XERO – GET UP TO SPEED

Welcome to TaxAssist and Xero – you’ll love using beautiful accounting software that puts your financials at your fingertips.  Here you’ll find everything you need to know to thrive with Xero. But, before you dive in, let’s start with a quick introduction.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/118446479 

Day2Day Bookkeeping

We will set up your profile for you, so you needn’t be concerned by all the “accounting stuff”.  To lay a solid foundation it is important to know the basic principles of accounting and how it all relates to Xero.  What is bookkeeping?  Only watch this if you have no accounting background.  In this 20 minute video you will learn about the chart of accounts and how Xero automates your year-end processes. 

https://player.vimeo.com/video/108417014

We will however require your assistance with certain things to get you going. We will need the following from you before we can set up your Xero account:

ü  A list of all current outstanding invoices so that we may create these for you on the system, so that we can start reconciling payments from clients right away.

ü  Should this be your first time signing up with TaxAssist, we will need your most recent set of financials from your previous accountants to take on opening balances. (This does not apply to clients in their first year of business)

ü  Your business logo so that we may brand your invoices and statements.

The Xero Dashboard

The Dashboard is the first place you look when you open Xero. It's a great source of information. But most people don't realise you can customise what you see.  The Dashboard is extremely powerful. At a glance you can take a look at your bank balance, who owes you money, movements in key accounts, how much money you owe to suppliers. As usual everything is also only 1 click away, meaning you can drill down to any of the detail straight from the Dashboard as well.

The Dashboard is a fantastic tool to give you a snapshot of how your business is going without you needing to run reports or look at 10 different screens.  Of course if you don't keep Xero up to date the info will be pretty useless! The good news is you can also edit the tiles on your Dashboard. You can put Invoices owed to you at the top if that's the important part, or maybe you want to see the Cash in and out graph.  To edit the Dashboard just click on Edit Dashboard at the bottom of the screen. You can then move the tiles around to suit you.  The video below explains the dashboard in more detail.  https://player.vimeo.com/video/148354438

From Quote to Invoice

It has never been this easy. Xero is extremely user friendly, and can help you to manage your clients better than ever before.  You will be able to issue a quote, convert to a Tax Invoice and even a recurring invoice to your clients.   

With Xero you can send your customer an online quote, which they accept with the click of a button. Then when the work is done you can send them an invoice, which they can easily pay online.  The following Video shows how to do an online quote; https://player.vimeo.com/video/148352688.  You can also create an invoice without a quote;  https://player.vimeo.com/video/148350586

Once approved, you can create a PDF copy, mail it directly to your client, edit or void the invoice, and much more. Whichever works best for you? We would recommend sending it directly from Xero as you will then be able to see when the client viewed it.  Pro-forma Invoices, Tax Invoices and Credit Notes work exactly the same, so once you understand one, all else is rather self-explanatory.

Repeating invoices allows you to create a template for the invoices you send and bills you receive regularly. Xero automatically creates, saves, and emails recurring invoices for you based on your custom template. You can show the invoices and bills on the Draft or Awaiting Payment tab each time they’re created. All you have to do to complete them is approve any drafts, and pay or reconcile any awaiting payment.  The video can be viewed here; https://player.vimeo.com/video/148353121

Purchase Bills (Accounts Payable)

Create a bill for items you've received that you need to pay for (sometimes called accounts payable). You can add related files to bills, and code items to different accounts.  The video explaining this in detailed is available here; https://player.vimeo.com/video/148344297

If you use inventory items you can track them during the purchase and sales process.  For more information about this feature in Xero please look at the following video; https://player.vimeo.com/video/148355852

Other Features – Smart Lists, Budget Manager, Expense Claims and Xero mobile app

Smart Lists let you create targeted lists from information you've saved in Xero about your customers. Use contact information, transaction history or payment status to chase unpaid invoices, identify who has bought a product from you, create sales campaigns and more.  https://player.vimeo.com/video/148354018

With Budget Manager in Xero accounting software, you can quickly prepare comprehensive budgets and compare against performance on selected periods.  This video tutorial shows you how to build your overall budget in Xero using this function.  https://player.vimeo.com/video/148342795

An expense claim is a collection of receipts from spending personal money that the organisation needs to pay back to you. After submitting an expense claim, you will be reimbursed for your spending.   https://player.vimeo.com/video/148351245

Xero Touch the mobile app that allows you to run your business from anywhere in the world;  https://player.vimeo.com/video/76839932

Reports

A myriad of reports are available in Xero, and are also fully customisable. To access these reports, go to “Reports” in the top taskbar menu.  We will not be going into further detail regarding this, but you are welcome to ask if you feel you need assistance, or would like to view a specific type of report.

