The bank feeds within Xero are amazing. But for the big four banks it takes a few days to get them started. That means it is necessary for most new Xero users to import bank data when starting out.
If you know how to export data from your bank portal, you can review the Xero explanation of how to import bank transactions. Just remember, the best format is OFX. Use QIF or csv only if you cannot get OFX.
Here is where to get the best data from the big Australian banks.
In Accounts there is an Export tab. You can then select the account to export, time-frame and format.
The ANZ Bank has an export link on the first page when logging into the online banking. Just follow that and enter the details as below.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
In the CBA, the export is done from the page where the transactions are shown. You cannot select a specific time-frame, but just have to show enough transactions to include the period you need.
Importing the OFX file into Xero should eliminate any duplicates statement lines. You might still have to delete some statement lines from before your conversion date.
The NAB has a multi-step process. You have to filter for the correct time-frame first.
When you select the date range, make sure the correct account is selected.
The last step is the actual export.
Only QIF files can be exported from NAB, so it is especially important to get the dates right.
Preparation for Import into Xero
I find it easiest to save the exported file onto the desktop of your computer. If you do it for multiple bank accounts, you might want to rename the files so that you know which one is which during the import.
See the Xero Helpcentre for details on how to import bank transactions.
Always reconcile your imported bank statements with an actual bank statement from your bank. While automation is great, it does go wrong sometimes, so a quick double check whether the balance in Xero matches your actual bank balance is worth while.