Last week Xero announced that it launched Xero Connect. Xero Connect is a new initiative in Australia that allows large suppliers to send invoices directly into Xero via a secure integration with the supplier’s billing system. Reece and Caltex are the first two corporations to join Xero Connect, and have built integrations that are now available to Xero users.
Any Xero user that is a Reece business customer or Caltex StarCard holder, will now be able to have their invoices sent directly into Xero, reducing paperwork, improving data accuracy.
First, a Xero user will need to visit a supplier’s online portal where they’ll be prompted to log in and authorise the supplier to send invoices directly into Xero. The customer can then select which supplier and account within Xero to code the invoices to, to ensure the expenses will be recorded correctly.
When the supplier issues an invoice, it will appear as a draft bill within Xero, where the customer can review it before approving. Once approved and paid, the bill will automatically be matched in Xero to a corresponding payment.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
Xero has been working on using AI to help business owners with their data entry. Xero will be using both Amazon and open source machine learning tools to reduce and eventually eliminate the amount of transaction coding businesses will need to do.
Machine learning and AI gives the ability for the system to look at large data sets to identify patterns, and when you fix things up, it even learns more. For example, when invoicing, Xero will be able to learn to things are going to be coded.
The change will mean that transaction codes in invoicing will be hidden from small business owners. Accountants will still be able to see the chart of accounts and be able to make changes where necessary.
The aim of this is to help small business owners spend time on running their business – not coding transactions. Xero is also focused on removing the bank reconciliation with machine learning also.
This is something Xero is still working on, however, it may not be too long until AI plays a bigger part in our lives.