Custom Xero Reporting

Xero is a cloud-based accounting platform which was founded in New Zealand and has made waves through Australia and the rest of the world. The data which Xero generates is extremely valuable and often times businesses want to be able to report on this data and perform analysis.


This blog will outline three ways which businesses can report on their Xero data and will also explore ways in which you can perform customised Xero reporting and analytics. The three methods outlined below include: (1) Using the Xero reporting interface, (2) Exporting data out of Xero into Excel, (3) Connecting a data visualisation tool such as Power BI or Tableau to you Xero data.


Using the Xero reporting interface


Log into your Xero account and in the ‘Accounting’ menu select ‘Reports’.


There are a number of pre-built reports which can be found within the Xero web interface as seen below:

Xero Reporting Interface
Pre-built Xero reports

Here's a quick run-down on this approach:


Pros:

  • Reports are already built so no work is required. If you have Xero, you have access to these reports already

  • There are no manual reporting tasks which need to be performed

Cons:

  • You are limited to only the reports which Xero provide or reports which you can build within Xero

  • There is no way to report across multiple organisations

  • There is no way to enhance the Xero reporting by adding additional information your businesses might have such as budgets or lookup tables


Exporting data out of Xero and into Excel


In the ‘Accounting’ menu select ‘Advanced’ and then ‘Export accounting data’.


Select Product and Date range and then download the file:

Export Xero data
Export data from Xero

Locate the file on your computer and open it with Excel.

Xero data in Excel
Xero data in Excel

You can now create a report in Excel based on this data.


Here's a quick run-down on this approach:


Pros:

  • Create consolidated Xero reporting across multiple organisations by exporting and appending data in Excel

  • Enhance your Xero data by joining it to other business data in Excel (such as budget data or lookup dimensions)

  • Customise charts, tables and filters to exactly match your organisations needs

Cons:

  • Some level of Excel knowledge is required

  • Updating the report is a manual process

  • Sharing Excel reports with colleagues can be difficult and can be a cause for security concerns if not done properly


Connecting a data visualisation tool such as Power BI or Tableau to your Xero data


Lastly, you can connect specialised data visualisation tools such as Power BI and Tableau to Xero.

Xero reporting in Power BI or Tableau
Xero reporting in Power BI or Tableau

This option requires some expertise but can be great for small to medium sized businesses who want to continue using Xero but are not getting the access to reporting and analytics which is required by the business.


Pros:

  • All the same pros as the Excel based option above (bespoke Xero reporting, consolidated Xero reporting, customised charts and filters)

  • No manual process / your data is always up to date

  • Advanced sharing and security features including email alerts and user-level security

  • No need to upgrade your accounting platform just because of a lack of reporting functionality

Cons:

  • Requires an expert to understand the business needs and develop the solution (we have done this in the past!)

  • Can have some small ongoing costs associated with the tools (but tools can be used in other parts of the business as well)

See this solution in action here!


Hope this is useful! Any questions or comments please feel free to leave below, or alternatively you can contact us at info@reportsimple.com.au