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How to use Xero’s bank rules to save time reconciling bank statements.

Bank rules are an excellent way to save time during the bank reconciliation process.

This is the often-tedious task of categorising the money coming in and going out of your bank account.

They’re perfect for recurring bank transactions, things like taking clients out for coffee, filling up your work vehicle, and regular transfers between bank accounts.

Once set up, you can reconcile these transactions with just one click.

Bank rules help every type of Xero user save time and they reduce the chance of human error.

In this article, Teri Cotta, our resident Xero brainbox walks you through the A-Z of using bank rules in Xero.

And if you’re a visual learner, don’t worry, a full video showing each of these points step by step can be found on our YouTube channel.


How to create a bank rule on Xero

To view bank rules, go to Accounting, then Bank Accounts and click ‘Bank Rules’ to create a new bank rule.

Click ‘Create Rule’.

Here, the rules are divided into five parts…

Part 1- Apply a bank rule

The first part allows you to enter logic, which decides whether Xero picks up a bank transaction with this rule.

You have many options here to create a rule that’s targeted or a little broader.


Part 2 – Set the Contact

The second part allows you to enter what you want Xero to do with the transaction like what contact or account to allocate the money to.

To start, decide whether your rule is for money going in, out or between accounts.

These can be selected from the panel at the top of the page.

Let’s say that this rule is for parking expenses, this is where we enter conditions and how to pick up these parking transactions.

If they usually have the word parking in the description, payee or reference, we can enter this here using any text field.

Use the “contains” condition if parking is usually part of a larger piece of text.

Equals” makes this rule much stricter and only applies the rule if it’s just the word parking in one of the fields with nothing else.

If you want to add more conditions to the rule to ensure you capture the transactions you need, you can add them here.

If you select ‘all’, each of these conditions must be present in a transaction for it to be picked up, which means it’s targeted.

If you have a lot of conditions, we want any parking transaction picked up if any of these conditions are met. So, we’ll select ‘any’.

Choose an existing contact to apply the parking expense to the contact when you reconcile or use the bank payee as the contact.


Part 3 – Allocate Items

Decide what account you’d like the parking transaction to go to.

If you need to spread the total across multiple accounts, you can either do fixed amounts here add 100% to one account or split the total by percentages.


Part 4 – Set the reference

Choose what reference you’d like to set.

Either choose information which comes with the transaction, or you can enter a reference each time.


Part 5 – Add rule details

Finally, decide if you want to include all your bank accounts in Xero or just one, and name the rule and click save.

You can go back and edit anything about the rule at any time.


Creating a rule from a transaction

Next time a transaction comes through the bank account that fits the rules and conditions, you can click ‘okay’, and it’s reconciled in one click.

To create a bank rule even faster, click ‘Create Bank Rule’ right from a transaction when you’re reconciling the bank.

Xero fills in the information it has for that transaction to give you a head start when creating the rule.


Need help with your bookkeeping?

Teri Cotta is joined worldwide by Rosemary Bookkeeping’s network of Xero-certified bookkeepers.

So, whether you need help choosing the right software for you, using Xero or outsourcing your books, our experts can help.

Take the hassle out of your bookkeeping and get the time back to focus on what matters most by contacting your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.

Our 10 tips to bookkeeping like a pro.

Bookkeeping can be confusing.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we know that better than anyone.

So, sometimes you might need a helping hand.

Here are some top bookkeeping tips from our experts that’ll make your bookkeeping a breeze.

  1. Procrastinating is a no-no

Are you a procrastinator who leaves everything until the last minute?

Well, with bookkeeping, you can’t be!

It can quickly get out of hand and pile up on your desk.

As a small business, it is imperative that you keep to financial deadlines like Making Tax Digital (MTD).

If you don’t have time to do your bookkeeping while running your business, it might be time to outsource to help your capacity.

  1. Avoid bad filing systems

You must keep your old receipts and file them correctly alongside relevant paperwork.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh dear, I don’t keep my receipts,” – don’t worry.

