Customize older style report layout

Customize the display of Xero's older Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Budget Variance and Tracking Summary reports. You can save and share these layouts with other users of your organization or across all the organizations you have access to in Xero.

New reports are also fully customizable, but work differently. There are new versions of the Income Statement and Balance Sheet.

Working with the report layout editor on new financial reports

  Video: Report customizing options (1:21)

  Video: Creating report groups (1:04)

Reports and budget role comparison

New Balance Sheet layout window.

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Customize these reports


Layout options

Use the Layout Options button on these reports to create or access your own layout.

The following older reports have a Layout Options button:

Some of these reports can also be run as part of a management report.

Change the layout of the Income Statement and Balance Sheet

If you (or your accountant or bookkeeper) have a specific format or account group structure that makes sense for your business, or you have a lot of accounts that you want to condense into more high-level groups, you can create your own layout to achieve this.

Customize the Tracking Summary

The default groups offered for the Tracking Summary report are based on the account types used by the chart of accounts. Depending on how you've set up your chart of accounts and the accounts you want to use in a tracking report, you may find it easier to create your own layout. You can manipulate the Tracking Summary report layout to create your own groups that you want to see tracking activity on if the default groups used by Xero are too broad for your purposes.
Account types

Is the layout applied to my chart of accounts?

Creating a layout determines where accounts will be displayed on that report and in some cases which accounts will be included on the reports. Depending on the report you're working on this gives you the ability to create specific or hierarchical groups of accounts. Your chart of accounts will not reflect these changes. It will remain as a straight listing of all your accounts. Each layout is specific to a report i.e. a layout you create for your Income Statement cannot be applied to your Balance Sheet.

A layout is created to organize the display of a report, not how your chart of accounts is displayed. Your accounts will always remain on the chart of accounts tabs according to their 'type' (e.g. asset, liability).


  • Change account codes or names by editing the account in the chart of accounts. Reports run primarily off the account code number so you may need to work on your chart of accounts if you haven't been consistent in your numbering of accounts.
  • Each report has default 'positions', sections or groups. By using a custom layout, you can move accounts and create groups within these:
    • On the Income Statement and Balance Sheet, you can move accounts that Xero puts in each section by default to another section but you can't change the default section headings or position.
    • On the Tracking Summary, you can't change the default Account Group headings but in both of these cases you can create your own groups of accounts and give them your own headings, and include your own accounts.


Create and save a new report layout

The following instructions are the same for any report you are creating or editing a layout for. If anything is specific to an individual report, this will be pointed out.

Create or change a layout

Layout options

Unless you have saved and chosen to display your own layout as the default, the Xero default layout will be used.

Any user for your organization that has access to reports can create a layout or make changes to existing layouts (even if they didn't create them originally).

With layouts, you can condense accounts into one line, or create new groups of accounts (for instance you could create groups specific to each shareholder in your organization).

Where do I make the layout?

Access the report layout screen from the Layout Options button at the bottom of a customizable report.

Layout button

This option is always available:

  • Create new layout - move or group the accounts on the report and save as a new layout.

These options are only available if layouts have been created and saved for your organization:

  • Edit this layout - change the layout you're currently viewing by moving or changing/adding grouping - this is only available if you're viewing the report using a layout created by you or someone else in your organization. You can't edit the Xero standard layout. You can also use this option turn on or off the setting to make the current layout the default for all other users.
  • Choose layout - switch to another layout (including the Xero standard layout) created by you or someone else in your organization.
  • Save as favorite - make the layout available for the report in all the organizations you have access to in Xero.

Move accounts to a different place on the report

Move accounts to appear under a different heading - either existing Xero default headings for the report or the heading of a new group you've created.

Default section

  • All accounts that are relevant to the report will display under each relevant group, even if they are archived in your chart of accounts. (This way, if you run a report over a past period that contains transactions that were assigned to an archived account, those amounts will be picked up and included in the report.)
  • You can move any account to any group and depending on the group they're moved to they will automatically be treated as debit or credit accounts (i.e. display balances as positive or negative amounts) depending on the section or group they're moved to.
  • Check the account(s) that you want to move and click the Move Selected accounts button.

