Conversion Tools & Services

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Become a Xero Add on Conversion Service Partner

We’re excited to announce our new Xero Add on Conversion Service Partner program is up and running. There are a few extra requirements on top of the usual formalities to become a Xero Add on Partner.
Learn more

Importing data into Xero

Developers may use a combination of import formats (CSV,API and XML) to enter conversion data into Xero.
A Developer preview is now available for our new XML file import.

The table below shows a summary of the methods for importing data into Xero with the introduction of the XML File Import.

Setup Phase CSV File Import XML File Import Xero API
Chart of Accounts YES YES
Organisation Settings YES
Conversion Balances YES COMING SOON
Invoices (outstanding) YES COMING SOON YES
Credit Notes (outstanding) COMING SOON YES
Historical Bank Statement data YES
Fixed Assets(importing) YES
Manual Journals YES YES
Budgets YES
Day to Day CSV File Import XML File Import Xero API
Contacts YES YES
Invoices YES YES
Manual Journals YES YES
Credit Notes YES
Expense Claim Receipts YES

XML File Import

The XML File Import is aimed at assisting developers building conversion tools who are more familiar working with desktop accounting software than REST based API’s.

  • A developer preview is now available which enables developers to import a chart of accounts and organisation settings.
  • Future releases will allow a wider range of conversion data to be imported.
  • A greater range of CSV file imports are now available to enter conversion data into Xero too.

The Xero XML file format will be extended to allow importing the following items in upcoming releases.

  • contacts
  • conversion balances
  • outstanding invoices and credit notes
  • tax rates

The Xero API will be updated in future releases to allow

  • adding new account codes
  • adding tax rates
  • entering opening balances

Frequent Questions

How much historical data can I import into Xero?

  • full transactional data up to one year prior to conversion date
  • 3 years of monthly P&L comparative figures prior to the conversion date

Alternatively, yearly comparatives can be entered manually from the conversion balances screen.

What does full transactional data include?

  • bank statement data including coded transactions (suitable only for cashbook organisations)
  • spend and receive money transactions
  • invoices & credit notes
  • payments on invoices
  • manual journals
  • fixed assets (excluding automated depreciation)

What is the “conversion date”?
For the purposes of importing historical data (as listed above) the conversion date must align with beginning of day-to-day use. For example, if a customer begins using Xero for day-to-day use (such as bank feeds, raising invoices) on 1 July 2012 then

  • full transactional data can be brought in from 1 July 2011
  • monthly comparative figures can be brought in from 1 July 2009

How do I enter monthly P&L comparative figures?
You can enter monthly comparatives by importing in a series of monthly manual journals for revenue and expenses.


In the year prior to using Xero a business had the following P&L figures

  • 12 months x $1,000 revenue = $12000 total revenue in the prior year
  • 12 months x $900 expenses = $10800 total expenses

A typical monthly comparative manual journal posted at 30 April 2011 would look something like this:

Description Account Tax Rate Debit Credit
Historical Revenue Sales No GST   1,000.00
Historical Expenses Lighting, Heating & Power No GST 900.00  
Adjustment Historical Adjustment No GST 100.00  

The imbalance between debits and credits ($100) can be journaled to the Historical Adjustments system account which is a balance sheet account so will not be shown on the P&L. The result of this means the organisation will have ‘clean’ comparative monthly P&L figures.

Do I have to complete the opening balances screen if I have journaled historical transactions?
Yes. It is important the opening balances are confirmed as Xero automates balancing of the accounts at the conversion date. The conversion balance journal (posted when conversion balance screen is saved) will post any relevant adjustments to ensure the ledger is correct as per the finalised accounts. You can review the conversion balance journal posted by running the Journal Report

How do I add tracking to comparative balances?
You can do this by way of a manual journal too, learn more.