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Move your chart of accounts to QuickBooks Online

Learn how to import your chart of accounts to QuickBooks Online.

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.

Use a spreadsheet to import your accounts and skip manual entry. We'll show you how.

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

Step 1: Get your spreadsheet ready

You can import your chart of accounts using a spreadsheet in Excel or CSV file format. Here's how to get it ready before you upload 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
    • Account Type
    • Detail Type

    Tip: If you’re new to types and detail types in QuickBooks, it’s OK to leave these fields blank for now. You can add them later.

  3. If you organise your accounts by numbers, add an Account Number column. Skip this if you don’t use account numbers.
  4. If you have a subaccount, add it in the Account Name column in this format: Main account: subaccount. For example, Utilities: Gas.

    Note: Check out our sample spreadsheet below to see other examples of how to format subaccounts.

  5. Once everything looks good, save your spreadsheet in Excel or CSV format.

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

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

Step 2: Upload your spreadsheet

  1. Sign in to your QuickBooks Online company.
  2. Go to Settings ⚙ and then Import Data.
  3. Select Chart of Accounts.
  4. Select Browse. Then, find and select the spreadsheet you saved.
  5. Select Next.

Step 3: Match your fields to QuickBooks fields

Once you upload your spreadsheet, make sure your accounts get imported correctly.

  1. Select each small arrow ▼ icon in the Your Field column. Then, match the columns in your spreadsheet to these QuickBooks fields:
    • Detail Type
    • Account Name
    • Account number
    • Type

    Tip: Select No Match if you have any field (except Account Name) that doesn’t have a matching column in your spreadsheet. For example, if you don’t have a column for account numbers.

  2. Select Next.

Step 4: Import your chart of accounts

You’re almost finished. Just look over everything one last time before you save 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 any field highlighted in red, it means you need to fix that bit of info. Move your pointer over a highlighted field to see what you need to fix.
  3. Uncheck any account you don’t want to save.
  4. Once everything looks good, select Import.

Step 5: Enter opening balances for accounts

Once all your accounts are in QuickBooks, enter your opening balances for bank, credit card, and other accounts.

Tip: An opening balance is the starting point for the account you create in QuickBooks. It summarises all past transactions in your real-life account up to the opening balance date. Think of it as a snapshot of the account's history.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and then Chart of Accounts.
  2. Find your bank or credit card account.
  3. Select the small arrow ▼ in the Action column, then Edit.
  4. For the as of date, tell QuickBooks when you want your account to start. This sets the starting point.
  5. For the Balance, enter the amount in the account as of the date you choose. If you need help, you can learn more about opening balances.
  6. Once you’re done, 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

Connect your bank or credit card to bring in your transactions. If you connect, QuickBooks downloads and categorises your transactions for you. All you have to do is review and approve the transactions.

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