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Community > AU Payroll >

Payroll now included in Xero for our Australian customers – are you using it?

Started by Jules Desmond (Community Manager) -   in AU Payroll

Customers and partners in Australian can now manage what's likely to be the biggest expense in their business, their payroll. We'd love to know if you're using Xero Payroll in your business and any tips you'd like to share with others as you become an expert!
For full help using Xero Payroll please see Get started with payroll in Xero in our Help Centre:
Get started with payroll in Xero
If you have any specific questions involving numbers or names or other private things, please contact our Customer Care team on support@xero.com
If you're an existing Paycycle customer and you haven't migrated across yet, there’s also some information in our Help Centre on how to do so:
Paycycle users: how to start using Payroll in Xero

If you're not in Australia, please consider one of our great payroll add-on partners to get your payroll accounting entries pushed into Xero.
Don't forget to attend one of our webinars on integrated payroll. Running all week.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

Just completed my first pay run through Xero, nice work, very seamless. I notice though that the reports are still the old ones, but overall very nice :)
One question: why are the exported invoices still drafts? surely the same logic should be used as for the batch payments when a payments file is downloaded...

Simon Matthee  

Thanks Simon. One of the first things on our list will be to bring the payroll reports in to the same lovely Xero style reports. Although it's a little way off because of the large amount of work involved.

We will also work to get a payroll journal a little more tightly integrated in to the general ledger as well.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

Using it and loving it. :) Way to go, Xero & Paycycle!

Elizabeth Salter  

very nice work. But i realise that if I login in as administrator, I no longer have the choice to login into employee portal. Is the fuctionality coming back?

Jan Lim  

That's still there Jan. If you invite yourself as an employee (as well as a Payroll Admin) there should be a menu link in the payroll tab called "My Payroll".

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

intuitive and seamless so far :-)

Heather Smith  

Works great. Just like the original Paycycle. I'd love to see it a little more automated though. Instead of having to publish a draft invoice it would be great if it did that automatically on processing the payroll.

Grant Steele  

Hi Stu,
before I go through the setup process, would it be best for me to keep running with my old system till fin year end? Or is there some way to integrate the existing payroll accounts from Xero into the new?

I think my existing setup in Xero is pretty stock standard, I only pay about 3 employees, although due to seasonal work it is busy over the fin yr change, which is some reason to get in now and get it going.

Bill Williamson  

Yep love it guys, great work...
Very solid and intuitive.

Scott Manley  

Hi Team,

Transition from Paycycle to Xero, seamless and impressive. No issues and no worries. All Xero Accountants and Bookkeepers should be using Xero Payroll without question. Stuart well done to the team.



Bill Tyrrell  

Stuart - just checked out the webinar link you provided and it says there are no upcoming webinars (yet you state they are running all week) - also checked the general events listing - could you please clarify if there is a webinar for the integrated payroll running in the near future? (as I would definitely be keen!).

Nicola Custance  

@Shannon If your location is set to New Zealand, these won’t appear.
Changing the location to Australia (bottom right of the page), should allow you to see the Webinar times. If not, let us know. Thanks.

Jules Desmond (Community Manager)  

Excellent, thanks Jules! (I work on both NZ and Australian companies so will have to remember that!)

Nicola Custance  

Hi Stuart
Everything came across smoothly and I just posted a payrun, but when I tried to download the ABA as usual, a notice came up saying to ensure that my default bank a/c includes an account number & DE User ID. I have checked those details in Chart of Accounts (as suggested) and all details are there. However, the dialogue box keeps popping up every time I try to download ABA and therefore I can't process the pays! Please help! Many thanks, Nellie

Nellie Savage  

Umm.. couldn't you have brought over our 12 mth paid in advance subscription rather than making us jump through hoops to "resubscribe"...

Not particularly happy..

Tim McCredie  


As we've discussed in our support ticket, we were unable to bring over exact subscription details from Paycycle. However, as we've been communicating with all our customers since January, not only do you get Xero at the same rate you were paying with Paycycle, that's a discount of up to $15 per month, we will honour your 12 month Paycycle subscription completely.

We just need you to obtain a Xero subscription. That's all.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

Let me know when it is available for US customers. Also, will there be a time sheet feature for employees to enter hours?

Thanks, tim7ad

Tim Morris  

I'm getting the same DE User ID issue that Nellie mentioned yesterday. Is there a solution? Never needed the DE User ID previously - even for batch payments.

Mike Samuel  

Yes, there's a solution, no problems. We need you to check you have the correct bank account selected within Settings, Payroll Settings and under Bank account.

