Petty Cash Management in Xero Accounting

Managing petty cash is an essential aspect of financial control for businesses of all sizes. However, while Xero Accounting is renowned for its seamless bank integration and automated features, handling petty cash transactions can be a bit more intricate. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of petty cash management in Xero and equip you with the knowledge and tools to streamline this process effectively.

I. Understanding Petty Cash and Its Importance

To start, we will explore the concept of petty cash, its significance, and the common challenges faced when tracking small cash expenses. Petty cash is a small fund set aside to cover minor expenses that do not warrant formal processing through the usual accounting channels. While petty cash transactions may seem trivial, they can accumulate quickly and affect financial accuracy if not appropriately managed.

II. Setting Up Petty Cash in Xero

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of petty cash management, you need to set up a petty cash account in Xero. We will guide you through the step-by-step process of creating and configuring this account, ensuring that it aligns with your company’s specific requirements.

Method 1: Xero Accounting Petty Cash Bank Integration - A Step-by-Step Guide

Integrating Bank Accounts to Xero Accounting

Integration of direct bank feeds and in Xero, or the addition of any credit card or petty cash account can be done by adding bank accounts in Xero Accounting as follows:

  • In the Accounting menu, select Bank accounts.

  • Click Add Bank Account. This will then bring you to the next screen to find a bank account.

Adding Petty Cash Account

In this screen, you may enter the name of your bank if you would like to integrate direct feeds from your bank to Xero’s cloud accounting platform. In Singapore, Xero integrates with 15 banks and financial institutions (as of July 2023), including:

Creating of credit card and/or petty cash accounts could be performed in a similar manner by entering an account name and selecting to add the account anyway.

Sample Petty Cash Account Details

Thereafter, you will be prompted to enter your bank account details. In the case of creating of a Petty Cash account, simply enter “Petty Cash” into the Bank and Account names, and select “Other” for the Account Type. You may want to enter “Petty Cash” into the Account number as indicate above as well.

Once you are ready, click on the “Save” button and your Petty Cash account will be created in your Xero Accounting platform.

Method 2: Xero Accounting Chart of Accounts

Chart of Accounts Approach to Petty Cash Management

An alternative approach to creating a Petty Cash account as a bank account would be to directly create a Petty Cash account in the Chart of Accounts in Xero’s cloud accounting platform. In this approach, users may directly create a Petty Cash account as a Current Asset in the Chart of Accounts for use in manual journal entries within Xero. This approach however suffers a significant drawback in terms of how Xero manages cash transactions.

In Xero Cloud Accounting, transactions relating to receipt or payment of funds will primarily be transacted through a bank account (see Method 1) unless otherwise adjusted through manual journal entries. Additionally, short-term cash flow projections and reports are based on transactions made through bank accounts and hence, entries made through manual journal entries (Method 2) will likely result in loss of accounting information and cause complications from a bank reconciliation perspective.


In conclusion, users seeking to incorporate Petty Cash recording and management functionality into their Xero Accounting platform account should do so through adding of Petty Cash accounts in the form of bank accounts in Xero (in accordance with the step-by-step guide provided in Method 1 above) so as to fully leverage upon Xero’s cash flow reporting and bank reconciliation functionalities which are the key strengths of the Xero Cloud Accounting platform.


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