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Paypal automated feeds are here

Posted 9 years ago in Xero news by xero
Posted by xero

Today is our 40th release! And we have some great stuff for you.

One of the favourite features in Xero is our bank reconciliation and what makes it so appealing to users is not just the game-like feel to it, but the daily automatic feeds from major banks in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

Today our PayPal users out there will be excited to hear that you can now receive daily automated feeds from your PayPal account into Xero – for free.

If you use multiple currencies in PayPal, then you can import each currency separately using Xero’s multi-currency capability. To keep your accounts clean, Xero will only import transactions that change your PayPal balance – so you don’t need to deal with credit card purchases on your PayPal account or with currency conversions.

If you’re not familiar with PayPal, then its worth having a look. PayPal is an online service that allows you to take payments from your customers using credit card or international bank transfer. Once payment is received into your PayPal account, you can transfer it to your bank account or spend directly from PayPal. In Xero, you can also add a link on your invoice PDFs inviting your customers to pay by credit card using PayPal.

Even more …
Some of the other new features out today include:

  • You can now sort and hide bank accounts on the Dashboard
  • The search for invoices and manual journals has been moved to the right and has become a button
  • The ‘Repeating’ tab in the accounts receivables and payables screens has moved to the left to align it with other tabs
  • When changing the planned payment dates on accounts payable invoices, the schedule of planned payments is now updated live (try it, it’s cool!)
  • When editing invoices and bank transactions, you can now change the account (only) without restrictions
  • The Money Coming In and Money Going Out charts on the dashboards will now use your expected payment date (for accounts receivable invoices) and planned payment date (for accounts payable invoices) if you have entered one
  • The Xero demo will now expire after 28 days, instead of after 14 days .

Click here for more details on todays release.


David Bowles
February 4, 2010 at 3.28 pm

Can your feeds handle split transactions with both a sale value and fee value to assign to accounts, or only the final amount received into the account?

If funds are held in multiple currencies, will PayPal need feeding into each PayPal currency account, or just one and distributions made by Xero?

Can Xero with PayPal feeds correctly handle tracking of transfers between different PayPal currency accounts?

David Bowles
February 5, 2010 at 12.13 am

PS : Xero handles bulk uploads like nothing else I’ve see – it’s a winner and keeps getting better!

Catherine Walker in reply to David Bowles Xero
February 5, 2010 at 4.40 pm

Hi David – I see you’ve answered a couple of your own CSV questions & I think it’s just the PayPal ones we can help with now.

Split transactions – yes – these will show as two transactions on the import to allow you to code them accordingly.

Accounts in multiple currencies – yes, will feed into a PayPal account for each currency – and only the transactions relating to that currency will be imported into each PayPal account in Xero.

Transfers between PayPal accounts – yes in the same way as transfers between normal bank accounts.

Hope this helps – if you need further detailed explanations flick an email to


July 4, 2010 at 8.13 am

The Xero PayPal feeds are still broken and at this point I doubt they will ever be fixed.

Some of the problems:

1) The most important: it often imports transactions twice if you use authorisation and capture. Do not even turn the feeds on if you have Website Payments Pro US, UK or Canada as it will completely mess things up. I think whoever implemented the feeds probably only used PayPal for Ebay and had no idea about what the PayPal API can do.
2) All dates of imported transactions are shifted by about 7 hours.
3) The default reference set is useless (it doesn’t use the PayPal transaction id).
4) The description for currency conversions is useless and it doesn’t automatically match it up with the “real” transaction.
5) Importing from CSV is not unicode compatible (probably actually true for all types of bank accounts but only really appears on PayPal since PayPal gives you more information).

So the solution is to do it yourself manually:
1) Get the “balance affecting” CSV from PayPal.
2) Order the data by type and delete all authorisations and voids.
3) Order by date and time again.
4) Search the data for “currency” and you should come across every currency conversion that has happened. They appear as sets of 3 rows; 1 from your native currency, 1 to the destination currency, and 1 that is the actual transaction. What you want to do is copy the gross and net from the first row into the third, then delete the first and second rows. Do this for every currency conversion.
5) Add a blank “Description” column (this sounds pointless but is actually pretty important because the Xero importer remembers your settings. If you ever mess them up edit your bank account and go to “Statement Import Options”).
6) Save this as “balance affecting transactions.csv”.
7) Now fill in the description column with something like =”Fees: “&D2&” (“&FIXED(J2;2)&”)” which will give you a description along the lines of “Fees: Kyle (2.50)”.
8) Save the file as “balance affecting fees.csv”.
9) Close and reopen it.
10) Overwrite everything in the name column to “PayPal”.
11) Delete the “Gross” column.
12) Rename the “Fee” column to “Gross”.
13) Save the file as “balance affecting fees.csv”.
14) Now import both “balance affecting transactions.csv” and “balance affecting fees.csv” into Xero.

July 4, 2010 at 8.18 am

A word of warning when editing column titles in the PayPal CSVs. For some reason all the titles start with a space, so like ” Gross”. When renaming the fees column make sure you add this space to the start as well, otherwise since Xero remembers your import options it will see “Gross” and ” Gross” as different columns and only import one of them. Similarly when adding the description column, either always add the space or never add it.

Andrew Tokeley
July 5, 2010 at 12.34 pm

@ Kyle – thanks for the feedback and taking the time to outline how you import PayPal data into Xero. We certainly hear you and are actively working to improve the feed to address the duplicates issue you raised and some other improvements to make the integration smoother. Thanks for your patience.

Jon Gledhill
August 14, 2010 at 3.28 am

Thanks for this Kyle – lifesaver!

August 14, 2010 at 8.52 am

I’m managing to use the auto feeds now although I’ve just come across what i think is the 7 hour date shift which is a bit of a nightmare – i wonder if the new upgrade will fox this – I can’t see how it should be too hard to do.

