(Disclosure – in the lead-up to the release of multi-currency, I did a very small amount of contracting to Xero to produce some marketing videos)
A couple of months ago while I was in San Francisco I saw a sneak preview of some screen flows for Xero’s multi-currency capability. At the time I was pretty excited – the Xero team had obviously though of almost every combination and permutation of foreign currency and the screen flows were elegant and intuitive.
The release this morning includes most of what I saw in the screen flow – specifics include;
- Companies now set a base currency (the currency that taxes are filed in) and this cannot be changed
- Xero supports 160 different currencies and these are updated hourly from XE.com or users can set their own exchange rates
- All invoice and bank account balances will be converted, for the purposes of reporting, with the latest exchange rates
- Companies can set the default currency to be used for every contact or bank account
- Invoices can be raised to a contact in multiple currencies
Some images below show the major touch points for multi-currency. Users can add exchange rates at will from the set up tab – this keeps things simple by showing only the currencies of relevance to the particular company. A business for example dealing in Pesos, Euros and Australian dollars doesn’t want to scroll through Sterling, USD and NZD every time they invoice;
When invoicing users can chose from any of their default currencies or add another currency to their list;
And exchange rates can either be automatically and dynamically utilised from XE.com or manually set by the user;
And finally to keep the accountants happy, there is a full foreign currency report that includes all forex gains and losses along with automatically generated footnotes that detail the exchange rates used for reporting – as with the other multi-currency aspects, this report is dynamic and changes as exchange rates change;
Below is a short video detailing the new functionality;
A glimpse at tiered pricing
For awhile now Xero CEO Rod Drury has been saying that he sees many ways to increase revenue through segmented product offerings. The introduction of multi-currency sees the start of this. Multi-currency will be free to organisations that sign up to Xero prior to 1 August, thereafter however multi-currency will be a premium offering which organisation will pay extra for.
My assessment is that the vast majority of prospective Xero customers do not actually need multi-currency, but it’s a feature that is necessary for Xero going forwards – introducing it as an add-on therefore makes total sense – it’ll be interesting to see how much Xero charges for the add on, and how, with more complexity to the offering, they’ll retain the simple pricing layout that is part of their excellent UI.