Setup Guide: collect these things before you start

Before you can use Xero for your day-to-day transactions, you'll need to complete the Setup Guide in Xero to set up your organisation. This page lists key information you should collect before you start.

If you’re coming from an existing accounting system, collect this information now so you can enter it during setup rather than fixing things later. Your financial reports in Xero might not be right if you don’t bring across the right data.

If you are unsure about what data to gather or where to get it from, please ask your accountant or bookkeeper.

List of things to collect to complete the Setup Guide

To complete the 10 steps of the Setup Guide, organise these things now.

If you don’t have this information, you can pass the steps in the setup process. You or someone with the Adviser user role can go back to complete or change what you've entered during or after the setup process.
  1. Legal name of your organisation

  2. Currency and financial year end for your organisation

  3. Tax settings for filing returns for your organisation.

  4. Logo, payment terms and a starting point for your invoice/credit note numbering sequence

  5. Email address of your accountant or bookkeeper or someone else to help set up your organisation (if you need help).

    View our list of advisors who are trained and ready to help you use Xero.

  6. Your chart of accounts or a list of categories to organise your accounts by (for example, Rent, Stationery, Sales)

  7. Your bank and credit card account numbers for accounts you want to set up in Xero

  8. Conversion date

    The date you want to start using Xero for your day to day business.

  9. Tips for choosing a conversion date

    Conversion dates in Xero start on the 1st of a month. The month you choose will depend on how you currently manage your accounts and what data you want to bring across. We suggest you choose:

    • the month your current tax filing period starts from, if you're registered, or
    • the current month, if you aren't registered.

    You can choose a conversion date:

    • in the future, if you want to get Xero set up before you start using it
    • in the past, if you want to recreate your account back to then
    • that's different to the start of your financial year.

    Consider these things when choosing a month:

    • Choose a month you are happy to get past data for.
    • As at the day before your Xero conversion date, you'll need

      • account balances
      • individual unpaid invoices, bills and credit notes
      • uncleared funds.

      As far back as your conversion date, you'll need:

      • existing invoices and bills
      • bank account statements to import into Xero.
    • If you choose a conversion date that's part way through your current tax period you won’t be able to run an accurate Sales Tax Summary report for that period in Xero. This is because Xero won’t have all the relevant transactions to calculate the tax from.
  10. Last tax return or other documentation to work out tax rates to set up in Xero.

    This is so you pay, charge and record sales tax correctly on transactions you enter into Xero. If you are required to report on certain components within a sales tax rate, you’ll need to know what these rates are and the percentages of each one. If you have historical invoices, bills and credit notes to enter into Xero, set up your tax rates now or after setup.

  11. Account balances

    If you have balances to enter into Xero it’s better that you get them right at the start.

    Run reports from your previous accounting system for account balances as at the day before your Xero conversion date. If you don’t have reports, use the balances from your bank accounts or chart of accounts/categories.

    Not sure how to work out your balances? Ask your accountant or bookkeeper for help.

  12. Outstanding invoices, bills, credit notes and uncleared funds

    You may have outstanding invoices and credit notes from your previous accounting system. Use these to work out the amount owed to you and that you owe from your conversion date.

    If you have uncleared funds (or unpresented cheques) - essentially the difference between your actual bank account balance, and balance in your previous accounting system - you'll also need this amount.