The next step is to ensure you have a DE User ID included in the Bank account settings. To get to this, go to Accounts, Bank Accounts, Manage Accounts and into Edit Account details.

The DE User ID is required if you are downloading ABA files. EDIT from previous reply:

If you’re getting a DE User ID issue you need to get in touch with your banking provider for this information. Any questions, just get in touch with Support.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

Thanks for that Stuart. Found the Westpac DE User ID by doing a trusty Google search!

Another issue - when I view the Draft invoices, click the select box and click Approve for the Xero Payroll invoice I get a message saying that it couldn't be approved due to being in a locked period. If I click to view the invoice, and then select Approve, not a problem. This has happened in two entities for payroll invoices for the week ending 30th May.

Mike Samuel  

Hi Mike,
Yep. Sure. Bug! Fix going in shortly, but for now you can approve the invoice by itself. Don't bulk approve.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

We've started using it. Seems good so far. Sorry for the newbie questions but why does it create just one big draft invoice rather than invoices for each employee. Isn't that how it worked in Paycycle?

Tim Jeffries  

Hi TIm, no even in Paycycle it produced the one big draft invoice as well. What it does mean is that once this is approved its just an accounts payable invoice so it will allow the bank to reconcile. What it also means is that you can have a person reconcile the bank without having access to the payroll system. I used to try and get this done in a MYOB system and its well practically not achievable for the most part. But in Xero unless the user has that Payroll Administrator tick they will never see the detail ... Perfect Xero/Paycycle...
Cheers Mike Deam, Goldmine Bookkeeping Solutions

Mike Deam  

@mike Thanks very much. Makes good sense. Cheers.

Tim Jeffries  

I have an issue downloading the aba file when using internet explorer. I an error msg saying 'Unable to downloade 130727 from payroll.xero.com.
Unable to open this Internet site. The requested site is either unavailable or cannot be found. Please try again later.' My accountant had the same issue using Internet Explorer, however they were able to download and save it using FireFox.

Sabrina Brewer  

This is a known issue @Sabrina. A fix is going in shortly.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

Hi Sabrina, after a lot of frustration, trial and error (using Internet Explorer), I saw your message and tried downloading via Google Chrome. Worked fine. Thanks. I had assumed I was using the wrong user ID and that this was causing some issues (as my bank doesn't require one - but Xero does). Anyway, for the first time in several weeks, I've been able to upload an ABA. I'm sure I'll find out on Monday if it worked and if everyone has been paid!

Stuart, I had contacted help because I couldn't figure the user ID part out (as I didn't use one previously and nothing was pre-populated after the move from Paycycle). The response I received was "The Commonwealth Bank should be able to give you the DE User ID." While this seems like reasonable advice, CBA don't have user IDs, and they kept saying that they didn't know what I was referring to and had no idea what to do. It would help if the instructions said that Xero requires a User ID, however if your bank does not, just enter 123456. Between this and the inability to download files, I found the whole thing a little frustrating.

But otherwise, everything is all good. Thanks

Daniel J. Hillier  

Sorry to hijack this feed, but really keen to know your timescale regarding role out of payroll to UK?

Sarah Belton  

When you select timesheets in the payroll module drop down box, the payroll guide says there is a radio button for " add timesheet " It does not appear in the trial version
for large capacity user. Why not ?

Ian Paterson  

Hi @Sarah. We have no firm plans outside Australia yet. We'll take a while to look at other markets and make sure Australia is operating well first.

@Ian, have you allocated a Tracking Category to your timesheets? You'll find that in Payroll Settings.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

Just starting using Xero and Payroll. Found simple to set up (instructions clear) and everything running smoothly EXCEPT when I go to do my first pay run. When I try to get the ABA file get a message. The BSB and/or account number for the default bank account are invalid. However I can down load bank statement etc from the bank account so how can the bank account be invalid? Looked everywhere I can find but the on-line manual is not very helpful with fixing error messages and I can't see any phone number I can ring for help. Where do I go from here? Have logged a help request on line but need some urgent answers or people are not going to be happy when they dont get paid today.

Lisa Canale  

Hi Lisa,

As outlined previously in this thread, there is a solution, no problems. We need you to check you have the correct bank account selected within Settings, Payroll Settings and under Bank account.

The next step is to ensure you have a DE User ID included in the Bank account settings. To get to this, go to Accounts, Bank Accounts, Manage Accounts and into Edit Account details.

