How Aretex stamped out duplicate entries in their client Xero files


Aretex, a bookkeeping service with over 300 clients using Xero, places data integrity at the forefront of their business model. But they found themselves struggling with the “usual usual” — duplication issue. When they reached out to Zerlock to customise a query, they were able to solve this problem and repurpose the recovered hours each month.
Read on to find out how Aretex partnered with Zerlock to create a new query to stamp out the duplication roadblock.


A bookkeeping service driven by data integrity.

When Aretex was founded six years ago, the vision was to create a bookkeeping service with a clear point of difference. A low-cost processing centre was not the objective – they wanted to offer a meaningful service that would provide clients with accurate and valuable insights to their business.

But how was this possible when the quality and integrity of client data was in question time and again? And how to assess the quality of the data in an efficient way?

Says Aretex CEO, Chris Kendall, “We provide an outsourced bookkeeping solution to over 300 clients. That’s a lot of monthly accounts and BAS’ to prepare and a lot of transactions to be reviewed.”

“We were facing the usual challenges when reviewing client data in Xero; challenges that are faced by the majority of Xero advisors. Duplicate transactions, missing journals, contacts that have been coded across multiple account codes and GST types.”

The Big Pain Point: duplication duplication

But they also had a very specific issue, as Chris explains: “Our team at Aretex would enter invoices received from suppliers as Bills to Pay in Xero. The client would then pay the invoice and the automatic bank feed would show these details in the reconciliation screen for entry. The client would then code the payment in Xero as a Spend Money against the contact.

“We were dealing with an instant duplication issue. The unpaid invoice remained in Bills to Pay, and a payment for the same item has now been entered in the bank account as Spend Money.”

“These duplicates were really challenging to locate, requiring the team to undertake a specific review each time,  causing us a lot of issues and inefficiences. We needed a tool that would allow us to assess the quality of the data in the Xero files quickly and easily across our substantial portfolio.

“There are a few different solutions to help with the data integrity of clients’ Xero files, but none provided us with the flexibility and customisation available within Zerlock.

“There was no way for us to run a rule over all of the data files simultaneously to look for this specific issue, so Zerlock created this query for us. When we added Zerlock to Xero, it was a game changer for us, but we knew this customisation would take our game to the next level.”

Driving Change With Customisation

Chris: “Zerlock wrote a query for Aretex that highlights any contact in a Xero file that has used both Bills to Pay and Spend Money in the same reporting period. That report didn’t exist until we requested it, but now we can use it across all of our clients’ Xero files. It has solved a major headache for us, and created efficiencies at month end for all parties concerned.

“It was about the client and the value we could provide to them first and foremost, but it was also about working smarter. Hannah

“They say innovation starts with irritation, and in our case this was absolutely true. Before this customization in Zerlock, our team members would be saddled with low-value to no-value data checking. Now, they have the scope and the tools to use their time to offer a true value.”

How Business Insights Became Clearer

“When data integrity is in question, it has to come first,” says Chris. “Zerlock’s customisation provided us with the ability to give instant results on the quality of a client’s Xero files using queries that report results by exception. The data integrity rules have automated what used to be a very laborious process. The results have been amazing.

As a true entrepreneurial business, Aretex has used the time savings and increased efficiency they experienced with Zerlock to focus on increasing their customer experience values and driving growth in the business.

Andrew Bursill, CEO and Founder of Zerlock: “As a c0-founder of Aretex, I was always looking for ways to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the data we were working with. The problems we encountered at Aretex were a major motivating force behind the development of Zerlock.

“To see the customisation feature being used to solve a major pain point is always rewarding. It’s a fantastic validation of all the work we put in to ensure we had a customisable solution for Zerlock users. This is one of our key drivers – to give Zerlock users the ability to create a bespoke report or query that takes their pain away. That is what Zerlock is all about.”

Contact us for more information on Zerlock and the power of customization can have for your specific business pains.

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