Part 3 - Creating a Contact List

This part follows from Part 2A - Setting Up Xero from Scratch and Part 2B - Converting to Xero.

Xero makes it easy for you to create a contact list. A contact list is pretty much an address book for your accounting software so that you can pay or receive money from someone (this doesn’t cover employees, you should be using Xero’s payroll area for employees). Back in the olden days before an invoice could even be raised, you’d have to go into a “card file” and fill in your contact details. Now with Xero, you can create a contact as you’re creating an invoice. It’s easy!

Here’s how you can set up and organise your “address book” in Xero:

Adding a New Contact

  1. Go to Contacts > Click “Customers” or “Suppliers”. Click “Customers” if you want to create an entry for someone who is a customer (who will pay you) and click “Suppliers” if you want to create an entry for someone who you buy things/services off.
  2. Click “Add Contact” and put in the details for your contact. You can click “+ Add Another Person” to add additional people associated with this contact. For example, if you put down a company customer, you might put down the main accounts receivable person but also, the sales person you deal with.
  3. Click “Save” when you’re done. Your contact will now be created in Xero!

Editing Your Contact

  1. Go to Contacts > All Contacts
  2. Find the contact that you need and click on their name. You can make this task easier by going through the tabs. E.g. if your contact is a customer, you can just click on customer and find them there.
  3. Click “Edit” when you get into your individual contact page.
  4. Edit the contact details as needed and click “Save”. You’re done.

Grouping, Merging and Archiving Your Contacts

  • Grouping & Ungrouping
    1. Go to Contacts > All contacts
    2. Click “New Group” and put in your group details to create a new group.
    3. Add a contact to your new group by ticking the check box next to their name, then click “Add to Group” and select the group you wish to add your contact to.
    4. To remove a contact from a group, go to Contacts > All Contacts > Click “Group” tab and check the box next to the contact you want removed, then click “Remove from Group” button.
  • Merging Contacts - you might need to do this if you’ve created duplicate contact entries for the same customer/supplier.
    1. Go to Contacts > All Contacts and locate your contact that needs to be merge.
    2. Click on the check box of the contact that is supposed to be merged into the main contact and merge “Merge”.
    3. Now choose you’re “main contact” that the other contact will be merged into by entering the contact into the “Find Contact” area.
    4. Click “Save” to make the merge. Remember you can’t undo this, so please be certain that you want to merge and that you’ve merge the right contacts.
  • Archiving
    1. Go to Contacts > All Contacts
    2. Click on the check box next to the contact you want to archive and then click “Archive” button
    3. Click “Yes” to confirm that you want to archive this contact.
    4. If you’ve made a mistake and want to make the archived contact current again, tick the check box next to the contact in the “Archived” tab and click “Restore” button.

Now that you’ve got a contact list happening, let’s learn about how you can create and send off invoices in Part 4 for the great services and products that you sell.

Next: Part 2B - How to Convert from Another System like MYOB to Xero

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