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How to import chart of accounts

You can import an existing Chart of Accounts into QuickBooks Online. Before you start, it's important to understand all the information in the following sections.

Warning: Imports cannot be undone.

 

What you need to know before you get started

Importing a Chart of Accounts is additive, so your import will add accounts to your existing Chart of Accounts, but won't remove any duplicates or QuickBooks Online default accounts.

When you import your Chart of Accounts, the Type and Detail Type must exactly match the types available in QuickBooks Online, including capitalization. If they don't match, you'll either get a red error message and will have to change each line manually, or your import operation will fail.

Currently, you cannot add new Types or Detail Types as they are hard-coded in the system. You must select the best fit for each account.

File requirements for import

  • The import file size limit is 2 MB or 1000 rows per import, but if your import file is larger, you can do multiple smaller imports
  • The file to import must be in Excel or CSV format, and must have Account Type and Name fields
    If you'd like, you can download our sample file
  • You can import sub-accounts by using the parent account name followed by a colon followed by the sub-account name (for example. parent:sub-account)
  • Account numbers should not be left blank and should not include decimal points
  • All columns must have headings, even if the column is empty or has no data

Import your Chart of Accounts

To import your Chart of Accounts:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the Toolbar.

  2. Under Tools, choose Import Data.

  3. Select Charts of Accounts. Make sure your file fits the requirements for import and has Account Type and Name fields.
  4. On the Import Accounts page, select the Browse button.
  5. Find and select the Excel file to import and select Open.
  6. Select Next to continue.

  7. Map your data and select Next.
    The next page shows the accounts that are ready to be imported. You are prompted with instructions if you're missing critical fields (such as Choose type or Choose detail type).
  8. Adjust your data if necessary and select Import.

The system imports your Chart of Accounts.

Error messages and issues

You may get the message Error while reading the file. Format may be incorrect.

If this happens:

  • Make sure the headings in columns A-D are: Account Number, Account Name, Account Type and Detail Type
  • Every column has a heading - if not, entering headings should clear the error. 
  • There should be no heading and column in the sheet for Description

Need a new company file?

You can start a new company and transfer chart of accounts, and other lists, from an existing company.

Now you know how to import a Chart of Accounts.