Our Xero accounts link is currently in beta testing phase. If you're interested in joining the Xero beta, contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Xero system limits and recommended volumes
- Preparing Xero for connection
- Check your preferences
- Connecting Xero for the first time
- Setting up your Xero accounts link
- Connecting subsequent sales channels to Xero
Xero system limits and recommended volumes
Xero's own guidance on volumes states that Xero is not suitable for businesses with high transaction volumes and has a recommended limit of 1,000 sales invoices per month. This is a soft limit, so it is possible to push more transactions than that through. However users who attempt to use Tradebox to post into Xero with large volumes are likely to face issues such as hitting Xero's limit for number of API calls within a 24 hour period. If this happens, there's nothing you as the user or our support team can do aside from pausing postings for 24 hours and waiting out the downtime.
Limits are based on number of API calls rather than number of orders, so it's hard to draw an exact line as to how much is too much for a stable Xero connection: as a rough guide sending dozens to low-hundreds of orders daily is unlikely to cause problems; sending several hundred to 1,000+ orders daily almost certainly will run into issues.
If you're a high volume seller and you're committed to using Xero to process your accounts, our advice is to look into creating a daily/weekly/monthly summary within Tradebox and posting this to Xero instead. Click here for our guide to summaries.
Preparing Xero for Connection
When you create the accounts link you'll need a Xero login to use. Any existing login is fine so long as it has at least Standard level of access. More info on Xero roles and permissions here.
First, you'll need to login to Xero as that user. Correcting mistakes or problems in Xero can be tricky depending on the specifics of what's been done with an order, so we strongly recommend first connecting Tradebox to the Xero Demo Company. Anything you post to the demo company can be easily re-posted into your live Xero data later, once you're sure you're happy with the settings.
To gain access to the Xero demo company, go to My Xero and click Try the Demo Company (UK). That will take you to the dashboard for the demo company, where you can test and practice without impacting on your live accounts. Whenever you log in to Xero going forward you'll have the option to choose your live company or the demo company, and you'll have this same choice when you connect Tradebox.
To switch between companies, click the heading in the upper left above the Dashboard.
Setting up the accounts link to connect to Xero is actually one of the last steps in setting up Tradebox. You should already have downloaded and installed Tradebox One on your PC, and set up your sales channels which hold the connection details for incoming orders from your online marketplace. If you haven't done this already, head over to our Getting Started guide.
The link to Xero sits within each sales channel in Tradebox One. This means, if you want to, you can specify different posting preferences for each incoming sales source.
In the initial Tradebox One setup wizard, you'll have chosen an accounts package and a stock control method. You can check what accounts package you've chosen in Configuration > Accounting, and your stock control method in Configuration > Stock Control.
There are a few steps required to connect Tradebox One as a desktop application to your Xero data which sits in the cloud. You'll only have to go through this entire setup procedure once, connecting additional sales channels or reconnecting later is streamlined once you've created the accounts and tokens you'll need.
To connect to Xero, go to Channels in Tradebox One, double-click a sales channel to open it and go to the Xero tab.
1. First, you'll need your Client ID. Tradebox support will have sent you this by email when you registered; it's a random string like b07feaba-9a5f-4826-9691-75d91ca6f4. Copy and paste from the email into the Client ID field.
2. Next click on Register With Tradebox Exchange. This will open a web browser and take you to the Tradebox Exchange which is where information is passed back and forward between Xero and Tradebox. At this stage, you don't yet have a Tradebox Exchange account, so click Register.
We'll need some details. These are to keep the data that the Tradebox Exchange holds in the cloud tied to your local Tradebox database. Enter your company name, your name and an email address. If for any reason you've set up a Tradebox Exchange account before, make sure you're using a unique email address for this one. Choose a password of at least 6 characters and then click Register. You only need one Tradebox Exchange account per business, even if you have multiple Tradebox users and Xero users.
3. You'll then see the below page, which includes your Token and Account ID; you'll need to copy these into the relevant fields in Tradebox One.
