Xero integration – FAQs

Frequently asked questions regarding Xero setup, employee syncing, time & pay run syncing and supported functionalities.

Stina Klauk avatar
Written by Stina Klauk
Updated over a week ago

🎯 This article is for admins with an existing Xero integration with Planday.

Set up Xero Payroll if you have not done so already.

Integration setup questions

My organisation is not connected successfully.

  • If you have the following message: "Payroll not initialised", it means that the Payroll module of your organisation is not set up yet.

    To fix this, open Xero.com, navigate to your Xero organisation and click Payroll → Overview. Visiting this page will initialise the Payroll module and the next time you open the Xero integration in Planday, the status should be updated.

  • If you have the following message: “You do not have sufficient payroll permissions”, you need to ensure that the user who connected the organisation has payroll permissions in Xero and has not been deactivated.

Employees syncing questions

What information is required to add an employee in Planday and Xero?

In Planday, we only need first name, last name, and email to add employees to the system.

Ensure that the fields listed below are filled in the employee profile if you wish to sync employee details to Xero.

  • Gender

  • Address

  • Post Code*

  • City

  • Date of birth

  • State

  • Country

* If you have an Australian Xero organisation, please ensure your postcode is at least four numbers long. It must also be between 0200-9999 for the employee to be synced and created between systems.

What employee data is synced?

The employee data that will be synced is gathered from the following fields:

  • First and Last name

  • Email address

  • Address

  • Birthday

  • State

  • Country

Please note: Remember to always create and update employees in Planday, as this is a one-way sync.

What if my employees belong to different groups and have different wages?

So long as your Xero integration is Active and you've set up Payroll data synchronisation, we will automatically map your employee groups and the wages as earning rates to Xero. When you add your employees to the Employee group in Planday and assign them a wage, we will then create an earnings line with the wage in the employee’s pay template in Xero.

Tip: The employee must already have an earning line with their Ordinary Hours Earning rate for us to be able to do this in the case that you add them to a second employee group.

I have done the initial sync and have some leavers/deactivated employees still showing up, how can I prevent them from synching?

The first time you sync your employees, you will see deactivated users. We will not need to sync these users so you can untick them before the sync.

What happens with my leavers/deactivated employees?

Planday will still push all of the worked hours in that date range into Xero so you do not need to worry about the hours, however, you will need to mark the employee as a leaver in Xero and process the last pay run-through here. Xero will also hold all of the information in regard to paying out or recovering any leave entitlements.

I received an Allowance type error while running manual sync.

You would need to navigate to your Xero organisation > Payroll > Pay items > Find an Allowance which is missing a value in the Allowance Type dropdown and set a value. Then try and run manual sync again in Planday.

Leave management questions

How will leave be managed between Planday and Xero?

While you can record your leave in Planday, we will not be sending leave-related payroll data over to Xero. Planday sends the date range and the hours of leave. Therefore, any payments will be managed within Xero.

In Planday, you will be using Leave templates. Planday will handle:

  • The request and schedule of leave

  • Leave accruals

  • Estimates of leave balances (based on approved shifts)

Whereas Xero will handle the payment and balance of holidays, and continue to be the final source for leave balances.

Once you approve a leave request in Planday, it will be included in the payroll transfer to Xero for that pay period. It will be registered in Xero as a leave request, but once you hit Post Pay Run in Xero, the request is also approved in Xero.

For any questions on how to add absence in Xero, please contact the Xero support team or your account manager at Xero.

Please note: Leave balances displayed in Planday are only estimates and you and your employees are always advised to check Xero Payroll for exact leave account balances. We encourage you to perform regular reviews and audits of leave accruals and balances to ensure your business is meeting your obligations as an employer with respect to your employees’ entitlements.

After I began syncing hours from Planday to Xero, my employees no longer accrue leave in Xero.

It might be that the pay items being used in the schedule you are creating in Planday don't match the pay item that has been set up as an employee's assigned Ordinary Earnings Rate in Xero.

When setting up employees in Xero, an employee is assigned a set pay item called their Ordinary Earnings Rate.

Then, if leave is set up for the employee so it calculates based on their Ordinary Earnings Rate, leave will only accrue when this specific pay item is included in pay runs.

For example, if an employee has a pay item named "Weekly Pay" assigned as their Ordinary Earnings Rate, but is paid using a pay item called "Monthly Pay", leave won't accrue on the Monthly Pay item.

To have leave accrue on multiple pay items, the additional pay item (Monthly Pay in this example) will have to be set up a specific way - it will need to have the Rate Type in its settings set as Multiple of Ordinary Earnings so that it is essentially linked as a pay item to whatever Ordinary Earnings Rate an employee has been assigned. You can read Set up overtime or earnings that accrue leave in Xero Central if you’d like more information.

