Feature release: agent ledgers and Xero integration

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December 6, 2016
7
min read

The agent ledgers add-on is a premium Rex feature. For more information, please contact support@rexsoftware.com.au. Please note: you do not need a Xero account to use the agent ledgers functionality. How does your agency manage commissions and costs for agents?Huge, teetering stacks of printed reports? Excel spreadsheets with the approximate dimensions of Grenada? Great, craggy mountains of crumpled receipts that can only be crossed with the aid of sherpas and bottled oxygen? Commissions can be pretty painful if you’re managing any more than a couple of agents selling two properties a month. There’s just too much going on. Retainers, car allowances, commissions trickling in in installments - there has to be a better way.Well, Christmas has come early. Introducing our brand new add-on; Agent Ledgers.

Commissions made simple

Rex can now track and calculate payable agent commission based on the point at which commission for sales is actually received by the agency. What’s more, this can be balanced against other deductions and earnings like retainers, car allowances, etc. (Don’t worry - there’s no paper involved).But wait - there’s more. Rex now has:

  • A workflow to help process agent commissions when a property actually settles. (The workflow also takes into account partial commission payments);
  • The ability to pay agent commissions in segments over multiple pay runs;
  • The ability to process commissions in bulk (multiple properties or multiple agents at once);
  • Calculated commission release suggestions that make it faster to process month-end commissions; and,
  • A new integration with Xero, as well as a data export workflow that allows you to send agent commission payables to other payroll software via a CSV download.

The benefits are clear - but don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Natasha Le, Toop&Toop’s Head of Finance, has to say:“Firstly, the Rex integration means we can stop running on two separate systems, to reduce data entry time. Secondly, since the Rex agent ledger module ‘talks’ to Xero directly, a lot of the process is automated, increasing the data integrity.”Couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Let’s crack on then, shall we?

Agent ledgers

Rex’s new agent ledgers make the traditionally convoluted and painful commissions process much simpler and more transparent for everyone involved.

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Every agent gets their own ledger. These give a brief overview of the agent’s payable commission, and the ability to start adding payments and deductions as required.Now, everything is under the same roof. When the time comes to process the payroll, you can add or weed out anything you need to without having to jump across multiple records.

Settlement payments

Settlement payments can be added directly to an agent’s ledger in a couple of clicks. Just select the appropriate listing, and Rex will bring up this dialog:

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Provided the house has sold and you’ve invoiced and received money from the client, everything will already be pre-populated here for you like magic.Speaking of magic, Rex also recommends a maximum commission payment if you’re yet to receive the full amount of commission from the vendor. This is calculated based on the agent’s commission percentage, how much was invoiced and how much (if any) of that invoice was already paid. #maths. This helps the agency, any involved third parties and agent all receive their share of the commission equally as it’s paid by the vendor.

Agent expenses and other transactions

How about miscellaneous expenses/payments that don’t apply to a specific sale? Things like car allowances and retainers? These too can be also logged in agent ledgers as deductions, and are taken into account when determining the agent’s final commission payment.(Alternatively, these can be logged in Xero and imported into Rex before the final pay run - more on this later).To make it even easier still for forward thinking admin staff, you can also add deductions related to a specific sale/listing (e.g. gift baskets, advertising overspend, wild housewarming parties and their subsequent clean up, etc) directly onto the relevant commission worksheet.

Bulk Commissions

You know how much we love efficiency. So we’ve also created a Bulk Commissions section. Now you’re able to process multiple commissions in one fell swoop.

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Select the agents or listings you want to process and you’ll be presented with a full list of all their payable and paid commission, as well as a total.Just click finalize and you’re done. All your processed commissions are tucked away safely in the Bulk Commissions section in case you need to reverse the process or the Taxation Office comes a-knocking.

Commission Pay Run

Now you’ve done all the ‘hard’ work, pay day is comically simple. The new Commission Pay Run functionality finds all your open ledgers and processes them for you. Just select the agents you’re paying, give their ledgers a quick review (if need be) and click finalise. It’s that simple.To make commissions more transparent for agents - and to save admin staff’s time - we’ve designed a simple commission statement that you have the option of generating after a payrun. We provide all the information you need to know to keep things crystal clear, while trying to take it easy on the other tawdry nonsense most commission statements get themselves bogged down with. These can be generated on an ad-hoc basis for individual agents, or generated in bulk at the end of your pay run workflow.Plus, Rex also provides you with options to download a CSV to upload to your payroll software, or export your pay run directly to Xero through our new integration. Speaking of which…

Xero integration

Please note: You cannot export to Xero Payroll in New Zealand due to Xero’s API limitations.Xero - the world’s first beautiful accounting software - has taken the world by storm. Since launching in 2006, over 700,000 businesses (including Rex) now use their product. We figured we’d gild the agent ledgers lily with a Xero integration of our own.The process is simple:Import any payables you might have added to Xero into RexTo ensure nothing is forgotten and agents receive exactly what they’re owed, the Xero Integration goes both ways. Let’s say you’re adding your miscellaneous expenses (car allowances, stationery, etc) into Xero rather than your agent ledgers. You’re going to want to make sure these aren’t forgotten about in the pay run.Rex allows you to import all the extra items from Xero into your agent ledgers. This pulls all your books into the one place, reducing manual data entry and minimising room for error, and makes reporting and administration much easier. Plus, your agents will appreciate the transparency.When the time comes to run a payroll, you can export it from Rex into Xero.Now your agent ledgers are completed and processed, it’s time to ‘make it rain’ as the kids say. Simply run your pay run as above, and Rex will give you the option to export it directly into Xero. #nodoubledata.Inside XeroNow your agent ledgers are in Xero, all that’s left to do is log in and pay your agents.

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It really is that simple. This will radically decrease double-data entry and save hours of administration time. If you’re not using Xero, and you’d like to give it a try, we strongly recommend you do. They have pricing plans to suit most businesses, and you can even trial their product for free.

Privileges, permissions and security

If ever there was a need for a bloody good permissions system it’s when you’re dealing with dollars. Luckily, Rex already has one of them, so it wasn’t too difficult to ensure your agent ledgers can be kept under as tight wraps as you like.

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You’ve got plenty of options as to what kinds of actions you want to allow your staff to make. Feel free to edit your privilege sets, or tailor these on a per user basis.In regards to security, we’ve taken the utmost care to ensure your financials are as safe as possible when using the Xero integration. Don’t worry - you’ll be prompted to log into Xero every time Rex wants to import or export data to ensure no-one who might have access to your Rex account can give themself an impromptu pay rise.

The benefits

Toop&Toop’s Natasha summed it up pretty nicely for us:“The main benefit for the agents will be the simpler format of the commission statement. It provides meaningful information but not so much that it becomes confusing! The integration is clean, simple and maintains data accuracy. What I like the most about this integration is that it takes care of the commission calculation and any applicable deductions, whilst still leaving the payroll side of things (superannuation, PAYG tax withholding, etc) up to Xero; the payroll expert.This definitely helps increase the efficiency and reduce manual errors thanks to the automation process.”Whether you’re a large agency struggling to deal with sheer volume, or a smaller agency looking for better transparency, agent ledgers and the Xero integration are going to make your life a whole lot simpler. It’s quick, easy, and everything’s in the one place.Go ahead and clear your desk of all the endless handwritten notes, binders and receipts and let Rex do the work for you.For more information on using this functionality, see our help documentation here.

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