Xero is a cloud based payroll system which means it has an API that allows Xero and Tanda to talk to each other. This is fantastic as it means Tanda can pull and push data from Xero automatically.

The caveat here is that there are still a number of steps you must complete both in Tanda and in Xero to make sure everything is linked up correctly before this automatic syncing of timesheet data can occur.

This article details how each aspect of the Xero integration works and what you need to do before hitting the export timesheet button for the first time.

Payroll Integration Checklist Overview

  • 1 Link your Xero account with Tanda
  • 2 Ensure staff exist both in Tanda and Xero
  • 3 Link award rules
  • 4 Link allowances
  • 5 Link leave types
  • 6 Link payroll tracking categories (optional)

1 Link your Xero account with Tanda

It is more than likely that connecting your Xero account with Tanda is something you did when you first started using Tanda to import your staff.  Check your integration and ensure it appears as pictured above i.e. no warnings. You can do this on the payroll integration page.

2 Ensure staff exist in both Tanda and Xero

You must ensure that staff exist both in Tanda and Xero before attempting your timesheet export. Given you would have imported your staff directly from Xero when starting your account, staff should match up correctly. However if new staff have been added to Tanda or Xero since that time they must exist in both systems before exporting.

The best practice we suggest is to add new staff in Xero and then sync them across to Tanda (this will happen automatically every hour).

If you have already added them to Tanda first, you can go ahead and create them in Xero, just make sure their first name, last name, email and phone match.

More information on staff syncing here

3 Link award rules

I'm on a managed award template in Tanda

If you are on a managed award template when you navigate to Compliance HQ you will see it listed like this: 

Before you can export successfully, needs to let Tanda create a set of pay items for the award template in your Xero account. 

How to create pay items in your Xero account

  1. Navigate to the award templates page here
  2. Click manage award
  3. Scroll down to the payroll integration section and click the green syncing button as pictured below.

This is a mandatory step you must do this before you can export any timesheet to Xero otherwise timesheet rates won't have the correct pay items to attach to.

I'm on a custom setup or have some custom award rules

If you have custom rules created in your account whether that be your entire award rule set up or just a few custom rules on top of your Tanda managed award template you must ensure these are linked correctly with your Xero account. 

If you have custom award rules you will see them listed on the Compliance HQ page like this:

Because these rules are custom and seperate from our managed award you must ensure each rule is linked with a pay item in Xero. This won't happen automatically like the rules included in our templates.

Navigate to Award rules, click into each award and scroll to the bottom of the form. Here you will see a section titled Link to your payroll system

Assuming you have set up your integrations with Xero (see step 1) you should see something like the image below.  As you can see I have a dropdown list of pay items which have been pulled directly from my Xero account. If you aren't seeing a dropdown then it means you haven't completed steps 1.

From the dropdown list you need to select a pay item that will be attached to the rule. You can either create custom pay items in Xero to match your custom rules or you can re-use existing pay items - just ensure the multiplier is correct.

For example: If you've created a custom rule to pay staff on Saturdays at the rate of 1.5x make sure you select a pay item that has a multiplier of 1.5x and can apply to staff who the rule in Tanda applies to.

4 Link Allowances

I'm on a managed award template in Tanda

There will be a set of allowances included in the award template, these will get created automatically when you sync pay items from the template across (see step 3). Assuming you don't have any custom allowances there isn't anything else to do here.

I'm on a custom setup or have some custom allowances

If you've created custom allowances these will need to be linked with a pay item. Navigate to allowances, click into the allowance and then open step 2 Link to your payroll system. Under export name you will see a list of options these are all the pay items from your Xero account. Just like your custom award rules you will need to make a selection to link this allowance to a pay item. 

You can either create custom pay items in Xero to match your custom allowances or you can re-use existing ones - just ensure the multiplier is correct.

5 Link Leave types

If you are using Tanda to manage your leave you need to make sure that the leave types in Tanda match yours in Xero.

When you first opened your Tanda account a set of generic leave types were created in your account. Those will look like this:

If there are any leave types here that you don't need you can remove them or create any additional leave types that you require.

The important step here is to go through each leave type and link it with your Xero account. 

To link your leave types first navigate to the leave types page, then click into each leave type and choose the appropriate export name from the dropdown.

Read this article for more information on managing leave types in Xero.

6 Link payroll tracking categories (optional)

If you are using payroll tracking categories in Xero these will need to be set up on your payroll integration and on each team.

Please read our comprehensive article on setting up payroll tracking categories in Xero.


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