Troubleshoot bank rules

If your bank rule isn’t working as expected, the condition criteria could be too specific or not specific enough. Learn about some of the common reasons a bank rule may not work.

About bank rule conditions

  • Bank rule conditions and titles should only contain letters and numbers, and shouldn't include punctuation or special characters.
  • The conditions you select affect how the rules apply:
    • All - the rule only applies if a bank statement meets all the conditions entered. Choose this to create a very specific rule that returns less suggestions.
    • Any - the rule applies if it meets any of the conditions. Select this to see a wider range of suggestions for bank statement lines.
    • Contains - the rule suggests statement lines that include the detail you've entered, but doesn't have to be an exact match.
    • Equals - the rule suggests bank statement lines that exactly match the detail you've entered.

Why is my bank rule suggesting more or less transactions than expected?

Check the condition you've selected for step 1 of the rule:

  • If you want fewer, but more specific suggestions - set the condition to All. For example, this bank rule will provide suggestions for all bank statement lines that have "ABC Stationery" listed as the Payee, and the word "Print" in the reference field.

    Image of a bank rule that matches all the criteria set out in the conditions of the rule.

  • If you want a wider, less-specific range of suggestions - set the condition to Any. For example, this bank rule will provide suggestions for bank statement lines that either have "ABC Stationery" as the Payee, or the word "Print" in the reference field.

    Image of a bank rule that matches any of the criteria set out in the conditions of the rule.

Why does one bank rule suggests transactions but another one doesn’t?

If you've created more than one rule for a payee, check the order the bank rules will run. You'll want to put the most restrictive rules at the top of the list, and the less-specific rules further down the list. This ensures you'll see the right amount of suggested transactions for each bank statement line.

For example:

  • You have a less specific bank rule that allocates payments made to "ABC Stationery" to the Office Expenses account code.
  • You also have a more specific rule that allocates payments made to "ABC Stationery" with the word "Print" in the Description field to the Printing & Stationery account code.

If you run the less specific rule first - all payments to "ABC Stationery" allocate to Office Expenses, even if they have the word "Print" in the description.

If you run the more specific rule first - payments to "ABC Stationery" with the word "Print" in the description allocate to Printing & Stationery, then any remaining payments to "ABC Stationery" allocate to Office Expenses.

Why doesn’t my bank rule that contains a hyphen suggest any transactions?

Xero doesn't recognize hyphens in conditions, so if your bank rule contains a hyphen it won't be able to find statement lines and suggest transactions for them.

If you have a field or value in your statement that contains a hyphen, create a rule set to match All conditions, then split the hyphenated word into two conditions. For example, you want to set up a bank rule that looks for the payee "Print-Man".

  • Set your first condition to look for a Payee that contains "Print".

  • Set your second condition to look for a Payee that contains "Man".

    Image of creating a bank rule that splits a hyphenated name into two search criteria.

Because you've set your rule to match All conditions, it will find all transactions from "Print-Man" as the Payee contains both the words "Print" and "Man".