Xero Apps

Xero has taken accounting from a painful monthly, quarterly or annual catch-up process to an addictive daily activity. The result? Small businesses and their advisors have an up-to-date snapshot of their cash flow position, arguably the most critical factor in their survival and success of any business.  This transformation has been achieved through the connection of bank feeds into Xero and the revolutionary design of the bank reconciliation process as well as apps.    

In the Xero app marketplace you can explore more than 500 time-savings third party apps that connect directly with Xero.  https://player.vimeo.com/video/148343260

This provides you with a summary of the basic functionality of the systems we use to keep your accounting up to date. As you use the software you will no doubt become more adept at using the various features. This document however should be sufficient to get you started. Please don’t hesitate to ask should you require help with anything and we will gladly assist.

Kind regards

Marius Higgs

TaxAssist

Tax, Accounting and Financial Planning Advisor

Xero Gold Partner

 

Try Xero for Free

Xero for Advocates in Private Practice 

At TaxAssist we utilise world class accounting software to ensure that you gain the most value from our engagement. We also strive to improve your tax position as much as possible, but this objective will however only be achieved with your help.

This document will outline how to make use of the systems we provide, which documents need to provided, and your responsibilities in so far as tax compliance is concerned.

Xero Accounting Software

Xero is a market leader in accounting software development globally. TaxAssist is a Certified Xero Partner, and we encourage all clients to make use of this system.

You will find that it is an easy, effective and professional way to invoice your clients, generate statements, and gain better insight into your business’ performance.

There are a lot of tutorials available on the various functions of, and use of Xero. We can provide this content at your request, and assist as a certified adviser also where necessary.

In this document we will give you the basic information required to start invoicing clients and generating statements immediately. We will also explain how to set up bank feeds (so that we may retrieve your bank statements for you) and basic reporting functions.

Getting Started

We will setup your profile for you, so you needn’t be concerned by all the “accounting stuff”. We will however require your assistance with certain things to get you going. We will need the following from you before we can set up your account:

♦  A completed client application, with all fields completed. We will do this with you.

A list of all current outstanding invoices so that we may create these for you on the system, so that we can start reconciling payments from clients right away.

Should this be your first time signing up with TaxAssist, we will need your most recent set of financials from your previous accountants to take on opening balances. (This does not apply to clients in their first year of business)

♦ Your business logo so that we may brand your invoices and statements.

 Invoicing

It has never been this easy. Xero is extremely user friendly, and can help you to manage your clients better than ever before.

You will be able to issue two types of invoices to your clients, being:

·         Tax Invoice

·         Pro-forma Invoice

Not all clients will make use of Pro-forma Invoices, but it is a function that is available. Pro-forma Invoicing is useful for cases that you are currently working on, for which payment is not due yet. This can also be seen as a fee book of sorts. You can create, and update Pro-forma Invoices as you are working on a case. Pro-forma invoices can be converted directly to a Tax Invoice once payment becomes due. A Pro-forma Invoice is a kin to a Quote in Xero, and such amounts will therefore not aggregate to Taxable Income until such a time that it is converted into a Tax Invoice. It should be noted that ageing will not be applied to Pro-forma Invoices before they are converted, as payment is not yet due. That being said, you can still generate and send these documents to your clients for perusal / approval.

Tax Invoices relate to completed work where payment is due. Your practice has been set up to default to payment terms of 97 days as per the Bar rules, and it will be indicated as such on the Invoice. Xero will also track ageing on such invoices, and alert you (and your client if you prefer) when payment becomes due, or is overdue.

To generate an Invoice is simple. Once logged into Xero, select “Accounts” in the top taskbar menu, and then “Sales” in the drop down options:

 

In the “Sales” menu you will see the following screen:

 

If you click on “New”, you will automatically start creating a new Tax Invoice. If rather want to create a Pro-forma Invoice, click on the arrow next to “New” and select “Quote”. Don’t be concerned by the word “Quote” as the generated document will read “PROFORMA INVOICE”.

From the above screen you can also check which invoices have been drafted, issued and awaiting payment, overdue and much more. We encourage you to play around with these features and familiarise yourself with the layout and functionality.

 

Once you have selected “New” you will be presented with the following screen:

 

 

Here you will have the opportunity to:

1.        Indicate who the client is,

2.        Set the invoice date,

3.        Specify references if you want

4.        Indicate what the client is being billed for and the associated cost.

In the “Account” column you should always select “Consultation Income” as this is your default income account in Xero. Should you wish to have more categories for income, let us know and we will assist you in setting that up. Once done, you can approve the invoice to have it incorporated into your accounting records. You can also just save it to come back to it later if you are not ready to invoice just yet.

Once approved, you can create a PDF copy, mail it directly to your client, edit or void the invoice, and much more. Whichever works best for you? We would recommend sending it directly from Xero as you will then be able to see when the client viewed it.

