Help Categories

Xero Integration Explained


Zahara has a full integration with Xero. We sync suppliers and coding and export invoices from Zahara into Xero. This means you can use Zahara for it’s full intended use – purchase requisition, purchase orders and GRN / receipting as well as invoice processing. If a purchase is originated in Zahara with a full audit-trail behind every step, it is just the purchase invoice we hand over to Xero. Xero is then used for your P&L and for paying the invoices. 

Getting Connected

You connect to Xero in Business Settings > Integration. Select Xero from the Select list. The overview video below will take you through the process: 

You should see the familiar screen that allows you to put in your dedicated Xero-Zahara username and password to authenticate with Xero. Once authenticated, you will be taken back to Zahara and you will need to click into the Integration tab again to setup your tracking categories.

Next click on the Connection icon on the right  Zahara Screen Shot This will show the Xero connection screen and you will either select a company for the first time or continue with an available company, if you already have a connection in Zahara to Xero with the same username and password. 

Set your company

Head back to the Integration tab. You should now be able to set the company as shown below: 

Zahara Screen Shot

If you have more than one company available, select the correct one. Remember each Business Unit in Zahara needs to align with a Company in Xero. The Green connected sign will show if you have a successful connection. 

Map your tracking Categories

Zahara will pickup the tracking Categories available in Xero and make them available so you can easily switch them over. 

Zahara Screen Shot

Wherever possible, Map Project in Zahara to a track that relates to your projects in Xero. Despite any warnings, we will never delete anything in Xero. Xero is the truth holder. If you need to change these at any time, you can and we will avoid having duplicate child entries in each list. This will mean existing entries will be disabled or deleted if they already exist in Xero and can be synced back into Zahara. 

Save your settings 


You can now click the Sync button to sync the following: 

  • Tax Codes
  • Cost Codes
  • Projects 
  • Suppliers 
  • Nominal Codes

The coding lists will appear very quickly. The supplier syncing will be queued so will happen more slowly. With the supplier sync we being over: 

  • Supplier Name & Key Details 
  • Email address
  • Defaults – Tax, Nominals etc
  • Payment terms  

Bank details will not be synced. These can be populated when you process invoices in the Inbox when read by the OCR engine. 


If you need to disconnect at any time, just click the connection icon again and you will see this screen:

Zahara Screen Shot

Export Invoice As

Zahara Screen Shot

Invoices are exported from Zahara into Xero. You can choose what status they will be. As Zahara is an approval solution, we would assume Approved is best. An invoice can be exported manually in Zahara – select and click export – or as part of a workflow. The PDF of the invoice will also be exported into Xero. The invoice (bill) in Xero will have a document link to take you back to Zahara. If an invoice relates to a Zahara purchase order, the order number will be added to the Invoice number – ie 199919 | 29991 – where 29991 is the purchase order number.

Importing Bills from Xero into Zahara

If you would like to Import Draft bill from Xero into Zahara you can enable it here by clicking this button: 

Zahara Screen Shot

You will then be shown the additional fields to make this work. Read this article to use this feature

Invoice Gross Up

If you aren’t VAT registered and you wish to post all invoices into Xero as Gross against a Zero rated tax code, then this feature is for you.

We recommend you send your Zahara orders to your suppliers in a “True” nature – ie £100 + VAT – so use the correct 20% tax rate code for orders. This way, your suppliers will get an order which is correct for them – assuming they are VAT registered.

When you record an invoice against an order, the line items will import from the order, but they will have the 20% tax rate that you don’t actually want. The line items will effectively have net amounts and VAT amounts. If enabled, when the invoice is posted to Xero, the line items will be converted to Gross and Zero rated – we will “Gross them up”.

Exporting Invoices into Xero

When you are fully synced and you are ready start processing invoices into Xero, you have two ways to export invoices. The first way is manual. You select them from the invoice list view and you select Export as shown below – “Export Selected to Xero”

Zahara Screen Shot


The other way is to create an invoice workflow that has an Export Step. We have a dedicated help article for this – Approvals & Workflows

With this in place, an invoice is created and set to use a workflow. The final step in the workflow can be to export the invoice. 

Once exported you can show the export status in your invoice list view as shown below: 

Zahara Screen Shot

A green export icon is the goal. If the invoice fails to export you will see that as Red with failed. Click the invoice number to view the invoice. In the Document History you will see the reason why an Invoice may have failed to export. 

The PDF of the invoice will also be sent to Xero as part of an export. 

API Limits 

Xero has strict API limits that can affect our functionality. These limits are per tenancy (ie your own company) and can be experienced when exporting lots of invoices. If we receive a brake from Xero saying limits are reached, we will retry the invoice export 5 times, with a larger period of time between retries. In this situation we recommend you leave the export in place and check back later for any exceptions and re export again if required. Wherever possible, smooth your invoice and approval work-load across the month and avoid very large batches being fired at Xero in a short space of time. 

Invoice Links

When viewing an invoice in Zahara, you will notice in the history a link to the document in Xero. 

Zahara Screen Shot

If you click this, you will be taken to the record in Xero as shown below: 

Notice the link in Xero to get at the record in Zahara. Sort of X why Z! If using purchase orders in Zahara, each invoice has it’s own audit trail, side by side with the purchase orders audit trail. This gives you every stage from request to receipt, to invoice approval and exporting. 

Still can't find an answer?