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Xero integration — FAQs and troubleshooting
Xero integration — FAQs and troubleshooting

Frequently asked questions regarding Xero integration with Planday and supported functionalities.

Maud avatar
Written by Maud
Updated over a week ago

🎯 For Planday admins using Xero in the UK. See Xero Setup instructions here.


I have the error message “Insufficient payroll permissions” after I’ve connected the integration

If you have this message, it can be caused by two things:

  • You need to ensure that the user who connected the organisation has payroll permissions in Xero and has not been deactivated.

  • It can also be because the Payroll module of your organisation is not set up yet. To fix this, open, 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.

How do I deactivate the integration or disconnect a Xero organisation from my Planday?

  • To deactivate the entire integration: In the Integration overview, find Xero and select Options > Deactivate.

  • To disconnect a single organisation: In the Integration menu, find Xero and click Set up. Find the organisation you would like to disconnect, click on the edit button > Disconnect Xero.

What data is synced?

1. The data that is synced from Planday to Xero and from Xero to Planday relates to employee data.

First employee sync:

  • First name and Last name

  • E-mail address

  • Birthday

  • Address

  • Postcode

  • City

  • Country

  • The sync of employees doesn’t happen automatically. You’ll need to map employee data manually. When you create employees in Planday, you can sync them from the create form directly to your Xero organisation.

  • Once you’ve added your employees from Planday to Xero, you’ll need to finish the set up of your employees in Xero, and more specifically assign the wages and set the leave types as the integration doesn’t sync employee wages.

  • Updates to synced employees are only one way, which means that if you update the synced employee information in Planday (first name and last name, birthday, address, postcode, city and country), it will update in Xero right away. However, if you update this information in Xero, it won’t update in Planday.

2. The data that is only synced from Planday to Xero relates to payroll data.

  • You can only push timesheets (worked hours) from Planday to Xero

  • You can push the dates of leave - not the hours nor the monetary cost as long as you have a shift type applied to the holiday requests in Planday. Read more about this here.

Employee data sync

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

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

  • First name and Last name

  • Email address

  • Gender

  • Address

  • Postcode

  • City

  • Date of birth

  • Country

The employee data that will be synced is gathered from the fields above.

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

Some of my employees are not syncing to Xero

If you are unable to sync Planday users to your Xero organisation, please check the following:

  • Set up Banking - via Xero Organisation > Accounting > Bank Accounts > Add Bank Account

  • The organisation’s region is supported by Planday. Currently, Planday only works with Xero organisations in the UK and Australia. The connected organization should be UK-based.

  • Special characters and numbers in the name such as æ, ø, å, ü are not currently accepted by Xero. So if you have these special characters as part of your name or address fields, they would need to be changed to their equivalent standard alphabets. Also, ensure that there are no trailing spaces in the synced field values.

  • The employee's mobile number should be entered correctly in the Mobile field of their Personal details tab in Planday. See the requirements below:

    • Maximum 11 digits

    • No "0" before the number

    • No trailing spaces

    • No "+44" before the number as this is already specified in the Country code field

  • You might encounter sync errors if any of the following information in employee data is missing:

    • First and Last name

    • Email address

    • Gender

    • Address

    • Postcode

    • City

    • Date of birth

    • Country

Please note: Make sure you don't archive any of the fields above for employee sync to work. You can update the missing employee information by navigating to People > Employees > Select the employee to edit > Click on Edit > Personal details > Update information.

After you have added any missing information, return to the Integrations page and synchronise again. If you do not wish to sync an employee, you can ignore the warnings and continue.

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

In this case, Xero will hold the earning rate. Planday will not be sending wage-related payroll data over to Xero.

This means that you'll have to have multiple earning rates set up within Xero, corresponding to each employee group, for each wage variation.

You need to do the following:

I have done the initial sync and have some leavers/deactivated employees still showing up. How can I prevent them from syncing?

The first time you sync your employees, you will see deactivated users.

If you do not wish to sync the deactivated users, untick the checkbox next to their name and they won't be synced.

What happens with my leavers/deactivated employees?

The timesheet hours in that date range will still be sent to Xero. However, you will need to mark the employee as a leaver in Xero and process the last pay run there. Xero will also hold all of the information in regards to paying out or recovering any holiday.

Leave management

How will holidays be managed with Planday and Xero UK?

Please note: Leave type synchronisation is only currently available for the Australian Xero integration.

