PlusDesignBuild now seamlessly integrates with Xero so you can send Client Quotes, Invoices & Purchase Orders straight to Xero from your BOQ.
Here is our Guide on Getting Started with the PlusDesignBuild Xero Integration. Make sure to read through carefully so you get set up right from the get-go.
Or, if you prefer to watch, check out the video tutorial here
- Data Flow
- Getting the PlusDesignBuild Xero Add-On
- Connecting Xero with PlusDesignBuild
- Sending Reports to Xero
Getting the PlusDesignBuild Xero Add-On
PlusDesignBuild comes with the Xero Add on for a limited time only.
Once you have PlusDesignBuild installed, read below to learn how to connect Xero with PlusDesignBuild.
Connecting Xero with PlusDesignBuild
To get started with Xero once you've installed PlusDesignBuild into SketchUp, you'll first need to connect with Xero and allow access to the organisation you use for your business accounting.
Once you have signed in and connected to Xero once, you won't have to do it again for another 30 days, even if you close the model or change to a new/existing model. (unless you log out or are prompted to do so)
Log in and Select Organisation(s)
Here's how to log in:
1. Click on the Xero Icon on the PlusDesignBuild Toolbar
2. Next, click on the 'Sign in to Xero Here' Button in the Xero Tool Dialog
3. Log in with your Xero Credentials
4. Choose your Organisation and Click 'Allow Access', then Return to PlusDesignBuild inside of SketchUp
For each model you use Xero with, you will be asked to choose the organisation you would like the transactions you are doing (a transaction being any PlusDesignBuild to Xero process) to go to.
This prompt will only pop up once on the first transaction you make each time you open a model.
Simply select the organisation you would like the transactions for that model to go to, click submit and repeat the previous transaction.
IMPORTANT Existing Xero Users: Understanding Accounts and Cost/Item Codes
There is some uncertainty in the Xero construction community over what is what when it comes to Accounts and Cost Codes and it is important to correctly set up PlusDesignBuild according to your definitions of the terms.
In Xero, an Account (see in Xero under Accounting > Chart of Accounts) is used to categorise transactions for your financial reports, eg. Expenses, Revenue, Liabilities etc.
Item codes or Cost Codes in Xero (Business > Products & Services) categorise products/services you purchase and sell, eg. Bricks, Roofing, Carpentery Work etc.
However it isn't an uncommon mistake to add in Cost Codes in the Accounts section in Xero.
By default, PlusDesignBuild works to the way Xero was designed to manage Cost/Item Codes and Accounts, however if you have set up Xero with Cost Codes in Accounts, you can easily set all of your Account Codes to work with the default PlusDesignBuild Cost/Item Codes.
This can be done in 2 different ways:
(Not you? SKIP TO SYNCING COST CODES/CONTACTS)
1. Continuing on after logging in (see above steps), click on the Cost/Item Codes Drop down (Under Contacts and Cost Codes), and choose to 'Use PlusSpec Cost Codes'  then Click 'Save PS Cost Codes as Xero Template' 
This will save a .csv file that will later be imported into Xero. (NOTE: please do not change the name or format of the file.)
2. Open the .csv file and add the relevant Account Code under both the 'PurchasesAccount' column (E) and the 'SalesAccount' column (I) according to the ItemCode in column A.
The Account Code, usually a number, can be found under Accounting > Chart of Accounts inside of Xero. Only insert the code into the PurchaseAccount and SalesAccounts columns.
Ensure you do not change or move the headings in Row 1.
Once you are happy you have added in the applicable Account Codes to the Cost Codes, save the .csv
3. To import the file into Xero, head to your Xero Dashboard, Go Business > Products and Services> Click the Import Button > Items.
4. Jump to Step 3 and click 'Browse'. Choose the 'PS Cost Codes.csv' file you exported from PlusDesignBuild and click Continue
5. Click Continue to finish
6. Head back to PlusDesignBuild, Open the Xero Tool and Select the 'Use Xero Item codes' from the Cost/Item Codes dropdown. Click the 'Fetch Item Codes from Xero' button and your Cost Codes and Accounts will be connected.
1. Go to your Xero Dashboard > Business > Products and Services and Click on the Cost Code you'd like to associate an account to.