Time & Pay run syncing questions

Tip: See what gets transferred to Xero in this payroll report overview article.

Are all the hours synced with Xero (including sickness and time off)?

In Planday, you have the option to exclude selected shifts from payroll sync. To exclude shifts:

  • Create a shift type under Settings > Schedule > Shift types with a salary code "non-applicable", "NA" or leave it blank.

  • Then assign the shift type to the desired shifts. Such shifts will not be synced to Xero.

If you want to overwrite any automatic wage mapping you have created during the setup of the integration, you can assign a salary code to the shifts if you navigate to Settings > Payroll > General, scroll down to Salary Codes and enter the code for hourly workers in the Hours worked (as per shifts) field.
You’ll then be able to link those salary codes to already existing pay items in Xero.

Are the pay rate and bank details updated in Xero?

We currently don't sync bank account details, but we do sync the employees' hourly rates from the employee group they are members of.

As of now, if an hourly wage in Planday is to be applied from a specific date to run payroll, you need to update this wage only after you post the last pay run.
Suppose, the last pay run ends on 28-02 of the current year and you want to set to new rate for 01-03. You’ll need to:

  1. first, run the last pay run where the old rate applies

  2. then update the hourly wage in Planday and set the valid from date to the start date of the next pay run

update wage Xero AU.png

Why are the minutes count different in Xero from the Planday payroll preview?

Time can be expressed as fractions, decimals or as minutes and hours. To calculate payroll, time needs to be in decimal form so that it can be multiplied by an employee’s pay rate. Xero is an accounting software and will therefore report in decimal minutes.

I can’t see the correct date range in the Planday pay run

You need to ensure that you have created a draft pay run setup in Xero before you can see the information in the Planday dropdown. Create a draft pay run by going to Xero > Payroll > Pay employees. Click Add Pay Run > Select a pay period > press Next. Read more about this at Xero Central.

I got an error code stating my employees need calendar IDs set up

This means that you have no employment record in the Xero setup against the Employee. This could potentially be a new starter or someone who needs to be added to Xero. Follow the instructions from Xero Central on an Employee is missing from a pay run.

I got an error mentioning TrackingItemID when I tried to sync my hours

You got the following error message when trying to sync your hours to Xero: TrackingItemID is required for each timesheet line.

This is because you have enabled Tracking Categories in your Xero organisation, however, this is currently not supported in Planday, so you'll need to disable this option in Xero to continue with the Payroll synchronisation.

To do this, log into your Xero account, go to Settings > Payroll settings and in the Payroll Tracking section > Timesheet Categories > Select None in the dropdown.

Can I redo the hours exported to Xero for some employees?

Yes, you can export the hours again, but you would need to do the following in Xero:

  1. Go to Pay employees > Pay run > Reset (Guidance on Xero Central)

  2. Then go to Timesheets > Revert to draft > Delete (Guidance on Xero Central)

Supported functionalities & limitations questions

How do I read shift types in the Xero payroll preview?

Unless you have shift types in Planday that are mapped using salary codes, any hours or units attached to unmapped shift types in the Xero payroll preview will not be synced to Xero via the integration.

To map a shift type in Planday to an earning rate in Xero, you will first need to ensure you have allocated a salary code to your shift type (learn how to action this in create and use shift types article):

  1. Go to Settings > Integrations (Overview) > Xero - Manage

  2. Under the section ‘Payroll’ click on the edit button

  3. Click on Add mapping and choose the Xero Pay item you would like to map (ensure you use the same salary code you have allocated to your shift type)

  4. Click on Next twice and then on Save

Does the integration support tips or service charges?

Service charges and tips are usually handled outside of Planday and directly through Xero. However, if you wish to manually enter tips into Planday you can do so by using a manual payroll supplement. You will then need to manually match the payroll supplement's salary code with the equivalent pay item in Xero.

In some cases, this can be time-consuming and it may be quicker to manage supplements directly into Xero.

Does the integration support my salaried staff?

At the moment, the integration supports hourly workers only. Salaried staff in Xero will be paid out the same each pay period so there is no need to send the hours over to Xero. We will still keep the historical shift data on salaried employees in Planday but not push it through to Xero.

What are the supported earning categories and rate types?

Xero only allows the following earnings categories and rates for timesheets to be imported through the integration:

  1. Earnings Categories

    1. Ordinary Time Earnings

    2. Overtime Earnings

  2. Rate types

    1. Rate per unit (Unit must be set to Hours)

    2. Multiplier - Only for Ordinary Hours Earning rate of employee

See related articles:

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