How to use Xero’s bank rules to save time reconciling bank statements.

Bank rules are an excellent way to save time during the bank reconciliation process.

This is the often-tedious task of categorising the money coming in and going out of your bank account.

They’re perfect for recurring bank transactions, things like taking clients out for coffee, filling up your work vehicle, and regular transfers between bank accounts.

Once set up, you can reconcile these transactions with just one click.

Bank rules help every type of Xero user save time and they reduce the chance of human error.

In this article, Teri Cotta, our resident Xero brainbox walks you through the A-Z of using bank rules in Xero.

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.


How to create a bank rule on Xero

To view bank rules, go to Accounting, then Bank Accounts and click ‘Bank Rules’ to create a new bank rule.

Click ‘Create Rule’.

Here, the rules are divided into five parts…

Part 1- Apply a bank rule

The first part allows you to enter logic, which decides whether Xero picks up a bank transaction with this rule.

You have many options here to create a rule that’s targeted or a little broader.


Part 2 – Set the Contact

The second part allows you to enter what you want Xero to do with the transaction like what contact or account to allocate the money to.

To start, decide whether your rule is for money going in, out or between accounts.

These can be selected from the panel at the top of the page.

Let’s say that this rule is for parking expenses, this is where we enter conditions and how to pick up these parking transactions.

If they usually have the word parking in the description, payee or reference, we can enter this here using any text field.

Use the “contains” condition if parking is usually part of a larger piece of text.

Equals” makes this rule much stricter and only applies the rule if it’s just the word parking in one of the fields with nothing else.

If you want to add more conditions to the rule to ensure you capture the transactions you need, you can add them here.

If you select ‘all’, each of these conditions must be present in a transaction for it to be picked up, which means it’s targeted.

If you have a lot of conditions, we want any parking transaction picked up if any of these conditions are met. So, we’ll select ‘any’.

Choose an existing contact to apply the parking expense to the contact when you reconcile or use the bank payee as the contact.


Part 3 – Allocate Items

Decide what account you’d like the parking transaction to go to.

If you need to spread the total across multiple accounts, you can either do fixed amounts here add 100% to one account or split the total by percentages.


Part 4 – Set the reference

Choose what reference you’d like to set.

Either choose information which comes with the transaction, or you can enter a reference each time.


Part 5 – Add rule details

Finally, decide if you want to include all your bank accounts in Xero or just one, and name the rule and click save.

You can go back and edit anything about the rule at any time.


Creating a rule from a transaction

Next time a transaction comes through the bank account that fits the rules and conditions, you can click ‘okay’, and it’s reconciled in one click.

To create a bank rule even faster, click ‘Create Bank Rule’ right from a transaction when you’re reconciling the bank.

Xero fills in the information it has for that transaction to give you a head start when creating the rule.


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 can 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.