How to use the external reporting feature

Article Objective: To assist users with navigating the Active Platform to use the external reporting feature to efficiently export a trial balance to an external reporting software such as Xero Practice Ledger.

Context: Often, a firm wishes to maintain a reporting file (e.g. Xero Practice Ledger) separate from the client's accounting file (e.g. Xero Business Edition). 
The new 'Export to External Reporting' feature will facilitate this, so that you can import the data from the client's accounting software, process the year-end work in Active Workpapers, and then export the finalised trial balance to Xero Practice Ledger to generate the financial statements.

Note: If the client account file is also used for generating financial statements, you can process a balancing journal in Active Workpapers as per this guide: How to perform journals in Workpapers.         

Please refer to the Glossary for definitions of key terms used in this article.       


Visual representation of data flow

Refer below for a visual representation of the data flow from one accounting software to another.

Enabling the external reporting feature

To enable the external reporting feature, you must have administrator privileges. If this is applicable to you and you wish to see how to do this, refer to the administrator article: How to enable the external reporting feature

Using the external reporting feature

From the clients Workpaper binder, select to navigate to the External Reporting screen by selecting the icon to the left, as below.

Here, all accounts and their associated information will appear. 

Note: You must have an account number for each account in order to be able to export the trial balance into the external reporting software. 

Click on the Select an Export Source dropdown and click on Add New Export Source.

From here, fill out the details and click Add Export Source.             

Note: Currently, the API-based automated Export is limited to Xero. If you would like to export to systems other than Xero, please use the CSV option. You can do this by right clicking anywhere on the screen, hovering over Export, and clicking CSV Export.

Once the export source has been added, the system will import the accounts list from the export source file and compare that against the accounts in Active Workpapers. The system will alert you to any account mapping that requires review and resolution.          

In order to resolve any mapping issues, select Click here to view issues.

This will generate the list of accounts with mapping issues. You are able to see what is wrong with each account by hovering over the red information circle to the right of each account and resolving accordingly. 

Once you're satisfied with the mapping, click on Start Automated Export.          

You can now review the Export Journal and add a journal memo before clicking on Export Journal, which will export this journal to the nominated Xero file.          

You can then review the exported journal in the nominated Xero file.       

Note: If you are attempting to journal to a system account in Xero, for example; unrealised currency gains, accounts payable, accounts receivable, etc., you will receive the below message outlining that the journal will be saved as a draft in Xero and requires to be manually posted. Before clicking on review, ensure that you are already logged in to the relevant Xero file.    


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