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How to Import Data from Excel to Xero

How to Import Data from Excel to Xero: A Simple Guide

Are you looking to import data from Excel to Xero and simplify your business accounting process? You've come to the right place! In this article, we'll guide you through the process of transferring your data seamlessly, making your transition to Xero a breeze.

Xero offers efficient methods for importing your contacts, bank statements, invoices, bills, and many other items from Excel, saving you time and effort. It's essential to familiarise yourself with the supported file formats and templates for each item type to ensure a smooth import process.

We'll discuss the step-by-step procedures for importing different types of transactions, helping you categorise and organise your financial data efficiently. By the end of this article, you'll be well-equipped to utilise Xero to its fullest potential, effectively automating your accounting processes.

Getting Started With Excel and Xero

Excel and Xero: A Brief Overview

Excel is a well-known spreadsheet software, which allows you to organise your data, perform calculations and visualise your results in various formats.

On the other hand, Xero is an online accounting software popular among small and medium businesses for managing financial transactions such as invoices, bills, and other expenses. By importing data from Excel to Xero, you can seamlessly manage your financial records and save time.

Registering Your Xero Account

Before integrating your Excel data with Xero, you'll need to create a Xero account. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit Xero's website
  2. Click on Try Xero for free
  3. Fill in your first name, last name, email address, and phone number
  4. Choose the country relevant to your business
  5. Select the size of your organisation from the dropdown menu
  6. Click Get started button

After registering, you'll receive an email to verify your account. After verification, you can start importing your Excel data into Xero.

When you're ready to import data from Excel to Xero, you need to convert your Excel spreadsheets into one of the compatible file formats, such as CSV, and then use Xero's import feature. Many items can be imported into Xero, including but not limited to, contacts, bank statements, invoices, and bills. Using Excel and Xero together, you'll have a more efficient way of managing your business finances in a friendly and straightforward manner.

Connection Setup

In this section, you'll learn how to set up a connection between Excel and Xero by configuring the necessary schema connection properties, authentication values, and application types.

Schema Connection Properties

To establish a successful connection, you'll need to configure the schema connection properties. These consist of the following parameters:

  1. Connection String: This specifies the details required for the connection, including the Xero API endpoint, username, and password.
  2. Data Provider: Choose the appropriate data provider, like an ODBC driver, to facilitate communication with the Xero API.
  3. API Version: Ensure you are using the compatible API version for your integration.

Authentication Values

For a secure connection, Xero requires proper authentication. There are three types of authentication methods, depending on the application type:

  1. OAuth 1.0a: Required for private and partner applications. You'll need to generate a consumer key, consumer secret, and an SSL certificate.
  2. OAuth 2.0: Required for public applications. You'll need to create a client ID and client secret.

Ensure you have the correct authentication values for your chosen application type.

Application Types

There are three types of Xero applications to choose from:

  1. Private Applications: These applications grant access to your organisation's data for only one user. Ideal for internal tools, they use OAuth 1.0a for authentication.
  2. Public Applications: Granting limited time access to any Xero user, these applications are suitable for customer-facing tools. They use OAuth 2.0 for authentication and require user consent.
  3. Partner Applications: Similar to private applications, these provide indefinite access to specific organisations. However, they also enable integration with your Xero account through API rate limits. OAuth 1.0a is used for authentication.

By configuring the schema connection properties, authentication values, and choosing the appropriate application type, you'll be able to successfully establish a connection between Excel and Xero.

Accessing Your Xero Data

In this section, we will guide you through accessing your Xero data using two different authentication methods: Access via XeroAppAuthentication Property and Authentication Using OAuth. Our goal is to provide you with a friendly and straightforward approach to help you successfully import your Excel data into Xero.

Access via XeroAppAuthentication Property

To access your Xero data using the XeroAppAuthentication property, you will need to:

  1. Log into your Xero account and go to Settings > General Settings > Connected Apps.
  2. Click on Add App and choose the type of app you want to create (such as public, private, or partner).
  3. Enter your app's details, including the app name, contact email, and redirection URL.
  4. Once your app is created, you will receive a Consumer Key and Consumer Secret.

