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Import your chart of accounts to QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooks110Updated March 24, 2023

Learn how to import your chart of accounts to QuickBooks Online from a spreadsheet.

QuickBooks uses your chart of accounts to organise all your accounting. When you set up your company, QuickBooks customises your chart of accounts for you. Instead of manually entering your accounts, you can import a spreadsheet of custom accounts or your existing accounts from another QuickBooks Online or Desktop company file.

Here's how to import your accounts from a spreadsheet.

Tip: The best time to import accounts is when you’re still setting up your company in QuickBooks. If you don’t have a lot of accounts to add, you can create new accounts instead.

Step 1: Format your spreadsheet

You can import your chart of accounts using an Excel CSV file. Here's how to format your spreadsheet so you can import it to QuickBooks.

  1. Open your existing spreadsheet of accounts or create a new one. Or, export your chart of accounts from another QuickBooks company.
  2. Make sure you have these columns in your spreadsheet:
    • Account Name
    • Type
    • Detail Type
    • Number
  3. If you organise your accounts by number, add an Account Number column. You can skip this if you don’t use account numbers.
  4. If you have a sub-account, add it in the Account Name column in this format: Main account: sub-account. For example, Utilities: Gas. See the table below for more examples of how to format sub-accounts.
  5. If it looks correct, save your spreadsheet in Excel or CSV format.

Here’s a sample of how your spreadsheet should look. You can also download our sample spreadsheet if you need more examples.

 Account Number Account Name TypeDetail Type
 112720Current Account - Bank of America BankCurrent
Money Market - First National Bank BankMoney Market
 63200Utilities: Gas Expenses Utilities
 68100Utilities: Telephone ExpensesUtilities

Step 2: Upload your spreadsheet

  1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online.
  2. Select Settings ⚙. Then select Import Data.
  3. Select Chart of Accounts.
  4. To upload a file from your computer, select Browse and choose the file. Then select Open.
  5. Select Next.

Step 3: Map your spreadsheet fields to QuickBooks fields

Once you upload your spreadsheet, map your accounts so they import correctly.

  1. In the Your Field column, select the small arrow ▼ icon and match the names to the QuickBooks Online field for:
    • Detail Type
    • Account Name
    • Account number
    • Type
  2. With the exception for Account Name, you can select No Match if there's a field that doesn’t have a matching column in your spreadsheet. For example, if you don’t use account numbers.
  3. Select Next.

Step 4: Import your chart of accounts

You’re almost finished. Check everything one last time before you import your accounts.

  1. If you haven’t yet, be sure to add types and detail types.
    Tip: Focus on getting the account types right first. Then, select the detail types that fit the transactions you want to track.
  2. If you see a field highlighted in red, hover over the highlighted field to see what you need to fix.
  3. Uncheck any account you don’t want to save.
  4. If everything looks good, select Import.

Note: Quickbooks is already pre-populated with a basic set of accounts. If anything in your list matches this name, you may be met with an error message when importing or the account number may not transfer across as part of the import. To correct this, just find the account in the Chart of Account list and edit the account via the 'edit' button on the right hand side to enter the number or to edit the name of the already-existing account.

Step 5: Enter opening balances for accounts

Once all your accounts are in QuickBooks, you'll need to enter your opening balances for bank, credit card, and other accounts. An opening balance is the starting point for the account you create in QuickBooks. Here's how to enter your opening balance:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and then Chart of Accounts.
  2. Find your bank or credit card account.
  3. In the Action column, select the small arrow ▼ icon. Then select Edit.
  4. Select the small arrow ▼ icon under When do you want to start tracking your finances from this account in QuickBooks? Then, choose the date you want to start tracking your finances for the account.
  5. In the Account Balance field, enter the account balance for the date you selected. Learn more about opening balances.
  6. Select Save and Close.

Note: If a transaction has already been allocated to the account, you will need to record a journal entry for the opening balance.

Next steps: Download your transactions to QuickBooks

To download your account transactions, you can connect your bank or credit card accounts to QuickBooks. QuickBooks will download and categorise your transactions so you can review and approve them.

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