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How to Integrate with Xero (AU) Payroll

Your step by step guide to integrating with Xero (AU)

Shoshana Fleischmann avatar
Written by Shoshana Fleischmann
Updated over a week ago

Conducting payroll can be one of the most tedious and time-consuming processes for organizations. At Connecteam, we have made it our mission to simplify that process and make it as quick and easy as possible so that you can focus your efforts on what matters the most. In this article, we will walk you through the key steps to streamline your payroll via Xero. Please note, that this integration is for active organization within Xero AU.

Before we get started, here is a quick summary of what can be transferred:

Can be transferred

Cannot be transferred

Regular hours

Daily and Weekly Overtime


Unpaid leave

Contractor Hours

This article is broken down into the following sections:

Integration Data Flow

Before we begin setting up it's important to understand the data flow between Connecteam and Xero. The image below illustrates this data flow.

Things you need to do before integrating Connecteam and Xero:

💡Tip: We highly recommend following Xero's guide on employee and payroll setup before exporting from Connecteam to ensure that you have a Payroll calendar set up in Xero.

Setting Up the Xero Integration

Once you have done these steps we can begin with the steps to connect the integration.

The steps are the following:

  1. Ensure the payroll period matches in CT and Xero

  2. Set up the connection between Xero & Connecteam

  3. Match users from Connecteam to Xero

  4. Set Standard Hourly Pay Rules Export

  5. Match Pay Rules

  6. Match Paid Time Off (PTO) policies

  7. Export timesheets for payroll to Xero

Before beginning the set up please make sure that your employees' names are identical between Connecteam and Xero as that will speed up the matching process. If they are not the same you will get the option to manually match the employees in Connecteam.

Now, let's set up the integration!

Step 1: Ensure the payroll period matches in CT and Xero

In Connecteam: Go to your Time Clock settings and enter the payroll tab.

In Xero: Go to Payroll, payroll settings, to Calendars click on the 3 dots, click on edit, and verify that the payroll settings match.

Step 2: Set up the connection between Xero & Connecteam

To begin, click on the settings tab on the time clock, scroll down, and click on integrations on the sidebar. From here you can navigate to Xero (AU) and click on Connect and Connect to Xero.

A new page will appear asking you to agree to connect the two applications and the data sharing between them. Click Connect and it will automatically close and take you back to Connecteam if the connection was successful.

Then you can press continue to set up to begin setting up the integration.

Step 3: Match Users From Connecteam to Xero

From here you will begin matching any employees that were not automatically matched by name. If all employees are matched, you can press continue to move forward. If for whatever reason an employee was auto-matched incorrectly, this can be changed manually. If you don't want a user to be included in the integration you can mark don't include user in integration.

💡Tip: If you choose to move forward without matching all your users, they will be marked as “don’t include user in integration."

Step 4: Set Standard Hourly Pay Rules Export

Here you decide how you would like to export hourly pay rules from Connecteam to Xero. There are 2 options: show pay rules only and show pay rules by job. Let’s go over the differences.

Show pay rules only: this option exports only the standard hourly pay rules and disregards any information related to jobs. When choosing this option, the working hours of each employee will be assigned as Weekday, Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holiday.

Show pay rules by job: this option exports a breakdown of the job your employee clocked into and shows the standard hourly pay rules for each job. When choosing this option the earning rate in Xero is usually a combination of a "job" and time (weekday, Sunday, etc.)

For example, if you have two jobs cleaning and office, you will see 8 rules:

  • Cleaning Weekday, Cleaning Saturday, Cleaning Sunday, Cleaning Public Holiday

  • Office Weekday, Office Saturday, Office Sunday, and Office paid holiday.

Here you can also choose whether or not to include the sub job depending on your needs. If you choose to include sub jobs each sub-job will be matched with an earning rate.

For example, if I have the job cleaning with the sub jobs window and floors I will see the rules:

  • Cleaning Windows Weekday, Cleaning Windows Saturday, Cleaning Windows Sunday, Cleaning Windows Paid Holiday.

  • Cleaning Floors Weekday, Cleaning Floors Saturday, Cleaning Floors Sunday, and Cleaning Floors Paid Holiday

Step 5: Match Pay Rules

Now you need to match the created pay rules with the rates you have in Xero. There is also the option not to include a rate. When finished click on continue.

How matching pay rules looks:

How matching pay rules by jobs look:

Step 6: Match Paid Time Off (PTO) policies

The next step is to match your PTO policies with the policies you have in Xero. If there is a policy you do not want to include you can select the option do not include time off. When you are finished click on complete setup!

Now it's time for the final step, actually exporting your payroll to Xero.

Step 7: Export timesheets for payroll to Xero

Head to your time clock, to the timesheets tab, click on export, then click on export to Xero. The export is based on the selected date range and selected employees in the timesheet. Employees can be filtered out if needed.