After you have obtained your Consumer Key and Consumer Secret:

  1. Install the XeroAPI.NET.SDK package in your .NET project.
  2. Initialise the Xero API wrapper by passing your Consumer Key and Consumer Secret to the constructor
  3. Set up the XeroAppAuthentication property with your retrieved credentials.

At this point, you can start making requests to the Xero API and interact with your Xero data.

Authentication Using OAuth

Alternatively, you can authenticate your access to Xero data using OAuth. To do this:

  1. Create a new OAuth 2.0 application in the Xero Developer portal and complete the/register/introduction setup process, if you haven't already.
  2. Take note of the OAuthClientId and OAuthClientSecret given to you by Xero during the application creation process. You will need these values for the next steps.
  3. Implement the OAuth 2.0 authorization flow in your application by following the official Xero OAuth 2.0 guide.
  4. After successfully completing the OAuth 2.0 flow, you will obtain an OAuthAccessToken that grants you access to the user's Xero data.

With the OAuthAccessToken, you can now make API requests to Xero and handle your Xero data as needed. Just remember to refresh your access token whenever it expires to maintain uninterrupted access.

Following these steps, you will be able to access your Xero data and import the necessary information from Excel files. Do not hesitate to consult Xero's extensive documentation if you need further assistance or encounter issues throughout this process. Happy importing!

Import Data From Excel to Xero

In this section, we'll discuss how to import data from an Excel spreadsheet into Xero. Follow the steps outlined in the sub-sections below to ensure a smooth process.

Convert Spreadsheet to Suitable Format

First, you'll need to prepare your Excel spreadsheet for importing into Xero. Here are the necessary steps:

  1. Ensure the correct format: Xero requires specific file formats for different types of data, such as invoices, bank statements, and more. Check that your spreadsheet is properly formatted.
  2. Organise your data: Separate your data into various types, such as bank statements, manual journals, bills, and invoices.
  3. Use suitable templates: For each data type, apply the relevant Xero-import template to maximise compatibility.

Establish Connection

Now that your spreadsheet is prepared, we need to establish a connection between Excel and Xero. Here's how:

  1. Open the Data tab in Excel: In your Excel workbook, navigate to the Data tab.
  2. Click 'From Other Sources': In the Data tab, find and click the 'From Other Sources' button.
  3. Select 'From Xero': In the dropdown menu, choose the 'From Xero' option.

Use Microsoft Query to Import

With the connection established, use the Microsoft Query tool to import the spreadsheet data into Xero. Follow these steps:

  1. Access the Query Wizard: The Query Wizard will pop up when you select 'From Xero'.
  2. Choose the relevant table or view: In the Query Wizard, select the ‘Items’ table if you're importing items. Customize the selection based on your data type.
  3. Specify the number of rows: Set the maximum number of rows to import, based on your data size.
  4. Complete the import process: Follow any remaining prompts and complete the import.

With these steps, you've successfully imported your Excel data into Xero. Remember to double-check the imported data for accuracy and make any necessary adjustments.

Certificates and Callback URL

Handling Certificates

When working with Xero, it's essential to handle certificates properly for secure data transfers. To do this, you'll need to use a certificatestoretype, a certificatestore, and a certificatestorepassword.

First, choose a suitable certificate store type for your needs. You have a few options:

  • System: Use the system certificate store
  • File: Store the certificates in a file (e.g., .pfx or .pem)
  • Other: Implement a custom certificate store

Next, configure the certificatestore depending on your chosen store type. If you're using the system store, specify the thumbprint of your certificate. For file-based certificates, provide the file path. Lastly, set the certificatestorepassword to secure your certificate store.

Setting Up Callback URL

A callback URL is crucial for connecting your application to Xero. It's an endpoint that Xero will call when specific events occur, such as data imports. Here's how to set up the callbackurl:

  1. In your application, create an endpoint that will handle Xero's callback requests (e.g., /xero-callback)
  2. Ensure it can handle POST requests and parse any relevant data sent by Xero
  3. Implement the necessary logic (e.g., saving imported data to your database) based on the received data
  4. Test the endpoint to ensure it's functioning correctly
  5. In the Xero Developer portal, navigate to your app settings and add the callback URL (e.g.,

By following these steps, you'll ensure that your certificates and callback URLs are set up correctly. This will allow you to import data from Excel to Xero securely and efficiently.

