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About importing data from an Excel or CSV file

Important: There are three ways to add your data to QuickBooks.

We recommend that you review the steps for each method so you can choose the one that's best for you.

Advanced import

You can import lists of customers, vendors, accounts, or items into QuickBooks. Data that you import can be used to add new records to your QuickBooks lists or update existing records.

Note: QuickBooks Payroll users must enter employee information using the payroll setup interview (go to the Employees menu and click Payroll Setup). You can't import your employee data.

Start by creating an import file

An import file can be any data file that you create (usually in a spreadsheet application) and then save in Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx) or comma-separated values (.csv) format.

CSV files are simple text files containing tabular data. Each field in the file is separated from the next by a comma. Most spreadsheets support this format, although you can create and edit CSV files with any text editor. Files in the CSV format end with the .csv suffix. Both QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel can easily import and export files of this type.

See also

For each list that can be imported, there are requirements for which fields are allowed and which fields are required. Before importing a file, be sure to read the guidelines and requirements outlined in preparing an import file.

To import the file into QuickBooks

  1. Back up your QuickBooks company file.

    Importing data is not reversible, so creating a backup is a good way to make sure you have a sound copy of your data should you wish to start over.

  2. Display the Import a File window.

    To do this task
    1. Go to the File menu, click Utilities, click Import, and then click Excel Files.

    2. Click Advanced Import.

  3. Set up the import by specifying the import file and how the contents of the file should be mapped to your QuickBooks data.

  4. Click the Preferences tab and specify how QuickBooks should handle errors and duplicate entries.

    Use the Preferences tab to tell QuickBooks how to handle duplicate entries and what to do when errors occur.

    Duplicate handling

    If you want to:

    Choose this:

    Decide whether to keep or discard each duplicate record

    Prompt me and let me decide

    Keep the data already in QuickBooks and discard any duplicate data from the import file

    Keep existing data and discard import data

    Replace the data in QuickBooks with the data from the import file, except for any blank fields

    Replace existing data with import data, ignoring blank fields

    Replace the data in QuickBooks with the data from the import file, including any blank fields.

    Replace existing data with import data, including blank fields

    Error handling

    If you want to: Choose this:

    Import Excel data rows containing errors, but leave blank any field containing an error

    Import rows with errors and leave error fields blank

    Import only the Excel data rows that do not contain any errors

    Do not import rows with errors

    See also

  5. Preview the data and make any necessary corrections.

  6. Click Import.

    If any errors occur during import, you will be prompted to save an error log.

  7. Use the error log to correct any errors.

See also

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