What if my WooCommerce order numbers already exist in Xero - as different orders?

How to manage order numbers with MyWorks Sync if those order numbers are already taken in Xero

Written by the MyWorks Team

Updated at June 30th, 2023

When considering using MyWorks Sync to sync your orders between WooCommerce and Xero - one of the items to consider is the current state of your WooCommerce Order numbers, and how they relate to the orders currently in your Xero company.

If your Xero company is brand new, typically you won't have an issue with order number conflicts. However, if you've been using Xero for a while - and you're either syncing a brand new WooCommerce store in to it; or you're syncing an existing WooCommerce store into an existing Xero company - it's a good idea to review the numbering of your WooCommerce orders to see if they conflict with the current numbering of your Xero invoices.

How are numbering conflicts caused? While it's not common, numbering conflicts can occur if there are invoices in Xero with the same number as a current or future order in your WooCommerce store that would be synced into Xero. However, we have several solutions that work very well to either prevent this from occurring or resolve this type of scenario if it does occur. Firstly, here are a few essential tips to be aware of:

  • Xero allows an order number to be used only once - so you can't have two invoices with the same order number, for example.
  • If orders are being manually entered in Xero in addition to WooCommerce Orders synced through MyWorks - the best way to avoid conflicts is using Option A below - syncing WooCommerce orders to use the next available Xero order #.


If your WooCommerce orders conflict with existing Xero invoices/ quotes with the same number in Xero, we can recommend three alternate solutions.

A. Use the "Next Xero #" when syncing orders to Xero

By default, we’ll sync orders from WooCommerce into Xero using the WooCommerce order ID/# as the Invoice number in Xero. 

However, if it’s necessary to sync orders into Xero without relying on the order number from WooCommerce, we have a setting that supports syncing orders into Xero using the next Xero invoice / quote number - not relying on any WooCommerce order number. Although this results in the WooCommerce order number not matching your Xero order number, this will ensure there's no order number conflicts going forward - especially if other orders are manually being entered into Xero. The WooCommerce order number can always be custom mapped to a different field in Xero so it's still present in the Xero order for reference.

You can enable this setting by following this doc here.

B. Sync WooCommerce Orders as the opposite data record (invoice vs quote).

This solution is usually the most efficient/easiest to implement, and would allow you to sync old/existing WooCommerce orders that may have previously conflicted with order numbers.

If Order #1000 is placed in WooCommerce, we'll try syncing that over to Xero as Invoice #1000. If Invoice #1000 already exists in Xero, however, Xero won't accept the order. This is where this solution comes in. By going to MyWorks Sync > Settings > Order, and setting MyWorks Sync to sync orders as a quote, for example, we will then sync the order over as a quote- which would then not conflict with Invoice #1000 in this example.

Of course, the opposite applies as well. If quote #1000 already exists in Xero, then by switching the above setting to sync orders as "Invoices", we would sync orders over as Invoices - thereby avoiding the conflict with quote #1000.

C. Prefix/Renumber your WooCommerce Orders to be non-conflicting with Xero

If it is important to you that:

  • Your WooCommerce order numbers match the order number of the order we sync to Xero,
  • Other orders are not being manually added to Xero, and
  • You only need this to apply to future orders going forward (aka, not existing orders)

then this solution is a helpful fit. By giving your upcoming WooCommerce Orders a custom order number (that purposely don't yet exist in Xero), this will ensure they're able to sync to Xero without an issue. 

Firstly, you'll need to install a plugin that gives your WooCommerce Orders custom order numbers - like the WooCommerce Sequential Order Numbers Pro plugin from WooCommerce.com. This will allow you to either set a new/different/higher starting number for your WooCommerce orders or add a prefix (like WC- ) to your WooCommerce Orders. We recommend adding a prefix. 

Since we have built-in compatibility with most WooCommerce extensions that do this, there's nothing else you'll need from us.

Once you've configured the Sequential Order Numbers Pro plugin in your WooCommerce admin - you need to visit MyWorks Sync > Compatibility, and ensure that the switch for Sequential Order Numbers Pro or Custom Order Numbering is enabled. Then, for new orders placed in your WooCommerce store going forward - they will have this new order numbering sequence, which will be honored by MyWorks Sync as we sync the order to Xero.