Add a pay run and pay employees

Create a draft pay run, make any adjustments to your employees’ pay, and complete a scheduled pay run to pay your employees in Xero.


Before you start

Before you create a draft pay run, make sure you've:

  • Set up payroll, added employees, entered opening balances, and determined employee payment methods.
  • Registered for direct deposit and added each employee’s bank account information if you're paying your employees with direct deposit.
  • Approved all employee time off requests and timesheets so they're included in the pay run.
You can only have one draft pay run per pay period. If you skip a pay period to process a pay run for a future date, you can make an unscheduled pay run to cover the dates you missed earlier.

Process a pay run and pay employees

  1. Go to Payroll, then click Pay Runs.
  2. Select a pay period, then click Process Pay Run.

  3. Review payroll payment and employee payment methods.
  4. (Optional) In the Paystub Message field, enter a message to show at the bottom of all paystubs.
  5. (Optional) Make changes to an employee's pay.

  6. (Optional) Click Add Memo and add a personal message to an employee's paystub.
  7. Click Pay Employees.

    If you get the message 'employee limit exceeded', you may need to upgrade your pricing plan.

    Change your Xero pricing plan

  8. Click Complete Pay Run.

Completing a pay run for the selected employees pays them, automatically downloads their payroll checks for printing, and creates payroll tax invoices. You can't delete the pay run once it's completed.

Once you've completed a pay run, you'll need to reconcile the payment with your wages account in Xero. The following items update in your General Ledger:

  • Bank Account assigned payroll payments
  • Payroll Liability Accounts
  • Wages Expenses Account

You can also view the Journal Report by searching for the pay run payment date.