Cloud Accounting Xero

Xero Updates Reports and Gets New Layout Editor

Written by Greg Lam

Xero has been working on its new reports systems for about two years now. Before, it was always a moduleXero Reports that was separated from the existing “old” reports. Now Xero has merged the two reports, “old” and “new,” under the Reports page. Furthermore, Xero has released additional functionality for customizing the reports, using a new layout editor—and you are now able to create and customize columns.

Greg Lam will be presenting the sessions, Cloud Accounting Face Off and Setting Up a Paperless Accounting Flow, at Accountex 2016.

The Merge

The Merge

Previously, New Reports was separated from All Reports (“Old Reports”), as seen in the above screen shot. Quite a few of the reports found within All Reports and New Reports were duplicates, although they did provide different functionality. Sometimes the new report had the information you wanted in the way you wanted, while sometimes it was the old report. Xero did it this way so that it could work on the new reporting system while maintaining all the reports found in the existing one, but it was unclear which report you should use at which time. Well, with the merge of both reports, it’s… still confusing.

Xero Reports

You can see that there are two income statement, fixed asset reconciliation, and inventory items summary reports. The new report has the little “new” icon to the right. Even though it’s still weird to have the two reports named the same, it is easier having all the reports on one page, and while it’s not ideal, it’s better than before. This merger also enables the use of the “favoriting” system, where if you mark a report with a star, it’ll show up in the Reports drop down menu.

Reports Drop-Down Menu

All of Xero’s reports aren’t shown right away, but to see them you just need to click on the three dots to expand your view of them.

Expand View


Search Reports

Because of the number of reports, Xero has found it prudent to provide a Search bar. As you type, it filters the reports below in real-time, which is a nice little touch.

Custom, Drafts, Published, Archived


There’s now a Custom menu item, which lets you see any of your saved custom reports (you can now save an unlimited amount vs. only one custom report per report type). Additionally, you can choose whether a custom report is used as the default when you start a new type of report (like the Income Statement) and you can also star a custom report so that it shows up as a favorite.

In case you’re not familiar with Xero’s reporting system, you’re able to save reports that you are working on as Drafts, set reports as Published when they are ready, and make them Archived when you no longer need to actively use them. How the Custom and Published reports differ, is that Published is for a report that you want to save and freeze in time (like an Income Statement for 2016 or a Sales Tax Report for Q3), while Custom is rather a template for publishing future reports.

Layout Editor

The big little button that is new is Edit Layout.

Edit Layout

While many of the capabilities of editing the layout already existed, there is a new drag and drop interface and you can also now add additional columns.

Profit and Loss Report


With columns you can add additional dates to compare data against, formulas for variances, and notes to provide extra information for each row of data. Additionally, if you have budgets set up, you can now compare your budget to your actual in the income statement report.

You can change the order of both the row and columns by simply dragging and dropping them, group data together (and choose whether to show them in detail or a summary), add formulas, and rename the default titles as well.

About the author

Greg Lam

Greg Lam is a passionate small business guy who loves technology and automation. He holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University, Canada. He's a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Xero Partner, and Kashoo MVP. His business interests are focused on online accounting and how it can be used to streamline and automate a company’s accounting processes. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Greg operates the Small Biz Doer website, an "Entrepreneur's Guide to Small Biz Bookkeeping." He is the author of Online Accounting Software: Finding the Right Match, published by The Sleeter Group.

Connect with Greg on Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

1 Comment

  • Xero is the best. Once the report features are fully implemented and their workpaper function enhanced(really made usable for more sophisticated accounting firms) they will be the software of choice for all Accounting & CPA Firms.

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