Comparative balances

Comparative balances are the 'finalized' balances from the years before you used Xero that you want Xero to include for comparison in your current financial reports. You'll need to enter the accounts and balances from completed financial accounts, Trial Balance reports or other reports you have from your previous accounting system.

If you are unsure about entering or editing comparative balances, we recommend you consult your accountant or bookkeeper. You can give your accountant or bookkeeper access to your Xero organization by inviting them in as a user.

Add new users to your organization

About entering comparative balances

  • If you want to show previous years' detail as prior year comparisons in your financial reports, you can add the past year detail in the Conversion balances screen.

  • If you've set a lock date, you'll need to remove this before you can add comparative balances. You need to have the Advisor user role to remove a lock date.

  • Xero adds comparative years in reverse chronological order. That is, Xero adds the immediate prior year first, and earlier years in order after that if required.

  • Add new accounts to your chart of accounts before you start if you need to.

  • Adding or removing accounts from one year's balances will not flow through to other years. Each year stands on its own once you've saved it.

  • Importing a chart of accounts only updates the chart of accounts and conversion balances for the current year. Comparative balances for earlier years won't be affected.

  • If you have comparative balances for Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Xero won't ask you to enter historical invoices, bills or credit notes.

Enter your comparative balances

  1. Go to Settings, select General Settings, then select Conversion Balances.
  2. Click Add Comparative Balances.
  3. Enter the balances for that year shown on the report from your previous accounting system.

    You enter comparative balances in the same way you enter conversion balances.

  4. Click Save.