There are plenty of business owners like this around the UK. Trust us!

Here’s a good habit to get yourself into:

When you get in the office every morning, pop your receipts in a folder.

Even if this is being filed correctly later that day, at least you’ve made a start.

Are all of your invoices and bills in sequential order?

If they aren’t, then they should be!

This will make life much easier when dealing with deadlines, audits etc.

  1. Don’t mix business and personal expenses

If you’re bookkeeping for yourself while mixing your business and personal expenses, you’re making your bookkeeping a lot harder.

You would have to sit and sift through hundreds of receipts and separate them into business and personal.

Keeping these expenses separate will spare you this headache and give you time to do other things.

When the tax return deadline comes around, if you’re organised and have split your business and personal expenses, you’re more likely to pay the right amount of tax for your business.

  1. Be consistent

Set a monthly date to sit down for a few hours to get your bookkeeping and accounts for the last calendar month.

If you feel like you’re bogged down with too many other tasks, you can always contact Rosemary Bookkeeping to take over the bookkeeping side of your business.

  1. Pay electronically

An easier way to keep an eye on and make your bookkeeping easier is to ensure all business transactions are paid on your business card and not with cash.

This is obviously, because of the information your bank would provide on a statement; amount, date and the recipients/company name.

  1. Have distinct employee classifications

Many businesses have different classifications of employees.

Be they full-time employees, part-time employees and independent contractors.

Keeping these separate and correctly classified is vital to avoid overpaying taxes or misfiling.

  1. Backup, backup, backup!

We all know what technology is like.

It can turn off or have an inconvenient error at any time.

This is why backing up your data securely on a cloud-based platform is extremely important.

You must ensure this is a secure platform that complies with GDPR to guarantee the safety of your data.

  1. Concentrate on a bit of light reading

You would be surprised how many business owners don’t read financial statements and add them to their procrastination pile.

There are plenty of reasons why financial statements can help with your business and avoid a financial breakdown.

Here are a few:

  • See current/upcoming financial trends within your business sector
  • Gain insight into maximising your tax deductions for the year
  • Share with existing/potential investors how your business is performing
  • Stay in control of all of your cash flow
  1. Choose the right bookkeeping software

It’s vital to choose the right bookkeeping software for your business.

There are many different types, from cashbook-only software to that that covers everything from ledgers to foreign currency transactions.

Here is our recent comparison of some of the different bookkeeping software.

  1. Outsource your bookkeeping

If you, the business owner, are also doubling as the office administrator/bookkeeper, you won’t have time to do the most crucial thing, grow your business.

That’s why outsourcing your bookkeeping can benefit you and your business.

Outsourcing is also cost-effective and more accurate.

You’ll only need to pay for the hours worked on your accounts rather than paying a monthly wage for an in-house bookkeeper.

You will also get the necessary work done on your accounts professionally, so you can be confident they are consistently correct.

If you are confused by the bookkeeping side of your business or don’t have time to dedicate to bookkeeping, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping expert to see how we can help you today.

SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises with 0-249 employees) make up 99.9% of UK businesses, meaning they’re the heart of the UK economy, so we’ve put together some small business management tips to help all succeed.

1. Invest in Marketing

The world we live in is a competitive one, with the internet making it easier to build a business.

As a rule of thumb, you should keep 10% of your revenue aside for marketing if you’re a startup SME and want to push your way into the crowded market place. If you’re an established SME then 5% of your revenue is sufficient enough.

Don’t ever think that because you’re established in the market you don’t need to spend any money on marketing, your market share will reduce dramatically.

Always have a marketing plan.

Here are a few marketing channels your company can invest in:

  • Facebook/Instagram Ads
  • PPC ads using Google
  • Online content marketing
  • Renting a stand at an exhibition
  • Network marketing and referrals

Use these channels from day one to build brand attention. loyalty and anticipation.

