In every SME, manual tasks such as invoicing far too often become the norm.

Let’s take more complex Xero invoicing for example

  1. Multiple systems of input data
  2. Static data for commissions / contracts
  3. Rules for splitting freight, mapping to Xero Contacts
  4. Currency conversions / splits
  5. Producing the Xero Invoice Template csv 
  6. Then manually uploading

Yes, there is talk of RPA, but in actuality, there is usually a need for a human eyeball in order to get things right. 

So what are you banging on about Kev?

ExcelAddIns

They are customisable apps that run as Ribbons in Excel

So what are they good for?

  • Turn hours of manual tasks into a few button clicks
  • Move the capability from 1-2 internal people, to anyone with a SOP
  • Improve the quality of data tenfold
  • Improve the frequency of the process
  • Allow staff to do more valuable tasks

What are ExcelAddIns

  1. Applications that run in Excel (not VBA, not functions or formulas)
  2. They are robust, not brittle like functions or formulas can become
  3. They are secure, you can’t email them around, they live on a users machine, not in the spreadsheet
  4. You can pull data in from anywhere
  5. You can manipulate all contents & perform much more complicated logic than functions and formulas

How do you create them?

Hire a developer who can write Visual Studio Tools for Office

Are they prevalent?

In most financial trading floors they are the de-facto application used by traders. So yes, they work.

Scenario 1

Manufacturing business using MS Access, VEND, static SalesCommissions & Xero

Data is actually pulled in from their DataLake which can be done without custom Excel Buttons, they just use standard Excel Data Connectivity.

But the magic is in the Generate button.

It has alot of custom logic, that was previously only in the internal finance functions heads and now. Click boom.

They still manually upload to Xero, but that’s their choice, see the other examples for full automation!

Xero Invoice Automation

Scenario 2

Top 10 accounting firm spending 8 hours per month on one clients Xero invoices.

Data from a datalake, lots of static data, generating Xero template & an Upload to Xero including attachments

Xero Invoice Automation with uploading to Xero with attachments

Scenario 3

Not for Profit – consolidating Xero to a Xero ledger

Pulling and consolidating from multiple Xero’s and producing a Manual Journal template that is uploading with one click to a dedicated reporting ledger, saving hours per month.

Xero consolidation into Manual Journal Templates

Hopefully these pictures speak enough, if not, give me a call and I’ll be happy to talk you through them!