You may have been affected by Xero’s recent outage on 12 September. Unusually Xero was down for about 7 hours. In this post I’m looking at what you can do if Xero is down.
Xero was down from around 6am BST and back up by 1.30pm BST. During some users had intermittent access, but on the whole it was a stressful time for a lot of people around the world.
It is worth pointing out before I go any further that this outage was incredibly unusual for Xero, and shouldn’t give cause for concern. We’ve been using Xero for over 6 years, and have never experienced an outage like this from Xero. Even when they migrated across to Amazon Web Servers (AWS) we experienced very minimal down time. So if you’re new to Xero, don’t take this as the norm.
We’re sorry – really sorry
Shortly after the outage was resolved, Xero released a blog titled “We’re sorry – really sorry” which explains what went wrong and how they went about finding it and fixing it. A change had been made to their network configuration, which caused the problem, but have a look at their blog for more info. I love that Xero did this, it shows that they’re human and kept us up to date and informed. Throughout the downtime there were also regular updates on their Status page.
Yes yes but that doesn’t help me if Xero is down
Quite right. So let’s get onto what this blog is all about. I’m going to talk about what to do when you realise it’s down, and then steps you can take during the downtime, and once Xero is back up:
The most important thing is to check Xero’s status. This is for your own sanity – rather than keep trying to get Xero to work, find out if there really is a problem, or if it’s just you.
Check Xero’s status page, and keep this open and refreshed.
Bookmark the status page for future reference.
There’s also another step you could take which is to check the website “downforeveryoneorjustme” this is really useful, and immediately tells you if it’s you that’s the problem or the website you’re trying to access. Keep this one bookmarked too!
But I can’t do any work! What do I do?
OK, take a deep breath, it’s great to be online, and we encourage it and it’s how we choose to work, but hey what if you can’t actually get online? It’s easy to panic and go into a spin, but keep calm, take a deep breath, go and get a cup of tea. Now, it’s likely that Xero won’t be down for long, so what can you be getting on with in the meantime, that you don’t need Xero for? Here’s some ideas:
Have another cup of tea
Plan your day and week
Call your customers
Clean the office
Go for a walk
Plan your next 12 months and book in a strategy session with us
Phone a friend
Sort out your paperwork (you could take a look at Receipt Bank if you’re fed up of shuffling supplier invoices and receipts)
Plan your holiday (not while the boss is watching though!)
Have an update with your team
Go to the gym
Research those apps you haven’t had chance to yet
Write a blog
Review your website
Book your next holiday
Take the day off with your kids
Book on that Xero training course you’ve seen (run by yours truly)
What else can you think of?
I really do need to get onto Xero
If you really need to get things done in Xero, list out all the things you HAVE to do right now that you need Xero for. Here’s some suggestions, and workarounds:
I need to pay people today
So you’ve got to run payroll either for your staff, or for your clients’ staff. You can’t do this without processing the pay in Xero.
Or can you? Could you pay them what they had last week or month for now, and then process the payroll when Xero’s back up? Can you work out how to do it manually? You can google payroll calculators, and HMRC has it’s own payroll calculator too.
I’ve got to pay suppliers
Can you tell them Xero is currently down, but won’t be for long? We’re all human, and things like this happen. Have they emailed or posted you a statement, or can you call them to check what you owe? It’s always good to connect with your suppliers and customers, all helps for a better relationship, and when was the last time you called them? Chances are that they are also using Xero so understand your predicament.
I have to get invoices/orders out
We don’t want to stop you getting orders and invoices out, as this could affect your business, customer relationships and cashflow, but Xero is never down for long, so you may be able to do them later. It’s also worth trying Xero’s app. Some users were reporting being able to process invoices and bank reconcilation via the app.
Failing these do you have a backup plan? Can you recreate orders or invoices in excel? I realise this could take time so consider whether it’s worth getting on with something else until Xero is back up. Call your customers if you can, explain there’s a problem but you’re dealing with it – it shows you’re human and gives you chance to talk to them.
Xero’s back up!
Brilliant, we’re back up and running. Before you crack on and rush to get into Xero, have a final think about your priorities. It’s easy to just charge in, but remember you may have lost time to make up, so it’s important to use the time you have left well. What do you need to do now, and what can wait until tomorrow?
Make sure you notify everyone in your organisation that Xero is back up and running, and if necessary help them to plan their time and what they need to do.
What if it happens again?
If you’re worried about this happening again, what backup plans can you have in place? This could also be a useful exercise incase you have no internet at all.
Have a list of tasks you can get on with without being in Xero or online
Think about what you have learned from this experience, and what you could do differently next time
Consider an online backup service like Backupmybooks
I hope this has helped you, do bookmark this blog to refer to if Xero or another online solution you use goes down again.
Thanks for reading!
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