Move account

  • Choose the place in the report the account should display under - Xero default account group or section headings relevant to the report you're customizing are in bold text. If you have created your own group headings for the report, these will be in standard text.
  • Choose OK to move the account to the new group chosen. The account won't display on the report in the new group or section until you save and name the layout.
  • You can't change the default group or section headings on a report (e.g. 'Income', 'Less Cost of Sales' on the Income Statement, 'Assets', 'Liabilities' on the Balance Sheet or the Account Group headings on the Tracking Summary) but you can create your own groups and sub-groups and name these however you like.
  • Once you have saved the layout, the accounts you've moved will display in their new location on the report if there are transactions in that account for the period of the report.

Add grou

Add or edit your own group

Create your own groups of accounts within the default report sections or groups. For example, if you have a lot of expense accounts, these will all be listed on the Income Statement. You might want condense the list by grouping similar accounts. Alternatively, if you want to see how your expense account transactions have been tracked, you might like to create a sub-group for the Tracking Summary.

Click the Add group button or check the accounts you want to group together and click the Group selected accounts button (only displays if you have selected at least one account first).

Add group

  • Enter a Group name to appear on the report. Groups will display alphabetically on the report within the section you place the group.
  • Choose the place in the report the group should display under - Xero section headings are in bold text and if you have created your own group headings already, these will be in standard text.

Grp Acct top

  • The Tracking Summary Report is run specifically for account groups, rather than pre-determined 'standard' sections like 'Income' or 'Assets' that are used on the Income Statement or Balance Sheet. This means that any groups you make, while created as a sub-group of a default group that already exists, will also be available to choose if you want to run the report for just that group, rather than the larger group it's part of.

Trking group

  • Check Show opening balance to show the balance at the start of the financial year for the accounts in the group.

Image showing opening balance.

This option is only available when creating a layout for the Balance Sheet and this balance will be overridden by an opening balance for any group with a greater hierarchy or if the Show summary only option is being used.

Grp Acct mid

  • For the Income Statement and Balance Sheet check Show summary only if you just want the Group name to appear on the report with a total of all accounts in that group shown.

Summary option on

  • If you want all accounts listed under the group name, leave the Show summary only box unchecked.

Summary option off

  • On the Tracking Summary, the Show summary only option won't affect the display of the report because the report is displayed using tracking options and not accounts.
  • Click the 'Define how accounts are grouped' link to unravel options for automatically including accounts in the group.

Grp Acct unravel

  • You can set the group up to automatically include any new or edited accounts when changes are made to your chart of accounts so that they display where you want them to on the report without you having to update the layout.

Acct grp bottom

  • Choose one of the grouping options available:
    • Account code begins with - enter one or more numbers or letters to correspond with the way you have used account codes in your chart of accounts to include all accounts that begin in this way e.g. beginning '84' if you want to group all your 'Owner' related accounts.
    • Account code is within range - enter a start and end number or sequence you have used in your chart of accounts to pick up any accounts that are included in that range.
    • The default option is to not have accounts automatically added so if you leave this as is, any time you add a new account that you want included in a group on the report, you'll have to edit your report layout to include it.

Groups on report

The automatic inclusion of accounts in groups is based on the account code number in your chart of accounts so if you want use these options you may need to make adjustments to the code numbering system used for your accounts to make sure the numbers are sequential or in range groups.

Save and use a layout




Save your report regularly to avoid losing your updates.

Layout Details

Before any of your rearranging and groups will be applied to the report you need to name and save the layout.

Named report layout with 'default layout' box ticked.

  • Name - enter a name that you and other users of your organization can use to identify and choose the layout.
  • Description - enter a description to distinguish this report layout from others you have created.
  • Make this the default ... - choose this option to apply this layout as the default for everyone in your organization when they view the report, otherwise the report will display the Xero standard layout or one of your own that you've previously chosen to be the default.