To convert a Pro-forma invoice to a Tax Invoice merely find it amongst the other Pro-forma Invoices in the same “Sales” screen under “Quotes”, open the Pro-forma Invoice and in the right top corner, select “Options” and “Copy to”, then select “Invoice”.

 

Pro-forma Invoices, Tax Invoices and Credit Notes work exactly the same, so once you understand one, all else is rather self-explanatory. You will no doubt become more adept at using this system as you work, and we are always available should you need help. There are also handy videos at the top of almost every landing page to assist you with the basics.

Bank Feeds

With Xero we are able to safely and securely recover your bank statements directly from your bank. This is a vital part of your accounting. We will never ask you for your Bank Login details, and will therefore require that you enter these details directly in Xero yourself. You will notice that once entered, not even you can view these details. Xero boasts world class security, and has never had a breach. Not even their staff have access to this information.

All SA commercial banks are supported as well.

To set up your bank feed:

1.      Go to “Accounts” in the top taskbar menu

2.        Select “Bank Accounts”

3.        Select the appropriate bank account from the options below, and click “Get Bank Feeds”

 

Depending on your bank, this will take you to a menu where you will be prompted for your log in details. These fields should be familiar to you. Once set up, you are ready to go! We recommend that you set up a feed for each bank account used for business purposes. During our sign up interview you should have provided us with details of each bank account you would like to appear on your Balance Sheet. If you would like to add more accounts, please notify us.

Your security is our top priority, and we have chosen Xero as our partner for many reasons, security being a major factor. If you would like to know more, please follow this link:

https://www.xero.com/za/accounting-software/security/

If your bank requires you to provide a “One Time Pin” or similar verification when logging in, that is sent to you via SMS or e-mail, we will require your assistance with updating bank feeds. It is your prerogative how often you would like to update your bank transactions in Xero, but we would suggest no less than once per month to ensure that your accounting stays up to date. The more regularly you do this, the better. Should you bank not require this from you, your bank feeds should update automatically. We will advise if this is not the case.

Reports

A myriad of reports are available in Xero, and are also fully customisable. To access these reports, go to “Reports” in the top taskbar menu.

 

We will not be going into further detail regarding this, but you are welcome to ask if you feel you need assistance, or would like to view a specific type of report.

This outlines the major features of Xero, and what we need from you to get started. As always, please feel free to ask should you have any questions or concerns, and we will endeavour to address the same promptly.

Business Expenses & “Entryless”

It is extremely important to any small business to ensure that it claims all expense deductions where applicable to maximise its tax position. If you have made a purchase or payment that relates to your practice from a bank account that you have indicated you would like to appear on your balance sheet, all transactions will be journalised from your bank statements retrieved directly from your bank via bank feeds as previously discussed.

It does however often happen that advocates pay for smaller expenses such as client entertainment or stationary by means of cash, or from a separate personal bank account. If we are unable to trace such a transaction from your balance sheet bank accounts, we will need proof of purchase / payment in a different format to claim a deduction. If you pay for all business related expenses from account appearing on your balance sheet, you needn’t be concerned by this section.

If however this is something that you do, however infrequently or as a matter of habit, we would like to encourage the use of an application, at no extra charge to you, called Entryless.

This mobile application allows you to use any mobile device to take a picture of that particular invoice or slip, and upload it directly to us for processing. We will review submitted documentation, and journalise accordingly. You will have the option to download this application from the Play Store / iStore (depending on the device) for free. The application will prompt you for the same login details that you use to log into Xero. All invoices are synced to your account, and kept safely in the cloud, ready for audit when required.

This provides you with a summary of the basic functionality of the systems we use to keep your accounting up to date. As you use the software you will no doubt become more adept at using the various features. This document however should be sufficient to get you started. Please don’t hesitate to ask should you require help with anything and we will gladly assist.

 

Try Xero for Free

TaxAssist and XERO - THE WAY FORWARD 

First and foremost I would like to welcome you to TaxAssist. We look forward to working closely with you in ensuring that your tax compliance and accounting requirements are taken care of, and helping you maximise all your tax benefits, and growing your business.

At TaxAssist we utilise world class accounting software to ensure that you gain the most value from our engagement. We also strive to improve your tax position as much as possible, but this objective will however only be achieved with your help.

This document will outline how to make use of the systems we provide, which documents need to provided, and your responsibilities in so far as tax compliance is concerned.

Xero Accounting Software

Xero is a market leader in accounting software development globally. TaxAssist is a Bronze Certified Xero Partner, and we encourage all clients to make use of this system.

You will find that it is an easy, effective and professional way to invoice your clients, generate statements, and gain better insight into your business’ performance.

There are a lot of tutorials available on the various functions of, and use of Xero. We can provide this content at your request, and assist as a certified adviser also where necessary.

