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Employee import via Excel/CSV in QuickBooks Online Advanced Payroll

Importing Employees from a XLSX or CSV file into QuickBooks Advanced Payroll is a great way to get set up and running quickly. It's also a handy way to perform bulk updates of employee data.

On the payroll homepage, click on the arrow next to Add Employee, and select Import Employees.

The best way to get started is by exporting the XLSX or CSV template file first, adding data to it, and then importing it into QuickBooks. To export the template:

  1. Click Export Employees, then from the Data type drop down, choose an Empty Template.
  2. Select whether you want to work with an XLSX or CSV Template.

This file contains the column headers for the import. You simply need to add a row for each employee that you wish to import.

Once you have finished editing the XLSX or CSV file, you can upload it by going to Import Employees, and going to Select File….

After selecting your file, click Confirm Upload and the import will begin.

Once the import is complete, a report will display, showing you the employees that were created/updated.

There are quite a few fields in the import file, however they are broken into sections, and not all sections need to be present.

Minimum required fields

To setup an employee to be processed in a pay run the following fields are required as a minimum:

  • FirstName
  • Surname
  • DateOfBirth
  • ResidentialStreetAddress
  • ResidentialCity
  • ResidentialDistrict
  • ResidentialPostCode
  • PostalStreetAddress
  • PostalCity
  • PostalDistrict
  • PostalPostCode
  • StartDate
  • EmploymentType
  • PaySchedule
  • PrimaryPayCategory
  • PrimaryLocation
  • PaySlipNotificationType
  • Rate
  • RateUnit
  • HoursPerWeek
  • BankAccount1_SortCode
  • BankAccount1_AccountNumber
  • BankAccount1_AccountName
  • BankAccount1_AllocatedPercentage


Once an employee is set up in the system, import files may contain a smaller subset of fields but the following must always be included in order to be able to identify the employee to update:

  • First Name
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth

Fully qualified locations

Since locations may be nested when importing from the CSV file, it's important to specify the Fully Qualified Location. For the following set of locations:

  • All Offices
  • London Offices
  • Strathfield
  • Devon Offices
  • Logan

The fully qualified location for ‘Strathfield’ would be All Offices/London Offices/Strathfield.

If you want to use an import file to remove data from the employee records, in bulk, you'll need to use the value (clear) without the quotes in the appropriate field on your import file to remove it from the matching field on the employee record.

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