The Token is the really long string. To make sure you're capturing the entire thing, you can triple-click on it to select the full string, then right-click and choose Copy. Keep the web browser open, navigate back to Tradebox One, right-click in the Token field and choose Paste.
Go back to the web browser, and select the Account ID, which is the shorter string. Again, you can triple-click to select, right-click, and choose copy. Keep the web browser open, navigate back to Tradebox One, right-click in the Account ID field and choose Paste.
At this point your screen in Tradebox should look like this, with the Client ID, Token and Account ID all populated:
Go back to the web browser one last time and click the blue Connect with Xero button on the right of the screen, which will take you to a normal Xero login screen. Sign in using the Xero logon you want Tradebox to use to access your Xero data. It's fine to use your normal Xero user logon for this so long as you have standard or higher level of access.
Xero will then ask which company you want to allow access to. At first, we suggest using the Demo Company in Xero. It's easy to change later and point to your live data, and you'll be able to re-send anything that Tradebox previously posted to the demo company.
Choose your company and click Allow access. You'll then be directed back to the Tradebox Exchange. On the right of the screen you'll be able to see that the Xero connection is active. You can now close the web browser.
4. Okay, you've linked your Tradebox One data to the Tradebox Exchange platform, you've connected the Exchange to your Xero company, now it's time to join the dots and link Tradebox One to Xero. Back in Tradebox One, click the blue Connect to Xero and Retrieve Data... button.
You're now in the new accounts link wizard. Here, you'll choose preferences on how Tradebox will handle order posting to your Xero company. Use Next and Back in the lower right to navigate through the wizard. You will be able to amend these settings any time in future by coming back in to the Xero tab of the sales channel.
Sales Currency: Determined by the sales channel. When you created the sales channel you'll have determined the currency of inbound orders.
Posting Currency: This is locked to GBP. If the Sales Currency is non-GBP, Tradebox will convert orders using the exchange rate as specified in Configuration > Currencies. If you're using default settings these rates update automatically from an online service prior to every download; so it's the exchange rate on the date when the order was downloaded to Tradebox that is used for Xero posting.
Post Sales As: Determines what type of entry in Xero will be used for each order. Other options within the accounts link will become active or inactive based on your choice here. Choose from:
- Invoices (with inventory items): creates a Xero invoice using the products in your Xero inventory. Tradebox will expect a product to exist in Xero to represent each item on your order. Where there is sufficient stock in Xero, the invoice will be created as Approved or Awaiting Payment (depending on your payment mapping settings). Where there is insufficient stock, the invoice will be created as Awaiting Approval.
- Invoices (without inventory items): creates a Xero invoice with every item as a service line. These will be created as Approved.
- Summary Entries: If you select summary entries, Tradebox will run a 'many in, fewer out' integration and send a condensed run of financials through to Xero. You'll see this in Xero as a single invoice without inventory items that covers the range when you run a summary; this could be daily/weekly/monthly as required. Click here for a detailed explanation and guide to sales summaries.
Summary entries render many of the options in the following sections redundant; these will be hidden in your program and only the relevant options will remain for you to action.
Invoice/Order Date: Determines the date that will be used on the Xero invoice. Choose from the date the order was placed online, the date paid online, the date downloaded to Tradebox, or the date marked as shipped.
Use Marketplace Product Name: If checked, uses the item description from your marketplace/webstore. If unchecked, uses the item description from Xero for inventory invoices or from the Tradebox product record for non-inventory invoices.
Set Invoice Due Date: Sets the due date on the Xero invoice. Tick and set as 0 to specify the due date to be the same as the invoice date. Tick and set 1-999 to specify a number of days after the invoice date. If this is left unticked, Tradebox will use the date the order was posted to Xero as the due date.
Don't Post Orders Dated Prior to: Any orders that Tradebox downloads with an order date prior to this will not be posted to Xero. Effectively this is your start date for the Xero integration; if you've been processing invoices on Xero manually up until a point then use this cut off date to allow Tradebox to take over.
