Import inventory items into Xero

If you have multiple inventory items to enter in Xero, you can import the new items in one go using our CSV template. You can import both tracked and untracked inventory items.

Import inventory items into Xero using this process:

  1. (If you want to import tracked items) Get ready to import tracked inventory items
  2. Download the inventory item template file in Xero
  3. Enter or copy your inventory items into the template
  4. Import your inventory item file
  5. Review and confirm the inventory item import
  6. Import inventory opening balances

If you need to, check out our troubleshooting tips for importing inventory.
Why can't I import my inventory items into Xero?

You can also:

Get ready to import tracked inventory items

If you are importing inventory items that you want Xero to track, you'll need to take some setup steps first. Review these steps even if you already have tracked items in your inventory list in Xero.
Getting started with tracked inventory

If you're only importing untracked items, you can go straight to downloading the template file.

If you're not sure whether tracked items are right for your organization, check with your accountant or bookkeeper.
Options for managing inventory in Xero

Download the inventory items template file within Xero

To start the inventory item import process in Xero:

  1. Go to Accounts, then select Inventory.

  2. Click Import, then select Items.

  3. Click Download template file to open the blank template. The template contains the headings under which you need to enter or copy your inventory item details.

    Image showing Step 1 Download inventory items template file and link to file.

  4. Open the downloaded template file. This will open in a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.

    Image showing downloaded template file.

Enter or copy your inventory items into the template

Image showing completed CSV template.

Enter or copy your inventory item details in the appropriate columns in the CSV file, one item per row, before you save the file to your computer.

Rules for entering inventory items into the template

Make sure you follow these rules so Xero will import your file:

  • Leave the first row in place as the header row
    If you delete the header row, Xero will not import your file.

  • All columns must stay in the same order as Xero's template file
    If you're copying data from another system, make sure you use Xero's exact format.

  • ItemCode is mandatory
    You can use a combination of numbers and letters in the ItemCode column (up to 30 characters). All other columns are optional.
    More information about columns in the template

  • Maximum number of inventory items you can import at one time is 1000
    Xero can import up to 1000 file lines, not including the header.

Columns in the inventory items template file explained

Take great care when you enter information for your items in the template so that you correctly identify tracked and untracked items. You identify tracked items in the PurchasesAccount, InventoryAssetAccount and CostofGoodsSoldAccount columns. You can't change a tracked item to an untracked item after Xero has imported it.

  • ItemCode
  • The code you use for your inventory item. This is the only mandatory column on the template.

    Consider using codes to help you find and organize your items. For example, if sorting by color, white golf balls could be WGB-01, or twelve white golf balls could be WGB-12.

    The item code doesn't display on PDF invoices, credit notes, quotes or purchase orders. However, if you want the item code to display, you can do one of the following:

  • ItemName
  • The name you use for your inventory item. ItemName can have a maximum of 50 characters.

  • PurchasesDescription
  • The description of the item you want to appear on purchase orders, bills and spend money transactions. Each description can be up to 1000 characters long.

  • PurchasesUnitPrice
  • The price you pay for the item in your base currency, up to 4 decimal places. Do not use any currency symbols.

    If you use a currency symbol or enter a negative value, you will get a warning when you try to import the file and Xero won't import the price.

  • PurchasesAccount
  • If you want to track an item - Leave the PurchasesAccount column blank. Xero will use the account code from the CostofGoodsSold column on the template for this item instead.

    If you don't want to track an item - Enter the chart of accounts code for purchases of your inventory item.

  • PurchasesTaxRate
  • Enter the exact name of the tax rate in Xero for purchases of your inventory item.

    Complete this field even if you're entering a tracked item and you've left the PurchasesAccount column blank. Use the tax rate for your CostofGoodsSold account.

    You can find the purchases tax rate for your item on your item's detail screen.
    Image showing tax rate on item details screen.

  • SalesDescription
  • The description of the item you want to appear on quotes, invoices and receive money transactions. Each description can be up to 1000 characters long.

  • SalesUnitPrice
  • The price you charge for the item in your base currency, up to 4 decimal places. Do not use any currency symbols.

    If you use a currency symbol or enter a negative value, you will get a warning when you try to import the file and Xero won't import the price.

  • SalesAccount
  • Enter the chart of accounts code for sales of your inventory item.

  • SalesTaxRate
  • Enter the exact name of the tax rate in Xero for sales of your inventory item.

    You can find the sales tax rate for your item on your item's detail screen.
    Image showing sales tax rate on item details screen.

  • InventoryAssetAccount
  • If you want to track the item, enter the chart of accounts code you want to use for the item's asset account. For example, if you want to code an item to, say, account 650 Inventory as your inventory asset account, enter 650 in the InventoryAssetAccount column. If you use anything other than the code, you'll get a warning when you try to import the file and Xero won't import the field.

    If you don't want to track the item, leave this column blank.

  • CostofGoodsSoldAccount
  • If you want to track the item, enter the chart of accounts code you want to use for the item's cost of goods sold account. For example, if you want to code sales of an item to, say, account 430 Cost of Goods Sold, enter 430 in the CostofGoodsSoldAccount column. If you use anything other than the code, you'll get a warning when you try to import the file and Xero won't import the field.

    If you don't want to track the item, leave this column blank.

Tips for making entry of optional fields in inventory item template easier

ItemCode is the only compulsory field in the CSV template.

Here are some tips to help you enter optional data in the template correctly either:

If you don't use a column

  • If you don't use a column, leave that column blank. Don't delete the column from your file.

If you are using Excel to create your CSV file

  • If you are using Excel to create your CSV file take care not to enter figures and symbols which Excel could automatically reformat as dates or numbers as this data may cause all or some of your import to fail.

The file maps the columns to fields in Xero

The CSV file maps column to fields in Xero, in the same way as if you had filled out the inventory item details individually in Xero. For example, the ItemCode column goes to Item Code field; PurchasesUnitPrice column goes to Purchase Unit Price field, and so on.

Import your inventory item file

  1. After you've entered your inventory items into the template and saved the file to your computer, select Browse.

    Image showing browse button to use to select csv files from computer

  2. Locate the CSV or TXT file that you saved on your computer and select it.

  3. Select Continue to import your file.

    Image showing filename selected from computer and ready to import.

Review and confirm the inventory item import

Image showing inventory file ready to import.

After you have selected the CSV or TXT inventory item file to import into Xero, you can review what's being imported before completing the import process.

As long as you have followed the rules and tips (including the mandatory header row and mandatory code for each inventory item), Xero will import the same number of inventory items into Xero as you have on your CSV.

If you get an error message when you try to import, check out our troubleshooting tips:
Why can't I import my inventory items into Xero?

Completing the inventory item file import

Select Complete Import to import your file. You can manually add any missing inventory items in Xero, or import another CSV containing those that weren't imported.

Add an untracked inventory item

Add a tracked inventory item

Once imported, go to Accounts, then select Inventory to see your items.

If you wish, you can now import opening balances for some or all of your tracked inventory items.
Enter opening balances for your tracked inventory items