-contacts to be basis for database,not just for invoice recipients
-invoicing to be more dynamic for more precise external communication
-invoicing data to be more flexible for better business metrics
Xero in my opinion is not just an accounting package but it is also the nucleus of the data flow of a small business DATABASE and has to make few changes in contacts to reflect this. As it feeds to CRM systems it needs to be more in sync with how these systems manage contacts
As xero is the centre of my cloud ecosystem i need some changes to make the data more usable in the programs that interpret xero data,( in my case capsuleCRM & peoplemine)
Xero acknowledges contacts as only entity's and not individuals, and herein lies the nucleus of the challenges to optimize
Also xero doesnt acknowledge that the recipient of the invoice isn't always the recipient of the product/service and this can effect optional external communication
The dilemma is having to choose to setup xero for keeping great business metrics OR to invoice accurately & efficiently for optimal communication
Xero needs to be able to do both and both are not setup to be optimized
Business can be a lot more different & dynamic and this needs to be reflected in xero.
Small Businesses based on B2B relationships are essentially comprised of individuals and when communicating, the how,why,who what, where changes from invoice to invoice, especially when relating to money and can be different one day to the next and hence xero needs to be flexible enough to allow for targeted & specific communication with different types of people. One assumption xero makes is that businesses only invoice other businesses the same way to the same person/email every time which is not always the case
There are constraints in contacts and invoicing and therefore in the data flow of a business using xero which has the ability to make B2B communication more streamlined, dynamic & flexible
As I've had to make a choice, I've opted for my xero setup to maximise keeping specific business data at the expense of easier bank reconciliation, efficient invoicing & external communication.
I've setup my xero setup in an way in that my contacts are the recipient of the service and not necessarily the recipient of the invoice.
My setup means I created one invoice per transaction/service as an invoice with multiple lines doesn't allow for the full picture of the business... More on that later.
on the downside with my xero setup I'm having to create batched 'dummy' invoices for the purpose of external communication, which means double data entry on any invoice with more than one line
As invoices in certain industries can accumulate and be added to over a time period before being sent out. So when an invoice is created is not necessarily when it is sent out. If there was a way of batching invoices when sending or creating statements with more detail and customization that would be ideal
On the upside with my xero setup I'm able to track awesome business metics via Peoplemine & capsuleCRM including:
-average dollar spend per person
-average dollar spend per product/service
-customer total transactions
-customer total dollar spend
-frequency of communication/last communication
For example with peoplemine I know who my most valuable customers bring in, what my customers av $ spend is, what my best products are, what the frequency of my customer is
One could argue that the 2x tracking categories allow for detailed business metrics but I would propose that if contacts could be individuals and lines in invoice could be associated with both a contact and the financial data that the metrics I can pull out of my business could be achieved by every xero customer without using this unorthodox setup.
This creates a very detailed database for communication plus marketing metrics.
A specific database is more valuable than a general database. As it is, xero only helps in building a general database whereas a contacts overhaul will increase the value of any business using it.
-Xero has attempted this in contacts with grouping function but this does not have any practicality other then quick searching which is negated when you create more than a handful of groups as the side scroll function only allows for 4 or 5 visable groups.
-currently having entry for one point of contact available for an entity (e.g. a company like G.E) is impractical. It's possible to have over 20 or 100 points of contact with a company...when you send an invoice via email that email get associated with that contact even though it may not be the email you want to associate with that contact.
I want to offer you to look into the following suggestions:
-the ability to have contacts be individuals , not just entity's (in a parent/sibling setup.)
-the choice to have as is but also to have overall invoice associated with an entity as a reference only, but the usable data that is associated with the financials is generated from each line created. ...this gives flexibility... This means what is reconciled comes from the contact & amount in the lines, not from the contact & amount on the general invoice. It also means an invoice can be associated with the individual transaction and individual contacts it is comprised of. For example a $300 invoice to xyz co only as a reference but the financial data is tied into the for 3 transactions of $100 each from bill, bob & joe
- flexibility for an invoice can be sent direct to a admin/PA/accounts individual who represents a segment of a large corporation who will be paying for multiple individual staff who used different products/services in a block of time. This means that only one invoice has to be generated for multiple actions. This is an example of an invoice created purely for the recipient of the invoice. When constructing invoices this way, the Xero benfits of accurate business metrics are unable to be kept.
-flexibility to have the person who receives the invoice via email can be different from the person who used the service who can be different from the person who were collecting money off on behalf of the service
-be able to distinguish if a contact is male or female.
-Another important feature would to be the ability to add addresses & emails when in contacts when issuing invoices in xero touch as this would reflect your feature you've just added in xero desktop.
.I'm coming from a small business background, and am still learning accounting as I go so what I've requested might go against the grain of accounting but I'm trying to cut out inefficiency in the form of double entry, misplaced data and time not out selling on the ground in a small business.
Thanks for acting on so many of my small requests to date so quickly and thanks in advance for acknowledging this big request & the suggestions that come with it.