App Details and Support

Locate App Details

To find the app details for importing data from Excel to Xero, you can explore the Xero App Store. One app that you might find helpful is Business Importer. This app can automate the import process of various entities, such as invoices, payments, bank transactions, and more, from Excel to Xero. By mapping columns from your Excel file to Xero fields, you can save your mapping and reuse it for other companies as well.

Reach Out to Support

If you need help or come across any issues while using the app, don't hesitate to reach out to Xero's support team. You can access Xero Central for various support articles on importing and exporting data in Xero. In case you require direct assistance, there's an option to contact them via email at

Additionally, you can participate in discussions through Xero's community forum and even come up with new product ideas to share with other users. Remember, support is always there to provide you with a friendly and helpful experience as you navigate through the data importation process in Xero.

Data Extraction Tips and Tricks

In this section, you will find some tips and tricks on how to effectively filter and extract data from an Excel sheet before importing it into Xero. The primary focus of this section will be on filtering data and utilising the WHERE clause for extracting specific information.

Filtering Data

When working with large datasets in Excel, filtering is a helpful technique to view and focus on specific information. Here are some steps to help you filter data in Excel:

  1. Select the entire dataset you want to filter.
  2. Click on the Data tab in Excel's Ribbon.
  3. Choose Filter from the Sort & Filter group.
  4. Click the filter icon in the header row of the column you want to filter.

This allows you to apply filter conditions using checkboxes, text inputs, or drop-down menus. For example, you can filter by value, text, or date range. This will make it easier to export only relevant data from Excel into Xero.

Using Where Clause to Extract Specific Data

If you are using SQL to extract data from your Excel spreadsheet, you may utilise the WHERE clause to focus on specific data based on your desired criteria. Here's an example of how you can use the WHERE clause with Excel data:

SELECT * FROM [Sheet1$] WHERE [Account_Code] = '12345'

In this example, the query extracts data from the Sheet1 tab, with a filter applied to show only rows where the Account_Code is equal to 12345. This can be helpful when you need to import information into Xero for specific accounts or transactions.

Remember to use a friendly tone when providing these tips, as it helps users feel more comfortable and confident in understanding the data extraction process. By following these data extraction techniques, you'll be better prepared to import the necessary information from your Excel sheet into Xero seamlessly and efficiently.

Using Xero App for Data Import

App Installation

To begin, you'll need to install the Xero app on your device. Visit the app store compatible with your device, search for "Xero", and follow the prompts to download and install the app. Once it's installed, open the app and sign in using your Xero credentials. If you don't have an account yet, you can sign up for one on the Xero website.

Data Import Process

To import data from Excel to Xero using the app, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your data in Excel: Ensure that your data is formatted correctly according to Xero's requirements for sales invoices or other transaction types. Save the file as a CSV, ensuring the correct delimiter is used.
  2. Log in to the Xero app and locate the import section: Once you're logged in on your device, navigate to the menu and find the import option, which is often under "Settings" or "Data".
  3. Choose the data type: Select the type of data you want to import, such as contacts or transactions. This will inform the app to map the correct fields from your CSV file to Xero.
  4. Upload your CSV file: Click the "Upload" or "Import" button, depending on the design of the app, and browse your device to locate your prepared CSV file. Select the file and confirm the upload.
  5. Authenticate and map fields: When prompted, provide your authentication details and confirm. The app will then provide field mapping options for you to match your CSV columns to their corresponding Xero fields. Ensure that all fields are properly mapped to avoid import errors.
  6. Review and confirm: Before completing the import, check that your data looks correct and that all required fields are present. If any issues are detected, you may need to adjust your CSV file and repeat the import process.

Once you've completed these steps, your data should be successfully imported into Xero and ready for use.

Handling Business Operations Data

In this section, we will discuss how to manage your business operations data, such as payments, contacts, and invoices, using Excel and Xero. We will cover different methods to import data and ensure smooth bookkeeping.

