fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Update August 2017

We’ve been busy over the last couple of months working on some updates to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) that fill in some missing gaps with the examples that we include in the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file. For example we’ve always had examples for downloading:

  • Chart of Accounts
  • Tax Rates

from Xero into FileMaker, but some customers have asked for the ability to create and update these from FileMaker to Xero. We’re pleased to report that our latest update – v1.932 – now includes examples for creating Account Codes and Tax Rates in FileMaker and pushing these to Xero. You would typically apply some kind of access privileges around these features so that only authorised accounts users can perform these functions, but the functionality for this is now included in the core fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) files.

We’ve also updated the Bank Transactions endpoint examples to support creating and updating Bank Transactions (spend or receive money) in FileMaker and pushing these to Xero. This update also includes some minor bug fixes – you can view all the changes in the version history notes.

Last month Andrew Duncan from Databuzz attended #XD17 – the Xero Developer Roadshow – in Melbourne, Australia. There were some great presentations on upcoming features for the Xero API as well as some cool demos showcasing some cutting edge Amazon Web Services integrations with Xero. Xero have also announced that Webhooks are coming to the Xero API, starting with the Contacts endpoint first then followed by Invoices (the two most popular Xero API endpoints). Databuzz have been invited into the closed beta of this and we’ve started work on a PHP solution using the FileMaker PHP API that will accept the incoming Xero Webhooks notifications and trigger an update in the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file. We will post an article with further details about this when Webhooks becomes publicly available.

Xero have also just announced support for JSON when uploading data to Xero via the API – they have previously only supported JSON for downloads (GET requests). Now that FileMaker Pro v16 supports JSON natively this will allow us to add native support for uploading and downloading data between FileMaker and the Xero API.

We also get a number of questions about Invoice Numbers when pushing Invoices from FileMaker to Xero, so we’ve updated our list of Frequently Asked Questions with some details about the options you can use when pushing an Invoice from FileMaker to Xero and whether to allow Xero to generate an Invoice Number to have FileMaker push the Invoice Number across to Xero to use. We’ve also updated our FAQ to include a note about FileMaker Cloud support.

FileMaker Pro v16 Compatibility Update

FileMaker Pro v16 was released today and we’re pleased to report that all Databuzz products are compatible with the FileMaker v16 platform. We haven’t encountered any issues with the following products in our testing with FileMaker Pro v16:

fmSMS – we have sent messages from multiple SMS Gateways, checked Account balances and checked the status of sent Messages successfully.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) – we have been able to authenticate, download from Xero to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to Xero successfully

fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) – have been able to authenticate, download from WooCommerce to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to WooCommerce successfully

fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) – we have been able to authenticate, download from AccountRight to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to AccountRight successfully

fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition) – we have been able to authenticate, download from MYOB Essentials to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to MYOB Essentials successfully

If you encounter any issues with any of our products and FileMaker Pro v16 please let us know. We’ll be writing more articles about some of the new features in the FileMaker v16 platform over the coming weeks – you can subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when they are released or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) – Tracking Categories Updates

If you’ve been using Xero for a while you’re probably familiar with their use of tracking categories to categorise transactions such as Invoices and Bills to suit your business needs and allow you to generate reports by tracking category. For example you might setup tracking categories for different areas of your business (e.g. departments, cost centres, or locations) so you can track their performance over time.

A typical Xero tracking category might be named Sales Regions and have the following tracking category options:

  • North
  • South
  • Eastside
  • West Coast

 

There are some limitations to tracking categories in Xero – a Xero organisation can have a maximum of two ACTIVE tracking categories and four tracking categories in total (ACTIVE and ARCHIVED). You can enter up to 100 category options for each category.

We’ve always had some basic support for tracking categories in the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution – you could download all your tracking categories from Xero at the click of a button and also add them to Invoices and Bills when uploading to Xero. Over the past 12 months we’ve had more and more customers request additional support for tracking categories, including the ability to manage tracking categories completely in FileMaker.

