Create bank rules

  • Use bank rules with bank accounts connected to a bank feed or when you import a statement.

  • Create bank rules before or after receiving transactions via a bank feed or statement import.

  • Manage bank rules any time from a centralised location on the Banking page.

You can create up to 300 bank rules per bank account on the Incoming Bank Transactions page.

Create bank rules

Before receiving transactions

  1. Select Banking, and then select:

  • Manage bank rules. To open the Bank Rules page, showing rules for all accounts.

location of manage bank rules button

or a

  • Actions, Manage bank rules. In the bottom right-hand corner of a specific account to open the Bank Rules page, showing rules for only that account.

manage bank rules for an account

  1. If necessary, select an account in the Bank accounts field. Select Create rule.

  2. Enter a name for the rule and select whether it applies to Payments (money paid out) or Receipts (money coming in).

  3. Select Activate this rule when saving to make the rule active. If you decided not to use this rule later, deselect this option to deactivate it.

  4. Set the conditions that the bank transaction must have to match the rule.

  5. Set the transaction details to tell Accounting Start how to create a transaction.

After receiving transactions

  1. On the Incoming Transactions page:

  • Select Rules, and then New rule.


  • Select Create a rule on a transaction. The transaction details will automatically display in the corresponding fields on the New rule window.

  1. Give the rule a Name and specify whether it's used for Payments(money paid out) or Receipts (money coming in).

  2. Review and if needed, edit the rule and then select Save.

Explanation of fields

More information about the fields on the Create Rule window.

Field Description
Field Choose the information that you want to use to recognise the imported transaction. This could be the Reference and Date or Reference and Amount for example.
Value Set the conditions to use and the value you want to match such as the amount of transaction.

The imported transaction will have to exactly match the values. Use this for transaction such as direct debits where the amount or reference never changes.


The imported transaction will only have to contain part of value you set. This is useful for reference field. For example, the reference on a transaction might contain the supplier name plus a unique number for the transaction. By using Contains, you can always match the transaction to the correct supplier

Does not contain You might want to use this where you want to deal with exceptions to a more general rule.
Transaction details
Transaction type


  • Bank Transfer. To avoid duplicates, you only need to set up this up in one of the bank accounts that's part of the transfer. In the other bank account, select Match against the incoming or outgoing transfer to or from the other account.
  • Money Out and Money In. The Ledger Account and VAT rate are mandatory.
Supplier The supplier that you paid or who paid you.
Method The payment method of the transaction such as Credit/Debit Card or Cheque.
Reference Optionally, enter a reference to use when creating this type of transaction.
Description Optionally, enter a description to use when creating this type of transaction.
Ledger Account The nominal account you want to debit or credit with the amount of this transaction.
VAT Rate The VAT rate that applies when creating this type of transaction.

Prioritise your bank rules

Only one bank rule can be applied to each bank transaction.

If you have more than one bank rule, several rules may apply to the same bank transaction. To make sure we apply the correct bank rule, we recommend that you give each rule a priority. This makes sure we apply them in the right order.

Set the highest priority to your most specific rules, such as rules where one of the conditions is set to specific amount.

  1. Open the rule to edit it.
  2. From the Priority drop-down list, select:
    1. First. To make this the first rule in the list, giving it top priority.
    2. Below. If this isn't a top priority rule. Select which bank rule it should follow in the order.
  1. Select Save.

We apply the bank rules in this order the next time you import transactions in from your bank. If you have pending transactions, select Apply rules to pending transactions for the new transactions to apply them.

Apply bank rules to incoming transactions

Your bank rules are automatically applied to your incoming transactions and then entries to create are suggested on the Incoming Bank Transactions page. Select:

  • Create All. If you're confident that the suggested transactions are correct.
  • Review these transactions. To check that the rules were correctly applied before you create transactions.

The Rule Applied message shows on each transaction where a rule was successfully applied.

Screenshot of rule applied in bank feed on a transaction

Accounting Start will let you know if any details are missing in the rule that may be required to create a transaction.

Screenshot of warning on bank rule

The Imported from bank statement message shows each transaction you imported from a bank statement.

The Imported from AutoEntry message shows each transaction that has been imported from AutoEntry.

Example bank rule

Every month, Wonderland Cakes pays £199 for their utility bill to County Utilities Company via direct debit. Since the amount and supplier are always the same, the business owner wants to set up a bank rule. This way, the transaction will be automatically created when it comes in from their business account at National Bank. Bank rules work with bank feeds and when importing a statement, so the business owner can be sure that the same transaction will be created, regardless of how it comes in.

When creating the bank rule, the business owner sets the conditions to:

Field Values Description
Reference Equals Utilities
Amount Equals 199.00

Since it's a payment, the business owner sets the transactions details to:

Transaction type Money Out
Supplier Utilities
Method Credit / Debit Card
Reference Country Utilities Company
Description Utilities direct debit
Ledger Account Electricity (7200)
VAT Rate Lower Rate 5%

What's next?

Manage bank rules