2. Click Edit Item, Select a Purchases and/or Sales account and the Click Save
Connecting Contacts & Cost/Item codes
1. Once you have returned to PlusDesignBuild, ensure you have the Contacts and Cost Codes drop-down open, then make selections according to whether you'd like to import your Contacts or Cost/Item Codes from Xero into PlusDesignBuild or vice versa.
For Existing Xero Users
a) To import Contacts or Cost/Item Codes from Xero into PlusDesignBuild, simply click the 'Use Xero Contacts' or 'Use Xero Cost/Item Codes' dropdown option respectively  and then click the blue 'Fetch (Contacts/ Cost/Item Codes) from Xero' button .**
For New Xero Users
b) To import Contacts or Cost/Item Codes from PlusDesignBuild into Xero, simply click the 'Use PlusSpec Contacts' or 'Use PlusSpec Cost/Item Codes' dropdown option respectively  and then click the blue 'Save PS (Contacts/ Cost/Item Codes) as Xero Template . **
This will save a .csv file that can be imported into Xero. (NOTE: please do not change the name or format of the file.)
To Import CONTACTS into Xero from PlusDesignBuild:
i. Open your Xero Dashboard
ii. Go Contacts > All Contacts
iii. Click the Import Button
iv. Jump to Step 3 and click 'Browse'. Choose the 'PS Contacts.csv' file you exported from PlusDesignBuild
v. Click Import
To Import COST/ITEM CODES into Xero from PlusDesignBuild:
i. Open your Xero Dashboard
ii. Go Business > Products and Services
iii. Click the Import Button > Items
iv. Jump to Step 3 and click 'Browse'. Choose the 'PS Cost Codes.csv' file you exported from PlusDesignBuild
v. Click Continue
vi. If you're happy with the import click Continue
Setting Job and Contact Details
1. Ensure the 'Job Details' Drop down is open. Add in a Job Address, Job ID, Client Name and choose your Xero Currency. You need to add Job Details each time you create a brand new model
Setting Default Account Codes (Optional)
VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE
Before Setting Default Account Codes, ensure you understand how you have currently set up your accounts/cost codes, read above
Ensure the 'Account Codes' Drop down is open. To Set a default Account Code for both Quotes/Client Invoices and Purchase Orders, you will only need to insert the CODE (eg. only 200 from 200 - Sales).
To find your list of Accounts go to your Xero Dashboard, then go Accounting > Chart of Accounts
It is also important to add the right type of default account code for purchase orders and quotes/client invoices according to the Tax rate.
For Purchase orders, you should have an 'Expenses' Account as the values in a Purchase Order are costs to your business.
For Quotes/Client Invoices, you should use a 'Revenue' Account as the values in Quotes & Invoices is money you make.
You can sort your chart of account codes in Xero by clicking the 'Expenses' and 'Revenue' Category tabs.
If you're unsure, give your accountant a quick call and check with them
Sending Reports to Xero
PlusDesignBuild enables you to create a range of different reports ready to send straight to Xero including:
If I make an edit to a report inside of PlusDesignBuild, will it update inside of Xero?
You sure can! You just need to make sure you save your reports when you create them in PlusDesignBuild. To edit, locate the report you wish to edit in "Saved Reports" under "Generate Reports" in the Takeoff. Make any necessary edits to the report and click "Send to Xero". This will update the existing report that was sent to Xero.
Does Xero work with PlusDesignBuild Offline?
If your internet drops out while you're using Xero in PlusDesignBuild, you'll be able to continue working offline for 30 minutes.
Where do I get help?
PlusDesignBuild comes with Help built into every tool, including video tutorials and inline help for each individual field.
How do I log out of Xero inside of PlusDesignBuild?
Simply open the Xero Tool and click "Disconnect from Xero"
I'm getting a message saying 'Your Session has been refreshed, Please try again'
Simply click OK and do the transaction again
I have an existing tracking category for tracking my Jobs/Projects. How do I send jobs I add in PlusDesignBuild and send in Reports to my existing tracking category?
Simply rename your existing tracking category to 'Job'.
Ensure there are not 2 tracking categories called 'Job' at the same time.
'A validation exception occurred. The TaxType code 'INPUT' cannot be used with account code 'xxx'.'
This means that you have the wrong 'type' of account code in one of the account code fields in the Xero tool.
You need to ensure you have a Revenue account code under the 'Sales' Account code field and a Expenses account code under the 'Expenses' account code field.
**If you have PlusSpec-related questions, please use our forum.