Learn how to import sales invoices 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.

In today’s Teri Tips, you’ll discover the cloud and explore how cloud accounting software like Xero can help your business.

We’ll look at the main features of Xero and give you some helpful tips to get you started.

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 this blog post, you’ll learn how to import sales invoices in Xero.


Importing Invoices in Xero

Let’s start by navigating to the sales overview.

Click ‘Business’ and select ‘Sales Overview’.

Xero summarises the status of all your invoices. You can click a status to drill further and see the invoices behind it.

If you have a few unpaid invoices before you go live in Xero, you can enter them manually one at a time.

But if you have many unpaid invoices, import them in bulk to save time.

There are three steps in the import process.

  1. Downloading the invoice template file from Xero
  2. Copying your invoices into the template
  3. Importing the updated template file 

Using the Xero template

Xero’s invoice template contains the correct column headings needed to import your invoice data.

Once you have downloaded this, export your invoices from your old system as a comma-separated list using Excel or another spreadsheet editor.

Then, copy and paste your invoices from the export file into the Xero template.

For the import to work, ensure you do not remove, re-order or rename any of the columns.

Copy your invoice data across and make sure you place each column under the correct heading.

‘Contact Name’ and ‘Invoice Number’ are the only required columns to successfully import draft invoices.

If you’ve already entered contacts in Xero, ensure the name is exactly as it is and Xero, otherwise, the import creates duplicate contact records.

Invoice numbers must be unique for every new invoice in this file, and different from any invoices already entered in Xero.

Use the same number for an invoice with more than one line item; Xero will create a single invoice with multiple lines.

For new contacts, copy or enter as much information as possible.

That way you don’t have to manually edit new contacts in Xero after the import.

Columns marked with an asterisk are mandatory if you want to approve invoices after the import.

When you copy dates across, use the format day, month and year.

Enter a clear description so you can easily reconcile the transactions in Xero when payments come through.

Next, copy the quantity, unit amount, and tax type across. Ensure the tax type name is exactly as it appears in Xero.

There’s no need to include the total or tax amount, as Xero automatically calculate these during the import.

Lastly, code the item to the relevant sales account in your Xero chart of accounts.

When you’re done preparing the import file, save it as a CSV file, then return to Xero to continue with step three.


Importing the updated template file

Click ‘Browse’ and select your saved CSV file.

Decide if you want to update contacts with the imported address details, this will overwrite any existing contacts you’ve already loaded in Xero.

Also, choose how you want Xero to handle the tax amount.

Check out the amount in your file and select whether it is tax-exclusive or tax-inclusive.

When done with these settings, click ‘Import’ and review the import message.

If there are errors in the file, fix them and try again.

If there are no errors, click ‘Complete Import’ and Xero will import invoices into the draft tab.

When viewing an invoice with multiple lines, you will see the invoice number dates, description, quantity and unit price match the data in the import file and Xero has calculated all the amounts.

The final step is to approve invoices in bulk.

Select them all and click ‘approve’, then click ‘ok’.

Xero then marks invoices as approved and moves them to ‘Awaiting Payment’.

Now, if you view contacts, you will see that Xero has added the contacts from the import file as they did not exist before, you will also have an overview of the amount they owe you.

And with that, you’re done!


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.