Locked and system accounts in your chart of accounts

Xero uses locked accounts for specific purposes, and system accounts are a subset of locked accounts. You're restricted in what you can do with these accounts, and how you can change them.

How do I identify locked accounts?

You can identify locked accounts by the padlock icon next to the account code. If you hover over the padlock icon, you'll see the reason the account is locked.

Image showing padlock icon for locked account.

What are locked accounts?

Locked accounts are needed for specific purposes in your organisation. You can edit a locked account but you can't delete or archive the account.

Locked accounts include system accounts. Xero locks other accounts if you've used them for the following purposes:

  • Repeating invoice
  • Bank rule that you have set up
  • Tracked inventory
  • Registered fixed asset

If your organisation uses payroll in Xero, some other accounts will also be locked because they are:

  • Default payroll accounts
  • Control accounts for pay items
  • Used on a pay template
  • Associated with any other line on a payslip

If the locked account is not a system account, you can use it in transactions and manual journals.

What are system accounts?

System accounts are set by Xero. They're used for specific reporting or accounting purposes. You won't see all these accounts on your chart of accounts as some of them are used on reports or in the background by Xero. Also, some accounts only apply if you use multi-currency in Xero.

Xero allows you to enter transactions or manual journals to some system accounts. Xero blocks you from entering transactions or manual journals to other system accounts.

System accountAllows transactions or manual journals
Accounts PayableNo*
Accounts ReceivableNo*
Bank RevaluationNo
Current EarningsNo
Historical AdjustmentsYes
Realised Currency GainsYes
Retained EarningsYes
Tracking TransfersNo
Unpaid Expense ClaimsNo
Unrealised Currency GainsNo
Wages PayableYes

* You can record movements in a system account in another way, even if Xero doesn't allow you to enter transactions or manual journals to the account.

If you have enabled CIS in your organisation, you will also have the CIS system accounts in your chart of accounts.