With Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) becoming mandatory in the UK this year, it is important to ensure that each Xero user – either within or outside of your organisation (i.e. agent) – has an independent login.

Unique logins mean that each person leaves behind an audit trail, which can be useful for you, as a business owner, to see and refer back to, and for us as advisers as well.

Despite the fact that you might all be accessing the platform from different locations, it is Xero’s intention to make it as easy as possible for you to work apart but together.

This is where ‘user roles’ come in; each individual using Xero, in relation to your business, can be assigned a different ‘role’. This functionality means that you can continue to effectively delegate duties amongst staff and advisers by assigning them a role matched to their requirements.

Xero user roles allow you to regulate access to sensitive data, keeping control of the areas that you don’t want to hand over, to better protect your business, and to reap the benefits of a more productive workforce.

The different roles that can be given to users are as follows:

  1. Invoice only

A user with invoice only permissions can enter invoices, quotes, bills, purchase orders and credit notes; a role perhaps best suited to someone working in accounts payable or receivable, for instance. With this role assigned, they can efficiently chase and record payment, approve any of the above and make payments, send remittance advice, and view ‘money in’, ‘money out’ over the past 12 months.

If necessary, this role can be customised even further; for example, you can restrict permissions to ‘only create drafts’, or you can restrict to ‘sales’, ‘purchase’, or ‘approve and pay’. This may be beneficial if you have various members of staff who are responsible for different aspects of the wider credit control function.

  • Standard

This is the default user role which would typically be appropriate for business owners, or administration staff who play a significant part in the day-to-day management of the business, and so would benefit from being able to access most, if not all, of the areas in Xero.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know just how much access to give someone within the business. You don’t want to give everyone unregulated access, if you don’t need to, but you also don’t want people having to constantly seek permissions or support where they don’t have sufficient access to carry out their responsibilities. We can help you to match roles to members of your team, so seek advice if you’re unsure.

Standard user permissions afford access to invoices and bills, and allow the individual to reconcile bank transactions, access fixed assets, inventory, and the contacts stored within Xero. With this role, you can also manage settings and (if the appropriate permissions are in place) edit other user’s permissions.

Additionally, there is also the option to allow access to cash coding and reports.

  • Adviser

The adviser role, which is the role we are often assigned as bookkeepers and accountants, affords full access to data and allows us to operate effectively as a seamless extension of your in-house team. Having sight of exactly what you see, means we can fulfil a more proactive, advisory function.

Full access, for all intents and purposes, is the same as standard access, plus a few extra permissions such as advanced settings, manual journals, and all reports.

  • Read only

Read only access is suited to anyone who needs to view information but does not need to input or edit data, i.e. auditors, trustees or third-party investors. Making use of this user role can help you to protect the data in Xero from being altered in error, for example, and so to maintain its integrity.

If you’re unsure about what roles individuals have currently, you can view a user’s role by heading to settings (general) > users. To amend a user’s permissions click on the user’s name and adjust as necessary. You must have the ‘manage user permissions’ enabled to have authority to do this.

Our cloud accounting experts in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire are here to help you explore what works for your business, and to ensure you’re getting the most out of your chosen software.

If you’d like to find out more about using Xero and, in particular, assigning user roles, or about using any of the other market-leading software, please contact us.

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