Development accounts


Signing up for a Xero account is free. Once you have done that, you have two options as to how you can begin development without incurring any cost:

  1. Use the demo company (recommended)
  2. Start a trial or paid Xero organisation subscription

Demo company overview

The demo company is the best way to learn how Xero works & to test an integration or add-on. If you have never used Xero before you should go through the Xero demo company guide in order to become familiar with some of the basic Xero features.

Demo company vs Xero trial organisations

Below is a rundown of the key differences between the demo company and a Xero trial organisation.

Xero trial organisation

  • is limited to 5 approved (AUTHORISED status) sales invoices & 5 approved bills before billing information is required
  • is limited to 30 days before billing information is required
  • does not come pre-populated with any data
  • can be shared with other users
  • can not be reset
  • can not switch country
  • has access to payroll (if payroll is available in the current country)

Xero demo company

  • can raise an unlimited number of invoices
  • will be automatically deleted 28 days after creation
  • comes pre-populated with dummy data
  • can not be shared with other users
  • can be reset at anytime
  • can switch country
  • has access to payroll (if payroll is available in the current country)

Accessing the Xero demo company

To activate the demo company register or login to your Xero account and navigate to My Xero. From the My Xero screen you can enter the demo company, reset the demo company & change the region of the demo company.

my xero demo company controls

Changing country & resetting the demo company

The demo company can be reset at any time. To reset the demo company visit My Xero and click the reset button. From My Xero the country of a demo company can also be changed. Changing the country of the demo company will also result in the demo company being reset.

resetting the demo company

Changing the location of the Demo Company

Enabling Payroll

Payroll is not enabled by default. When the demo company is created (or reset) you will need to enable payroll. Payroll is not available in all regions, you may need to change the country of the demo company in order to get access to payroll.

If you have not enabled payroll you will receive the following error when using the API:

<ApiException xmlns:i="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<ErrorNumber>0</ErrorNumber>
<Type>Error</Type>
<Message>Payroll has not been provisioned</Message>
</ApiException>

To enable payroll simply navigate to the payroll screen and click “Get Started”.

How to enable payroll in the demo company

Using the demo company with the API Previewer

The demo company can be connected to the API Previewer. Using the API Previewer and the demo company is a great way to learn how to use the API, debug & test. To connect the demo company to the API Previewer click here and select the demo company, if you would like to enable the Payroll API use this link.

Using the demo company with an application

The process for connecting a demo company to an API application is the same as with any other Xero organisation.

Private Applications

If you’re using a Private application you will need to setup the application as per usual. When the demo company resets (after 28 days) you will need to create a new private application.

Public & Partner Applications

If you’re using a Public or Partner application you will need to setup the application as per usual and connect it to your demo company by going through the oAuth process. When the demo company resets (after 28 days) you will need to reconnect your add-on to the demo company.