Cloud Accounting Xero

Introducing SmartVault for Xero

Written by Charlie Russell

I’ve talked about SmartVault on several occasions – it is my favorite document management system for QuickBooks. Not only does the product work well, they have integrations with many software products that I use, so I have the same document management system wherever I go. The latest integration is SmartVault for Xero.

Not familiar with SmartVault? See my review on how it integrates with QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.

I won’t go into all the technical details of the Xero integration – it works just the same (after it is set up) as it does in the QuickBooks Online integration. That is good news for accounting professionals – you don’t have to work with a different interface if you go back and forth between QuickBooks Online and Xero.

Installing SmartVault for Xero

Note that SmartVault only supports Chrome and Firefox – there are technical issues that prevent them from running with Internet Explorer and the other browsers (Opera, Safari).

I tried it with Chrome (if you use Firefox, make sure you have the up-to-date version). You’ll find a link in your SmartVault resources – installing it with Chrome was very simple and took just seconds.

SmartVault for Xero Chrome install

The next time that you open your Xero company with this browser you will get a SmartVault Quickstart window that will take you through the steps you need.

SmartVault for Xero Quickstart

Authorize is establishing a connection with the SmartVault account.

Authorizing SmartVault for Xero


Confirming authorization

You’ll continue on to select the “Vault” that this Xero file will connect with. There is a “wizard” that leads you through the steps, I’m not showing them all here.

Selecting the SmartVault vault

That is all there is – integration is very simple and fast.

Using SmartVault

Once you are set up you will see that the SmartVault icon in the browser is green (showing you are connected), and wherever you are allowed to attach a document the SmartVault tray will appear. You can attach from your SmartVault inbox, or you can add a document from your local computer.

SmartVault for Xero tray

Adding documents from a local computer is a simple drag/drop operation. Click on the paperclip to open the window:

Opening the SmartVault attach window

Then drag the file there (or use the browse button). The document is uploaded immediately:

The document is uploaded immediately

Here’s the list of transactions and lists where you can attach a document:

  • Accounts/Bank Account
  • Accounts/Bank Accounts/Transfer
  • Accounts/Checks/Spent Money
  • Accounts/Expense Claim
  • Accounts/Expense Claims/Receipt
  • Accounts/Fixed Asset
  • Accounts/Fixed Assets/Inventory Item
  • Accounts/Purchases/Bill
  • Accounts/Purchases/Payable Credit Note
  • Accounts/Purchases/Repeating Bill
  • Accounts/Sales/Invoice
  • Accounts/Sales/Receivable Credit Note
  • Advisor/Journal (Requires the user be configured as a Financial Advisor in General Settings)
  • Contacts/Contact/Archived
  • Contacts/Contact/Customer
  • Contacts/Contact/Supplier
  • Dashboard
  • Reports/Report
  • Settings/Chart of Accounts

Why I Like SmartVault for Xero

I’m very happy that SmartVault is working with Xero because it is my favorite document management system, which I have been using with QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. Having one system that works with all the products I support is a major benefit to me. I have one central depository for all of my documents, regardless of which accounting system I’m working with.

SmartVault is secure, easy to use, provides great user access controls, and gives me a secure client portal.  In addition, SmartVault works with many other products that I use or recommend, such as Microsoft Outlook, Method CRM, SpringAhead, Tallie, Results CRM and more (and my favorite Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 scanner).

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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been writing for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011.

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


  • Thank you Xero and Smart Vault!! This is great news.

    One thing I am not clear on is what happens if I am using Smart Vault with QB Desktop and want to use it with Xero too? Will I need two different Smart Vault accounts since one is using the SDK and one is using the IPP, or will one SV account work with Xero and QB Desktop?

    Thanks for the review Charlie.

    • All one SmartVault account. You would have a different “vault” set up for each, since they would be separate company files, but I can use my one SmartVault account for QB Desktop, QB Online and Xero

  • What are the benefits of using SmartVault over something like Google Drive for PC with a Google Apps for Business account, which will act as local storage as well as cloud storage, provide versioning, and allow you to share documents? The obvious advantage is the better metadata options, such as making notes regarding your documents – but I’m not sure this is a killer feature.

    • SmartVault is a “document management system”, not just a cloud storage location. The list of differences is very long, perhaps you could take a look at my SmartVault review at (or, search for SmartVault in the search box at the top of the page, there are several articles on this product). Integrated products like this provide connections between your financial records (transactions, like bills or invoices, and more) and the documents, so that you can see the docs associated with the transaction. The program provides integration with your scanning devices to easily move scanned documents to the right place. SmartVault integrates with a long list of applications, including CRM, time management, and more, so that you have one integrated product across many top apps. I particularly like the Outlook integration, which simplifies sending (or receiving) documents without having to actually send the attachment with the email (using links instead, far more secure). And there is a far higher degree of security with SmartVault as well. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

    • Hi David!

      Thanks for posting the question. I wanted to provide some additional comments on top of Charlie’s. There are really 2 main areas of differentiation between SmartVault and a ‘cloud drive’ solution. Both give you cloud storage to securely store and share files, but SmartVault also gives you additional functionality in the areas of customization and application integration. As Charlie mentions, we are a full document management and secure file sharing solution – built specifically for a business user.

      So in the area of customization, a few key differences between SmartVault and a cloud drive solution… SmartVault gives you the ability to custom brand a portal (add your own logo and color palette) to share files internally and with clients, run audit / compliance reports detailing who uploaded, viewed or modified a file and when, granular security permissions on a folder-by-folder basis (you can assign both access and permissions – read, write, delete) and set automated alerts to be notified when new files are uploaded or viewed (a great way to optimize workflow).

      And second, SmartVault’s integration with financial apps (QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online and now Xero) mean that you can attach and view source files right to specific transactions in your accounting app (i.e., an invoice is attached to a bill, a receipt is attached to a payable, etc.) so that your accounting application is the central source for all of your financial data AND all of the related source files. Basically a business is always ‘audit ready’. Source files attached to specific applications are stored in SmartVault’s datacenter, so they are also accessible from any browser, a mapped drive or mobile device. So you have one central document management repository for all of your documents. In addition to the accounting apps mentioned, SmartVault also integrates with several productivity applications as well (CRM apps, inventory management, reporting, etc.), so again, the value there is that files stored in SmartVault can be accessed from a browser, your computer (via our drive mapping capability) or directly from applications we are integrated with.

      So SmartVault is as easy to use as a cloud drive, but with more robust features designed to meet the needs of a business.

      We do offer a free trial (no credit card required) as well as free training. I invite you to give us a chance to earn your business.


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