New Xero VAT201 functionality

Xero VAT201 – making compliance easier

Being a silver partner with Xero, the 118Accounting team were invited to the Xero feature release a few weeks ago. One of the really cool features that we were introduced to is the new VAT201 feature that Xero developed specifically for the South African Xero market. Yes, you read that right, an accounting package created in New Zealand, used in over 180 countries by more than 2 million subscribers – developing incredible functionality specifically for their South African market!

The very first view that Xero shows you after you have done the initial setup (VAT periods, rates and the first period to use this feature) is the VAT 201 dashboard. This dashboard will show you when the last returns were submitted, the total result of the returns and the current period draft return. From the dashboard, you can select the current return and it presents as a report that mirrors the SARS VAT201 report.

There are 4 sections, the first is a summary of the report showing the filing period, your company’s VAT registrations number, the filing deadline for the period and a summary of the VAT total. The next 3 sections are the Output, Input, and total amount payable/refundable. Within each section are the fields that make up each section – again, as these fields would appear on the VAT201 report from SARS. As you go through the report, you will soon find that Xero really took care in creating this feature.

To begin with, it is intuitive – the feature allows you to track prior period adjustments, it knows what was used in the prior period submission, and more importantly, what was not. So, when it comes to late claims, Xero knows that your next return needs to include the items that were either entered late or adjusted for whatever reason.

It is easy to use, audit and correct. The report allows you to drill down on each section and each field to show what transactions the field or section is made of. The report allows you to search for specific transactions so that you can have confidence in Xero’s VAT calculations. If you find a transaction in the incorrect place, you can fix it – refresh your report and the transaction will be moved. As you drill into each field, the report shows you the detailed transaction lines giving you the transaction date, G/L Account, contact, document number, transaction description, tax rate, gross amount, net amount and VAT amount. The report also highlights which transactions relate to a prior period, to ensure that you are aware. One last standout that is incredibly useful is the uncalmable VAT line, or the transactions posted with 0% VAT. This is usually where many mistakes are made when capturing bills from suppliers.

You can also export the report to excel or print it to PDF, to file with all of the associated supporting documents. The best part is that this functionality Is freely available to Xero users using the Cashbook and all of the Business Edition plans. You can now easily manage your VAT directly in Xero as you go, saving you time, giving you clarity and confidence!

If you would like to start using Xero and benefit from using this amazing feature, and the many more that Xero offer or you are interested to see if Xero is a good fit for your organisation, get in touch with us at 118Accounting and let us help you make the right decision.


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