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When you’re new to Xero, it might be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know where to start and where to find what you’re looking for. But once you know how to find your way around, you will see just how easy it is to navigate the Xero software.

We thought it would be a great idea to show you step-by-step how to find your way with these handy screen shots.

Xero Menus

At the top of the screen you will find the menus, tabs, and icons for easy Xero navigation:

Xero menus, xero tabs, xero navigation

Name Menu

To access the name menu, click on your name on the right-hand side of the bar. From here, you can edit your profile, change your account settings such as your password and email address, and log out of Xero.

xero name menu, xero navigation

My Xero menu

To access this menu, click on the list icon on the left-hand side of the bar. From here you can access and switch between the companies you have access to, if more than one. You can also open My Xero, where you will find Subscriptions & Billing, Profile Settings, and Account Settings.

My Xero menu, xero navigatioin

Xero Icons

These Xero navigation icons give you quick access to important information and functions in Xero:

Xero icons, Xero navigation

Plus Icon

When you click on the plus sign, a drop-down menu will appear. This allows you to quickly create the transactions that are used most often, such as:

  • Spend money
  • Receive money
  • Transfer money
  • Invoice
  • Bill
  • Quote
  • Purchase order
  • Contact
  • Manual journal

Files Icon

When you click on the file icon, a window will open from where you can manage all your files and folders, upload documents, or take photos with your phone or laptop camera for safe keeping. This is a useful function to quickly upload or take pictures of bills while you’re busy or on the go. You can then access the files later when you are ready to create an invoice or bill.

Notifications Icon

Click on the envelope button to access your notifications. Here you’ll find announcements from Xero about new features, the status of bank feeds, and Xero subscription payments. When there are new notifications, a little red circle on the top corner of the envelope will indicate the number of unread notifications.

Search Icon

Click on the magnifying glass to search for anything in your Xero file. Whether you’re looking for a contact, bank transaction, or quote, you’ll quickly find it using this search function.

Help Icon

Gain access to Xero’s extensive support centre by clicking on the question-mark icon. You can also get help for the specific page that you are on, or make contact with Xero’s support centre if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Xero Tabs

The main menu has five Xero navigation tabs from where you can access everything you need in Xero. Xero accountants and bookkeepers have an additional tab specifically for Xero Advisors with added functions.

Xero tabs, Xero navigation

Dashboard Tab

Your dashboard screen is the home screen for your organisation. It displays a snapshot of all the key indicators of your organisation, such as your bank balances, cash-flow performance, invoices owed to you, bills you need to pay, and business-performance ratios.

Accounts Tab

You can manage all the primary business functions of your organisation from here, such as the bank accounts, sales, purchases, payroll, inventory, expense claims, and fixed assets.

Reports Tab

Click on the tab and select All Reports to open a list of all the reports you have access to:

  • Financial reports, such as the Balance Sheet, Cash Summary, and Profit and Loss
  • Tax reports, such as the VAT Report
  • Sales reports, such as the Age Receivables and Income by Contact
  • Purchase reports, such as the Aged Payables and Outstanding Billable Expenses
  • Accounting reports, such as the Bank Reconciliation Summary and Trial Balance
  • Inventory reports, such as Sales By Item
  • Fixed Assets reports, such as the Depreciation Schedule

Under each category, you can click on the “…” button to show more reports. Many of these reports can also be customised to suit your needs.

Ask your advisor which reports are the best to use to find the information that you’re looking for, and also to help you customise the report.

Contacts Tab

From this tab, you can add and manage your contacts, create groups and sort your contacts, and also see how much you owe each contact or how much they owe you.

Settings Tab

Under the settings tab you can change your company details, such as:

  • Organization settings, like the company name and logo
  • Manage tracking for better reporting
  • Add or edit tax rates
  • Access your chart of accounts and add, edit, delete, import, or export accounts
  • Manage your users, invite staff members and advisors, and set up permissions for each
  • Edit financial settings, such as your tax period and lock dates
  • Change your invoice settings, create branded themes for documents, and add payment services
  • Add foreign currencies if applicable
  • Change your email settings and create an email template
  • Connect with other Xero users to send and receive invoices and bills directly through Xero
  • Find add-ons compatible with Xero, such as payroll services and Receipt Bank
  • Set up online payment services, such as PayPal or PayFast


The more you use Xero, the easier it gets to find what you’re looking for quickly. As you work through the different tabs, you’ll also see that Xero shows handy help videos and tips at the top of each page.

You’re also welcome to get in contact with Contador Accountants for more navigation tips-and-tricks or to book a training session with us, to help you become a Xero maestro.