Contact Creation Options: Choose between using a single default customer contact in Xero to handle all sales through this channel, or creating an individual customer record for each online buyer based on the details they provide to your marketplace or webstore. Click here for more information on choosing individual or generic customers.
Default Contact: Choose a default contact from the list of your Xero customers. If you've set all sales to run through a single account above, this is the contact that will be used. If you've set individual customers above, the default account may still be used as a fallback if for example, an online buyer includes foreign characters that Xero doesn't support in their name or address. Click the button to create a new default contact to use.
Add Shipping Address as Item Line: Xero doesn't differentiate between shipping and billing addresses for a contact. If checked, this option will add the shipping/delivery address from the online order on to the body of the Xero invoice as an item line with a cost of 0.
Add Billing Address as Item Line: As above, but with the billing address. This ensures you'll have an accurate billing address from the buyer in case it differs from their Xero contact address, or if you're using a single default customer for all sales.
The Accounts tab allows you to choose which Revenue Accounts in Xero to use for sales, carriage, etc. To be available in the dropdown, an account must be within the Revenue section of your Chart of Accounts on Xero. If you want to add new accounts while you're setting up the Xero integration, use the icon; make sure you use a Code and an account Name that's not already present in Xero and that you're adding to the Revenue section or you won't be able to choose your new account.
Sales (mandatory): Choose an account for sales.
This will always be used if you're creating invoices without inventory items.
If you're creating invoices with inventory items, Tradebox's default behaviour is to use the Account specified in the inventory item record on Xero. If you wish all sales through this channel to use the single account you specify here, you'll also need to tick the Override Inventory Item Sales Account box to the right.
Shipping (mandatory): Choose an account for shipping/carriage amounts paid by the buyer.
Other: Choose an account for any other costs paid by the buyer such as shipping insurance. Will only be used if your marketplace specifically breaks down an Other cost and passes this to Tradebox.
Non UK Sales Accounts
EU Sales: If selected, any orders with a shipping address of a non-UK EU country will use the specified account. This will override the inventory item account. Use the icon to clear the setting if set in error.
Rest of World Sales: If selected, any orders with a shipping address of a non-UK non-EU country will use the specified account. This will override the inventory item account. Use the icon to clear the setting if set in error.
Tradebox provides 5 default Tax Codes to handle items designated by HMRC as zero-rated 0% (also handles VAT-Exempt 0% items), items designated by HMRC as standard-rated 20%, EU business to business sales at 0%, Non-Vatable internal business transactions (to be used for everything for users who aren't VAT registered), and items designated by HMRC as reduced rate 5%. If you sell at any other rates or need specific treatments for additional countries you're VAT registered in, you should set these up in Configuration > Tax Rates.
We've mapped each of these to the default Xero tax codes. If you're using standard Xero tax codes, you shouldn't need to make any changes. If you've customised your Xero tax codes, select the most appropriate Xero code for each Tradebox code by double clicking the line to edit it, then choosing the Xero Tax Rate from the dropdown list.
The Payments tab allows you to specify rules for each payment method you offer online; whether to post a payment in Xero, which bank account to use, and what to use as the Payment Ref.
To post any payments at all, the Post Payments Against Invoices option must be selected. Selecting Mark Payments as Reconciled will automatically reconcile the transactions in your Xero bank accounts.
If there are certain payment methods that you don't want to post payments for, you can double click on that payment method to edit it and untick the Post Payments for this Payment Method box, then save.
Once you're done, click Finish to exit the accounts link wizard, then Save to close the sales channel.
Once you've complete the above steps to connect your first sales channel to Xero, you may have other sales channels that you wish to connect. In the Channels list, a tick underneath the link icon to the right of the screen indicates which sales channels have been linked to your accounts package.
To connect another channel to Xero, open the sales channel by double-clicking and go to the Xero tab. You can copy the Client ID, Token and Account ID from your first channel by clicking Copy from Existing Connection. Then click Connect to Xero and Retrieve Data.
From there, follow the steps in the Setting Up Your Accounts Link section above to choose your posting preferences.