Xero allows you to create professional-looking documents such as a quote that you may send to a potential customer, an invoice to an existing customer, or a purchase order that you create to place an order with a supplier. The Invoice Settings tab allows you to customise the look and feel of each of these documents, including quotes, purchase orders and receipts. In addition to the look and feel, you can also set default payment terms, create an automatic reminder to customers once invoices become past due or set up a reminder a few days before the invoice is due. For example, a due in 7 days reminder. You can also add a payment service link like Stripe or Paypal to invoices so that you can get paid faster. Next, we will take a look at what info is included in the Invoice Settings tab. To begin customizing these documents, go to the settings menu and select General Settings. Scroll down, right below the Features section, click on Invoice Settings. There are 4 key areas to set up within the Invoice Settings section: We got the Branding Theme Default Settings Payment Services and Invoice Reminders Branding Theme: Within the branding theme section, you have the option to add a standard theme or a custom DOCX theme. If you go with the standard theme, you can copy an existing theme or create one using Xero’s integrated design tools. You can create an unlimited number of standard themes (templates) to use on invoices, quotes, purchase orders and receipts. While the standard theme is pretty easy to use, it is limited to just basic customisation like font, logo and columns to show or hide in the table. If you want the ability to fully customise your templates then you may want to use the DOCX theme. The DOCX theme allows you to do full customisation using Microsoft Word 2007 or later. In order to use the DOCX theme, you should be experienced in using tables and field codes in Word. You can add up to 15 DOCX branding themes (templates) to apply to invoices, quotes and purchase orders. In this lesson, we will focus on how to create a standard branding theme. You can create one theme that will be used for all invoices, quotes, purchase orders and receipts or you can create a different theme for different forms such as credit notes and statements. When creating a standard theme, you want to go ahead and name your brand. Let’s talk about each section here that you can make changes to.
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- General Info - This section covers basic formatting info such as page size, margins and font size.
- Template Titles - In this section, you can make changes to the name of a form. For example, if you prefer to use Estimate instead of Quote then in the Quote title field you can remove what's there, and type in the name of the form you would like to use.
- This next section here allows you to show information or hide information on the form. If you put a checkmark here, the information will show. If you remove the checkmark, the information will be hidden To the right here, we have the ability to select how we want our logo to show up on the form. You can have it showing aligned to the left or to the right. You have the ability to determine how you want to show taxes on the form. Showing taxes in an exclusive way will have taxes show separately on the invoice. Inclusive will have that taxes built into the cost of the items that you are billing for. Right below that, you want to enter your contact address info that you want to appear at the top of the form. Generally, this is going to be the mailing address you want your customers to use to send payments or other correspondence to you.
- Payment Services - Xero allows you to accept credit card payments from your customers. By adding a payment service, you can easily add a link to your invoices that will allow customers to pay online via credit card. Once you have set up your payment account, you will be able to select it from the drop down menu here. so that it will appear on all customer invoices. If you have an existing Paypal account, you can connect it to Xero and also offer it as a method of payment as well. In the Terms and Payment Advice section, this info will appear at the bottom of invoices and statements that are sent to customers. For example, you can enter instructions, whether they are paying by check or paying by credit card. You can provide them with additional information that they could use. In addition, you can put other pertinent info as it pertains to quotes. Once you are done, you want to go ahead and save all changes.
- Default Settings - There are 4 primary areas that need to be set up: We've got: Payment Terms, Automatic Sequencing, Outstanding Bills, and the Quote Expiration Date. Setting up payment terms for both customers and vendors is very important because Xero will use this info to keep track of (and remind you) when customer invoices are coming due or past due so that you can follow-up. By the same token, Xero will also alert you when a bill is coming due or past due so that you can maintain good credit with your suppliers by paying them on time. You can enter the number of days (or a day of the month) in the field and select from the following four options: For example, bills, we'll go ahead and set the terms to be Net 30. So we'll select 30 day(s) after the bill date. Same thing for Sales Invoices, we can go ahead and enter the number of days after the invoice date. After we send our invoices out, we want to go ahead and have the bill due the 15th of the following month. Keep in mind that you want to set up the terms that will apply to most customers and suppliers. So this is the default. However, if you do need to set up a few customers and suppliers with different payment terms, you can do so by entering that information into their contact profile. Click the links below this video to access these lessons. You can also change the payment terms when entering an invoice or when you enter a bill into Xero. This would be beneficial for special terms given just for a specific purchase or sale. Automatic Sequencing: Like most accounting software programs, Xero automatically assigns a unique number for each document that you create. The first part of each number indicates the type of document. For example, for the Invoice Prefix, the first three letters INV indicate that the document is an invoice. Same with Credit Note. CN is the first two letters of any Credit Note that you create in Xero. The second part of the number, as you can see here, is numeric (i.e. 0001). This field will autopopulate to the next available number so that it is not duplicated. If you are converting from another accounting software program and would like to keep your existing numbering system that you have in place, this is where you want to let Xero know what number you want to start with. For example, for invoices, lets say that we would like to start with invoice # 10,000. You would want to enter that here. When we save our changes, and go into create an invoice, the very first invoice you create will be #10,000. However, if you do not have a preference as to the starting sequence of these documents, then you do not need to make any changes here. Show Outstanding Bills: By selecting this option, Xero will include a link on all customer invoices that will take them to a portal that shows a list of all of their unpaid invoices. Each time they make a payment with Xero payment services, the status is updated in real time to paid. We recommend that you include this link because it will keep customers informed of their outstanding balance each time you send them an invoice which will help you to get paid faster. Finally, Quote Expiration Date If you send your customers a quote/bid/estimate, then you may want to consider including an expiration date. Setting an expiration date could be beneficial in helping customers to make their decision in a more timely manner (as opposed to dragging it out for months). Similar to the bill and invoice due dates, you can set up the expiration dates for a quote based on the number of days or a specific day of the month.
- Payment Services: In addition to paying by check, your customers can make payments online with a credit card. In order for you to accept online payments, you must have an existing account with one of the payment services that integrates with Xero or you can set up an account and then connect it to your Xero account. Click the Add Payment Service button and you will see a list of the payment services that connect with Xero. If you don’t have an existing payment account, click on Stripe and follow the on-screen instructions to set up an account directly within Xero.
- Invoice Settings. Select Invoice Reminders One of the many benefits of using an accounting software program like Xero is built-in features like invoice reminders that help you to manage the money that your customers owe you (also known as accounts receivable). From within the invoice reminders section, you can set up Xero to automatically email customers after an invoice is past due at 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, or you can set up a custom reminder. Let’s go ahead and set up a reminder for customers, and let's be proactive about it. To do this, we need to click on the +Add reminder button. From the drop down, we want to select due in. Enter 7 days in this field. This is the preset template of what the email will look like that will go to your customer.
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