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Importing Data Into QuickBooks Online Pt 1

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Not every company starts with QuickBooks Online from the very beginning, so what do you do with the important information you need in your account? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!


You can easily bring over information like customers, invoices, etc through a convenient upload so that you don’t miss a beat.


To start us off, let’s go over the file types you can use when utilizing this process.

  • CSV file: A common file format used for text files that contain tabular data. In CSV files, each field of text is separated by a comma, semi-colon, or other special character.
  • XLS/XLSX file: XLS is the file format of Microsoft Excel 1997-2003. Microsoft Excel 2007 and newer use the XLSX file format.
  • Google Sheets: A cloud-based spreadsheet created in Google Drive.


One thing to keep in mind is that you can only import files of less than 1000 rows at a time, however, you can upload multiple files.  If you find that you have a file that is too large on the first go, you can simply split it into smaller files and import them separately.


To make sure everything displays properly and correctly, you’ll want to upload your information in a specific order:

  1. Customers
  2. Vendors
  3. Products and Services
  4. Invoices


If you don’t have all of the items listed, just make sure to upload the items you do need in the same order as we have listed above.


Customers and Vendors follow the exact same process to import, so let's go through that process together. To avoid any issues later, make sure the:

  • Column headers are in the first row.
  • Contacts are on Sheet1 of the spreadsheet.
  • Spreadsheet doesn't have any formulas, charts, or blank rows.
  • Spreadsheet doesn't have any errors, such as #REF!, #NAME?, #N/A, or #VALUE!.
  • Names don't contain colons (:) or quotation marks (").
  • Check that your spreadsheet column titles in row 1 match the sample spreadsheet below.




There are some character limits and other limitations to be aware of when creating your spreadsheet. For example, names can’t overlap between your contact lists (Employee, Customer, and Vendor) and there are fields you’ll want to watch the length on so they don’t exceed the allotted amount of characters.


Once you have everything all set up and verified, it’s time to bring those customers into your account! 


Here are the steps:

  1. Sign in to your QuickBooks.
  2. Select Settings ⚙ in the upper right-hand corner, then Import Data.
  3. Choose Customers.
  4. Click Browse to upload the file from your computer. Choose the file, and select Open.
  • To upload from Google Sheets, select Connect to sign in to your Google account. Choose the file, and then Select.
  1. Choose Next.
  2. In the Your Field column, select each small arrow ▼ icon. Then, match your field to the corresponding QuickBooks Online field.
  3. Select No Match if you have a field that doesn't have a matching column in your spreadsheet.
  4. Confirm your contacts and uncheck any that you don't want to include.
  5. If everything looks good, select Import.
  6. Repeat the steps above, making sure to select Vendors in Step 3 instead of Customers.


Want to learn more? Look out for my next article where I explain how to import products & services and invoices. For those of you who’d like a headstart, check out these articles below:


Because I like to be thorough, I’ll also leave you with this great resource of frequently asked questions. Most likely, any issues that pop up will be found in this article, as well as how to fix: Common questions about importing data to QuickBooks Online.


There you have it! Your account is up and running, and you can pick up right where you left off.

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