The DE User ID is required if you are downloading ABA files. You should check with your bank if they have a user ID and if not, enter 123456. Once this is done you should be able to download your files.

Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

With the ABA file I found I had put dashes in the account number and so it wouldn't work.

Bill Williamson  

Stuart and co - well done. We have just been through our 3rd fortnight of payroll in Xero. Working well and the Xero payroll support staff have been great with all my questions.

A couple of suggestions.
a) can we have the "Create Draft Invoice" disappear if Xero knows an invoice is in AP, you could create many at the moment
b) description on pay run history - see my feature request
c) a report(the actual slips) to print with people that dont have email for payslips, so we can insert the letter into a window envelope for posting
d) searching for employees in screens etc, an option to hide terminated or particular payrun calendars
e) when on the last person in the pay run, change the grey button to "save and close", as hitting close just closes. If you are going through heaps of people using "save and next" it just seems logical to close (thinking it will save) but it doesn't
f) when ordering staff that are included on the run with the "Sort by included" option and you are on say page 4 of 7, i think the pagination should go back to page 1 to show the ones that are selected, it keeps you on page 4 and you have to hunt back to page 1 to find your included employees

The above are quite small but something we have picked up over time.

Once again well done and I look forward to the above items being addressed

P.S Why is this box so small to type a reply! should be 3 times as big


Greg Wood  

@Greg - thanks! The payroll team will appreciate these suggestions - thanks so much for the feedback.

And I've certainly put 'stretchy replies box' on the list of must do's for the Community!

Catherine Walker (Community Manager)  

Hi there,
I've just started trying this too.
Pretty tedious and very UNXero.
So when it creates the draft invoice, it creates one that we need to dig in and find to be able to match, then split, then add the amount. Very Very UN-Xero.
Someone mentioned we can use bank rules. How would we do so in this case, or is there any other trick i'm missing. Cheers

Jason Ure  

Hi Jules,
I have just migrated to Xero from MYOB a month ago and am very happy with the decision in all areas except payroll - specifically with timesheets. Don't get me wrong, Xero performs as advertised and there have been some unexpected benefits such as managing personal expenses and "Cash Coding" for fast reconciliation (some brilliant tools within this one).

However, can I make the following suggestions around payroll...

1) Link the Payroll Bank Account to the Payroll Calendar rather than the General Payroll Settings. This would allow payroll payments to be taken from multiple bank accounts - an essential feature for us as we run multiple, independent offices under the same accounting entity. Each office has its own bank accounts, KPI's and performance goals and we use Tracking to separate each office. At the moment we have to change the Payroll Bank Account before we run each Payroll Calendar we have set up for each office.

2) When adding Timesheets, have a feature to copy the previous weeks Timesheet which can then be modified. This was a much loved feature in MYOB which we used extensively, it saved us a lot of time and minimised our entry errors. When you have multiple earnings rates and tracking categories for each employee, entering these from scratch each week in Xero is very tedious and time consuming.

Hope these suggestions help. Ken.

Ken Hawkins  

Hi Ken,

Thanks for your suggestions. We'll see if we can get them in to our roadmap for you.



Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

Cheers Stuart. I am sure they will help many others as well. Ken

Ken Hawkins  

Hi Jules,

I've been using Xero since our new accountants recommended it 4 months ago. Xero really makes it all very simple... ecept for a weird error with importing the ABA payroll file into Westpac. "File Import Error - The date cannot be in the past or more than 90 days in the future."
It ABA works perfectly for invoice batch payments but payroll not so well. Any ideas?

Matthew McPhee  

Hi @Matthew – it sounds like you need to adjust the payment date set within your pay run. If you go to Payroll > Pay Run > select your Pay Run > select Pay Run Options > Revert to Draft. You can then click on the Payment date (top right hand corner) and change as required. Going forward, you should check this date before you download your ABA file.

You should also check your pay calendar to ensure any new pay runs created include the correct date. Go to Settings > Payroll Settings > Calendars > select your calendar and check the Next Payment Date.

Peta Wallace (Xero Staff)  

Hi, I have a question around Payroll and Employee Bank Accounts (see https://help.xero.com/au/#PayrollBank).

Where I split payments to a number of bank accounts for an employees pay. Does the $ or % get applied to the pre or post tax pay?

James Nicolson  

Hi all,

I have been trying to solve this but haven't been able to figure it out. I added a new pay run (monthly) for July, but when I click on the pay run, none of the employee appears who are fixed and are being paid same salaries every month. It was fine till the month of June. Is it something to do with the financial year end?

