the search box will open underneath the magnifying glass icon at the top right-hand side of the screen.

Using a particular letter can get you to the main tasks quicker, for example, typing ‘a’ into the search field will lead to the bank accounts. The keyboard shortcuts are listed below:

  • A = bank accounts
  • B = Bills
  • C = Contacts
  • D = Dashboard
  • E = Employees
  • I = Invoices
  • P = Purchase orders
  • Q = Quotes
  • R = Reports

Remember, if you haven’t already set up 2-Step Authentication (2SA) for your Xero subscription, this is now a requirement to access Xero, so all users will need to set this up. 2SA creates an extra layer of security to keep your accounting information private and is now necessary to meet security recommendations from the ATO.

To set this up, you will need to download an authenticator app to your phone, iPad, tablet or other device, and then scan a barcode from the Xero login screen (or enter the code manually) to link the authenticator app to Xero.

Three security questions will also need to be set up at the same time, as a backup in case you cannot access the authenticator app at any point.

Once 2SA is set up you will need to use both your Xero password and an authentication code generated by the authenticator app to log in to Xero. Xero can save the authentication code for 30 days so you’ll only need to use the app once a month.

The full instructions on setting up 2-Step Authentication can be accessed here  

If you have any questions about the new look Xero or 2-Step Authentication please contact our office.


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