https://www.entasker.com/blog/actionstep-xero-integrationWe start with the following principles.

  • Everything to do with matters is done in Actionstep.
  • Xero is your source of truth for your General Ledger and GST reporting.
  • Integration is one way, Actionstep GL and GST details flow through to Xero.

The following accounting transactions are pushed through to Xero:

  • Sales and Purchase information such as the bills you send to clients, supplier invoices and credit notes.
  • Payments to those sales and purchase transactions such as payments to your client bills or vendor invoices.
  • Bank to bank transfers
  • All trust transactions.

The following are accounting transactions that are not pushed through to Xero:

  • Bank deposit or withdrawals. These are not payments to invoices but one-off deposit or withdrawals.
  • General journal entries.

If you are using Xero, then Actionstep accounting needs to be set to Accrual. You can set Xero to whatever basis you use for your business reporting. You may also need to set your GST reporting.

Accounts Payable (Supplier Invoices (AS), Bills to Pay (Xero))

In Actionstep

  • Raise supplier Invoices against matters
  • You can create supplier invoice templates to re-use
  • Those supplier invoices must be paid by cheques drawn in Actionstep.
  • You can also draw a payment in Actionstep against a matter for immediate payment.
  • To manage service company expenses, you can create a matter to charge against if you want to invoice and pay in Actionstep.
  • Once an invoice or payment is posted, it is locked to Xero. To adjust it, you need to follow the procedures to unlock it and correct it (

In Xero

  • You can create supplier invoices for non-matter expenses, including recurring supplier invoices.
  • There is no need to template; click on Options and choose Copy to create a new invoice
  • You can pay these invoices with a payment, either as a cheque or electronic payment

Both

  • You may need to run two separate sets of cheques in both Actionstep and Xero.
  • If they are pre-printed, you will need to manage two separate sets or enter the cheque numbers as you post.
  • Your browser has to be able to see the cheque printer. If you are working remotely, you won't be able to print cheques.

Accounts Receivable (your Invoices, Bills)

In Actionstep

  • Raise Matter Invoices (i.e. Bills) 
  • These invoices must be receipted in Actionstep, but that will only mark the bill as paid. You then receipt in Xero (
  • Once an invoice or payment is posted, it is locked to Xero. To adjust it, you need to follow the procedures to unlock it and correct it (
  • You cannot pay a supplier invoice with an interoffice. You should do an Expense (+ Expense up top right) which will flow through to your Expense account in Xero, which you should reduce with an inter-office transfer. Alternatively, do the expenses as an actual invoice and pay it.

In Xero

  • You can create non-matter invoices, i.e. for office expenses.
  • You can receipt directly or via Bank reconciliation.
  • Do interoffice transfers
  • General Journals
  • bank adjustments

Creation of new accounts

  • Every time you create a new account, you will need to set them up in Actoinstep and Xero to synchronize. Normally you only need to map Income Accounts, Expense accounts (where the Expense code doesn't go to a normal account), Income Accounts and Accounts Receivable. If you want to do Trust, you can also map that.
  • Create the new account in Actionstep by going to Accounts, Accounts List and following the steps in this article. 
  • Create the new account in Xero by going to Account, Chart of Accounts and adding an account. 

https://go.xero.com/GeneralLedger/ChartOfAccounts.aspx Xero has a tutorial and excellent help files

  • Go to Admin -> Accounting -> Xero and link the two accounts (
  • You will need to ensure you do the above process for each new timekeeper if you want them to have separate GL Accounts. If you do not, then bills may not post. Actionstep Billing Reports provide all the fees information you will need, and a GL account seems unnecessary.

Q: Xero integration is 'one-way'. What does that mean?

A: The integration is referred to as 'one-way' because Actionstep syncs data through to Xero, but not vice versa. Firms commonly use Actionstep for their billing and Trust accounting and then consolidate the data into Xero for their reporting and dashboards.

Q: Why do I need to set up Trust Accounts within Xero to enable the mapping?

A: Some of the holding accounts that Actionstep uses to process trust transactions (such as the 'Trust Liability' and 'Trust Transfers' accounts) are not available in Xero by default, which is why they have to be created before the mapping is configured.

Q: Can Xero's 'Bank Feeds' feature be utilized for Actionstep?

A: No, they cannot. As mentioned above, the integration is one-way and can only push data from Actionstep through to Xero, not vice versa. Since the bank feeds are only available within Xero, they will not appear within Actionstep.

Q: I've added the mapping for all my accounts, but I'm getting an error message stating that the mapping is missing for a certain account?

A: It may be that you've forgotten to assign a unique code to the account in Xero. Whilst Xero allows you to create accounts without assigning these codes to them, Actionstep relies on these codes to identify the accounts, which is why you might be seeing this error message.

Q: Why aren't all my line items being pushed through to Xero?

A: Actionstep summarises the line items to the income account/code mapped between Actionstep and Xero when pushing bills through.

Q: I'm getting the following error message: 'API Exception Detected...'?

A: Please refer to https://intercom.help/actionstep/en/articles/3523490-xero-error-messages-troubleshooting for more information on troubleshooting Xero error messages.

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