You need to set up a shift type for Leave and apply a salary code to it so that you can map it with the equivalent Xero Leave pay item. You can visit Setup an employee’s leave entitlements on Xero Central for information on Leave management in Xero.

While you can record your holiday in Planday, we will not be sending leave-related payroll data over to Xero. Planday will only send the date range of leave taken to Xero, therefore any payments, balances and accrual will be managed within Xero.

The holiday can be recorded by using shift types in Planday. You can set up a shift type in your portal and call it Holiday - Xero or use an existing shift type. In Planday you will be using Fixed Vacation Accounts or Accrued Accounts. Planday will handle the request and schedule of holidays whereas Xero will handle the payment and balance of holidays.

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

Time & Pay run syncing

Are all the hours synced with Xero?

In Planday, you’re only syncing the hours as long as you’ve marked them with a salary code and you’ve matched this salary code with the equivalent Xero pay item in your Xero integration.

  • To sync the normal hours, 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.

  • If you’d like to sync the hours marked by a Shift type and that are related to overtime, for example, you would need to apply a salary code to the Shift
    Type and map this salary code with the equivalent pay item in Xero.

But if you want to exclude some hours, for example, if you’re using a shift type for sickness and you don’t want these hours to be synced to Xero, you can leave the salary code in the shift type blank.

Some of my employees are not showing in the payroll preview

If you are in Xero Payroll in Planday and some of your employees are not showing when you click on Preview report, it can be because of the following reasons:

  • These employees are working some hours at a rate that is not mapped with any pay items in Xero. See here how to map your Xero pay items to your Planday earning rates.

  • Your employees are assigned personal Salary codes or employee groups salary codes which are not mapped with any of your pay items in Xero. To fix this issue, you would need to do the following:

    • either map the personal salary codes or employee groups’ salary codes with the Xero pay items in the Integration setting in Planday (link to Sync payroll data in Step 2 Final setup)

    • or delete the personal salary codes or employee groups’ salary codes and map the general salary code in Planday with the pay item Regular hours in Xero for example, if you don’t need to do the split between the regular hours and the hours by employee groups.

Please be aware of the following hierarchy when you assign salary codes in Planday:


Are the pay rate and bank details updated in Xero?

The pay rate and bank details of an employee will need to be maintained in both Planday and Xero. At the moment we are only sending over address and date of birth details to Xero.

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

Time can be expressed either 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 seem to 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 setup

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

It can also be because some employees are assigned to a different calendar than what the selected pay runs belong to.

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

For example, you moved some employees to another employee group, which would thus affect the pay. Say you’ve already transferred the hours attached to the old employee group to Xero and you need to send these hours again. You would need to do the following in Xero:

  • Revert the pay run to draft

  • Remove any existing timesheets in the draft pay run for the specified employees by going to Payroll > Timesheets > Select employee > Edit > Delete Timesheets.

Then you can export the hours from Planday to Xero again under Payroll > Xero payroll.

I pay my employees in arrears. How do I do this with the Xero integration?

For example, if you pay the hours worked by your employees during the month of August, in September, you need to change the payment date to a later date in Xero.

  • If it’s a one-time situation, you can change the Payment date manually in each Pay run in Xero.

  • If it’s a permanent change and you always want to pay your employees in arrears, then you would need to update the Payment date in the Payroll calendar in Xero, under Payroll > Payroll settings > Calendars.

Please note: In Planday, you’ll send the timesheets for August to the August Pay run in Xero, but the actual payment will happen the following month, in September.

Supported functionalities & limitations

Does the integration sync pay rates?

Sync of pay rates for employees is not supported. You can use salary codes in Planday to categorise the hours so they’re connected to the right earning rate in Xero. Learn more about this here.

Does the integration support my salaried staff?

At of today, 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.

Please note: This data should not be pushed to Xero, as this will cause the salary to change based on the hours sent over to Xero.

Some of my employees are working across two different Xero organisation. Does the integration support this?

Although you can connect multiple Xero organisations to one Planday system, employees’ hours can’t be split across the different Xero organisations if an employee works across more than one site.

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 match the Xero earning rate to the salary code of the payroll supplement in Planday.

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.

Please note: This data should not be pushed to Xero, as this will cause the salary to change based on the hours sent over to Xero.

Do we support Xero in other countries?

At the moment Xero integration with Planday is only supported in the UK and Australia.

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. Earning Categories

    1. Regular Earnings

    2. Overtime Earnings

  2. Rate types

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

    2. Rate per hour

See related articles:

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