Xero can be a great product for small businesses. Being cloud based there is no software installation and, therefore, less need for IT to get their act together every time an update is due. But there is still a lot that can go wrong that will have you on the phone to your Xero Support company. Forewarned is forearmed so let’s look at some of the more common problems so you don’t waste your time with them.

Problem: You Can’t Access Xero
Xero is great in that you don’t need to install it but that means if you lose you internet connection you’ve lost access to Xero. If you’re having difficulty in logging in to the system then check you can access other internet sites such as Google. If they’re not loading the issue is probably with your network or data connection – not with Xero!

Problem: You Have a Discrepancy Between Your Bank Balance And Xero’s Statement Balance
This can happen if you have a missing or duplicate bank statement line or have accidentally reconciled the wrong transaction.

In order to locate where the error occurred you will need to run Bank Reconciliation Summary on successive date ranges until you narrow down where the error occurred, then manually check the offending lines. For example once you have found the last date the balances matched you can then search forward until you work out where the discrepancy occurred.

Problem: You Have The Wrong Balance After Running Payroll
Payroll is a complex subject and it is very easy for errors to occur. Mistakes in entering employees or in reconciling the actual payments from your bank account with the ledger entries can quickly snowball and the only symptom you may have is a bank balance in Xero higher than the one on your bank statement.

The first step is to ensure that wages and salaries have been logged under “Payroll Payable Accounts” instead of “Payroll Expenses”. If the incorrect coding has been applied then the balance of both accounts will be higher than expected.

Problem: You Can’t Approve Expenses
Expenses can be submitted using iOS and Android apps or manually by submitting the necessary paperwork to the accounts department to enter into the system. There are three user types for the purposes of Expense Claims – Approvers who have the authority to approve claims, Submitters who have been permitted to make claims, and Read-Only who can read the details of claims without taking any actions.

If you cannot approve a claim the most likely reason is that you are not an authorised Approver for that account and you will need to contact your Xero Support team to upgrade your status.

Problem: You Can’t Import Inventory Items
If you have exported your inventory from another inventory management system then a common cause of inventory import errors is if the file structure is not what Xero was expecting. If columns or the header row are missing or incorrectly labelled the Xero won’t be able to match up the data points.

If you have used Microsoft Excel or similar to create your import file you can match up the row numbers in the error message with row numbers in the CSV file and fix the errors before attempting to re import the data.

If you are having issues and can’t see any problems with the structure of the file then don’t forget that Xero has an import limit of 1,000 entries. Simply split large files into smaller sections. Don’t forget that each file will need it’s own header row.

Anything outside of these problems and you’ll likely need the help of Xero support services, but with this information at least you’ll be able to sort out the basics.