How to get data from Light Blue to Xero
Keeping on top of your finances is a critical part of running a successful (and profitable!) business and by using Light Blue to record all your business transactions you can make this job much simpler for yourself.
You’ll be able to take advantage of Light Blue’s powerful Reports allowing you to analyse your business performance in greater detail; perhaps identifying which area of your business is performing better/worse than others or maybe the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns.
Plus using Light Blue for your invoicing means you’ll be able to use the online features such as Forms, Contracts and Payments too!
However, you may also need to share your sales information with a third-party app such as Xero.
There are two ways that you can share this information:
- Export a CSV file of your invoices from Light Blue and upload it to Xero; this is very straightforward to do in just a few simple steps. It’s also the free option!
- Use Zapier to automatically link Light Blue to Xero; as soon as you create an invoice in Light Blue it will automatically add it to Xero. Zapier’s Xero integration is a “Premium” app, which means you’ll need to be on one of Zapier’s paid plans.
👉 If you’re needing broader help on how to use Light Blue to manage your finances this article will help.
1. Exporting a CSV file from Light Blue and uploading to Xero
Creating the list of Invoice Records to be exported
- The easiest way to do this is to use one of the Quick Queries already available in the main Sales section of Light Blue; generally speaking, the time periods already created will give you what you’re looking for, e.g. Last Month, Last Financial Quarter, Last Financial Year etc.
- If however there is a different set of Invoices you want to export, use the Query feature to specify the criteria and generate the list.
Exporting the information
- Once you have the list of Invoice Records, click on “Records” in the main menu bar.
- Choose “Export” followed by “Invoices for Xero” from the drop-down menu.
- You’ll then be given the option of where to save the CSV file and rename it if required.
Importing into Xero
The CSV file exported from Light Blue has been created in a format that doesn’t need any extra work being done to it before being imported to Xero. 👉 This Xero help article (from Step 3) takes you through the import steps.
2. Using Zapier to link Light Blue to Xero
Another way to add your Invoices and Payments to Xero is to link it with Light Blue using Zapier; essentially a service that automates this connection process. NB. Zapier’s Xero integration is a “Premium” app, which means you’ll need to be on one of Zapier’s paid plans.
👉 Here’s an introduction to how Zapier works.
👉 And if you’ve not already got a Zapier account, here’s their website where you can create one.
The Light Blue integration for Zapier is currently a “private” action, so you need to click the following link to add it to your Zapier account (instead of searching for Light Blue in Zapier); simply click the “Accept Invite & Build a Zap” button. 👉 Invite to use Light Blue on Zapier.
Once you’re logged into Zapier there are two elements to the zap.
- Creating the trigger; a new Invoice Record is created in Light Blue.
- Creating the action; creating the invoice in Xero.
Both elements need to be created for the zap to work, however, we’ve broken down the steps into the two elements to make the process a bit easier to follow.
Creating the trigger; a new Invoice Record is created in Light Blue
- Click the “+ Create” button and choose “⚡️ New Zap” from the drop-down menu.
- Start to type “Light Blue” in the search bar and choose the latest version of the Light Blue options given. NB. The screenshot below shows “Light Blue (2.0.1) but this may well have been updated.
- We’re now going to choose the event that triggers the action so from the drop-down menu choose “New Invoice”.
- Click “Continue”.
- You’ll then be asked to sign into Light Blue; click the “Sign in” button. NB. If you’ve previously created a Light Blue zap, rather than signing in again you’ll be able to simply select the account that’s already connected.
- A pop-up window will then appear asking for your API key; this can be found in the “Light Blue API and integrations” area of your Light Blue account.
- Once you’ve clicked the “Yes, Continue” button your Light Blue and Zapier accounts will be connected.
- Now we need to set-up the details of the trigger.
- You’ll probably want to leave the “Shoot Type” field blank. If you set a Shoot Type here, only invoices linked to shoots of that specific type will trigger the Zap.
- Click “Continue”.
- Click the “Test trigger” button; Zapier will then test the trigger and check it can find an invoice.
- Once it’s been successful, click “Continue”.
Creating the action; creating the invoice in Xero
- The next step is to connect Zapier to your Xero account.
- Search for and choose “Xero”.
- Choose the Event “Create Sales Invoice” from the drop-down menu.
- Click “Continue”.
- You’ll then be asked to sign in to Xero.
- Click the “Sign in” button and follow the prompts to connect your Xero account.
- Now we need to set-up the action details.
- Start by choosing your business name from the dropdown menu in the Organization field.
- Complete the Contact Name, Date, Due Date and Number fields. NB. The greyed-out details are from the test trigger invoice.
- Complete the Line items fields; Description, Quantity, Unit Price.
- In the Account field choose Sales from the drop-down menu and then in the Tax Rate field, 20% (VAT on income) or No Vat depending on your VAT status. NB. Different tax rates and settings will apply in different countries. If in doubt we recommend consulting Xero’s support team or your accountant for advice on which settings to use.
- Click “Continue”.
- When prompted, click the “Test action” button; Zapier will then test the action to create the invoice in Xero.
- Once the test for the action has been successful we can give the zap a name and publish it.
- Zapier will now automatically add any Invoice Record created in Light Blue to Xero.