Next Steps in Xero

Great, now that you have successfully exported to Xero you will need to check that the hour units for each earnings rate line have synced to your employees in Xero.

To do Click on Payroll > Timesheets then select each employee to review the hours exported and add any manual allowances or other adjustments you may need to make and click approve.

Once you approve the timesheet in Xero it will transfer the hours to the draft Pay Run you created and apply the matching earnings rate for each relevant earnings line. Once you are satisfied that the timesheet data has been exported correctly you can process your pay run as usual. It’s important to note that leave is never entered into the timesheet and therefore approved leave should be popping up automatically into the pay run.

How to Update the Set-Up Integration After You Added New Items

As your company grows and changes you will likely add new items, these could be new employees, jobs / sub-jobs, or time off policies. Before these items can be exported to Xero they need to be matched. To do this enter the time clock click on exports find the export to Xero option and click on the settings icon. Match the new items and press complete set up.

How to Disconnect the Xero Integration

If for whatever reason you need to disconnect the integration you can do so by heading to the Time Clock clicking on settings, entering the integrations tab, and clicking on disconnect. Note that we save the last updated setup configuration, so when you reconnect it will automatically be there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I connect a non-AU Xero organization to Connecteam?

To Connecteam Xero (AU) integration, only AU Xero organizations can be connected. We also have a Xero (UK) integration for UK Xero organizations.

Can I connect more than one Time Clock to my Xero account?

Yes, every time clock in Connecteam can be connected to the same organization in Xero. Note that you will need to set up the integration in the settings of each time clock.

Can I connect multiple Xero accounts to a one-time clock?

No, a time clock can only be connected to one Xero organization, this prevents you from accidentally running the same payroll in two places and potentially overpaying your employees.

My employees receive allowances, can I add them to connecteam?

At this time Connecteam does not support allowances, however, after exporting your hours to Xero, you can add allowances manually directly into the Xero pay run.

What happens if I export the same payroll period twice?

The hours you export from Connecteam will always overwrite your hours in Xero.

Can I change the Standard Hourly Pay Rules Export that I have previously set, what happens if I do?

Yes, you can, but keep in mind that if you do it will reset your existing rules matching and you will need to set them again.

When I click on export to Xero I receive an error from Connecteam telling me that I have unmatched items what does this mean and what should I do?

This likely means that you have made changes to your Connecteam account since setting up the integration with Xero. It’s possible that you have added new employees, jobs / sub-jobs, or PTO policies. You will need to match these items prior to exporting the data to Xero. To do this simply click on the resolve now button, match the items, and click, complete & export.

Take a look at how to solve these kinds of errors below:

I matched the wrong Connecteam employee to the wrong Xero user. How can I fix this?

No problem, accidents happen and luckily this can be easily fixed. You can initiate the matching process again by going to the time clock clicking on exports finding the export to Xero option and clicking on the settings icon. Match the new items and press complete set up.

Some of my Connecteam users should not be matched to Xero. What do you think I should do?

Thats ok! When matching your employees you have the option not to include the user in the integration.

What does a "Timesheet error" mean when exporting?

A "timesheet error" means that the timesheet data failed to export successfully.
If you see the "Leave exported successfully" indicator, this implies that only the timesheet data encountered an issue while exporting.

What does a "Leave error" mean when exporting?

A "Leave error" means that the leave data failed to export successfully.
If you see the "Timesheet exported successfully" indicator, this implies that only the leave data encountered an issue while exporting.

What should I do for a "Timesheet error - Unmatched payroll period"?

Ensure that the users mentioned in the error message have their pay calendar in Xero correctly matched to the payroll period set in Connecteam.

What should I do for a "Timesheet error - Non-configured earning rate"?

Make sure that all the earning rates in Xero are correctly configured for all users. These configurations should align with the integration setup in Connecteam.

What should I do for a "Leave error - Unassigned leave"?

Ensure that the users mentioned in the error message have been correctly assigned to leaves in Xero and that these settings match the integration setup in Connecteam.

What should I do if I encounter the following error: "Validation Exception - TrackingItemID is required for each timesheet line"?

This error can occur when tracking codes are enabled in your Xero Settings. In order for our system to integrate with Xero, you will need to disable these tracking codes.
Let's explore how straightforward this process is.

  1. Log in to Xero

  2. Head to Payroll Settings in Xero

  3. Scroll down to Payroll Tracking

  4. Both Employee Groups and TimeSheet Categories must be set to None

  5. Click Save

I am struggling with connecting my Xero integration, what can I do?

If you have issues with connecting your Xero integration, you can always reach out to us on our Live Chat, or email us at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist! You can also request a phone call through both channels, and our team will help you further.

Need more guidance? 🙋 Our LIVE support team (at the bottom right corner of your screen) replies to ANY question.

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