In this document we will give you the basic information required to register your business on Xero, setup your bank feed and also to transfer your subscription to us.

 

The first step is to Register Your Business on Xero

Please visit our website www.taxassist.co.za and on the home page click Try Xero for Free or click on this link “Try Xero For Free”

 

You will be taken to the official Xero website where you click “Try Xero for free” button again.

 

Enter your personal details and accept terms and conditions.  Please check your email provided for the registration and confirm the email.  You will be taken to a login screen where you will need to create a password that is at least 8 characters and includes a number.

 

On the next screen add your organisation details and click start Trial.

  

You will be presented with your own Xero Dashboard similar to the image below.

 

 

The next step is to Connect Your Bank Feeds

With Xero we are able to safely and securely recover your bank statements directly from your bank. This is a vital part of your accounting. We will never ask you for your Bank Login details, and will therefore require that you enter these details directly in Xero yourself. You will notice that once entered, not even you can view these details. Xero boasts world class security, and has never had a breach. Not even their staffs have access to this information.

All SA commercial banks are supported as well.

To set up your bank feed:

1.        Go to “Accounts” in the top taskbar menu

2.        Select “Bank Accounts”

3.        “Add Bank Account”

4.        Select your bank from the Find Your Bank List

5.        Enter the account name you want to give it, ie Business Account or Savings Account and your account number.

Depending on your bank, this will take you to a menu where you will be prompted for your log in details. These fields should be familiar to you. Once set up, you are ready to go! We recommend that you set up a feed for each bank account used for business purposes. During our sign up interview you should have provided us with details of each bank account you would like to appear on your Balance Sheet. If you would like to add more accounts, please notify us.

Your security is our top priority, and we have chosen Xero as our partner for many reasons, security being a major factor. If you would like to know more, please follow this link:

https://www.xero.com/za/accounting-software/security/

If your bank requires you to provide a “One Time Pin” or similar verification when logging in, that is sent to you via SMS or e-mail, we will require your assistance with updating bank feeds. It is your prerogative how often you would like to update your bank transactions in Xero, but we would suggest no less than once per month to ensure that your accounting stays up to date. The more regularly you do this, the better. Should you bank not require this from you, your bank feeds should update automatically. We will advise if this is not the case.

 

 

The Final Step is to Transfer your subscription to TaxAssist for us to Manage

1.        From the header top left next to your Business Name, click the list icon , then select My Xero. 

2.        Locate the organisation for which you want to transfer the subscription, and click Info.

 

3.        Click Options, and then select Transfer subscription.

 

4.        Enter the First Name “Marius” and Last Name “Higgs” and email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and then click Request transfer.

You'll receive a confirmation email once we accepted the subscription transfer.

We will set up your profile for you, so you needn’t be concerned by all the “accounting stuff”. We will however require your assistance with certain things to get you going. We will need the following from you before we can set up your account:

ü    A completed client application, with all fields completed. We will do this with you.

ü       A list of all current outstanding invoices so that we may create these for you on the system, so that we can start reconciling payments from clients right away.

ü Should this be your first time signing up with TaxAssist, we will need your most recent set of financials from your previous accountants to take on opening balances. (This does not apply to clients in their first year of business)

ü Your business logo so that we may brand your invoices and statements.

This outlines what we need from you to get started. As always, please feel free to ask should you have any questions or concerns, and we will endeavour to address the same promptly.

Kind regards

 

Marius Higgs

Tax, Accounting and Financial Planning Advisor

 

Try Xero for Free

The 2016 Tax Season opens on 1 July 2016 and will end 25 November 2016.

 

We have kept our rates the same since 2011 and unfortunately need to increase it this

year by 10%.  Since we value the trust you have placed with us over the years we will

charge you the old rates if you email us proof of payment on or before 1 July 2016.

 

If you would like to take up this early reduced payment option, please make payment

to the following account;

 

TaxAssist Cheque Account

First National Bank - Fourways Mall

Branch Code: 251655

Acc No: 62333704345

Reference: Full Name

 

Basic Income Tax Returns - (R300 until 1 July 2016) R330

The Basic Income Tax return is for clients that receive a salary income and deduct for 

Medical Aid, retirement Annuities and Income Protection expenditure.

 

Advanced Income Tax Returns - (R500 until 1 July 2016) R550

The Advanced Income Tax return is for clients with car allowance, other income or

other deductions.

 

Please use the attached form, complete Section A, C and D if you have a Basic

Return and Section A, B, C and D for an advanced Return.

 

Please fax or email us the signed forms together with supporting documents such as

Medical Aid certificates, Retirement Annuity certificates.  Should any further information

be required to complete your return we will contact you via email.

 

Warm Regards

 

Marius Higgs - TaxAssist

Registered Tax Practitioner - PR0027641

© 2017 TaxAssist. All Rights Reserved.