Having personal finance software to help you manage your money is one thing, but being able to drill right into your spending history opens the door to so much more.
Today we’re releasing Detailed Search for Xero Personal. This gives you the added flexibility of finding what you need, whether its how much you spent on holiday, getting ready for tax time, or simply comparing monthly or annual spending. You can also access information right back to when you started accumulating data.
Watch this video for an overview:
You can search using a vast array of criteria and combinations, such as by bank account, transaction amount, splits, archives, multiple date periods and a whole lot more. Search criteria can be saved for reuse at anytime.
Once you have your search results you can quickly categorise, label and archive them all at once, using as many labels as you need to help find them individually. And if you need to get reimbursed and want to send someone a record of your spending, it’s easy to export your results to Excel or Google docs. This is also useful for sharing tax data with your accountant.
Today we’ve launched Financial Snapshots – personalised email updates that let you know how you’re tracking with your finances in Xero Personal. These are a great way to keep on top of things, especially if you’re time poor.
You get to choose the exact details you’ll be sent. For instance this might include bank account balances and planned payments. You can also include summary details of how well you’re doing on your spending and savings goals to keep you motivated.
You decide how often you receive the Snapshots, which can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly or you may choose to turn them off.
If you’re a Xero Personal customer you’ll receive your first Snapshot in coming days. Be sure to update your preferences so you get the right information at the right time. See Help for how for to do this.
Today we’ve released some great new functionality in Xero Personal around planning for some of the bigger expenses you’ll face over a three month period.
Plans & Reminders lets you anticipate upcoming payments whether they be expenses or income. Not only does it give you better visibility of when money is going to be coming in and out of your accounts, but you can see in advance if you will have enough money to meet substantial regular or one-off payments. You can also opt to be sent a reminder email before the payment date.
So there’ll be no excuses for missing a bill payment or running out of funds just before the due date! Watch this video overview to see just how it works.
Along the way we’ve had some good suggestions from those using it, and we’ve noticed lots of similar questions being asked, so we’ve fine-tuned a few things to help you get more out of the site. Perhaps this will encourage those of you who haven’t jumped in to answer or share ideas about being smart with money, to give it a go.
Next time you visit Xero Answers you might notice the following changes or new things:
- More topics!
Most questions were ending up in the ‘Using Xero Personal’ category and with almost 200 questions in the site now we could see some clear groups of questions emerging so we’ve added these as new topics. Also makes it a bit easier to browse if you’re interested in the range of questions being asked on a particular topic.
- New ‘Recently Answered’ tab
Too many good follow-up answers and suggestions from you on earlier questions weren’t being seen by other users on the site so we’ve added this list of questions that have had an answer added recently.
- Browsing through questions
Browse the whole list of questions by clicking the ‘More’ button at the bottom of the questions on the home page or drill into a topic and page through questions from there.
We’ve smartened up the search that goes on behind the ‘Ask’ button when you’ve entered your question or keywords. We found that lots of similar questions were being posted on the site because search results weren’t returning closely matched words and phrases. Now when you search you’ll hopefully get better results as well as some suggested pages from the Xero Personal Help Centre.
Don’t forget to upload a picture to your profile (use the ‘My public profile’ link at the top right of the screen when logged in) – as more of you are able to answer other people’s questions it will be nice to see who’s helping out!
Don’t be shy – this is a place for you to create a great resource for ideas and information about Xero Personal – we’d love to see you! http://answers.xero.com/
Today we released our first set of regular feature enhancements for Xero Personal. We had a number of things we needed to get done behind the scenes but you’ll see this release is heavily skewed to what you asked for.
This video gives you a good idea of the new things you can do:
Splits - Receiving so many responses on how you’d like splits to work has been really helpful in determining what would work for most people. The consensus was complete flexibility so you can split transactions into numerous categories – the idea being you get a more accurate picture of where your money is going.
Labels - These are a way of defining specific types of spending or income which are perhaps associated with an activity or event. Labels are also a good way to track your spending across lots of categories.
Import Rules - These rules determine how Xero Personal treats transactions. You get to set them and change them as often as you like. You can also flag transactions To Review.
To Review - The Guessed by Xero tab has been renamed To Review so the categories Xero guesses will appear under this heading along with other transactions from any payees which are flagged To Review.
You can find the full release notes here, including what’s coming soon.
We know there’s lots of anticipation out there to reveal how Xero Personal will mature. Rest assured we’ve got lots of things planned and we’ll also be fine tuning as we go. Already we’re well into our next release!
July 31st is the last day you can export your transactions from Wesabe. Like many others we were saddened to hear they won’t continue. We’d like to try and help out all Wesabeans keep their data, and are trying to make the transition to Xero Personal as easy as possible.
We really appreciate all those who helped us by securely uploading their files to test. Thanks to your efforts we’ve included the ability to import your data from Wesabe in today’s release.
