How to Import Bank Transactions into Xero from a csv file

When you first set up your bank account in Xero, especially if you’re more than a few months into the year, your transactions will not all download into the register. This depends on your bank. Some banks go back 90 days. Some banks go back as much as 180. I am not aware of any banks that go back more than that, but it’s possible. If your bank does not go back far enough then you will want to set up the right starting balance and you will have to import bank transactions into Xero from a csv file.

It’s pretty easy to import bank transactions into Xero, but there are a few steps you will want to take. For starters I recommend you open up a screen in Xero as if you were going to record a payment manually. This will help you with the mapping. Mapping is the key in order to successfully import bank transactions into Xero. Your columns in Microsoft Excel will need to match the fields in Xero and the data will need to be formatted properly. The main things you will need in order to import bank transactions into Xero are:

  • Date
  • Amount
  • Payee
  • Description
  • Reference
  • Transaction Type
  • Account Code
  • Tax Type

The only columns that are required in order to import banking transactions into Xero are Date, Amount, and Payee. If you include all of the above fields then your transactions will import as reconciled transactions. Remember that reconciled transactions in Xero means they’ve cleared the bank. This is why I am putting this lesson strictly in the context of importing banking transactions into Xero in the “past” as in when you set up your books and you’re further into the year than your bank will allow you to go. This is also a good example of why I make sure that we download and maintain an archive of csv files for every client of Nerd Enterprises, Inc. for every month and every bank account. If we ever need to set a client up in a new accounting system and we aren’t going to convert from the previous system we have everything we need to handle this process with extreme efficiency.

There may well be other circumstances in which you will want to import bank transactions into Xero from a csv file. Post your comments and questions below and let’s get the conversation started. Meanwhile practice on the Demo company in Xero and get it working right, then you are ready to import bank transactions into Xero on your own company.

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