Setting your Conversion Date

The conversion date (or start date) is the date you've chosen to start entering your day-to-day transactions into Xero. You can change your conversion date (or start date) if necessary although if this affects the balances you put against your accounts as at the original date you wanted to start using Xero, you'll have to update these (and possibly historical transactions) as well. Sometimes you will be prompted to save or confirm your conversion date if you've made change to historical data that impact this date i.e. conversion balances or historical invoices, bills or credit notes.

To get to the Conversion Date screen go to Settings > General Settings > Conversion Balances and click on the 'Conversion Date' button. Only users with a Standard or Adviser user role can access this screen and in some cases you will be prevented from making changes if your accounts have been locked.

Conversion date

As a general rule, the conversion date is the date you start using Xero. You should only have transactions and invoices or bills in Xero that occur after this date. Anything before this date should be balances from your previous system or historical invoices or bills. If you are unsure about changing the conversion date, we recommend you consult your accountant or bookkeeper. Go to Settings > General Settings > Users to give your accountant or bookkeeper access. Your financial reports for the current year won't be accurate in Xero until you have the correct conversion date and conversion balances entered. If you'd like to understand a bit more about what's going on behind the scenes, refer to our guide The accounting behind Xero conversion balances.

Choose a date to start using Xero

Note: only users with the Adviser user role can update the conversion date if your accounts are locked as at this date.

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 date

  • Enter or adjust the Conversion Date to be the month immediately following your closing Trial Balance (or equivalent report).
  • The date displayed will be the month you previously set as your start date for Xero 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 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 tax reporting 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.
  • If you change your conversion date, it's good practice to make sure that your accounts are locked to match the new conversion date (unless you've more recently locked your accounts to the end of a tax reporting period).
  • 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.