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This video shows you the steps for setting up the integration between SimplePay and Xero.

SimplePay currently supports integration with Xero. You will be able to import your chart of accounts into SimplePay and then specify mappings from SimplePay’s accounts to your accounts in Xero.

Once you’ve enabled this integration, the Pay Runs screen will contain links for posting finalised Pay Runs to Xero. 

Preliminary Steps

Before integrating with SimplePay, you will need to ensure that Xero is correctly configured in order to be able to map accounts.

You will need to create certain accounts in Xero to be mapped to SimplePay – any account in Xero that has a lock next to its name is not accessible by SimplePay e.g. the Wages Payable liability. You will, therefore, need to create your own custom accounts for these transactions; for example, you will need to create a Liability account to map to salaries and wages payable. You will also need to set up the relevant expense and liability accounts to map to any SARS transactions, such as UIF or SDL, and any bargaining council related deductions.

Once you have created the relevant accounts in Xero, you can proceed with the Xero integration.

Initial Setup

This guide will help you set up the integration between SimplePay, the online South African payroll system, and the Xero online accounting system.

To begin the integration: 

  • Go to Settings > Accounting > Accounting Integration.
  • Under Xero, select “Xero via Journal” or “Xero via Bill” from the dropdown.
  • Click on Show Advanced to post information for each Pay Point on SimplePay to separate entities on Xero. Refer to the Posting to Separate Entities heading below for more information.

Please note: By default, the Show journal on cash basis reports in Xero? checkbox will be ticked when selecting “Xero via Journal”. This sets Cash Basis as the default on SimplePay and Xero.

  • Click the Connect to Xero button.
  • You will now be redirected to log in to your Xero account.

Xero via Journal

This option posts nett pay to an account as a manual journal.

Xero via Bill

This option creates a salary bill / invoice that you have to pay. The nett pay is not posted but is rather calculated as the balancing amount. Furthermore, you will be able to post your ZAR payroll to a bank account that is in another currency, e.g. USD.

For both these options you will usually have to do a reconciliation using clearing accounts.

Creating a Pay Run

This step is not specific to the Xero integration, but a general function of SimplePay. 

  • Click on Pay Runs.
  • Click the Finalise link which will appear under the number of pending payslips. 
  • Then click Create Pay Run.
  • Click Send to Xero after the Pay Run has been created, as seen below.

Importing the Chart of Accounts

After performing the above action, you will be prompted to map your payroll accounts to Xero accounts. Under each payroll account, you will find a drop-down list of potential Xero accounts to which it can be mapped.

  • Click Import now to link the accounts found in Xero.

You will then need to authorise SimplePay to access your data on Xero. This authorisation will be remembered in future – it can be revoked at any time from within Xero.

You may be asked by Xero for your login details if you are not yet logged in. Ensure that, if you have multiple companies on Xero, the correct company corresponding to the one you are currently working on in SimplePay is selected. 

  • Click Allow access:

Final Steps: Mapping Chart of Accounts

You will now be back on the Account Mappings screen shown above, but this time the list of Xero accounts will be populated. The list of Xero accounts that appear in the dropdown list when mapping payroll accounts will depend on whether the item to be mapped appears under the Debit or Credit section on the Account Mappings screen.  For instance, the dropdown list for Basic Salary will show asset and expense accounts in Xero, since these are the accounts that are usually debited in accounting. However, you can map to any type of account by clicking on ‘Show More Accounts under the ‘Other’ section in the dropdown list. After mapping the accounts, you will be able to post the journal to Xero.

In future, you will not be asked to map accounts. However, if you’ve started using a new payroll account since the last time you posted data to Xero, e.g. you are now paying sales commission for the first time, you will be asked to map that account. This is because SimplePay only maps accounts that you’ve actually used, saving you the trouble of mapping accounts that you may have on paper but never actually use in practice.

Changing Xero Organisations

After you have integrated with Xero by following the steps mentioned above, you will be able to change the organisation from the dropdown as shown below. If changed, you will be notified to update the Chart of Accounts. 

*Please note that the list of organisations that appear in the dropdown depends on when the Xero authorisation took place as seen in the above step. The list of organisations is applicable to the current user on SimplePay.

Posting to Separate Entities

The above information is applicable in the standard case – where you wish to integrate your company in SimplePay with one company in Xero. This would be applicable to most businesses.

If, however, you use pay points in SimplePay and, therefore, want to link a Pay Point / company  in SimplePay to multiple companies in Xero, please refer to the below section:

Accounting for ETI

Additional posting to Xero might be required to account for ETI Utilised as per your EMP201. This type of posting can be done from the Submissions tab. More information about this can be found in the following section:

Disconnecting Xero Entity from SimplePay

To disconnect your Xero entity from SimplePay, visit Xero and do the following:

  •  Go to Settings > Connected Apps 
  •  Click on Remove

More information can be found on this Xero page.