Learn how to add contacts in Xero with Teri Cotta.

At Rosemary Bookkeeping, we work closely with our friends and partners at Xero to help our clients get to grips with their bookkeeping.

And there is still a lot to get to grips with.

That’s why our accounting crackpot, Teri Cotta, has been working hard to bring you the top tips to be a Xero whiz and understand its processes, from the terribly simple to the terrifically complex.

And if you’re a visual learner, don’t worry, a full video showing each of these points step by step can be found on our YouTube channel.

In today’s Teri Tips, you’ll see how to add contacts in Xero.

What are contacts?

Contacts are customers and suppliers that you do business with.

Add your existing contacts during conversion so you spend less time on data entry when you start creating bills and invoices in Xero.

From the dashboard, click contacts and select all contacts.

The list gives you an overview of your contacts and their phone number, email, and account balances.

Adding a contact

Basic information

Start by entering the contact’s name.

This can be a business or an individual.

If you use client codes or any other form to uniquely identify your contacts, click Add Account Number to add them.

Next, add the primary person and their email address.

Xero will automatically select this person whenever you email this contact.

Click the link to add additional people that are associated with this contact, and that you need to interact with.

Enter their name and email address and enable them to receive the same emails as the primary person.

Click the X to remove additional people.

Next, enter phone details and website address, if you have this information on hand.

You can always edit the contact and add this later.


First, enter a postal address and click the link.

If the street address is the same, Xero automatically copies the postal address for you.

Financial details

 If you know in advance what sales or purchase settings will apply to most of the invoices and bills, enter them now.

For example, all the invoices will be tax-inclusive and coded to the main sales account in Xero.

Tax information

Next, add contact-specific tax information and tax settings.

For example, choose the default sales tax.

Enter a business registration number.

If the contact has an official number you want to show on documents, specify ‘Sales discount applies’ and change the currency of the default currency.

Xero does not apply for this contact.

If you use batch payments to bundle multiple bills into one payment transaction, enter their bank details.

Overriding default invoice settings

You can override the default invoice settings for this contact.

For example, choose a different branding theme or change the default due dates.

If this contact also uses Xero, ask for their Xero network key and enter it here.

It allows you to send sales invoices or bills from your Xero organisation directly into theirs.

When you’re done, click Save.

Xero Contact details

Inside, the Contacts page, you’ll need to close the confirmation message to see more details.

In the right panel, Xero displays the contact details and addresses.

It includes useful links to send an email, view their website and look up their location on a map.

Collapse this panel by clicking the ‘^’ to see more.

These are the financial defaults you entered that Xero would apply to the next invoice or bill.

About Contacts

Each contact in Xero can function as a customer, supplier, or both.

Xero automatically classifies them once you’ve entered an invoice or a bill.

If you have many contacts to bring into Xero, you can use the import contacts function to load them in bulk.

Importing contacts in bulk

There are three steps in this process:

  1. Download Xero’s contacts template file

Start by downloading the import template using the hyperlink under this step.

  1. Copy your contacts into the template

Then export your contacts from your current system and copy them into the template.

  1. Import the updated file template into Xero

Moving forward, you can use the ‘+’ icon from anywhere in Xero to add new contacts.

Need help with your bookkeeping?

Teri Cotta is joined worldwide by Rosemary Bookkeeping’s network of Xero-certified bookkeepers.

So, whether you need help choosing the right software for you, using Xero or outsourcing your books, our experts will be able to help.

Take the hassle out of your bookkeeping and get the time back to focus on what matters most by contacting your nearest Rosemary Bookkeeper today.