How to use Xero Software

Xero is a complex accounting system. If you don’t know accounting, even the statement names can be hard to understand. What is the difference between a regular expense and an investment into a capital asset?

Don’t worry. Taking our Xero classes makes learning the software simple. Our certificate is known and helps you learn all you need to manage your business well.

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How to use Xero Software

  • Sign up for your Xero account at Xero.com.
  • Set up your organization details
  • Set up your financial settings
  • Add your company’s branding
  • Set up your chart of accounts
  • Set up your bank account feed
  • Set up payroll
  • Add payment services

Below is the FAQs section on how to use it in detail

FAQs about how to use Xero Software

What are the summary of steps on using Xero Software?
  • Add your company’s details by going to “Organisation Settings” under “Settings”.
  • Write out a list of income and expense categories that your company has.
  • Set up your chart of accounts by referencing that list of income and expense categories.1
  • Connect your Xero account with your corporate bank account. In the case of you using a bank with a Xero bank feed integration. Large Singaporean banks like DBS and OCBC have bank feeds with Xero.
  • Have your employees details on hand.
  • Set up your payroll by going to “Payroll Overview” under “Payroll”.
  • Play around with your Xero account!
What are the specific steps to use Xero Software after signing up for an Xero account?

Go to your settings and register your organisation

Start with the simple steps that every Xero guide mentions. Go to “Settings” and choose “Organisation Settings”. You’ll need to enter your:

  • Name
  • Company Name
  • Email
  • Official Company Number (like an entity number for companies in Singapore)
  • What your company does
  • Where your company is located

Fill in these details correctly. Xero needs them for reports and bills. For instance, your business address might appear on bills. Some new users mistakenly give wrong addresses and confuse their clients.

Next, adjust your company’s financial year. Go to “Settings” and then “Advanced Settings”. Xero’s usual start date is 31 December. If you’re showing the financial details to a boss or manager, it’s important to set this right. This is even more so when sending reports to the government when filing taxes.

Set up your chart of accounts and income and expenses categories

A chart of accounts lists income and expense types. For a web agency, income might be from “Web Design” or “Consultation”. Expenses might include “R&D”.

Every income or expense for your business should be considered. This is needed for the chart of accounts. While equity is key, many small firms only have “Owners Equity”. Don’t make categories too detailed. “R&D For Shutters & Blinds” is too narrow for a small furniture store. Just “R&D” is better.

Xero gives a basic chart of accounts for businesses. But, these might not fit your business well. Xero’s chart might not list your income types. To edit it, go to “Chart Of Accounts” in “Accounting”. You can delete unneeded categories and keep ones that fit your business.

Connect Xero with your bank account

Not all banks work with this feature. For instance, Xero teamed up with DBS in Singapore but not with UOB.

Connecting Xero to your business bank means all transactions go straight to Xero. This helps bookkeepers work quicker. Plus, Xero can be linked to PayPal or Stripe with added tools.

For more information, sign up for our Xero online course!

Set up payroll with Xero

Learning Xero Payroll can be challenging. It’s helpful as it processes payroll on its own and keeps everything together. You can see payments to staff and arrange them in the “Payroll Overview” area.

The issue with Xero Payroll is it doesn’t let you add custom details.2 Such as bonus rewards for employees for monthly achievements. But, you can create a category for it in “Transactions” and give the bonus to the worker manually.

Set up invoicing with Xero

Invoicing is used a lot in Xero. Service businesses must make and send invoices. Click on “Invoicing” in “Accounts”. Xero wants to know what you’re selling. There’s a space to add more info and the customer’s email. (if you want Xero to send the invoice)

After the invoice is paid, Xero marks it as income in your records3. You just need to label the income.

Create a customer list with Xero

One problem that you may have noticed from creating an invoice is having to manually add a customer. Adding a customer’s details such as name and address repeatedly is tiring. Thus, you can create a customer list by going to “List” under “Contacts”. 

For more information on how to use Xero software, sign up for our Xero software training programs now!

Can I access Xero on my tablet and mobile phone?

Yes, you can. It is a fully cloud-based system. You can access it anytime from anywhere. Be it from an Internet enabled phone, tablet or computer. Multiple users can work on it at the same time.

Do I need an accountant to use Xero?

Learning how to use Xero is not as difficult as you might assume. You don’t need an accountant to teach and hand hold you through everything. The software simple to use and user-friendly. But, it is recommended you have an accountant by your side. This will keep your finances straight and keep you well-informed.

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Where can I sign up?

To sign up for our Xero bookkeeping course, contact us today!

Janice Johnson

Janice Johnson

Written by Janice. Janice is an accountant at WLP Group and 4 years of experience with using Xero to help SMEs in Singapore with bookkeeping. She loves teaching and learning new technologies in finance. She’ll be one of the instructors that help you learn Xero!

Key takeaways

  • Sign up for your Xero account at Xero.com.
  • Add your company’s details by going to “Organisation Settings” under “Settings”.
  • Write out a list of income and expense categories that your company has.
  • Set up your chart of accounts by referencing that list of income and expense categories.
  • Connect your Xero account with your corporate bank account if you’re using a bank with a Xero bank feed integration. Large Singaporean banks like DBS and OCBC have bank feeds with Xero.
  • Have your employees details on hand.
  • Set up your payroll by going to “Payroll Overview” under “Payroll”.
  • Play around with your Xero account!
  1. Chart of Accounts. Corporate Finance Institute. (2023, May 7). https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/accounting/chart-of-accounts/
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  2. Xero Central. (n.d.-a). https://central.xero.com/s/article/Add-a-custom-pay-item
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  3. Xero Central. (n.d.-a). https://central.xero.com/s/article/Record-a-payment-on-an-invoice
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