If you are unsure about anything PLEASE ask for help. As a bookkeeper it is a WHOLE lot easier to answer a couple questions to guide you in the right direction in the first place than to fix mistakes down the track. No question is a dumb one, we all learnt once.


RECONCILE your bank accounts, set a plan for this and do regularly ie., monthly. Go to the reconciliation report for EACH bank account and DOUBLE check the STATEMENT balance is the EXACT same as the ACTUAL Bank Balance showing in internet banking or on paper statement at a certain date.


If you do a lot of invoicing out to clients you should use the Xero invoicing, it has so many features for making life easier and keeps doing business FUN! It keeps track of all your outstanding invoices and you can also set recurring invoices if necessary. You can also set reminders to go out for late payments.


If you have a number of accounts for business you should load them ALL to Xero, Bank, Savings, CREDIT CARD and get the bank feeds loaded. There is not extra cost for any number of bank accounts and it keeps things more accurate and easier to trace if everything is loaded. Some fuel companies, farm stores etc, you can get all these loaded.


I really recommend this as it will help immensely if IRD ever do an audit.

So this is what I advise all my clients to do:

You need to get ALL your expense invoices and receipts to the “XERO FILES INBOX”

There is a number of ways you can do this, if it is say a FUEL receipt you have the hard copy for, you are best to download the Xero phone app. IN THIS you go to (this is for samsung, iphone is slightly different) the three dots at the top right, you push files inbox, and then the + and choose take photo.. you take a clear photo and then when you can see it in there you RENAME it if you can (dots in side file name)(only on samsung, iphone is coming for this soon) I advise rename date, amount, where, IE 120118$123.55mobil.

The other way to get receipts and tax invoices to xero is to email them, this is a special email just for YOUR xero files inbox. This is used for if you have an email invoice, IE Power bill, and it is an attachment in your email, you FORWARD this email to your SPECIAL files inbox email address that you find by going into a the files inbox on a desktop as in the image below and right click, copy email address, I save this email in my email contacts and call it Xero inbox.

To then access all these things you have put in this inbox, on desktop Xero you go to this little fellow (above pic) in the top right of your desktop screen and click on it and you will see all the files you have entered into here.. from here best practice is that you go to the right for each file and choose add bill (if you have full version of Xero, not cashbooks) and then enter the details of this invoice from there, ie date amount account…. and APPROVE.

FROM this point.. is where you head back to your reconcile (bank transactions) screen and instead of adding the details of account etc in at this screen, you should see green “matches” to the “bills” you have created. And you just match and away you go. then all you should be reconciling with details (using create rather than find and match) is things like bank fees and others that you do not have an invoice for.

This way all your invoices are online in the cloud and very safe and easy to find if ever needed in the future by yourselves or Inland Revenue Dept for an Audit.


When you set an employee up when it asks you to enter the days worked and the hours worked, for a permanent employee you should enter the minimum average they are likely to do, IE 5 days a week 8 hours a day.

IF they were a casual employee and are getting holiday pay paid as they go, you put this as 0 days and 0 hours.

This helps Xero to work out sick pay and/or public holiday pays.

When setting the employees up, NZ law says sick pay is available after 6 months continuous work for 5 days per year and can be carried forward for 20 days, or 4 years worth, so put this in correctly when setting up. More details can be found here.

When you do pay runs MAKE sure you go right to the bottom for each employee and put in the DAYS PAID for IE 5. This also helps with the calculations Xero does.

Also you can get your EMPLOYEES to download the XERO ME phone app where they can enter their own hours into their timesheets and also request leave, then all you need to do is check and approve! So easy.

These are just a FEW tips I find myself giving to clients all of the time. I am a firm believer if you are paying for something you should get the most out of it. If you would like any more information or have any questions, please get in touch!