Keeping invoices electronically in Xero
Xero allows you to upload file attachments directly to transactions or contacts, or store them in your Xero file library. This gives you the ability to add documents to invoices or quotes that you email, keep copies of important documents and most usefully keep copies of receipts and invoices.
You will no longer need to spend hours looking through files for an invoice or keep receipts in your pocket for later.
Why keep digital copies
It is a requirement that you keep accounting records for a number of years after the end of the financial year. If you are self-employed, you will normally need to keep business records for at least 5 years after the 31 January submission deadline for the relevant year. For a limited company, records must normally be kept for at least 6 years from the end of the relevant financial year.
By storing receipts and invoices electronically, you limit the chance of losing them and you can free storage space as you don’t need to keep the original. The electronic copy must be a faithful copy of the original so either take a photo or scan to pdf. Don’t forget to scan the back of the invoice or receipt if it has information on the back, e.g. terms and conditions on a hire invoice.
What you can’t keep digitally
Dividend vouchers and bank interest statements must currently be kept in their original format. So if you received a paper copy, you must keep this. You can still store it electronically as well, but don’t throw out the original. If you receive a pdf copy, it must be stored as the original pdf.
How to add files to Xero
There are a number of ways of adding documents to Xero.
The easiest ways are:
- Email an attachment direct to the file library using your unique Xero inbox email address https://help.xero.com/uk/FilesEmail.
You can also use this method to email photos of your receipts from your phone. Ever got back to the car after a meeting and chucked the parking ticket in your bag to deal with later? Now you can take a photo of the receipt with your smartphone, email it to your Xero inbox and throw away the ticket.
- Drag and drop – this can be used to add files to the file library https://help.xero.com/uk/FilesUpload$Drag or direct to a transaction or item https://help.xero.com/uk/FilesUpload$Howtodrag.
- Upload from your computer – again either by adding to the file library https://help.xero.com/uk/FilesUpload$Upload or direct to a transaction or item https://help.xero.com/uk/FilesUpload$Direct.
If you have lots of invoices and receipts each month, you could also have a look at Receipt Bank. Receipt Bank removes the need for data entry as it extracts the data from purchase invoices and receipts and publishes it to Xero.
Want to know more about Xero, Receipt Bank or how to keep your records, call us on 01604 330220 or email.
More reading about record keeping:
Self-employed record keeping https://www.gov.uk/self-employed-records/overview
Limited companies record keeping https://www.gov.uk/running-a-limited-company/company-and-accounting-records#2