Wednesday 21 May 2014

By popular request, we're rolling out yet another new function!

The feedback on our Xero reporting engine continues to be overwhelmingly positive and filled with enhancements and feature requests.

One that we found to be particularly ingenious is the ability to pull sales and purchase invoice details directly out of Xero to populate into a sheet, which you can then use to create powerful invoice-based reports using pivot tables.

Now you can see all your invoices from Xero and have the details show up in one single view! Need to see authorised accounts receivables for the past year? Choose your date range, accounts receivable, and your invoice status. Done.

Interested in giving it a shot? Sign up for a free trial and you'll be able to see this powerful new functionality right away!

We're constantly updating Blink Reports, so keep checking back to see if anything else you're looking for has arrived.

Have a suggestion, feature request, or question? Email us at

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Multi-column complex category option reporting made easy

We designed and built Blink Reports from the ground up as a more powerful alternative to Xero's built-in reports, we tried to make sure it was fast, it could grow, and we could add new functionality quickly and easily. Over the course of the past few months, we've received extensive and enthusiastic suggestions from users and are continually rolling out new functionality.

Today, we present one of our most powerful features yet: you can now generate profit and loss reports with more than 256 columns of data! Google Sheets has traditionally had a 256 column limit. Thankfully, with the new version of Google Sheets (now the default), this limit and a number of others no longer exist. Need to generate a huge report, with up to 2 million cells and the share it securely in real time with others? Not a problem. Google Sheets can do it for you right from within your web browser.

Xero recommended that Ryan Anning at TargetCW test out our reporting engine to overcome the limited number of columns that are normally shown on the profit and loss statement. Ryan's goal was to produce a revenue and cost analysis by worker (tracking category) which requires a report with several hundred columns! It turned out that his need was so unique that initially our reporting engine would produce an error as it was waiting too long to receive the data from Xero.

The technical side of how we fixed Ryan's challenge is quite clever, but we won't go into too much detail here. In a nutshell: we're using Google Cloud Platform to handle all the heavy lifting when the Xero data takes a long time to populate the spreadsheet. Thanks in large part to the flexibility of Google App Engine, we were able to adapt our code, test it live without impacting existing users, and then make it the production version with zero downtime.

The solution means that Ryan can now generate large reports like the one you see below (click to enlarge). Note the columns stretch all the way to KJ—representing nearly double the original column limit—and it will continue growing as needed.

Xero's built-in reporting engine is pretty good on its own, but when you need to analyze the data in a spreadsheet you're forced to export the report to Excel or Google Sheets format. This leads to static financial data that becomes quickly out of date. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Xero simply cannot generate reports to rival what we can do on the Google Cloud Platform with Google Sheets.

With Google Sheets and Blink Reports, you can now review this month's revenue and expenses by Xero tracking category and then change two date fields to see a different month (or even year) for comparison.

Offloading the pain of financial reporting to Blink Reports means that Ryan (or even you) can now work more quickly through finances and focus on the things that matter: generating business instead of generating spreadsheets.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Use Google Finance to convert currencies for you

Google Sheets is able to leverage many Google services, like Google Translate and Google Finance, to make your job easier.

Google Finance ties into Google Sheets with the helpful function =GoogleFinance(). You can use this to quickly and easily convert currencies in your Blink Reports for Xero spreadsheet.

For example, say a business operates in the EU, and thus in Euros, but you want to report your financials in US dollars. Wouldn't it be easier to have a cell in your spreadsheet that tells you the exchange rate at a glance?

In our case, we've simply entered the =GoogleFinance() function in the report parameters, so that we can now both call it in other sheets and reference it at a glance. It's best if this goes on the Report Parameters sheet so that there's no chance of it being overwritten by data coming in from Xero via Blink Reports.

In a blank cell, use the following function to automatically grab up-to-date exchange rates from Google Finance:
So if you want the Euros to US dollars exchange rate, the formula would read:
The formula works with a number of common ISO 4217 currency codes, so most major currencies will be easily converted all from within your spreadsheet.

Monday 17 March 2014

Multi-company financial consolidations and consolidated dashboards are now available!

The team at is thrilled to announce that Blink Reports can now connect one spreadsheet to multiple Xero organizations, making the creation and publishing of multi-company financial consolidations and consolidated dashboards a breeze!

Thanks to valuable feedback from our users we've also freshened the user interface. For example, we've used the conditional formatting feature of Google Spreadsheets to dynamically apply shading to lines such as Total Income or Net Profit, so that you can see at a glance what's most important. You can see screenshots of the improvements on our Blink Reports overview page.

Some of our behind-the-scenes work has made authorizing against Xero organizations simpler and provides more informative error messages.

If you'd like to check out our new multi-company functionality please sign up for a free trial!

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Blink Reports Partner Highlight: Catching Clouds

We'd like to thank Catching Clouds for their insight into the needs of Xero focused accounting firms plus their knowledge of existing Xero Reporting Add-ons!

They are definitely a partner you should talk to if you are an ecommerce seller with any U.S. operations.

For more information, please check out their website:
"At Catching Clouds LLC, we specialize in helping multi-channel ecommerce sellers grow their businesses by providing them with current, accurate, and actionable financial information about their businesses.

We provide virtual controller and bookkeeper services combined with the accounting cloud tools, design, and management necessary to be our customers' complete accounting department. By outsourcing their accounting needs, including sales tax, bill payment, payroll, inventory, and expense management, our customers have the time to focus of developing the heart and soul of their businesses. 
We work with Amazon and Amazon FBA sellers, eBay, Shopify, BigCommerce and many other platforms. Our customers sell on multiple marketplaces and shopping carts, and we are their Ecommerce Accountant who handles all of the accounting functions for their ecommerce business."

Thursday 20 February 2014

Blink Reports for Xero – The Official Release!

The power of
Google Spreadsheets + Xero Accounting

Blink Reports is a powerful Google Spreadsheets Add-on that allows you to take control of your Xero data to build financial reports, charts, and dashboards with a series of simple formulas. The best part? It's all connected live!  No more exporting of static reports that become quickly out of date.

Leverage all the flexibility and security, plus easy sharing and collaboration of Google Spreadsheets for your Xero reporting needs.

We're always happy to hear feedback from people like you and the platform is constantly improving. You can reach us any time at

Check it out today at!