Sean Ammirati
September 3, 2010 at 7.46 am

After some investigation today, it appears we are also being effected by the duplicate issue that Kyle raised. @Andrew any idea when you’ll have a fix for this issue?

September 12, 2010 at 7.14 pm

Can Xero seperate incoming PayPal transactions into “Revenue/Sales”, “Shipping”, and “Paypal Fees”?

March 2, 2011 at 2.24 am

Good post by Kyle above and I would also like an answer to Jeff’s question. Many other packages can separate Paypal transactions in to Revenue/Fees.

Julian Young
December 13, 2011 at 8.11 am

@Kyle, thanks for the import process. I’ll give this a bash. Just finished reconciling almost 2 years of statements and wondered why things didn’t add up. What a mess. Definitely could be done better but perhaps there are some ‘accounting’ reasons for this approach that are beyond me. Manual imports every month for me. Sigh.

Matthew Carroll
May 12, 2012 at 4.46 am

There appears to be a significant bug with the paypal feed. When you issue a refund in paypal, part of the fee that was originally paid gets returned to you. However, this shows up twice in the feed. In paypal, one of the two lines does not affect the balance, but xero doesn’t seem to understand this – this means you have to go through and delete one of the two fee returns associated with each refund, in order to reconcile properly.

The feed needs to look at the balance in paypal – if a fee refund line doesn’t affect the balance, don’t import it into xero.

Nitin Bhamvani
June 26, 2012 at 10.48 pm

@Matthew, I completely agree. I am also finding this quite frustrating. Another major annoyance is the fact that when an e-cheque is received, the date the e-cheque is sent is used rather than the date the e-cheque clears. In PayPal, the balance is only affected when the payment has cleared and not when it is sent.

There also seems to be some issues with refunds. These issues make it very difficult to reconcile the PayPal bank account.

October 21, 2012 at 9.51 pm

Is matthews issue still happening? Would like to use xero with my PayPal if it’s bugs are sorted. Cheers

February 22, 2013 at 8.29 am

Xero, what gives guys, 6 months later and paypal feeds are still double entering transactions from paypal. There has to be an easy fix for this. Please update us if there is any more automated workaround.

Matt Vickers
February 25, 2013 at 8.40 am

Thanks for the feedback. We’re talking to PayPal presently about how we can address this.

April 11, 2013 at 7.40 am

Trying to connect my Paypal to Zero. Just been sent this link with instructions$BK_update The problem is that once I’m in My Account/Profile in Paypal, My Selling Tools option is just not there. I have a Paypal Pro account. What do you suggest I should do? It’s driving me nuts. Thanks.

Julian Young
April 12, 2013 at 8.48 am

It’s that time of year where I find this thread and manually sort out the paypal transaction mess again. Here’s hoping it’s improved in 2013!

Kevin Cackler
April 28, 2013 at 9.01 am

What is the status of fixing the double importing of paypal transactions? This is still plaguing us and it’s become more and more frustrating as time goes on.

Matt Vickers in reply to Kevin Cackler
May 1, 2013 at 11.48 am

It’s a known issue @Kevin, we’re hoping to get to it soon. PayPal have told us they’re making some improvements to their API that might help with these sorts of issues.

Stephen Walder
October 29, 2013 at 8.55 am

I’m really annoyed that you fail to mention the limits imposed when bringing PayPal transactions into Xero. It’s not fair that you allow businesses to familiarise themselves with your software and then before they know it they’ve reached the PayPal transaction limit and Xero becomes absolutely useless!

Julian Young
November 16, 2013 at 3.46 am

Here we go again. Deleting all paypal transactions and re-importing using Kyle’s guide.

Julian Young
March 24, 2014 at 7.41 am

And again for company two! Big one 🙁

Kevin Kaland
April 7, 2014 at 8.48 am

So what I am reading here is that PayPal imports are *still* broken and that Gross/FEe are not properly separated with the automatic bank feed?

Pretty typical, so I am not really surprised. At least Xero doesn’t expect you to use Net as the amount, although if they already know that you want both why not just automate this pruning-and-splitting process? There is no need for a human to have to do this.

Julian Young
March 1, 2016 at 1.55 am

I just got a wee update on this from Xero support and thought I’d post it up for the annual ‘import your paypal statements’ crew.


We’re aware that Completed – Void transactions through authorize and capture, that aren’t balance affecting, are being imported in Xero via the automatic PayPal feed, we’re still working with PayPal to have this resolved.

There was a fix released for the second point (All dates of imported transactions are shifted by about 7 hours) so this should now be resolved.

Some of information that’s now imported via the PayPal feed includes Name, To Email Address, Status and Transaction ID. Also any currency conversion statement lines include the amount and the currency it’s converted from.

We’ve recently updated our help pages for the easiest way to manually import your PayPal transactions into Xero, I’ve included a link below to this.

If you have any further questions or trouble adding your PayPal feed please let us know.

Xero Help Centre: Manually import your PayPal transactions into Xero

Kind Regards

Julian Young
March 1, 2016 at 1.58 am

I can’t post the link here but if you google “Add a PayPal account and manually import transactions into Xero” and on the page for the first result, use the links under “Manually import your PayPal transactions into Xero” for a speedy solution. I’ve yet to try it but will do in due course.

Julian Young
December 13, 2016 at 2.45 am

It’s that time of year again! Today I followed the new instructions Xero have provided for reconciling Paypal. A huge fail, it ended up with duplicate transactions and the instruction to simply delete any foreign currency rows destroyed the data. So six years on, still a pain in the neck. What a shame. Thank god Kyle’s post is still here!

Julian Young
November 23, 2017 at 4.11 am

Here we go again, arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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