Welcome to the Fit Small Business Xero training course! In this lesson, we’re going to cover how to invite multiple users to Xero.
You can follow along on your own Xero account. If you don’t have one already, click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial and follow along below.
To complete this lesson, you can either watch the video below, read through the step-by-step instructions, or do both. Let’s begin!
Why It Is Important to Give Other Users Access to Your Xero Data
Most accounting software programs allow you to give other users access. This is helpful, since you can give employees user accounts, as well as an outside CPA, and control what each individual has access to.
Generally, the more folks you give access to, the more you have to pay. However, Xero offers something that it’s closest competitors do not: You can give an unlimited number of users access to your account without incurring any additional cost.
Once you have granted a user access to Xero, they will be able to log in from their office without having to bother you. In this lesson, we will discuss the user roles available, the ideal user for each role, and how to send them an email invitation to access your data.
How Do I Give Other Users Access to my data in Xero?
Follow the steps below to invite multiple users to access your data in Xero:
Step 1 – From the Settings menu, navigate to General Settings as indicated below.
Step 2 – Below the Organization section, select Users as indicated in the screenshot below.
Step 3 – Click on the “Invite a User” button as indicated in the screenshot below.
Step 4 – As you can see, there are four primary sections in the next screen. Below, you will find a brief description of each one.
- New User Details – In this section, include the first and last name along with the email address of the new user.
- Key Tasks/Areas of access – In this section, there are 6 key areas that differentiate user roles. Below is a brief description of each one:
- Bank reconciliation – This level of access allows the user to add, modify or delete banking transactions as well as reconcile bank accounts. The Standard and Advisor roles are the only two users that have bank reconciliation access. To learn more about cash coding check out the How to Reconcile Downloaded Banking Transactions lesson.
- Invoices – This level of access allows the user to add, modify, and delete customer invoices and supplier bills. It also allows access to view sales & purchase reports as well as print or email invoices. Standard, Advisor and Invoice-only roles have some form of access to invoices. In the next section, we will discuss in more detail the access level for each user role.
- Edit settings – This access allows you to set up your organization in Xero; including but not limited to the following:
- View reports – This level of access allows the user to view, print and customize reports. In the next section, we will discuss in more detail the access level for each user role.
- Publish reports – The only user role that can publish reports is Advisor. To publish a report simply means to take a snapshot of the report and save it so that it is no longer editable.This can be a great tool to use once you have completed closing your books. You can publish key financial statements like the Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement, so that if any changes are made you can always go back to the published reports.The next tool, lock dates is a great one to use so that you can be certain that no changes will be made once you have closed the books.
- Lock dates – Similar to the publish reports, only the Advisor has access to lock dates. The lock date feature allows the user to stop anyone from making changes to transactions for a past period.Example: Let’s say it’s January 15, 2017. Acme is confident that all transactions for the previous year (2016) have been entered into Xero. Acme has given their CPA an Advisor user role so that she can log in and review the books and prepare the tax return.To ensure that no one on the Acme staff (except those with an Advisor role) accidentally enters any transactions for 2016, the owner has set up a lock date to prevent this from happening. While the staff can enter transactions dated January 1 and after; they will be “locked out” from entering transactions dated December 31, 2016 and prior if they do not have the Advisor user role.Note: You can also set lock dates that will stop all users (including Advisors) from entering transactions. You can find more info on this here.
- User Roles – There are 6 user roles (5 shown in the screenshot above). Below is a brief description of each role along with the type of user the role is best suited for:
- Advisor – This user role has full access to Xero. As you can see in the screenshot above, this includes but is not limited to bank reconciliation, invoices, view reports, publish reports and lock dates. This role is ideal for the business owner and an accountant who is responsible for all bookkeeping tasks.
- Standard – This user role is very similar to the Advisor role except that the standard user cannot lock periods or publish reports. This role is ideal for a tax professional that prepares your tax return and a bookkeeper who you don’t want to give access to lock dates and publish reports. You can learn more about how the report settings work for this user here.
- Invoice Only – This user level is limited to just someone who needs to create invoices and/or supplier bills with no access to bank accounts or reports. There are four levels of access for this user role:
- Draft Only – This user can add, copy and save invoices, bills, quotes and purchase orders. They can submit these documents for approval and make modifications as long as they have not been approved. After approval, they will be able to view any transactions that they have created. This role is great to give to someone who is brand new to your company or someone whose work you prefer to review and approve first before it goes out to a customer or supplier.
