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csv file downloading from the bank and uploading into Xero

As I work extensively with my clients and tutoring them to work more effectively in Xero the csv download has become a notable subject. It isn’t as simple as it seams from the outset. Download the csv file from the bank and upload it into Xero, right, simple? Maybe not!
I haven’t decided which bank is at fault particularly or whether it’s the majority or all of the bank but the date span and the ‘download since previous download’ is quite misleading.
Plus on top of that are the bank transactions that seem to fall through the net because they haven’t been applied to the account on the morning that the download is taken. So, for example, nine am you log into the bank and download since the last download up until yesterday. Unknowingly the yesterday date hasn’t quite finished applying lines to your bank statement. So when you download what you think is ‘from the last download until yesterday’ there could be in fact a couple if not more items missing.
I tell my clients to download by date, take a look in Xero at the bank reconciliation screen and then the reconciled items tab to see what actually was downloaded last time. Look in particular at the date and items. If the last dates in Xero are, for example, the 10th of the month then go back to the 9th of the month and download these as the csv file. Downloading more is better than missing some items. If you upload more then Xero will tell you there are duplicate lines. But what you can do is to be vigilant and check your downloaded csv file against the bank reconciliation module if some of the items there are duplicated then delete them from the csv file. Then check the reconciled items tab and see if there is anything duplicated here. If there is delete the items. It is far better to do it this way than wonder why the bank reconciliation report isn’t balancing.
If your business banking account is with HSBC in this country then spend the £3 (excluding VAT) on bank feeds, and then you know everything should be there. However, I would also check the paper bank statement against the bank reconciliation report as it has been know for an item or two to be missing.

Three small changes to Xero that have improved the all round usability : release date 25 March 2013

A new option to Approve & Print in one go from sales invoices

When producing Sales invoices (it is at the bottom) next to the big green Approve button there is a down arrow. Click on this and you will find four options one being ‘Approve & Print’

Recognition of Payee and Description columns in CSV bank statement files

This is more apparent when you are importing bank csv files; it now gives us the option to import the ‘Payee’ with a separate column for ‘Description’.

This is my favourite and if you have been doing it the long way round then you will notice this as being a breath of fresh air!

Changes to the bank reconciliation screens – Xero have simplified the actions you can perform on the Account Transactions screen by removing all but one button! The remaining button, Remove and Redo, is likely to be the most common action you’ll perform against reconciled transactions. It simply deletes your account transaction and unmatches the bank statement line, ready for you to reconcile again from the Bank Reconciliation Screen.

So there are now two options : Remove & Redo and Unreconcile.
Remove & Redo = account transaction deleted + bank statement line unmatched
Unreconcile = account transaction unmatched + bank statement line unmatched

Ie. in most cases, and if in doubt, use Remove & Redo. It deletes the account transaction from the Account Transaction tab. Account transactions are:
Bank transactions (spend money, receive money, overpayments, prepayments and transfers) – under the ‘Options button’

Payments recorded on a sales invoice, bill or expense claim, or payments created by Xero when you reconciled. These are marked with ‘Payment…..’ in front of the payee name – again under the ‘Options button’

Adjustments added during reconciliation (when the transaction in Xero didn’t quite match the imported bank statement line).

It unmatches the bank statement line (as a result of the account transaction being deleted)

It changes the Balance in Xero.

So all in all a very useful change and a good one to know


Xero have said that ‘Purchase Orders’ are coming soon! I can’t wait for this one as I have a client that this feature would be a brilliant option to use than their current one.

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