Xero is an accounting software specially designed for small organisations. It's cloud-based, and specifically designed to help automate many manual accounting tasks.
With the Xero app for Beacon, you can:
- Export payments in Beacon directly to Xero
- Invoice people and organisations without leaving Beacon
In this article:
- Export payments to Xero
- Install guide
- Frequently asked questions (exporting)
- Frequency asked questions (invoicing)
link Export payments to Xero
Beacon lets you export payments in your database to Xero as account transactions in a few clicks.
During export, we'll auto-set Xero accounts based on the income streams set on your payment records (we'd recommend a rules-based smart field for this), making it easy for income in Xero to be categorised in the same way as your Beacon database.
You'll also get full control of:
- References set on each transaction
- Item descriptions
- Tracking categories (optional)
- Inventory item codes (optional)
The Xero app lets you choose a drop-down field on your payment record type as your Xero account mapping field:
For each drop-down option, you can choose the Xero account that it should correspond to:
rules-based smart field to automatically allocate your income streams, so you don't need to set them manually.Tip: while you can use any drop-down field as your account mapping field, we recommend using a
link Payouts (or "batches")
Payouts (e.g. from Stripe, JustGiving, cheques) can be tricky to reconcile, as usually they represent multiple payments - but are only one line on the bank statement.
We've thought hard about this 🤔, and Beacon has a payout record type which works with Xero, making this a piece of cake.
When exporting a payment to Xero, if it points at a payout record in Beacon, we'll use a couple of fields from the payout record to set on transactions:
- Reference = set from the payout Reference field
- Payment date = set from the payout Banked date field
While a single payout is only one line on your bank statement, the Xero app will create one transaction per payment in Xero.
During reconciliation, you can search for the payout reference to match up multiple transactions against the single bank line.
link Tracking categories
Want to categorise your income in Xero further? You can take advantage of Xero's tracking categories to help with reporting. (Xero lets you have up to two active categories)
restricted fund a transaction is allocated to.Many organisations set Fund as one of these categories, to represent the
When configuring the Xero app in Beacon, you'll see the available tracking categories, and can choose a field (short text or drop-down list) in Beacon to map to them.
When exporting to Xero, we'll set the tracking categories accordingly:
Heads up! Beacon does not create tracking category options for you. During export, we'll only set the category value if the field value in Beacon matches one of your allowed options in Xero.
Similarly to tracking categories above, you can map a field to the inventory "Item code" field.
link Xero contact
Beacon does not create contacts for each supporter in Xero when exporting payments. If you're like many charities, you probably have hundreds (thousands?!) of supporters, and creating contacts for each supporter could get messy, quickly.
To keep your Xero account clean and tidy, Beacon creates a single "Beacon transaction" contact in Xero. All payments exported from Beacon are allocated to this contact.
When viewing any individual person or organisation record in Beacon, you can use a Xero card to create a new invoice:
When invoicing someone, you'll be prompted the details of the contact in Xero, along with the amounts you'd like to invoice them for:
When you send the invoice, Beacon will automatically do the following:
- Create a contact in Xero if they don't already exist
- Create an invoice for the contact
- Email the invoice to them (through Xero's emailing system)
When viewing an organisation or a person, Beacon will check (in real-time) your Xero account to see the status the invoices you've sent to them through Beacon:
- Navigate to the apps directory in your Beacon sidebar, and click Install on the Xero app.
- Next, you need to connect your Xero account with Beacon. (You'll be prompted to give Beacon specific access to your Xero account)
After connecting, configure your export mapping settings, and click Save Integration.
(If you'd like to invoice from Beacon) Go to any person or organisation record in your database, and open customisation mode. Add a new card, and choose the List of invoices option:
- That's it!
Beacon will update the transaction that was previously exported.
link How does Beacon handle split payments when exporting?
If you have split payments enabled on your account, the Xero integration will create one transaction per group when exporting to Xero.
Each payment within the split group will be a separate line item within a single transaction.
Frequently asked questions (invoicing)
Does Beacon create contacts in Xero when I invoice someone?
If you're invoicing a person, we check to see if they're already in Xero based on their email address. For organisations, this is based on their name.
Additionally, if you've already invoiced someone through Beacon before, we store linked contact in Xero, and will send invoices to them going forwards (even if the name/email has changed).
link Is it possible to add multiple line items in invoices sent?
At the moment, it's only possible to send invoices with a single line item. If invoicing with multiple line items is a requirement, please let us know!
link How is the tax rate set?
We'll automatically apply the default rate of tax attached to the "Line item account code" (e.g. 200 - Sales).