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Import products and services into QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooks756Updated February 06, 2024

Learn how to import a list of your products and services from Excel, CSV, or Google Sheets to QuickBooks Online.

Importing a spreadsheet of your products and services into QuickBooks can save you time. We’ll show you how to format your spreadsheet in Excel, CSV, or Google Sheets and import it directly into QuickBooks.

Learn which batch import version you have

We are currently rolling out a new batch import feature. Do the following to see which version your account has right now: 

  1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online.
  2. Select Settings ⚙, then select Import data.
  3. Select Products and Services

Once on Batch-import products and services:

  1. Select Import CSV.
  2. Select Download a sample file and open the file.

Formatting tips:

  • Avoid special characters.
  • Character limits:
    • Product, variant, and category name: 512
    • Option name, option value: 100
    • Descriptions: 4000
    • SKU: 100
  • Quantity as-of Date: Format like this: MM/DD/YYYY
  • Income and Expense account: You can't use subaccounts.
  • Category: [Name of category]:[Name of sub-category] up to four levels.
    • Example - Clothing:Jackets or Clothing:Shirts
  • Variants: Add one line for each variant. When creating variants, make sure the product name and categories exactly match with the parent product. Be sure no variants within a product have the exact same combination of option values.

Import your products and services

Now that you’ve made a spreadsheet with your products and services, you’re ready to import them to QuickBooks. Keep in mind that once you import a list, it can't be undone. And you can only import 150 rows at a time. If your list is longer than that, split it up into multiple, smaller files.

Here’s how to import your file:

  1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online.
  2. Select Settings ⚙, then select Import Data.
  3. Select Products and Services.
  4. Select Create products with variants or Create single products, depending on what kind of products you offer.
  5. Here, you can manually enter your product data, or copy and paste from your spreadsheet. To import, select Import CSV. See Tips on adding products and variants below for more details.
  6. Select Next.
  7. Map your information. CSV column headers represents the headers on your spreadsheet. From each dropdown ▼ menu, select the one that matches a field in QuickBooks Online.
    Note: Make sure you select the correct date format.
  8. Select Next.
  9. If you see some cells highlighted in red, this means the cell is invalid. Read the error message and make the correction. Or, you can edit your CSV file and upload again.
  10. (Optional) Select Check this box to overwrite details of existing items in your account to replace details of existing items in your account. Make sure everything looks correct because this can't be undone.
  11. Select Save.

Tips on adding products and variants

Here’s a detailed explanation of how to add products and product variants. Some fields may be required, and some fields will be grayed out for certain item types.

  1. Indicate whether you buy the item, sell the item, or both.
  2. Add the Product/service name
  3. Add the Category
  4. Choose the Item type. This can be inventory, service, or product. 
  5. Choose if the item is Single, parent, or variant. Select Single if it is a stand-alone product. Select Parent if the product will have variants. Select Variant if the product is a variant of a parent product. Some fields are only required for certain item types.
    Note: If you add a variant, make sure you add  a parent product row with the same category as its variants.
  6. For variants, enter a SKU.
  7. For parents and variants, add the Option name.
  8. For variants, add the Option value. Parent items don’t use an option value.
    Note: You can add up to 5 option names and values.
  9. For parents, add a Sales description and Purchase description
  10. For varients, add a Sales price/rate and Purchase cost. This is how much you buy and sell the product for.
  11. For parents, add the Income account, Expense account, Inventory asset account and  to make sure your transactions are properly categorized.
  12. For variants, add the Quantity on hand, Quantity as-of date, and Reorder point.
  13. If needed, select the row number to Duplicate row, Add row, or Delete row.

You can create a spreadsheet of your products and services in Excel, CSV, or Google Sheets. Our sample file shows you how to format your spreadsheet so it imports correctly. Here's how to download the sample file and formatting tips:

  1. Select Download a sample file and open the file.

Formatting tips:

  • Product/Service Name: 100 character limit. Avoid special characters. See the approved characters list for more info.
  • Income Account: You can't use subaccounts.
  • Quantity as-of Date: Format like this: MM/DD/YYYY or DD/MM/YYYY
  • Income and Expense account: You can't use subaccounts.

Import your products and services

Now that you’ve made a spreadsheet with your products and services in Excel or Google Sheets, you’re ready to import them to QuickBooks. Keep in mind that once you import a list, it can't be undone. And you can only import 1,000 rows at a time. If your list is longer than that, split it up into multiple, smaller files.

Here’s how to import your file:

  1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online.
  2. Select Settings ⚙, then select Import Data.
  3. Select Products and Services.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To upload an Excel or CSV file, select Browse to upload the file from your computer. Choose the file, and then select Open.
    • To upload from Google Sheets, select Connect to sign into your Google account. Choose the file, and then Select.
  5. Select Next.
  6. Map your information. Your Field represents the headers on your spreadsheet. From each dropdown ▼ menu, select the one that matches a field in QuickBooks Online.
  7. Select Next.
  8. If you see some cells highlighted in red, this means the cell is invalid. Check the cell in your spreadsheet and try importing again.
  9. Select Overwrite all values for each product or service to replace details of existing items in your account. Make sure everything looks correct because this can't be undone.
  10. Select Import.

Import products and services with sub-categories and sub-items

If you use sub-categories, you need to format your spreadsheet a specific way so your list imports correctly. The sample spreadsheet includes a couple of examples you can reference.

Categories and sub-categories

In the products/services field on your file, use the following formats:

For categories only: [Name of category]:[Name of product/service]

Product/Service name
Large: T-shirt
Medium: T-shirt
Small: T-shirt

For categories and sub-categories: [Name of category]:[Name of sub-category]:[Name of product/service]

Product/Service name
Large: Red: T-shirt
Large: Yellow: T-shirt
Medium: Red: T-shirt
Medium: Yellow: T-shirt
Small: Red :T-shirt
Small: Yellow: T-shirt

Items and sub-items

Use a row for each item variation.

For example: A retail business has pieces of clothing in multiple colors and sizes. Use this format: [Item]:[Size]:[Color]

Product/Service name
T-shirt
T-shirt: Large: Blue
T-shirt: Large: White
T-shirt: Medium
T-shirt: Small: Red
T-shirt: Small: Yellow

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