Setting your conversion date

The conversion date is the date you want to start entering transactions in Xero. You need to specify this date whether you're coming from another accounting system or not. Talk to your accountant or bookkeeper if you're unsure about which date to select.

If you've prepared a trial balance (or other list of account balances) from your previous 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.

Conversion date

Talk to your accountant or bookkeeper if you’re unsure about a suitable conversion date or whether you have a trial balance for your organisation. 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.

You can also check out our tips for choosing a conversion date.

About your conversion date

The conversion date is usually the date you start using Xero. The only transactions you should enter in Xero dated before this date are invoices and bills that were unpaid when you converted.

Your conversion date is always the 1st of a month. January 2006 is the earliest date you can use.

If you’re coming from another accounting system, it's important the conversion date is the day after the date when you balanced all your accounts in your previous system. If you’re entering balances from your trial balance, make sure you’ve run this report to the day before you want to start using Xero.

If your conversion date is in the past and you've carried on business since then, then as far back as your conversion date you'll also need:

  • Invoices and bills
  • Bank account and credit card statements

to import into Xero.

Can I add transactions dated prior to conversion?

Only transactions that take place from your organisation's conversion date onwards should be entered in Xero. This includes the unpaid amount of any sales invoices and purchase bills at your conversion date. The conversion date is the start date for Xero reporting.

The conversion balances entered create the opening balances for the accounts they're entered for. When creating reports, Xero looks at transactions dated after the conversion date, and adds them to the conversion balance for the account. Prior conversion dated transactions are not included in reports.

If you want to have full transaction detail for previous years in Xero, we suggest you set an earlier conversion date and recreate the earlier years' accounts in Xero.

Tips for choosing a conversion date

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 a month your sales tax period starts from.

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 from the start of your financial year.

Set or change your conversion date

  1. Select the month and year you'd like to start entering transactions from.
  2. Click Save.

You'll need to review and confirm your conversion balances next.

Tips when changing your conversion date to a later date

  • Void any invoices and bills that were paid before the new conversion date, but retain any that were still unpaid at the new date.
  • Delete any bank statements that have been imported, and are dated earlier than the new date.
  • Remove any other transactions that are dated earlier than the new date.