- Approve & Pay – On top of being able to do everything that a draft only user can do; the approve & pay user can also create repeating invoices, add tracked and untracked inventory items, approve invoices, bills, credit notes, quotes and purchase orders, view & pay bills created by other users, record customer payments on invoices. This role can be given to someone who is more of a senior accountant or bookkeeper who you have enough confidence in that you do not have to review their work before it goes out to a customer or supplier.
- Sales only – This user role has the same access as approve & pay, except that it is limited to just sales transactions only; this includes all quotes, invoices and credit notes created by the user and other users.
This user role is ideal for someone who is solely responsible for managing accounts receivable, like an A/R clerk.
- Purchases only – This user role has the same access as approve & pay, except that it is limited to just purchase transactions only; this includes all purchase orders, bills and credit notes created by the user and other users.
This user role is ideal for someone who is solely responsible for managing accounts payable like an A/P clerk.
- Read Only – This role allows the user access to view most areas of Xero but it does not allow them to edit any information. The read only role is ideal for someone who does not need to enter or edit info in Xero like a business partner who is not involved in the day to day business.
- None – Select this option if you are giving someone Payroll Admin permissions; we cover this in detail below.
- Subscriber (not shown) – This role is automatically assigned to the person who set up your organization in Xero. By default, the subscriber is assigned the standard plus all reports access. However, the subscriber can change his/her role to Advisor if needed. The subscriber is the only user who can change the pricing plan, cancel your Xero subscription, stop a direct bank feed and update the billing and payment information for your Xero account.
Note: If possible, this role should always be maintained by an owner or an officer of the company.
- Extra permissions – There are 3 additional permissions that can be added to a user role. Below is a brief description of each one:
- Manage users – This permission can be added to the Standard or Advisor roles. With this access, you can add a new user, change their permissions, or delete a user from Xero.
- Payroll Admin – This role has access to manage all aspects of payroll; including employee details, run payroll and reporting. You can add this permission to the Standard or Advisor roles.
You can also give a non-Standard or Advisor role this access, provided they’ve been invited to your payroll as an employee. This would be ideal for someone who manages all aspects of payroll for your organization.
- Contact Bank Account Admin – This level of access allows the user to make changes to the bank account info for a customer or supplier contact. We discussed how to enter this info for batch payments in the How to Set Up a Supplier lesson.
- Continue – Save your changes and click the “continue” button.
Step 5 – You can personalize the email message in this screen or just use the default message shown in the screenshot below. Once you are satisfied with the message, click the “Send Invite” button.
Step 6 – Here is the complete email message that the recipient will see. As indicated below, they need to click the link to accept the invitation to access your Xero account.
NOTE: Be sure to notify the recipient that you have sent an email invite. Make them aware that the sender will be “firstname.lastname@example.org.” If they do not see it in their inbox, ask them to check their spam/junk folder as well. The invitation must be accepted within 14 days or it will expire. If the invitation does expire, you will have to resend it. We will discuss that in a bit.
Step 7 – Once an email invite has been sent to a new user, it will show a status of Pending. Once the invitation has been accepted, the status will change to Active as indicated in the screenshot below.
How to Modify User Permissions
Once you have set up users, you can add them at anytime by repeating the steps above. You may also modify user permissions, delete a user who you no longer want to have access to your organization and you can resend an invite to a user if they never received it.
Follow these steps to edit or delete a user or to resend an invitation.
Step 1 – Return to the User Settings page and you will see a list of all users you have granted access to your organization as well as the last time they logged in and the number of logins this week; as indicated in the screenshot below.
Step 2 – Select a user by clicking on the name & their user permissions profile will display as indicated in the screenshot below.
- Access to the accounts – As discussed previously, you can change the user role and permissions in this section.
- Delete User – If your bookkeeper does not work out and you want to make sure they no longer have access to your organization you can easily delete them by clicking the “Delete User” button as indicated in the above screenshot.
- Resend Invite – If for some reason the new user does not receive your email invite, double check to make sure that the email address is correct and then click the “Resend Invite” button as indicated in the above screenshot.
- Be sure to click the green “Save” button to keep your changes.
That wraps up the section on how to invite multiple users. The next lesson in our Xero Training Course will be how to set up bank accounts and import banking transactions. In this lesson, we will walk you through how to set up your bank accounts and save time by importing transactions as opposed to manually entering them. To access this lesson or any of the others in the series, click here. For a free 30-day trial of Xero, click the button below.