​Xero expands Stripe partnership for automated reconciliation

The new reconciliation functionality will see Xero automatically match transactions to Stripe's statement line.

Cloud accounting firm Xero has furthered its partnership with payments company Stripe by launching an expanded online payment solution with automated reconciliation.

The Stripe reconciliation functionality means that when a Stripe payment comes in through a customer's bank feed, Xero will automatically match it, with the transactions in Xero tied to the Stripe statement line.

Xero said it can also automatically match multiple transactions to a statement line, identifying payments and fees associated with a corresponding Stripe payout.

Ian Boyd, head of Financial Web for Xero Australia, told ZDNet the new expanded payment solution is aimed at making the reconciliation process easier for small businesses.

"Our data currently shows that businesses on Xero are paid 33 percent faster using eInvoices and payment methods like Stripe, over traditional invoices," he said.

Stripe and Xero first partnered in December to allow small business users to view and pay an invoice using Apple Pay. The integration saw Apple Pay transactions automatically entered and matched against invoices in the Xero platform.

The latest announcement follows Xero CEO Rod Drury's proclamation that his company would be looking into machine learning.

Xero announced an automation system earlier this year, touted to transform the accounting practices of small businesses and their partners, and expected to save small business customers a working month every day for each second it shaves off the average edit time.

"Recording more than NZ$1.4 trillion worth of incoming and outgoing transactions in the last year, Xero manages a unique global graph of business transactions, enabling the development of machine learning to create new experiences for small businesses," Drury said previously.

"We believe the application of machine learning and AI to accounting will unlock significant productivity for our accountants, bookkeepers, and small business customers."

For the 2017 financial year, Xero reported an after-tax loss of NZ$69.1 million, up from the NZ$82.5 million loss reported a year prior.

Operating cash flow turned positive for the first time during the second half, coming in at NZ$9 million. Full-year operating cash outflow was reduced to NZ$4.4 million, from NZ$34.8 million in FY16.

During the year, Xero surpassed the 1 million global subscriber milestone, which Drury said gave his company the title of the largest cloud accounting software provider outside of the United States.

The company also made a string of new platform integration announcements, including a partnership with Macquarie Bank's DEFT payments system and integrated EFTPOS provider Tyro that will see the cloud accounting firm integrate with electronic bill payment system BPAY.

Xero also added a PayPal Express Checkout option to its software, allowing for an invoice created via Xero to be paid through PayPal directly from the invoice.

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