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1. Dataflow Diagram [how botfiler works]

Botfiler works by extracting real-time information out of your client’s Xero account, and re-calculating a VAT3 return based on either cash or invoice basis rules.

Once the return is calculated and approved, it can then be exported and filed with ROS or HMRC.

2. Getting Started [connect with Xero, run your first bot]


When you first log into Botfiler (, you will need to integrate the web-app with your Xero account (i.e. connect the system with Xero). Simply click “Integrations” on the left-hand panel, as below:

It will bring you to this screen, simply click “Connect”. This will redirect you to Xero’s website (specifically the page they have created) which will have a dropdown list of all of your clients (assuming you are already logged into Xero on your web browser).

The Xero Integration Screen should look like this:

When you select an organisation, click “Continue” and it will redirect you back to


You’ve now connected Xero – the next step is to configure the Bot so it knows what to do with your client’s data in Xero – for the most part this is just filling in client information, but most importantly we need to “map” Botfiler’s internal VAT rates to your client’s VAT rates in Xero, for an effective calculation of the VAT3. You only need to do this once for each client.

Click “Make a Bot” in the top left-hand corner:

And select the Xero VAT3 Bot:

Next step, click the connection made previously, and then also the client you want to configure the bot for, then click “Continue”:

Then enter in the client’s VAT number and start mapping the VAT rates:

The VAT rates on the right are being pulled in from your client’s Xero account, and the rates on the left are the ones which Botfiler knows what to do with internally to calculate a VAT3. If rates don’t apply, just leave them blank (i.e. “select a rate”). Once completed, click “Finish”.

Nearly there! RUNNING A VAT3 REPORT:

Now that the Bot has been configured, you can start running VAT reports for any period you like!

Click “Bots” and then select the client Bot you just configured:

Then you simply select the start date and end date of the VAT period you want a report on:

It will take Botfiler 5 seconds or less to compute the VAT3 return.


Click “View” once Botfiler has finished fetching data:

Et voila, the VAT3 is done and looks like this:

You can drill down into the calculations by clicking on any hyperlinked figure. It will show a list of items that make up that box – e.g. displayed below is the list for E1:

From Botfiler, you can drill down even further by clicking an item on the list – this will direct you to that exact invoice or bill, as below:

This makes Botfiler not only a handy VAT3 preparation tool, but also enables a manager to quickly review a VAT3 return.

3. Other Functionalities [correct mistakes, reverse-charge, export files]

You can quickly edit figures on the VAT3 for exceptional items:

Botfiler suggests “Unusual Expenditure” items when it detects bills posted to Fixed Asset accounts. This can be switched on or off very quickly:

Reverse charges are calculated for non-EU and intra-EU purchases:

When you are done preparing and reviewing the VAT3, it can be exported into a .csv file. We are currently working on our export formats, so that it includes:

  • PDF (for client approval perhaps)
  • Excel (for internal workings)
  • XML (for upload to, similar to the file produced by ROS Offline)

This will be a great feature of Botfiler – it means you don’t need to re-type figures into ROS or re-format workings for your client to approve.

4. Future Features [feedback encouraged]

Every cent we get from accounting firms using Botfiler is used to make Botfiler even better – here are some of the features we are currently working on and will be available in the next 2 months:

  • “Transaction Search” – if a purchase invoice comes in after your last VAT return cut off date (e.g. a purchase invoice on 24 January related to December) you will be able to search for invoices that came in after a certain date and also search a date range to the period it belongs it and bring it into the calculation
  • Staff workflow – we are creating staff logins and manager logins so that there is a clear preparer/reviewer workflow
  • File export function to (so it can be directly uploaded to ROS)
  • File export function into pdf and Excel (for client review)
  • Cash-basis of accounting (currently Botfiler only supports invoice-basis)
  • Partial recovery of VAT (set a % of VAT which is recoverable)
  • VIES reports
  • VAT RTD reports
  • Connections with Sage, Quickbooks and Netsuite.
  • Check balance in 820 account to ensure it matches the T3/T4 result


If you would like a demo of Botfiler (or have any feature requests for further improvement) please contact Mark Sweetman at


5. Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

How do I disconnect from Xero?

There are two options: (1) Disconnect from within Xero, or (2) disconnect from Botfiler.

The best way, is the former. It’s as easy as logging into Xero, navigating to “Settings”, and then to “Connected Apps”.

If Botfiler is connected to your Xero account, you will see it listed as an app. Simply click the “disconnect” button and this will remove it from Xero.

To disconnect from Botfiler, simply go to “Integrations” and you should see Xero listed as a connection. Click on the three dots and then “delete”.

What doesn’t your integration do?

Our integration does not post any information to Xero.

Botfiler merely receives data one-way from Xero.

How do payment processing fees appear in Xero?

They don’t. We bill a monthly invoice based on the number of seats and bots being used per month.

When and how does data sync occur? Is it manual, automatic, on login, in real-time. Are there any settings related to synchronizing?

You can test your Xero connection at any time using the “integrations” panel.

Data is synced manually using the “fetch data” control. This is typically actioned when creating a new return period.

There are no settings relating to data syncs.

6. Video Tutorial [botfiler]

And now, here’s a video of cofounder Mark Sweetman showing how Botfiler works:

Botfiler Limited

Dogpatch Labs
The CHQ Building
Custom House Quay
Dublin 1

T: +353 1 552 3708