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Assigning Alternative GL Accounts

Last updated 23/12/2020

How to automatically or manually assign Alternative GL Accounts to your transactions.


Once you have created your Alternative GL Accounts, and applied Tracking Categories, you will need to decide how to assign them.

The ultimate goal here is to set up a logical system so that the line items you import into Xero are coded to the desired accounts and tracking categories.

You will find documented below each possible way of automating Alternative GL Account assignments. It is also possible to manually override Alternative GL Accounts, and we have documented this as well.

Because it is only possible to assign one Alternative GL Account to a line item, Cin7 has a system of prioritization, explained at the bottom of this page.

Automating Alternative GL Account Assignments


You can apply Alternative GL Accounts to individual products. To do this you must have first turned on the accounting options for the product page. To do this:

  1. Log into Cin7 as an Administrator.
  2. From the left navigation, select Products
  3. From the top right, select on the Gear Icon.
  4. Change the accounting dropdown to Yes
  5. Scroll to the bottom and select Save

To add an Alternative GL Account to a product:

  1. From the left navigation, select Products.
  2. Select the product by selecting the product name.
  3. Under the accounting section, choose the Alternative GL Account from the Sales Account and/or Purchases Account dropdowns.

When adding a product with an Alternative GL Account to a transaction, the specified account will automatically appear in the Account column of the line item.


You can apply Alternative GL Accounts to individual customers or vendors.

  1. From the left navigation, select CRM.
  2. Select the contact by clicking on the contact name.
  3. Under the Accounts section, choose the Alternative GL Account from the Alternative GL Account dropdown.

When adding a customer or vendor with an Alternative GL Account to a transaction, the specified account will automatically appear in the Alternative GL Account dropdown in the Customer details of the transaction.

This means that unless otherwise specified, all products within this transaction will be coded to the customer's Alternative GL Account.


You can apply Alternative GL Accounts so that sales from different branches are coded to corresponding branch accounts within Xero. This is particularly useful if you have multiple retail stores.

To apply an Alternative GL Account at a branch level:

  1. From the left navigation, select CRM.
  2. Using the Contact Type dropdown, select Branches.
  3. Select the branch by clicking on its name.
  4. From the Alternative GL Account/Cost Center dropdown, choose the Alternative GL Account.

Each sale is coded based on the branch. This happens at the time of import - so unlike products or contacts above, it is not visible in the actual transactions. Branch level Alternative GL Accounts are applied unless otherwise defined at the customer or product level. See priorities below.

Manually Assigning Alternative GL Accounts

You may choose to assign Alternative GL Accounts manually at the time of sale, either to override automatic assignments or just to apply the Alternative Accounts on a case by case basis.

There are two places you can do this:

Assigning at the Order level

To apply an Alternative GL Account to an entire order, click on the Alternative GL Accounts dropdown and choose from the list. This will send all line items in the order to a specific account unless and line item accounts have been chosen (see below).

Please note that the Alternative GL Account set on the Order level will not apply to the Freight, Discount or Surcharge box at the bottom right of the order. 
Assigning to a line item

In a transaction, you can choose an Alternative GL Account for each line item by clicking into the Account column and then selecting from the dropdown list that appears.


When an Alternative GL Account is applied in multiple places, the GL Account that is ultimately applied is decided by the priority below (1 being the highest):

  1. Line item/product
  2. Transaction/customer
  3. Branch
  4. Default Account

Let's say you have assigned Customer X to the GL Account "222". You also assigned Product Y to GL Account "333" prior to this. When you sell Product Y to Customer X, account "333" will be applied due to the line item having a higher priority.


I can't see the entire GL Account name from the dropdown list?

This may happen if your account names are too long.  The preferred solution is to use a naming scheme that allows you to easily see the right account from the first few characters (e.g., "1 - Retail Sales"). The account name in Cin7 is unrelated to Xero's account name so it can be any name you'd like.