Limitations when converting to Xero

Please understand that it is impossible to make an exact copy of your data in a different accounting system. There will be some information that we can’t convert and some information will look different when converted. You can be confident, however, that your financial data will be accurate overall.

Foreign Currency

Converts accurately but in home Currency

Data which includes foreign currencies will be converted in the same way as other data. However, all foreign currency amounts will be changed to the home currency values. Factors specific to Sage Accounting, QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, and beyond our control, usually mean the conversion result is not completely accurate. We cannot therefore support fixing your conversion and you will need to accept the conversion results “as is”. For more information please refer to our Foreign Currency conversion page and the post-conversion tasks.


Causes of complications

Please be aware that it may cause complications (we’re unable to fix) with your conversion if your source software contains in excess of any of the following in the conversion period:

  • 40,000 combined invoices, bills and credits
  • 40,000 bank transactions
  • 2,500 credit notes allocated to invoices
  • 10,000 contacts
  • 600 chart of account codes
  • 100 or more departments/classes

If you’re converting from QuickBooks then payroll data may cause problems with the conversion.

If you’re converting from QuickBooks Online and recharge transactions then not all line items may be included when converting.

If converting from QuickBooks Online Simple Start then it’s not possible to invite users so we won’t be able to fix your conversion.

QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online allow for bills to be paid from suppliers different to that named on the bill itself. When converting to other systems this is not supported and will result in differences we’re unable to fix.

Also note that due to a limitation with QuickBooks Online, transactions using a Product/Service Stock Assets may not convert with the correct account code.

If you’re using a 0% reverse charge VAT rate then we’re unable to convert this tax rate to Xero so associated transactions will be incorrect. This tax rate can be manually added to Xero and the relevant transactions amended but we aren’t able to provide this service for you.

If there are journals manually entered in Sage Desktop that have the same “Ledger year end” description as the system journals, we aren’t able to convert these. Differences will be displayed once the conversion is completed and you may complete the Fix It For Me form but adjusting for these isn’t included in our service unless extremely simple.

If year end journals have been posted by KashFlow these could be converted and cause Xero to incorrectly report P&L balances for the year. Deleting these in Xero will correct things.

If CIS is operated then the conversion is unlikely to be successful.

If payment providers such as Stripe are used in Sage Business Cloud Accounting there may be differences caused by Sage reporting Payouts to us as transactions although they may not have been recorded in the accounts.

What data will be converted?

We will transfer the following data to Xero:

  • Customer Details
  • Supplier Details
  • Chart of accounts
  • Account balances
  • Customer balances
  • Supplier balances
  • All individual transactions in the conversion period

Best attempts will be made for matching fields between software systems when converting to Xero. Some fields will not be converted eg. Sage Supplier and Customer Bank Account Names where Xero’s API does not provide the means to do so.

It’s not possible for Movemybooks to provide custom mappings for any fields.

What data won't be converted?

We only currently convert the core accounting information and not the following types of data:

  • Sage archives or backup data that isn’t “open” or “live”
  • Sage Departments tracking for opening (conversion) balances
  • Sage Cloud (SageOne) Analysis Types (equivalent of departments)
  • Budgets
  • Project data/Job Costing
  • Stock/Inventory Items*
  • Product/Service/Sales Items*
  • Sub-account structure of the chart of accounts (Xero has no sub-accounts)
  • Accounts that have never had any transactions
  • Deleted or cancelled transactions
  • Fixed Asset Registers
  • Sales and Purchase Orders
  • Quotes/Estimates/Draft/Unposted invoices or bills
  • Bank statements
  • Memorised Transactions
  • Default nominal codes, payment terms or tax rates
  • Custom VAT rates (see workarounds used)
  • Filed VAT returns (VAT transactions are converted not returns)
  • VAT journals made to non-system accounts
  • Templates such as invoice templates
  • Timesheets/Time Records
  • Payroll and Employee Records*
  • Transactions after the “Convert To” date
  • Nil value invoice line items
  • File attachments (optional extra on certain conversions)
  • CIS details (transactions are also unlikely to convert correctly)*
  • Unpaid expense claims
  • Charity fund codes
  • Custom fields (invoices/bill/contacts)
  • FreeAgent corporation tax calculations (see post-conversion tasks)

If the option to convert departments is not displaying on the Conversion Setup page then no department data (or equivalent) will be transferred.