Transactions that you’ve attached tags to in Wesabe will have labels attached in Xero Personal. Whilst your transactions won’t be instantly categorised (but we will try and suggest categories with Xero Personal crowdsourcing data) you’ll still be able to keep your personal data in a secure environment, so it’s worth spending a bit of time categorising to ensure you keep all your valuable information.
We’d love to hear about how you’re finding Xero Personal and let us know how we can help you get started at Xero Answers.
You can view the full instructions for how to upload your Wesabe data into Xero Personal in our Help Centre, but here’s a quick video overview.
We were sad to hear recent news that Wesabe, an early pioneer of online financial software, is closing down this month. We always admired their work. The consumer space is very difficult to monetize, which is why we’ve taken the approach of linking personal financial management with business.
We don’t want to leave Wesabe users stranded. Some people might be inclined to seek another free alternative to Wesabe, but the hidden price for those services is having your personal data sold to marketing companies and advertisers.
That’s why we created Xero Personal as a low-cost, but sustainable service.
We have a significant product update of Xero Personal coming out very soon and we’re aiming to have the Wesabe importer available by then.
If you’re interested, it would help to know
- How many months of transactions you want to transfer
- The total number of transactions
- The file size of your Wesabe file
Please let us know in the comments below or email email@example.com.
Better still, you can anonymously and securely upload your data file for us to test. We appreciate that it takes trust to transfer your data, so we encourage you to read all about our privacy and security policies at Xero.
For those transferring from Wesabe, we’d love your feedback on ways we can make the transition easier and hear your ideas for making further enhancements to Xero.
Introducing Xero Answers
We’ve seen how excited people are about sharing their ideas on using Xero and being smart with money. So we’ve expanded the Xero Personal Help Center with a place for you to post your own questions, get answers and share your ideas with everyone in the community.
It’s a great way to get quick answers, share your ideas, plus a nice way for us to ask you questions about how you use Xero and how you manage your money.
Help us get the ball rolling so Xero Answers isn’t just zero answers!
Also, let us know if you’d be interested in Xero Answers for Business.
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It’s been great to get so much feedback about Xero Personal. There’s definitely real passion out there for what we’re doing!
The focus of version 1 was to get the important links between the BNZ and Xero working seamlessly. Our approach is a hybrid where we get the best of online banking and the frequent innovation you’ve come to expect from Xero. It’s been a huge amount of work. Over time we believe this will be the way that most personal finance solutions work. We call this Banking 2.0.
Xero Personal is a personal money manager that’s designed to be simple for anybody to use whether tech savvy or not. We expect for many people this will be their first time using a tool like this. As with Xero Business, we love getting your feedback and we have lots of things we’re looking forward to doing now we’ve got the platform out there.
Step one of any product like Xero Personal is categorization. We’ve taken a ‘crowdsourcing’ approach where over time the community makes categorization smarter. As users come on you will start to see the benefits of this. One of the requests we’ve had is to increase the number of custom categories you’re able to create. We understand that some people want really fine-grained control over how they track their expenses.
There’s two reasons why we set a cap on the number of categories. The first was to improve Xero Personal’s ability to guess the right category for you, which relies on a discrete set of categories that are shared across all users. The second is that we have a plan for how to provide really fine-grained expense tracking, which we think is even better than creating lots of custom categories.
As a way of helping those people who want this functionality right now, we’re raising the number of custom categories from 8 to 20. But you can look forward to us providing other ways that will give you even greater control of your expenses in the future.
Another feature we have on the roadmap is the ability to split transactions. There are a few ways we can tackle this, but we’re really interested to hear how you would like the splits to work. So what we’re keen to know is:
- What type of transactions do you normally split, and how do you split them?
- Are the split ratios always the same for a payee or are they unique for each transaction?
- Is splitting more important then having your transactions automatically categorised for you?
Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below with your thoughts on these split transaction questions.
The anticipation is over – Xero Personal is now available! It’s such an exciting day for us, launching this new personal finance management product.
For the first release we’ve really focused on features to help you find out where your money is going and to identify areas where you can save money. There are tools to allow you to see your full financial position, then set up goals and track your progress towards them.
We’re passionate about where we might take Xero Personal and plan to release updates regularly, based as much as possible on what you tell us you want.
While available to Xero business customers globally from today, we will be staggering the release of the Xero Personal activation emails for New Zealand customers who sign up through the BNZ, where they also get automated personal bank feeds. This is so we can backload your BNZ account data and monitor the load so the user experience is optimal from the start. So if you are a BNZ customer and want to try Xero Personal we suggest you pre-register through BNZ Internet Banking as soon as possible. It may take up to two weeks before you’ll be completely up and running. But bear with us, it will be worth it!
Take a look at this short overview. Perhaps this will be the start of a change in the way you use your money…
A big thank you to the team at the BNZ who we’ve worked with for the last many months on this project. We appreciate your support.
While the big news is certainly Xero Personal, check out the release notes for details on other updates.
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