  • If you want to revert to the Xero standard layout as the default, remove the 'Make this the default' check on the report that's currently the default.
  • Regardless of whether you make a layout the default, any user can see any layout created for the organization.
  • Any user of your organization can change these details or change which report layout is to be used as the default.
  • Any changes you make to a layout (to the layout details or account position on the report) will be reflected any time you and others view a report using that layout.
  • If you have chosen to make this layout the default, the report will be displayed in your new layout when you click Save, otherwise you will be taken to the layout currently in use.
  • Once your layout it saved, it will be included in a list of saved layouts for that report for that organization. From the Layout Options button on the report you can use the Choose layout option or the Save as favorite option (to have the layout available in the other organizations you have access to in Xero that you log in to using the email address you're currently logged in with).

Return to the report without saving the new layout or changes to an existing layout.

Delete Layout

Remove the layout from Xero altogether. It will no longer be available for you or any of your users to choose and if it was the default, you will be returned to the Xero standard layout.

Report display

Viewing a report

As is normal for any report, the report options (the fields for choosing the date range, accounts, tracking categories, comparison and filtering as relevant) determine what will display on the report and report layout determines how the information is displayed.

  • When you run a report, change the report options as normal (if required).

Report options

  • All data provided for the report will match the report options you have chosen but will be displayed differently according to chosen layout. The data that is valid for the report (whatever date range, tracking etc you have set) is separate from how that data will be displayed.
  • As with standard reports (i.e. no customization of the report layout) if accounts have a 0.00 balance for the period of the report, these accounts will not display on the report.
  • If an entire group (i.e. all the accounts in that group) doesn't have a balance then that group won't display.
  • If an entire default section doesn't have a balance (including groups within it) then the headings only will still display.
  • All accounts are listed when creating a report layout but will only display on a report if they have balances (as explained above).
  • The Tracking Summary report shows no data when it is first opened so you need to choose a default Account Group first. In order to always see groups you've created you'll need to save the layout that includes these groups as a 'default' layout.

Own group

Use and share layouts

Apply a layout

Layouts are applied directly from the report using the Layout Options button - this only displays on the customizable reports.

Layout button


Choose layout

On the report you want to apply a layout to, go to the Layout Options button and select 'Choose layout...' to see and choose from the layouts that have been created for this report.

Choose layout

  • This option won't show until a layout has been created and saved for this report.
  • You can also choose the Xero standard layout if the report is not currently using that layout.
  • You can use the 'X' icon to delete this layout directly from here rather than from the layout details screen.

Save as favorite


Any layout you create can be used across all the organizations you have access to in Xero that you log into using the email address you're logged in with when you create and save the favorite. Do this by designating a layout a 'favorite'.

On the report you want to apply a layout to, go to the Layout Options button and select 'Save as favorite'. You need to be viewing the report in the layout you want to apply as your favorite when you choose this option.

Save as fav

  • Enter a name to identify this layout - choose something that will be easily identifiable and make sense across all your organizations.
  • A copy of this layout will be created loaded against the same report in each of the organizations in Xero you have access to.
  • Go to the report in any of the other organizations you have access to in Xero and using the 'Choose layout ...' option on the Layout Options button, apply your favorite layout to the report in that organization as well.

Apply fav

  • When you choose to use the favorite layout, you can choose how it's applied so that it's only available for your use, or for others that have access to the organization to view or if it is to be the default for that organization.

Apply fav

  • Once the layout has been saved as a favorite it is no longer related to the layout that you created it off, it's become a copy of that layout so any changes you make to the original layout will no longer be applied to the favorite layout. You'll need to edit it individually if you want to make changes to it.
  • If you save one of your layouts as a favorite so that you can use it in your other Xero organizations, you can also choose for it to become the default layout for that report in that organization.

You don't need to be the Subscriber user to create and save a layout as a favorite - just note that you will only see the favorite layout in other Xero organizations that you log into with the same email address.

Set as default

At the time you save a new or updated layout you can choose whether the layout is to be applied as the default layout for the report.