Thats strange. I would appreciate if someone could help me with this!


Chintan Doshi  

While for every employee it shows, next payment date: 28th June while the payroll for june has already been processed

Chintan Doshi  

Is the Payroll feature available for Canadian users yet?

I don't see it.

If not. When might it be?

Kyle Garrett  

Sorry @Chintan, I missed your requests. Hopefully you were able to log a ticket and get those issues resolved.

@Kyle, US payroll is being developed at the moment, but Canada is not on the roadmap at this stage.


Stuart McLeod (Xero Staff)  

We want to know why Xero Australia has Payroll built in, but Xero NZ only has Payrun built in. Australia's Xero looks to be much better off than NZ and they pay relatively the same price.

We sure hope Xero plans to look after NZ the same, why should NZ be at a disadvantage?

Chloe Lam  

Hi Guys,

Just wondering if there is plans to have contractors built into the payroll system. Which allows them to login the same way that employees do. The function of labor hire is there but no ability to put in their ABN and or invoice numbers ? Might be a silly question but wondering if someone can help.


Mark Rojtarowski  

can anybody please assist. from the onset I have have had problems downloading abs payroll files from my mac across to bendiogobank.
Is there something here i ned to know???...
This is so frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chadd Croshaw  

We can't wait to get this working outside of Australia.
Running 4 entities in Xero and this would save us loads of time (and time is money).

Sebastian Svensson  

Hi guys. When I import my ABA file to my Commonwealth online baking, it attempts to remit the gross pay to each employee, including tax and superannuation. How do I split this up so net pay goes to the employee, superannuation to the super fun and tax to the ATO? I've been reading the help pages, but now my head is spinning.

Brooklyn Boy  

@Michael, we don't want that! If you haven't already, can you please email Support about this? They'll be able to help you out. Thanks.

Matt Oldfield (Community Manager)  

Hi, when would this be available outside Australia? We are a partner firm here in UAE, and the payroll portal would be a big help for us and our clients. Thank you!

Richelle Santosidad  

Bump. Payroll support here in Canada would be great!

Kyle Garrett  

We have just moved to Xero - when trying to post our first pay cycle this error message keeps appearing

**The account for superannuation expenses is no longer active. Please select a new account for superannuation expenses in your payslip.

I have no idea how to fix it! any help would be greatly appreciated

Bridget Berkeley  

Great to see you've been in touch with Support about this Bridget. If you need any more help, do get back in touch with them.

Matt Oldfield (Community Manager)  

There seem to be a limitation on the 'Earning Rates' displayed on the Employee Portal (when attempting to enter timesheet data compare with the XERO Employee Pay Template set up. We have set up 8 Earning rates but only ordinary hours and overtime hours are displayed. Does anyone know how this can be resolved? It means that we can not use the Employee Portal to complete a pay run.


David S  

Just to add to the earlier post...

Even as an Employer, when attempting within XERO to add a a timesheet, only ordinary hours and overtime hours are displayed. It is not until you add a pay run that all the set up Earning Rates are displayed.

David S  

I've just had the same issue as Lisa above, cannot download the ABA even though the bank account numbers are all correct. I've done as suggested and added "123456" for the DE. My bank is NAB and they say that they do not need a DE and any number will be ignored.
However still cannot download the ABA.
Very frustrating. Need to pay this ASAP as it's end of month. I've found other posts on the forums about this so it's not isolated. What is wrong here?

Scott G  

.aba file when imported to westpac gives "HEADER – RECORD TYPE 0" error!

Geordie Barker  

Can see that you've since contacted Support, Geordie, which is the right thing to do here. Do touch base again if you have any other questions.

@Scott can you please do the same thing and email Support if this is still an issue for you?

Brittany H (Community Manager)  


Can anyone help me please

I am doing our usual pay run on a different computer (I'm working away from the office) and I am unable to download the ABA file to send to bank - I think the file is associated with internet explorer as the file is downloaded with associated file type or protocol next to the ABA file

Can anyone advise how I can change this association and what I change it too.

Many thanks

Christine Oddy  

Doesn't sound good, Christine! Can you please touch base with Support so they can look into the issue with your ABA file?

Brittany H (Community Manager)  

I emailed support this morning - they have acknowledged receipt of my email and I am waiting for their reply.

Christine Oddy  

I am running my first payroll and all went very smoothly except I am getting a message saying The BSB and/or Account Number for the default bank account are invalid.
I have re entered the details and removed all spaces and hyphens but I still get the message? How do I check what bank is my default?

christine dahan