Managing Payments

To handle payments in Xero, you will first need to import your bank statement data from Excel. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Excel file containing your bank statement data and format it according to Xero's requirements.
  2. Save the Excel file in CSV format. This is the preferred file format for importing data into Xero.
  3. In Xero, navigate to the Accounting menu, and then click on Bank Accounts.
  4. Click on the “Manage Account” button and select "Import Statement."
  5. Choose your CSV file, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the import process.

Once you have imported the data, you can reconcile the transactions in Xero, ensuring that your payment records are up-to-date and accurate.

Handling Contacts

Managing your contacts in Xero is straightforward. You can import a list of contacts from an Excel file by following these steps:

  1. Prepare your Excel file with the contacts' information, including names, email addresses, and phone numbers, with each detail in a separate column.
  2. Save the Excel file as a CSV file.
  3. In Xero, go to Contacts > All Contacts.
  4. Click on the "Import" button on the top right corner of the page.
  5. Choose the appropriate options and upload your CSV file.

After importing your contacts, their information will be available in Xero, and you can easily manage their details and track related transactions.

Importing Invoices

To import your invoices into Xero from Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Xero invoice template and use it to format your invoice data in Excel.
  2. Save the Excel file as a CSV file.
  3. In Xero, go to Business > Invoices.
  4. Click on the "Import" button on the top right corner of the page.
  5. Select the proper options and upload your CSV file.

Once you have imported your invoices, they will be available in Xero. You can then monitor your accounts receivable and ensure timely payments.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Resolving Row Limit Issues

If you're having trouble importing data from an Excel file into Xero, it's possible that you might be hitting a row limit. Most file formats have row limits that you should be aware of. Reading the help documentation for specific Xero import integrations can provide insight into these limitations.

To resolve row limit issues, try breaking up your data into smaller chunks and creating multiple Excel files. This will allow you to import each file separately, preventing you from exceeding the row limit.

Addressing Spreadsheet Issues

Incorrect formatting or data inconsistencies within your spreadsheet might cause issues when trying to import data from Excel to Xero. To avoid problems, follow these simple steps:

  1. Ensure that your data has the correct headings in the first row of your spreadsheet.
  2. Make sure the data in each column matches the corresponding heading.
  3. Save your Excel file as a CSV comma delimited file.

Before attempting to import the CSV file, open it using a text editor like Notepad and carefully review the contents. Ensuring consistency throughout your data will help you overcome any spreadsheet-related difficulties.

Resolving Authentication Errors

Authentication issues can arise when attempting to connect your Xero account to your Excel file. To ensure a smooth import process, follow these steps:

  1. Verify your Xero account by logging in and checking your account settings.
  2. Double-check the API keys, tokens or credentials, if required, during the import process.
  3. Consult the relevant help documentation for guidance on the correct setup for connecting your Excel file to Xero.

By following the appropriate troubleshooting steps and maintaining a friendly mindset, you'll be able to resolve any issues and successfully import your data from Excel to Xero.

Best Practices and Conclusion

As you're importing data from Microsoft Excel to Xero, following these best practices will ensure a seamless integration and enhance your overall experience.

  • Prepare your data in Excel: Before importing, make sure your Excel data meets Xero's formatting requirements for sales invoices, bank statements, and other necessary items. Double-check columns, field headers, and date formats for compliance with Xero.
  • Use ODBC data source: Utilise ODBC data source and data connector tools like CData Software to simplify the transfer process. Such tools provide a seamless connection between Excel and Xero, making sure your data is transferred accurately and efficiently.
  • Take advantage of Xero's import tools: Familiarise yourself with Xero's various import tools for bank statements, manual journals, bills, invoices, and contacts. These tools ensure proper data handling and formatting when imported to Xero.
  • Test data imports: Before completing a full-scale data import, perform a test import with a smaller data set. This allows you to identify any formatting issues or errors, and make necessary adjustments.
  • Implement a data backup strategy: Regularly backup your financial data to ensure you don't lose critical information. Both Excel and Xero offer built-in data backup options, so make use of them to protect your financial data.

By adhering to these best practices, you'll enjoy a smooth transition from Microsoft Excel to Xero, allowing your business to benefit from the powerful accounting features in Xero. Happy importing!