*Associated transactions will be converted ie. for a stock item, the purchase payment would be converted but no stock will be present on the transaction


Transaction types we can't convert

There are certain transaction types that Xero does not allow us to convert. We try to create transactions in Xero that match as closely as possible the transaction in the original software, although sometimes we have to use a different transaction type. This can result in invoices/bills showing as unpaid in Xero where the original transaction was paid.

Bank and Credit Cards

Credit card charge transactions are converted as transaction type Cheque.

Credit Card accounts can only be converted as Xero Bank Accounts. Credit card bank feeds may not be available.


Some VAT transactions including those with custom VAT rates, EC VAT or unusual VAT transactions will be converted as closely as possible but are likely to be different. We may use a standard rate of VAT or No VAT and then add an adjustment to correct the VAT amount if necessary. This could result in some boxes in VAT Returns being incorrect even if the Balance Sheet amount to be paid or refunded is correct.

System VAT accounts are merged to become a single VAT account as required by Xero.

For more information please refer to our post-conversion tasks page and also the VAT Returns Don’t Agree page.

Depending on the system you’re converting from and the transactions present, the conversion may result in some rounding differences due to the way VAT or line amount totals are calculated differently between systems.

FreeAgent allows non-VAT registered companies to enter bank payments with VAT.
For conversions from FreeAgent, we apply the current VAT registration status of the company to all transactions. If the VAT registration status of the company has changed this is likely to cause differences.

Receivables and Payables

If you have multiple Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable accounts in your QuickBooks chart of accounts then these will be merged into one single Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable account in Xero.

If you’re converting from Sage and “Batch invoice” was used to enter invoices, each line will be converted as a separate invoice (irrespective of the reference) as Sage stores the data this way.

No Name Transactions

Some source systems allow transactions to be entered without contact details that are required for the same transaction in Xero. In these instances we create and use a “No Name” contact in Xero.

Rounding/Decimal places

Xero defaults to rounding up. This may be different to the software system you’re converting from. If the sum of a line in Xero is calculated differently to that in the source then the quantity and unit amount will be dropped from Xero and only the line total will be converted.

As above, transactions with unit amounts to more than two decimal places will be entered as the line item total.


Payroll and employee records are mentioned in the “What data won’t be converted?” as information we can’t convert. We do try our best to convert the accounting transactions although this isn’t always possible.

If converting from FreeAgent and the Employment Allowance is claimed then associated adjustments or transactions are likely to be aggregated into E’ers NIC. The overall balance in relation to payroll will be correct but individual payroll and NIC accounts may not be correct.

Things you may need to tidy post-conversion

We do provide details of our recommended post-conversion tasks but below is a summary. If performing a foreign currency conversion there may be additional tasks you wish to complete. Please refer to the foreign currency section above for more information.

Reconciling Bank Transactions

We are often unable to mark all reconciled bank transactions as such during our conversion process. Once your conversion is complete, you will need to mark the bank transactions as reconciled, leaving only the unpresented items as unreconciled and agreeing with the statement balance.

Check the VAT Codes for each of your chart of accounts items

Our software tries to work out what the VAT Codes for each account should be, based on the transactions posted to that account in your data, but you should check and amend them if needed before working in your new Xero company.

Filing VAT Returns

Returns for earlier periods may need to be “filed” in Xero, to make sure that old transactions do not appear in the next VAT Return report. You should check any VAT return containing converted transactions you produce in Xero carefully and intend to submit. You’ll need to check to ensure that the numbers are as you would expect.

Allocating payments to invoices or bills

Due to some of the above mentioned workarounds and restrictions it may be that we’ve been unable to allocate payments to all invoices or bills. Balances owing by customers or owing to suppliers will be correct despite the possibility of some invoices not showing as paid. A transaction with journals equivalent of the payment will have been entered but not allocated.