Kiwi Public Beta Now Available
Kyle Hungate • April 7, 2014
Please note, ‘Kiwi’ has been officially retired. All’s not lost though, please check out the new and improved Xero app integration. Any features mentioned in this post remain consistent with the new app. Configuration, screenshots, or set up instructions may differ; please visit the linked product page for more information.
Creating our new Kiwi app started out innocently enough. The Volusion store that we helped manage needed to be connected to our Xero accounting software. In the beginning, our focus was to send over the sales information to the accounts receivables so our bookkeepers could reconcile deposits as they came in through our bank. A year later, it’s safe to say that Kiwi came out nothing like we first envisioned.
There has been more than a dozen builds and sequential teardowns since we started testing, but we think the headaches have been well worth it. With help from some of our awesome clients and Xero, this app now boasts some of the most advanced functionality we’ve ever created, complete with real-time invoicing, comprehensive tax calculations, custom rules and inventory management. We’re giddy in the fact of how we’re able to supercharge our store’s accounting with Kiwi. Here’s a closer look on some of the core features.
With Kiwi, we’re streamlining the entire order recording process, while keeping data accurate. When orders occur in your Volusion store, the app will pass over the sales information in real-time to the accounts receivables in Xero. Also, we’ll itemize any tax components and shipping and handling line items. In addition, you can auto-approve or save these invoices as drafts.
Taxes were by far the most complicated part of the Kiwi project. We wanted to automate things as much as possible, but we also needed to balance existing workflows that might already be in place. It was a difficult juggling act to satisfy the most basic and complex tax situations.
For example, one of our clients had more than 13,000 tax rates that needed to be reported correctly in Xero. Creating each and every chart of accounts and tax rate was out of the question. Manually keying these in one-by-one would take far too long, and it would need to done in both Xero and Kiwi. As a solution, we’re creating these on-demand for each taxable receipt that comes into their store without them having to do anything. It’s a slick solution to a big problem, especially as tax rules evolve from state-to-state.
For simpler tax situations, such as one-off states and zip codes, Kiwi is easily configured. Manually control individual tax rules within your nexus, or use the automatic tax calculation method. For businesses that have been using Xero for awhile, you’ll probably want to start with the manual mappings so everything flows just like you’ve been accustomed to. However, you can also adopt a hybrid approach with automatic tax rates as your business expands. For newer users of Xero, we recommend starting with the automatic tax calculation method.
Each item sold is transferred into the Xero inventory area. At the very minimum, Kiwi brings over the product codes from Volusion, but you also have various options that can be set for reporting purposes. Within the app, the user can set description formats and individual item purchase/sales mappings for Xero chart of accounts with their respective tax rates.
Inventory Specific Tax Rules
In cases where there are products in a store that need their own set of tax rules, Kiwi also supports this feature. Maybe you have services or gift cards that are always deemed as non-taxable sales. Now it’s easy to set a manual override for these types of transactions.
If an order status becomes ‘Canceled’, Kiwi automatically deletes draft sales receivables and/or voids previously approved invoices.
Immediate United States Release (Beta)
At this time, Kiwi is ready for U.S. customers only (international support planned). An account is required with us while the Kiwi app is in public beta. The integration will not count against the number of apps available with your subscription, but it will be limited by the number of orders used in your plan. When the app officially launches to the public, we will provide you ample time to adjust your subscription plan if necessary.