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Community > Tell us how we're doing >

Reporting drawback

Started by Murray Barnetson -   in Tell us how we're doing

I have read a couple of the "Tell us how we are doing" posts. Some mention roadmaps, which would be great but compromise your "first to market" strategy, some just complain etc.

I am posting because, other than some minor operational gripes, the one thing that really lets Xero down is its Reporting. I have written many emails to support, all of which were answered (thank you for that) and I have posted a few posts on this forum. In one of the posts, I read that Xero has a larger than expected development team, which is fantastic.

However, surely the 80:20 principle should be applied here. You have all the data, all you need is a couple of Report writers to churn out reports. In my opinion, if you could provide just half the reports that Quickbooks has, you will sort out 80% of the problems.
I agree 100%

Removed - Legal - 0009565691 Removed - Legal - 0009565691  

Thanks again for the feedback guys. I know you've seen the larger thread about a report builder. It's good to see people actually listing the reports they'd find useful or enhancements to our current reports to meet the gaps you're talking about. Our development team is growing but we have them spread across our whole organization - as well as keeping the product growing and maintained to revisit existing features, we have to keep it secure and fast and have to build and support a community like this and many other operational aspects. As stated on that report builder thread there is a large project underway to improve the reports.

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)  

I am thinking about changing from QuickBooks to Xero. But I would not like to see any decrease in report quality. As for resources, quality before quantity??

Fiona mckay  

@Fiona - any key reports you rely on that I could confirm are or aren't in Xero?

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)  

I fully agree, every report you see on Xero should have an extract button that exports to Excel, not only the report but ALL transactions (similar to the VATreport).
Clients always ask, so what made up these numbers and I have to try and create transaction dumps and then come back to the Xero report, defeats the object a little ???
Drilling down is a waste of time when you need All transactions that make up a P&L for a time frame or by Tracker Codes. Drill down is great for one query.
Xero team, please make the accountants and advisors lives really useful and not data miners :-)

Jack Frangou  

Is any progress happening on getting the abysmal reporting system sorted out?

Murray Barnetson  

Hello - yes progress is being made behind the scenes - several updates from our product manager over here on the report writer thread. Expect to see the first set of reports converted to the new framework over the next few weeks and more will follow. Full details of what can be expected on the thread mentioned.

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)  

I have a simple request - that sorting by date is genuine and does not follow first number in the field - when i am trying to provide a report that shoes invoices due for payment by earliest due date first I will end up will all dates starting with one, then 2 etc etc

Philip Rich  

I have a number of reporting issues:
-lack of flexibility: the ability to change report titles, row and column headings
-expense items should not be negative in the income statement - it confuses readers

deb budnick  

Totally agree. Reporting is basic to the point of being useless. I am going to leave Xero, but I encourage you to train your software teams to be more user-focused..

Elle Harrison  


I would like to be able to send a sales item report report with the status being draft sales invoices (or quotes) to see potential future income. I don't want to pay GST as yet so don't want to enter them as invoices.

Robyn Coff  

Exporting Sales Invoices to an Excel .csv file shows all line items. It should be possible to optionally only list one row per invoice. Alternatively, add a column to the exported file that has a flag set exactly once for each invoice, so this can be used as an Excel filter term.

Dave Turner  

I've been a Xero Advisor for a little over a year, utilizing Xero for a "boutique" service for select clients. I have not added any new clients in almost a year, primarily waiting on more robust reporting. Xero tends to make most reports too constrained and predetermined. Quick example: why does the Trial Balance not sort by account code? The option is there, but it still groups the accounts under a hierarchical grouping, which is not by account code.
The recently added cash flow report is an example of a critical report that misses the mark, in that the cash group cannot be defined; it is hard coded to Xero's cash accounts, a rudimentary approach that makes that report unusable except for the simplest of charts.
The end-of-year process pointed out another issue - Xero reports take up a tremendous amount of paper real estate, with some of the headings taking up almost half a page. Why? Also, column widths cannot be adjusted when viewing reports on screen; when you have multiple windows open, the reports cannot be adjusted to "make room" for other screens, and adjusting the report window truncates the data.
Xero, we need more control over reports, and if you introduce a report writer, please don't restrict it - we know what we're doing.

Alton Duncan  

I agree - this thread started in June of 2012 and over 4 year later, the "new reports" are the only option? I would like to customize report lines (which is possible by setting up a group) and put them in a different order than alphabetical. The order is not possible to change. While I've worked around this by using numbers in front of the title, exporting to excel and getting rid of the numbers, it really is a pain to generate the reports as we would like to see them. Why isn't there a good report writer available?

Lois Vega  

The reporting in Xero is laughable. The move to cloud based accounting based on "access" is pointless if the information you can access is of no value. I am taking as many clients as I can back to the desktop so I am able to provide them with timely, accurate, and helpful data.

Alyson Miller  

@Alyson could you give a bit more detail on what you want the reports to do? We're making a bunch of improvements atm, and what you want could be bundled up in that.

@Lois, this is feedback the team are aware of, and will keep in mind. We've just released some pretty big changes to Reports, and will be able to work on more updates now a lot of that work has been done.

Brittany H (Community Manager)  

We have a budget variance report that includes the detail for each of the GL accounts associated. In order for our budget managers to properly be able to manage their budgets, they need the detail (transaction list). When we can change the dates on the budget variance report, but that date change does not transfer to the detail reports. It literally takes us 6 hours to send our budget reports...something we can do in QB desktop in 40 minutes. Each time we want a new report, we have to rebuild it.

Alyson Miller  

I would like to be able to create sub schedules not using all of the accounts on the balance sheet or income statement. On the balance sheet we have all of the assets and depreciation netted on one line. We would like a detailed schedule by type of asset and corresponding depreciation. The detail is in our chart of accounts, but I don't see an option to use just these accounts on a report.

Lois Vega