2. Invest in Employee Training

New employees are going to need to learn the ins and outs of the business quickly yet efficiently and investing in employee training will assist with this.

As well as new employees, make sure your existing ones have exactly the same training, even if they’ve been with you for a good few years.

Put together a training plan for all of your employees, you can find one specific for new employees on inc.com.

Sufficient staff training can benefit your business massively, here are a few benefits:

  • Improved employee performance
  • Improved employee satisfaction and morale
  • Being able to address weaknesses and accommodate these accordingly
  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Gives you the ability to delegate certain tasks

There are many more reasons why employee training is vital to your business and you can find out more here.

3. Separate Personal and Business Finances

If you’re completing all of your bookkeeping yourself and mixing your personal and business expenses together then you’re making things a lot harder.

You would have to sit and sift through hundreds of receipts and separate them into business and personal, we can guarantee you haven’t got time for that.

If you initially keep them separate, then this is something you won’t need to do and will give you time to do other important tasks.

When the tax return deadline comes around, if you’re organised and have split your business and personal expenses, then you’re more likely to pay the right amount of tax for your business.

4. Schedule Meetings With Yourself

This may sound a bit crazy but you should schedule meetings with yourself to set time aside to make important business decisions and plan for future growth.

Remember, you’re the one responsible for the success or failure of your business, you’re the one your employees will come to for guidance, and if you don’t run a tight, well-organised ship, then your business will sink.

So every week book a meeting room for 30 minutes to an hour to take yourself away from your office. A different environment will take you out of your routine, help with creative thinking and productivity.

5. Get Professional Help

Don’t be scared to ask for help with certain tasks like your bookkeeping or maybe even marketing for your business there are always other SMEs out there willing to help.

One of the most time-consuming tasks in business is your bookkeeping and this can take you away from growing your business.

Remember, no one is an expert at everything, therefore, don’t try to be and ask for help with certain tasks.

 

Why do your bookkeeping yourself when you can pass this task on to a professional bookkeeping service like Rosemary Bookkeeping?

For more details on our bookkeeping services for your SMEs, find your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeping business and we’ll be able to assist with any queries.

 

 

 

 

Having your bookkeeping up to date is a vital part of your company’s long-term success in your business market.

With many new small businesses nowadays the owners feel like they have to do everything themselves, which includes bookkeeping.

Don’t ever feel like as a small business owner you are on your own, there are always companies willing to help with growing your business.

business

Organised Books Can Help With Business Growth

Being disorganised with your bookkeeping can make the job of maintaining positive cash flow and turning over a profit a lot more difficult.

Obviously, as a small business owner, you will want to make your life easier and not harder, so hiring a bookkeeper can sometimes be the best thing for your business.

One of the best things you can do in the current world is to start using digital tools, outsourcing to a professional, or both, which together can assist in managing tax deadlines and keeping up to date with any new government regulations, such as Making Tax Digital.

Accurate bookkeeping records lead to more in-depth and better informed financial projection and strategies, so this is definitely something that needs to be adopted for success.

Don’t Neglect Your Books

Your business’s bookkeeping is on your to-do list next month, great!

However, the majority of business owners will postpone their bookkeeping for a later date, this is a big no-no as you could miss important deadlines.

If you haven’t got long until a tax deadline and you rush your bookkeeping, mistakes will be made! This can result in incorrect tax submission, and potentially some kind of fine.

That is why hiring a bookkeeper like Rosemary Bookkeeping to keep your books on track will result in more time to grow your business.

Accurate Financial Information

An outsourced bookkeeper will always be able to provide you with efficient, accurate and up to date financial information when it’s needed for important times like quarterly board meetings or new investor meetings etc.

Another great reason for hiring an external bookkeeper is that you can save your company a bit of money!

Instead of hiring a full-time employee to complete your bookkeeping for you, an outsourced company like Rosemary Bookkeeping can be hired on a part-time basis when needed.

