Set up Xero

This page provides help with setting up features in your organization like bank reconciliation, and confirming your organization's settings are correct.

Get up and running

Once you've added your organization to Xero you can immediately start using it to send invoices, add the details of customers and suppliers you do business with, and other tasks.

For some other features, like reconciling bank statements, you'll first need to set them up. You or your accountant will also need to confirm some settings to make sure your reports show accurate balances and categorize your transactions correctly.

It's not essential to complete these things immediately, but they will make your experience of Xero much better and save you time later on. You don't have to do them all at once, and can go back to confirm or change a setting once you have the necessary information.

How to set up your organization

Your dashboard has a Welcome to Xero panel which includes a section on getting set up on Xero. To do one of the setup tasks, just click the link. If the getting started panel isn't showing, you can select Show getting started from the help menu.

You can also go to a setup task using the navigation menu at the top of the screen. See the links below for details on how to get to a particular setting.

Give access to your accountant or bookkeeper

Giving your accountant or bookkeeper access to your organization lets them help you set it up. It also means they can see your financial information in real time and help manage your business.

If you don't already have an accountant or bookkeeper you can use our advisor directory to find a Xero-certified advisor.

Check your financial year

When you add an organization, Xero sets your financial year in line with the standard tax year in the country you pay taxes in. You can change this if your business operates using a different financial year.

We recommend confirming your financial year settings early if you are going to use Xero's fixed asset register, as changing the financial year has considerable impact on fixed assets.

Check your transaction categories (chart of accounts)

When you add transactions in Xero, you categorize them so that your reports give a good picture of how your business is performing.

Xero includes a default set of transaction categories. To check them, select Chart of Accounts from the Settings menu.

You can accept these categories, or replace them by importing a different chart of accounts. You can modify the default categories by adding more accounts, deleting unwanted ones, or editing the existing accounts (eg changing the name).

Connect your bank account

Add your bank account to your organization, and set it up so that the transactions are automatically imported from your bank into Xero each day.

You can also manually import bank statements if you want ones dated earlier than the bank feed provides.

Once the statements are in Xero, you can start matching them against the transactions you've created in Xero. Doing a bank reconciliation lets you see which transactions have not yet been paid or accounted for, and helps you identify any errors (such as duplicate transactions).

Enter your opening account balances

So your reports and bank accounts show accurate balances, you need to tell Xero what the balances were at the time you started using Xero. This includes the balances for your bank accounts, unpaid invoices (accounts receivable) and unpaid bills (accounts payable).

Enter the balances as they were at the beginning of the first day of the month (your conversion date). You can change your conversion date from the default one if you need to (eg if the balances obtained from your previous system were for an earlier month).

Other things you can set up

The setup tasks above are ones we recommend you do first to ensure you get the best experience with Xero. Here are a couple of other things you might want to do to customize Xero for your particular business.