Xero recently released its first version of a file system into Xero that allows business owners to attach documents to relevant transactions. This is an incredible step forward because file associations were previously very limited within Xero. Read this Sleeter blog post and get a 3rd party review of what makes Xero files great and where it still has room to grow.

Sleeter Group: Xero Files for Documents Attachments (click to read)


What you need to know:

  • Xero Files lets you attach most file types (the important ones are pdf, docx, xlsx, csv, jpg, and png) to individual transactions.

  • Why is this important? Your books are now way more convincing when proving the validity of business transactions to outside parties … IRS perhaps.

  • You can now easily create transactions from directly in Xero using an uploaded image as a reference with the needed information.

  • Xero is not a document management system. This means Xero Files is not for documents that are actively collaborated on or are meant to frequently exchange with others.

  • “Xero Files is not document management, You still use Drive/Box/Dropbox for active files. This is about removing the separation of source financial records from their data inside a security model that permits accountants and bookkeepers seamless access to the full accounts data.” – Rod Drury, CEO of Xero


What you need to do:

  • Scan images of your expense receipts, bills, contracts — really any document that is associated with a transaction or contact in Xero — and upload it to your Xero inbox.

    • Until Xero integrates Files into its mobile applications, use document scanning applications such as JotNot for iPhone/iPad or MDScan for Android to take the pictures.

    • In my experience it is easiest to upload that new scanned photo to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Once on your computer, upload the files from cloud storage to the Xero inbox and start associating your files with transactions.

    • This is a replacement to using services such as Receipt-Bank or Shoeboxed to scan and organize receipts.

    • In the next couple weeks, Xero is releasing the ability to email receipts directly into your Xero company.

  • Write little notes on your expense receipts stating how and why it is a business expense. This is important for potential IRS audits.

  • Make Xero Files a habit in your life. Use it to strive for a paperless office! The service will only get better over time.