Setting your Conversion Date

The conversion date is the date that you want to convert to Xero i.e. the date you want to start from. You need to specify this date whether you are coming from another accounting system or not. If you have prepared a Trial Balance (or other list of account balances) from your existing accounting system, these balances should be up until the end of a month - your conversion date will be the next day - the first of a month.

As a general rule: the conversion date is the date you start using Xero, so once the Setup Guide is completed, you should only need to enter transactions, invoices and bills in Xero that occur after this date. Anything occurring before this date should be balances from your previous system or historical invoices or bills.

Conversion date

If you are unsure about a suitable conversion date or whether you have a Trial Balance for your organisation, you should consult your accountant or bookkeeper. You can go back to the Invite Users step to invite your accountant or bookkeeper to log in and help you with this before you complete the Setup Guide or they can take a look after completion and correct the date as required. Our Getting Started Guide also has some tips for choosing a conversion date.

Choose a date to start using Xero

Check your role (Settings > General Settings > Users) and lock date (Settings > General Settings > Financial Settings). If you do not have the required permission to update the conversion date, the new date entered won't be saved. If your user role allows it, you can change your role to the Adviser user role, or invite your accountant or bookkeeper and give them this role in order for them to make the change.

If a lock date has been applied to your organisation, then you may not be able to make changes to conversion balances or comparative balances before that date. Read more about setting and working with lock dates.

Our Getting Started Guide also has some tips for choosing a conversion date.


  • Enter or adjust the Conversion Date to be the month immediately following your closing Trial Balance (or equivalent report).
  • The date will default to the current month but you can choose any month as your conversion date, including future months. The date can only be as far back as 2006.
  • As part of setting this date in Xero you will also need to enter conversion balances (opening balances) for each account you want to use in Xero. If you are coming from another system it is especially important to get your conversion date to exactly follow on from when you balanced all your accounts and stopped using your previous system.
  • If you are entering balances from your Trial Balance, ensure you have run this report to the day before you want to start using Xero.
  • If you imported a chart of accounts from MYOB but chose not to import balances, you need to specify a conversion date (this is done at the time of import if you choose to import balances and this screen is skipped).
  • If you don't have balances to bring across from another accounting system make sure the conversion date is the same month as the start of a GST period.
  • If you have already entered balances and need to change the conversion date, you will need to redo or confirm the conversion balances taking into account any changes required because of the new date. This may also mean you need to adjust, enter or delete conversion invoices or bills.

    Conversion balances: invoices and bills

  • This date is used in conjunction with your financial year, to calculate the values that will display on all the charts and reports in Xero.
  • When you are in Xero only a user with the Adviser user role can change the conversion date. This prevents any transactions being entered before the date you started using Xero because this will cause inaccuracies in your financial reports.
  • There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing what your conversion date to Xero should be and you can get some tips on how to choose a date - refer to our conversion date tips.


Your conversion date will be saved. If the date has been updated, you will be prompted to confirm your conversion balances.