Using a Check Request Form to Print Checks in Xero

How to Create a Check Request Process with Xero

Using a Check Request Form to Print Checks in Xero

In a previous article, I shared about three different accounting system options for your organization. We actually chose Xero a few years ago and have built some automations around that platform.

Xero has a lot of great features and integrations. And one of the features we use quite often is the bills and accounts payable integration.

With a few straightforward steps, you can create a check request process with Xero. This will let you have checks mostly pre-filled out before you even click print.

Since we have more than a few employees in our organization, it helps to have a simple process to request a bill to get paid via check. It’s important to note we do make an assumption in that the person submitting the check is already approved to request the check so if you’re looking to add an approval step in the process, that will be a future article.

High-Level Approach

For this check request process, people in your organization will submit a check request form, and it will generate a “bill” in Xero.

For this to work correctly, I will use an online form software called FormSite. There are many options available such as Gravity Forms, HubSpot, etc. I prefer FormSite because it has built-in integrations with Zapier, my favorite automation tool, and it lets you customize every form in all the ways we need it.

Create a Check Request Form

The first step is to create the actual check request form that you’ll be using. FormSite has many tutorials on how to do this so for this article, I’m just going to show you the final form.

Check Request Form

Important Pieces of the Form

There are several important aspects of this form that will be needed for Xero to know what to do with. Obviously, you’ll need to customize the form to meet your organization’s needs, but here are the main components Xero needs:

  • Category: the chart of accounts to associate the bill to in Xero
  • Make Check Out To: you can call this whatever you like but essentially this ends up being the “Contact” in Xero
  • Amount Requested: the total amount for the check
  • Date Needed By: this becomes the due date in the bill
  • Document for Request: this is purely optional but still a best practice for accounting purposes

Identify Unique Email Address in Xero

Xero has the ability to receive bills via email, which is what this automation is build upon. Your organization in Xero has a unique email address that allows this to happen. To identify that email address:

  1. Go to and login to your organization
  2. Go to Business and click on Bills to Pay
  3. Click on Create bill from email
  4. Copy the email address listed

Add Notification to Check Request Form

With the email address identified and the check request form built, it’s now time to setup the automation.

With your form open in FormSite, click on Form Settings. Once there, click on New Notification.

The “notification” is the magic that will send the submitted form to Xero for processing. Here’s look at how our notification is setup.

Check Request Notification for Xero

Important Pieces of the Notification

Similar to the check request form itself, there are some important aspects of this notification. You can add as many notifications as you like, but let’s breakdown the ones that are important for this feature.

  • Enabled: make sure this notification is “turned on” or it won’t kick off when a form is submitted
  • To Email Address: paste in the email address you copied from Xero
  • Include Form Results: this step is very important. The emailed “bills” feature in Xero can only receive PDF’s otherwise it will show an error. Therefore, make sure “include form results” is checked, the format is set to “Results Doc” and the results doc type is “Table PDF” in the dropdown. This allows Xero to do its work.

PRO TIP: Only one notification is needed to integrate with Xero. BUT, it’s important for you as a finance person in your organization to know about checks being requested too. Add another notification so you’re notified with a check request is submitted.

What happens next?

With your form created and form notification enabled, you can now begin using the form.

When someone submits the form, it will generate a PDF of the result and email it to Xero. It usually takes 1-2 minutes for it to appear in Xero once it’s been received. To see the new bill, follow these steps:

  1. Go to and login to your organization
  2. Go to Business and click on Bills to Pay
  3. Click on the Drafts tab
  4. The new check request will be at the top of the list, typically with a “No Contact” assigned to it

Once the draft bill is there, you can open the bill and make your edits. Once that’s done, click on Approve and follow the steps to record a payment with check in Xero.


Now you know how to create a check request process with Xero using a simple form. Again, you can use any form software you choose as long as it lets you send a PDF to an email address.

If you need help building out this process or you want to do something more complex, you can always click on the Work With Me button at the top. I’d love to jump on a call and talk through your project ideas to see what we can build together.

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