Xero Bank Accounts – How to Import PayPal Statement Transactions

Author: Mark Cunningham

Published: May 26, 2018

Categories: Bank Accounts

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Importing transactions into a PayPal account that has been set up in Xero is easy to do. In this tutorial, we will use the Import Bank Transactions tool to import some transactions into a PayPal account in Xero’s demo company.

Set Up a PayPal Account in Xero

If you haven’t done so already, please set up a PayPal account in Xero’s demo company by following the steps in our How to Add a PayPal Account tutorial.

Once the PayPal account is set up, you should see the account listed in the Bank Accounts section of Xero. To see this, go to Accounting → Bank accounts from the main menu. Your PayPal account should have a nil opening balance and no transactions:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-01

Importing PayPal Transactions in Xero

To get started, click on the manually import a statement link:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-02

The next screen contains the Import Bank Transactions tool. Here, we can upload PayPal transactions using CSV files:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-03

Unlike transactions for bank accounts and credit cards which can be uploaded in one go, you need to upload PayPal fees separately to the other transactions. This means you have to do two uploads to get your PayPal transactions into Xero for any particular time period:

  1. The first upload is for the Gross amount of the transactions.
  2. The second upload is for the PayPal Fees charged on the transactions.

Also, before uploading CSV files downloaded from PayPal, we need to remove some of the rows that are not required for the uploads. Let’s go through the process step by step.

Note: you cannot upload more than 1,000 (one thousand) PayPal transactions at a time. If you wish to upload more than 1,000 lines, you need to create more than one file and upload them one at a time.

How to Prepare PayPal Gross Transactions for Upload

After you have downloaded a transaction listing from PayPal in the CSV format, you need to make some changes before uploading it into Xero. PayPal transaction files usually contain have extra data that you must remove.

Firstly, before uploading either your gross transactions or your fees, you must delete any rows that have a transaction in a different Currency to that of your Xero file.

Secondly, you must also delete any rows that do not contain one of the following words in the Status column:

  • Completed
  • Cleared
  • Refunded
  • Partially Refunded
  • Reversed

Let’s see an example.

I have opened my CSV file in Microsoft Excel. You can use Excel, Sheets or any other spreadsheet program you like. In the PayPal transaction listing that I have downloaded, I will delete the row with the Status of Pending and also the row with the Currency of USD. I have left the rows with statuses Completed and Reversed in the CSV file as they should be uploaded.

The picture below shows the rows that need to be removed. The entire rows with highlighted cells must be deleted before the file can be successfully uploaded into Xero:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-04

When you go to save your file, you may be asked by your program whether you want to keep the file in the CSV format. Be sure to say yes, otherwise your file will be saved as a spreadsheet and won’t be able to be uploaded into Xero. This is what the message looks like in Excel when I go to save the file:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-05

How to Upload PayPal Gross Transactions into Xero

Once you have deleted all necessary rows and saved the file, go back to the Import Bank Transactions tool in Xero and select the file via the Browse button. Click on Import once you are ready to upload the transactions:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-06

In the next screen, you need to map the PayPal fields to the right places in Xero. This screen may look scary, but there are only a few fields you need to map. In the Statement lines imported from your file… section, map the PayPal fields to Xero fields as follows:

  • Date to Transaction Date
  • Name to Payee
  • Gross to Transaction Amount
  • Transaction ID to Reference

Map all other PayPal fields to Unassigned as they are not needed in Xero:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-07

At the bottom of the Statement lines imported from your file… section, ensure the Don’t import the first line because they are column headings checkbox is ticked. When you are ready, click on Save to continue:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-08

After the file imports, a pop-up box will appear with the results:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-09

Click OK to continue. You should now be taken to a screen that shows the transactions you uploaded into the PayPal account in Xero:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-10

That’s how you upload the gross transactions from your PayPal account into Xero. Next, you need to upload the PayPal fees. Let’s see how that is done.

How to Prepare PayPal Fee Transactions for Upload

To prepare the CSV file for uploading PayPal fee transactions into Xero, you need to do two things:

  1. Remove the gross transaction data by deleting the entire Gross column.
  2. Insert a column to the left of the Name column and populate every row, including the header row, with the text PayPal fee.

This is what my file looks like when I have completed those two steps:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-11

It is good practice to save the file under a different name instead of saving over the file that you used to upload your PayPal gross transactions. To do this, use the Save As function in your spreadsheet program and give the file a different name such as paypal-fees.csv.

Remember to save the file in the CSV format instead of the spreadsheet format otherwise you will not be able to upload it to Xero.

How to Upload PayPal Fee Transactions into Xero

Now that you have finished preparing your CSV file containing your PayPal fee transactions, go back to the Import Bank Transactions tool in Xero and select the file for upload via the Browse button. Click on Import once you are ready to upload the transactions:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-12

Now it’s time to map your PayPal fields to the right places in Xero. In the Statement lines imported from your file… section, map the PayPal fields to Xero fields as follows:

  • Date to Transaction Date
  • PayPal fee to Payee
  • Fee to Transaction Amount
  • Transaction ID to Reference

Map all other PayPal fields to Unassigned as they are not needed in Xero:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-13

At the bottom of the Statement lines imported from your file… section, ensure the Don’t import the first line because they are column headings checkbox is ticked. When you are ready, click on Save to continue:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-14

After the file imports, a pop-up box will appear with the results:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-15

Click OK to continue. You should now be taken to a screen that shows the transactions you uploaded into the PayPal account. As you can see, the PayPal fee transactions now appear amongst the other transactions:

0068-xero-import-paypal-account-statement-transactions-16

That’s how you upload PayPal fees into Xero. You can now go ahead and reconcile your PayPal account to the general ledger.

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