How to spark joy in your Xero file!

Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix show Tidying Up are all the rage right now. The main idea behind Marie’s “KonMari” method of decluttering is if something doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. If you’ve been watching the Tidying Up series, or even started applying the KonMari method in other areas of your life, why not apply it to you business accounts?

Why apply the KonMari method to your Xero files?

I’m sure you’ve had those moments where you haven’t felt like working on a file and you’re daydreaming about what you will do when you’re finished updating Xero. If you haven’t taken advantage of all the features Xero has to offer, updating your books could be taking longer than necessary.

When your Xero files are tidy and optimised for the functions and reports you use the most, you will spend less time on the file, you’ll have an easier time navigating your way around your files, and you’ll experience more joy as a result.

How to KonMari your Xero files

My group seemed to agree that the chart of accounts is where they’d start applying the KonMari method. “Merge or archive old, duplicate, or unneeded accounts,” says Sarah-Jane Bishop, BAS Agent and Small Business Specialist at EMB Solutions.

Sarah-Jane also recommended cleaning up bank rules, creating new bank rules, customising the dashboard, removing stars from unused reports, cleaning up contacts, and merging duplicate accounts and/or archiving unused accounts. Streamlining account descriptions and your numbering system will also help keep things tidy.

If you’re not the only user in the Xero file, you may want to “get rid of all the duplicate vendors that past users have put in,” says another bookkeeper

Decluttering your clients

“Not sure about a Xero file, but periodically we would KonMari our clients!” said Blake Oliver of the Cloud Accounting Podcast.

While tidying up your Xero files, it’s a good idea to consider decluttering your clients too, especially if you aren’t excited to work with them anymore. Bec Francis, Chartered Accountant at Alaco White says, “[I] think about if the client brings me joy. If not, [I] thank them and wish them well.” What a great example of parting ways professionally and with no hard feelings.

Tools to spark joy in your Xero files

The beauty of Xero is all the many apps that integrate so seamlessly with it. XBert is a tool that audits your data and notifies you about bookkeeping errors and financial risks. Its focused on improving the conversation and collaboration around data integrity, between the business, the accountant and bookkeeper. Utilising machine learning it alerts you to risks, errors and anomalies, or business patterns in your Xero file.  Upon connecting with your accounting platform, it identifies issues such as, ABN not matching GST related supplier details, duplicate, potential coding errors, and clients who are typically slow to pay. These become tasks to assign to the team, which can be resolved via direct links into Xero.

Even without third-party apps, Xero has some built in functionality to help spark joy in your client files, such as cash coding and bank rules to streamline your bookkeeping process.

Further reading

With the help of Receipt Bank, I’ve eliminated paper and clutter from my office and embraced the paperless dream for years. My Google Pixel 2XL scans paper bills and receipts, uploads them into Receipt Bank, which extracts the accounts payable data, and pushes it into my online accounting solution, effortlessly. Receipt Bank stores the extracted data, and copies of all business receipts and bills, in a retrievable format. Read about how I use Receipt Bank here.

Whether it’s streamlining Xero’s processes or firing those clients you no longer enjoy, I hope you enjoyed reading these insights. Here’s a great infographic from Marion Thomson of XU Academy that shares a few additional ways you can apply the KonMari method to your Xero files.

To learn more about Marie Kondo and her organisational methods, go to

Heather Smith produces a bi-weekly Accounting Apps newsletter. Learn more and subscribe on her website.

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