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Community > Feature Requests >

Batch Payments: Export to BACS with supplier's reference (UK)

Started by Helen Sammon in Feature Requests | Under Consideration

I pay a lot of different electricity suppliers by BACS. They all require their individual account numbers to be referenced on the BACS payment. I currently use the 'Export Batch File' and then 'BACS' option to get a file I can import into the bank system (Lloydslink).

I do have to make some amendments to this file however. I remove the header and footer information which are not required for the import. The biggest problem though is adding in the supplier references. The individual references appear in the csv option in Export Batch File but not in the BACS option.

At the moment I import the file to Lloydslink and then go through and change them all manually once on the bank's system. This takes considerable time and I am always worried that I will copy over one incorrectly and the payment will go to the wrong account on the electricity company's system.

Is it possible to add the field from the 'Transaction:Batch Payment' screen called 'Details To appear on contact's bank statement' onto the BACS export file? Or is this something suitable for a developer to write a customised report for us?


Official Xero Reply
Hey Everyone, completely get the frustration and just want to provide some assurity that we are passing your thoughts back to the right eyes. Batch payments were released in Xero in December of 2009 - Being one of the remaining older parts of Xero, we know they are well due some attention!

The good news is, we have a Product team focused on a new batch payments experience right now (end of July '19). This'll mean a new interface & workflow to make it much easier to manage your bills. Though, these things do take time to develop, test, & tweak before being fully available, and we are still in the very early stages.

While not directly working on this request right now, I'm going to move it to Under Consideration, and we'll be back to update you when plans firm up.

Lauren C (Community Manager)

Best Reply as chosen by Helen Sammon (Original Poster)
The way I'd worked out to do this was to export as a csv and then upload into Lloydslink using the Sage template they include. Basically this method is editing the Xero csv file to match the format of the csv Sage would create. It's not as tricky or long winded as it seems - the following are the instructions I'd given to a client previously:

Firstly - for each supplier paid by BACS, the bank details and reference need to be entered into the supplier record in the correct format

Bank Account Number: This is sort code then comma then account number. You must use the comma so that the csv splits the field into two columns.

Bank Account Name: This should be left blank as it’s not needed in the import file. An entry here will add an unneeded column to the csv.

Details: This is equivalent to the reference field in Sage - so it could be your account number or reference with that supplier.

If any of these details are missing on a supplier when you create the batch, you can enter them on the batch payment screen and those details will be saved onto that supplier record.

If we skip forward now, assuming you have created the batch payment and downloaded the csv. You need to open the file in Excel. There are 3 things to do here.

1. Delete Column E: This is likely blank unless you entered a batch detail/narrative, but the column isn’t needed either way, so highlight the whole column, right click and delete.
2. Move Column A: This is the amount field. Highlight the whole column, right click and cut. Then Highlight Column F, right click and paste.
3. Delete Column A: This will now be blank having moved the entries. Highlight the column, right click and delete.

This should leave you with 5 columns (A to E). Sort Code, Acc Number, Payee, Reference and Amount. Save this file (saying yes to any format warnings) and it’s ready to upload.

Happy to elaborate on any of these points.

Lee Willoughby