 

Rosemary Bookkeeping delivers an intelligent bookkeeping service to SME’s, Accountants and Franchisors ensuring a consistency of delivery and high-quality work.  Our practical, down to earth and friendly approach provides clients with information that enables them to understand and make decisions on their business, provides peace of mind that HMRC will be happy, with fair and reasonable charges.

Find your nearest Rosemary bookkeeper here.

There is one thing that most small business owners loath to do and that is bookkeeping.

We understand, there are a lot more riveting things you could be doing with your day! However, it is a legal requirement, so it needs to be done.

Good bookkeeping and accurate records are important in keeping your company running and financially healthy.

Here are 8 top tips for small business on how to improve your bookkeeping:

1.  Procrastinating is a no-no

Are you a procrastinator who leaves everything until the last minute?

Well, with bookkeeping, you can’t be! It can quickly get out of hand and pile up on your desk.

It is important that you keep on top of financial deadlines, for example Making Tax Digital on 1st April 2019.

MTD is a requirement for VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold to use the MTD service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns.

If you feel like you don’t have time to do your bookkeeping and run other parts of your business as well, you can give Rosemary Bookkeeping a call to help with all of your bookkeeping needs.

2.  Bad filing systems

You need to make sure, as a business owner that you are keeping all of your old receipts and filing them correctly with accompanying paperwork.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “oh dear I don’t keep my receipts”, don’t worry there are plenty of business owners like this around the UK.

Get into a habit of when you get in the office every morning to pop your receipts in a folder. Even if this is being filed correctly later that day, at least you have made a start.

Are all of your invoices and bills in sequential order? If they aren’t, then they should be! This will make life a lot easier when it comes to any deadlines, or audits etc.

A quick tip is to start using cloud-based software. This software is very useful and saves you a lot of time when it comes to filing. It can scan your receipts, input important information about your business cash flow and also generate invoices.

3.  Mixing business with personal expenses

If you’re doing all of your bookkeeping yourself, and mixing your business and personal expenses then you’re making your bookkeeping a lot harder.

You would have to sit and sift through hundreds of receipts and separate them into business and personal.

If you initially keep them separate, then this is something you will not need to do and will give you time to do other important tasks.

When the tax return deadline comes around, if you’re organised and have split your business and personal expenses, then you’re more likely to pay the right amount of tax for your business.

4.  Being consistent with your accounts

If you can, set the same date every month to sit down for a good few hours to do get your bookkeeping and accounts in order for the last calendar month.

If you feel like you’re bogged down with too many other tasks, then you can always contact Rosemary Bookkeeping to take over the bookkeeping side of your business.

5.  Pay electronically

An easier way to keep an eye on and make your bookkeeping easier is to make sure all business transactions are paid on your business card and not with cash.

This is obviously, because of the information your bank would provide on a statement; amount, date and the recipients/company name.

6.  Employee classification

Many businesses have different classifications of employees, be it full-time employees, part-time employees and independent contractors.

Keeping these separate and correctly classified is important to avoid such things like any overpayment of taxes or misfiling.

7.  Backup, Backup, Backup!

We all know what technology is like, it can decide to turn off or have some kind of error at any time.

This is why backing up your data securely on a cloud-based platform is extremely important!

You need to make sure this is a secure platform that works in conjunction with GDPR to ensure the safety of your data.

8.  A light bit of reading

You would be surprised at how many business owners don’t read financial statements and just add them to their procrastination pile.

There are plenty of reasons why financial statements can help with your business and avoid a financial breakdown. Here are a few reasons:

  • See current/upcoming financial trends within your business sector
  • Gain insight into maximising your tax deductions for the year
  • Share with existing/potential investors as to how your business is performing
  • Stay in control of all of your cash flow

Those are but a few reasons why financial statements can help you run a business and keep your bookkeepers happy!

 

If you feel like you don’t understand the bookkeeping side of your business, or just don’t have time to do it, you can always contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeping office here.