Xero Apps & Add-ons to help you ease your lockdown business pain

01 May 2020

Knowing you can still run your business finances in the cloud, with Xero continuing to hum along in the background and helping you manage your incomings and outgoings must be a relief during lockdown. However, as we all settle into what is the “new norm” of remote working.

We’ve outlined a handful of process pain points below that you may be encountering, along with details on business systems that work with Xero that you could use to easily address these issues.


Managing bills

…and the paper load that comes with them

Do you usually:

  • wait for bills to come in the mail;
  • input them in to your accounting system (maybe stamp them);
  • store them in a series of folders somewhere?

Is this now taking up too much of someone’s time when not in the office, due to slow postage, no filing system, and/or no storage space?

A system like Hubdoc can manage this for you in the cloud.

It will:

  • receive your bills for you and reduce waiting time through automatic fetching;
  • read your bills and capture key data – no manual data input;
  • send the bills to Xero ready to go;
  • save the bills in a folder system with unlimited online storage.

The best part? Hubdoc is completely free for those using Xero business edition.

Your local BDO adviser can easily set this up for you remotely and provide training to get you started – you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier!


The purchase approval process

Stop the chasing, manage the risk

If physical bills were previously stacked up on a manager’s desk for stamped or signed approval before entering into your accounting system for payment, you are probably finding doing this remotely is an entirely different beast.

Along with using a sluggish method of scanning and emailing, printing, signing, scanning and emailing again, etc, you are probably also experiencing a lot of time wasted on chasing (both ways) and you risk missing something.

ApprovalMax will take this process off your hands and manage it for you all in the cloud.

When you set up ApprovalMax, you create a customised approvals workflow that is automatically facilitated by the system to suit. It takes out any guesswork and chasing, all the while mitigating risk.

Regardless of how a purchase invoice gets in to Xero (e.g. Hubdoc), ApprovalMax will retrieve it and push it through the process. ApprovalMax will send the bill through to the appropriate person to approve – whether that’s through the ApprovalMax app, via email notification, or in the ApprovalMax website itself.

We have been putting ApprovalMax in place for a wide range of organisations, whether you’re a complex not-for-profit with many different departments, or a small business wanting to tighten up on spending processes in an easy way. Once again, your local BDO adviser can set this all up remotely, please get in touch to see how it can work for you.


Receiving payments

Remove the barriers (perceived or not)

Cashflow is a big pain point for a lot of businesses, even without the current circumstances.

You may find that cashflow is really slowing down. It can be tiresome constantly checking who owes what, chasing them for payment, processing any underpayments or even managing agreed instalments.

There are ways to help keep the cash moving your way by simplifying the payment process for your customers, enabling them to pay you quicker or at least facilitate keeping the conversation going. The last thing you want is for your customers to slip into the shadows and stop paying you, damaging the good relationship you had in the process.

Stripe is a Xero add-on that lets your customers pay your invoice immediately using a credit or debit card, with the obvious benefit being that you get cash in hand straightaway.

For those customers who pay based on invoice terms, if they are starting to pay slower, and you or your team are simply running out of time or patience to follow these up, enlist to help of an add-on such as Debtor Daddy. Debtor Daddy offers assistance from setting up an accounts receivable workflow, through to providing a debtor specialist to do all the chasing for you.

We recommend talking with your BDO adviser on whether an add-on such as Stripe or Debtor Daddy suits your business.


Business performance management

Create visibility in an uncertain world

Spotlight Reporting connects to your Xero financial data and brings it together into customisable reports almost instantly. You can report on both financial and non-financial information alike and look at your business or business group as a whole and/or cut it any way you want to – entities, departments or even regions.

Stop spending time on pulling information together yourself; with Spotlight, it takes less than a minute to bring in the data and produce these visually appealing reports.

You’ll find yourself in a position to make effective business decisions more easily, faster and more regularly through the information and insights provided by Spotlight Reports – we all know how fast the world is changing and being able to access information that will help you respond in a timely manner and see the impact on your business is key!

Speak with your BDO adviser about setting these reports up for you. We offer significant discounts on the monthly subscription for BDO clients.


These are just a selection from a wide range of apps and add-ons that work with Xero to relieve the burden and automate day-to-day processes. If you would like to get an understanding of what else is available, please get in contact with your local BDO adviser and they can help you review what suits your business needs.


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