If you receive bills for your business via email, and are tired of having to print them off yourself and enter the details, then Xero has the inbuilt capability to assist. HMRC are happy to accept legible electronic copies of bills as evidence of business expenditure too, so now could be the right time to stop printing bills and reduce the physical file sizes on your shelves.

So how is this done?

If you receive bills from suppliers as attachments to an email, simply forward the email to your unique Xero email address. To find this, go to Business/Bills To Pay, click the Create Bill From Email button, then copy and paste your Xero email address into the email you are forwarding – as you will see by the complexity of this email address, we wouldn’t recommend simply typing it in.

This then creates a draft bill in your Xero data with some data fields prepopulated from the bill, saves an electronic copy of the actual invoice attached to the transaction, which you can then approve if you agree the costs. If you want to save even more time, provide your supplier with your Xero email address and ask them to copy in their bills to this email, you then don’t have to forward each one yourself. This will only create draft bills (and doesn’t work for credit notes), so you can approve/agree the costs before they are committed to your data. This is compatible with all suppliers emailing bills, regardless of their own software programme.

This could also be of benefit for your sales invoices.

Xero to Xero?

If your supplier (or customer) also uses Xero, you could send your unique Xero network key to them and use the Xero to Xero feature instead. Again, this will only create a draft bill, but will save you having to deal with emails. To send your network key, click your Business Name in the top left, go to Settings/Xero To Xero and click Send Xero Network Invite, add their email address and click Send. If you receive a Xero network key from a contact, add it to their contact information. Again, we would recommend copy/paste if you are emailing your network key to a contact.

Doing this for customers allows you to send your invoices direct to your customers.

With both the above features, your customers and suppliers do not have any access to your data whatsoever.

If you have any questions about this, or any other Xero query, please ask our Xero Team.

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