We’ve just released an update to the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution that includes full support for Xero Tracking Categories. You can now enter two tracking categories for the following items:

  • Invoices
  • Bills
  • Purchase Orders
  • Overpayments
  • Prepayments
  • Receipts

Both tracking categories are also downloaded from Xero for each of the above items. We’ve also added the ability to do the following from the fmAccounting Link file:

  • create a new tracking category and upload it to Xero (as well as update existing ones, e.g. change the name or status)
  • add new tracking category options and upload them to Xero
  • delete a tracking category from both FileMaker and Xero
  • delete a tracking category option from both FileMaker and Xero
  • download an individual tracking category, including all tracking category options

We currently support a single tracking category in our Timesheets module – we’re working on a few changes to Timesheets and tracking categories which will be included in the next update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition). Timesheets uses the Payroll API and you enable Timesheet tracking categories separately to the general tracking categories, but we expect them to work in a similar way to Invoices, Bills etc.

Xero Surpasses One Million Subscribers

Xero today announced that it has recently surpassed the one million subscriber mark on its global accounting platform, doubling subscriber numbers in less than two years. We’ve been closely following the growth of Xero over the past five years and knew it was only a matter of time before they hit the magic million mark, becoming the first cloud accounting platform to achieve this milestone.

When you consider they had only 50,000 subscribers just five years ago the growth rate has been phenomenal – in April 2015 they had 475,000 subscribers and in March 2016 that had increased to 717,000. Xero has added almost 300,000 subscribers in the past year alone.

As a Xero customer, Xero Approved Developers and developers of the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) add-on we’re extremely pleased to see the rapid growth of Xero around the world. We’re getting more enquiries each month from the North American market and it appears Xero is starting to gain some attention and market share in that tough market.

Here’s some other numbers about Xero that demonstrate the size of the size of the Xero ecosystem globally:

  • in the last 12 months Xero has processed more than $1.2 trillion of global economic activity
  • the Xero API receives more than 10 million calls per day
  • there are over 35,000 developers in the Xero ecosystem
  • there are over 100,000 business advisors – accountants and bookkeepers – empowering small businesses as they join the cloud accounting revolution

Every day our fmAccounting Link customers around the world are uploading Contacts, Invoices, Payments, Purchase Orders, Bills and more from their FileMaker solutions to their Xero accounting software, removing the burden of double data entry and saving them tens of hours each week in manual processing. If you have any questions about integrating Xero with your existing FileMaker solution please get in touch or visit the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) page for more details.

Mapping our Customers

Databuzz might be based in Sydney, Australia but thanks to the wonder of the Internet we have customers all around the world. Managing a diverse customer base can be a challenge at times and we’ve become experts at time zone differences and knowing when is the best time to schedule a demo for customers in Europe or North America.

We love meeting up with our customers face-to-face at the FileMaker Developer Conference every year – it’s usually the only chance we get to meet our non Australian customers in person. Every 12 months or so I like to generate a simple Google Map showing where our customers are located for our various products – it’s quite pleasing to see the pins grow every year and new locations added to the map.

Our FileMaker Xero integration solution fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) is now into it’s fourth year of development and in that time the number of Xero subscribers has grown exponentially. Xero is now reporting a total customer base of over 862,000 subscribers (up from 284,000 in 2014) and is on track to hit the magic million mark some time in 2017. It’s four main markets remain the same:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • UK
  • North America

but it is now seeing growth in new markets such as South Africa, Hong Kong and Singapore. Australia remains the largest Xero market for now, but we can expect to see North America become the largest market over time. Here’s a map showing where fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) customers are located:

As you can see it also reflects the main Xero markets – we’re starting to see more enquiries from Canada, Asia as well as Africa, so hopefully next time we generate this map there will be some red pins in some new countries as Xero grows in other parts of the world.

fmSMS, our oldest product is a truly international product and was designed from day one to work in as many countries around the world as possible – using fmSMS you can send and receive SMS messages via one of over 75 supported SMS Gateways reaching over 860 mobile networks in more than 220 countries. We continue to add additional SMS Gateways each year and now have customers spread out all over the world – here’s a map showing their locations:

We often speak to FileMaker customers who are considering purchasing one of our products from outside of Australia and are slightly concerned that they will be the only customer from their country and will have trouble getting support. We pride ourselves and providing the same great customer service to all our customers regardless of where they are located – and as these maps demonstrate there’s a good chance you’re not our first customer from your part of the world.

New fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Videos

We’ve just uploaded a couple of new videos demonstrating how you can work with Prepayments and Overpayments using fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition). In each video we cover:

  • creating a new Prepayment and Overpayment from a Customer
  • allocating the Prepayment/Overpayment to an Invoice
  • refunding the balance of the Prepayment/Overpayment

You can watch these videos on the Videos page or here are the direct links:

Prepayments in fmAccounting Link

Overpayments in fmAccounting Link

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) – Prepayments Update

Our first update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) for 2017 is now out the door – this release includes a number of minor enhancements as well as a new endpoint example: Prepayments. We’ve had a number of requests for Prepayments so we’re happy to release this free update to all our existing customers.

The fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file has examples for:

  • downloading Prepayments from Xero (all Prepayments or between 2 dates)
  • creating a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero
  • allocating Invoices to a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero
  • creating a Refund for a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero

Further details on fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) including the full list of examples are available on the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) product page. If there’s any examples that we don’t currently have that you would like to see please get in touch and let us know – we’re already working on the next round of enhancements and examples based on customer feedback.

Databuzz 2016 End of Year Xmas Sale – 20% Off All Licenses

databuzz-xmas-sale-2016

It’s time for the Databuzz End of Year Xmas Sale – All Product Licenses are now 20% Off, including:

The sale runs until the end of the day on the 31st December, 2016 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time).

All our prices are in Australian dollars – if you’re purchasing from outside of Australia you’ll also get to take advantage of the low Australia dollar (1 Australian Dollar equals approximately 0.74 US Dollars).

Discounts are applied automatically – no coupons required! Click here to start shopping.

We also have a similar sale on fmSMS Licenses (20% off) – click here to visit the fmSMS website for further details.

FileMaker Inc. Releases Xero eBook

filemaker-xero-ebook

FileMaker Inc. have put together a number of resources outlining the benefits of Xero integration with a FileMaker custom app, focussing on how to eliminate duplicate data entry between FileMaker and Xero and centralise your Customer, Inventory and Invoice data whilst protecting your Xero financial data. I’m pleased to report that our recent Xero Webinar and our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution are both featured.

You can access the eBook and other resources from the FileMaker Inc website. If you would like to discuss integrating Xero with your FileMaker business app please get in touch.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Updates – Reports and Invoice Attachments

We love hearing back from our customers about new features/examples they would like to see in the core fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file. We recently had some requests for examples showing how to upload files/attachments from FileMaker to an Invoice and the ability to download a Report from Xero to FileMaker.

We’ve had the Files API on our list of future enhancements as well as the Reports endpoint for a while, so we took this opportunity to dive in and get some of the basic functionality for these developed so our customers can start using them now.

For the Reports endpoint we’ve started with the Trial Balance report – we’ve created a new Reports module in the fmAccounting Link file that we will add to over time with additional reports that are available via the Xero API. The Trial Balance report lets you specify the date to run the report as at, and then the report is downloaded into the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file and looks like this:

trial-balance-report

For the Invoice Attachments we’ve added a new TAB to the Invoice details layout allowing you to select a file to upload to Xero and attach it to the current Invoice:

invoice-attachments

You can upload up to 10 attachments (each up to 3mb in size) per invoice, once the invoice has been created in Xero. To keep things simple we’re not storing the selected file in a container field – we’re just storing the path to the file (you can change this behaviour in your version of the fmAccounting Link file). You can upload the common file formats, such as PDF, JPG, Word, Excel and PNG files, and you can specify for each attachment whether to include that in the Online Invoice so that the attachment appears when a user clicks on the online invoice link. A full list of file types that you can upload is available on the Xero website.

One limitation of the Attachments API at the moment is that you cannot currently delete an attachment in Xero from FileMaker – you will need to login to Xero to delete any attachments that have been uploaded to an Invoice.

We’re working on the Prepayments endpoint next and should have that finished in December, and then we’ll start adding more of the Reports that are available via the Xero API. If there’s any examples that we don’t currently have that you would like to see please get in touch and let us know. Further details on fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) including the full list of examples are available on the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) product page.