Troubleshoot bank rules

Learn about some of the common reasons why a bank rule may not appear to be working the way you expect it to.

  • Why is my bank rule suggesting more transactions than I expected?

    Problem - You want your bank rule to find statement lines where the Payee is 'ABC Stationery' and the word 'print' appears in the Reference field. However, Xero is also creating suggested transactions for 'ABC Stationery' where the reference field is blank. In addition, Xero is creating transactions where the reference does contain 'print' but the payee is 'PDQ Printing'. You check the rule to make sure you haven't included a condition for Payee equals anything other than 'ABC Stationery' or for Reference is blank, but everything looks fine.

    Image of step 1 of Edit Rule screen showing a condition looking for 'print' in the Reference field

    Cause - In this case, you have set the rule to create suggested transactions when Any of the conditions are met. This means that a transaction will be suggested if either the payee is 'ABC Stationery' or the reference contains 'print'. For example, a payment to PDQ Print that includes 'printing' in the reference field doesn't meet the Payee equals condition but it does meet the Reference contains condition, so Xero suggests transaction for it.

    Solution - To fix this problem set your rule to match All of the conditions instead of Any.

  • Why is my bank rule not suggesting all of the transactions that I expected?

    Problem - You want your bank rule to find statement lines where the Payee is either 'ABC Stationery' or 'PDQ Printing' or 'Inky Dinky Do'. However, Xero isn't creating suggested transactions for the statement lines for any of these payees. You check the rule to make sure you have only included conditions for the Payee equals 'ABC Stationery', 'PDQ Printing' or 'Inky Dinky Do', but everything looks fine.

    Image of step 1 of Edit Rule screen showing three condition looking for different values in the Payee field

    Cause - In this case, you have set the rule to create suggested transactions when All of the conditions are met. This means that a transaction will be suggested when the payee is 'ABC Stationery' and 'PDQ Printing' and 'Inky Dinky Do'. Of course, the payee can only equal one value so the rule is never met, and Xero doesn't suggest any transactions.

    Solution - To fix this problem set your rule to match Any of the conditions instead of All.

  • Why does one of my bank rules suggest transactions and another one doesn't?

    Problem - You regularly buy office supplies from ABC Stationery, which you allocate to your Office Expenses account. However, sometimes you use ABC Stationery to print brochures, which you allocate to Printing & Stationery. You always include the word 'printing' in the Description field of the payments for these brochures.

    You have two bank rules set up that both check the Payee field for 'ABC Stationery'. The first rule simply allocates payments for ABC Stationery to Office Expenses.

    Image of Step 1 of the Create Bank Rule screen for 1-condition rule

    Image of Step 4 of the Create Bank Rule screen showing allocation to Office Expenses

    The other rule also checks to see if the Description contains 'print', and then allocates the payment to the Printing & Stationery account.

    Image of Step 1 of the Create Bank Rule screen for 2-condition rule

    Image of Step 4 of the Create Bank Rule screen showing allocation to Printing & Stationery

    Cause - If the rule that only checks the payee and not the description runs first, then all purchases from ABC Stationery, including those for printing, will be allocated to the Office Expenses account.

    Solution - Set the order so that the more restrictive rule that checks the description runs first.

  • Why doesn't my bank rule with a hyphen in it suggest any transactions?

    Problem - You set up a bank rule to find statement lines where the Payee equals 'Print-Man' and allocate the payment to the Printing & Stationery account. However, Xero doesn't suggest any transaction even though you see unmatched statement lines with 'Print-Man' as the payee.

    Image of Step 1 of the Create Bank Rule screen for 1-condition rule

    Cause - Bank rule conditions and titles should use only letters and numbers and should not include any punctuation or special characters. Xero doesn't recognize the hyphen in your rule condition, so it cannot find the statement lines and suggest transactions for them.

    Solution - To fix this problem set your rule to match All conditions and use two conditions:

    • Payee contains 'Print'
    • Payee contains 'Man'

    Setting your rule to match all conditions means that only those statement lines that have both 'Print' and 'Man' in the payee will be found, and a 'contains' comparison instead of an 'equals' lets you work around the hyphen.