Last week we posted an article on importing from one QuickBooks file to another. It’s a fairly simple procedure that can be handled from within QuickBooks. That process is mostly used when creating a QuickBooks company file from another similar QuickBooks file.
Sometimes, another accounting program is being used and we want to convert to QuickBooks. In this case it is often still possible to import the lists into the new QuickBooks file rather than entering them by hand.
The key is if the other accounting software can export the lists into Excel. If the lists can be opened in an Excel workbook, chances are we can import them to QuickBooks.
You can also try to make it fit into the template
The Excel spreadsheet will look something like the screenshot above. Information continues to the right, additional columns being used to accommodate more fields that must or can be imported into Quickbooks.
Across the top, row 1 of the spreadsheet, are the labels that will be seen as field labels in QuickBooks.
These records will probably need to be formatted somewhat in Excel. It could be that not all of the columns will import. For instance, the REFNUM column in the example shown will not have a corresponding field name in QuickBooks.
Let’s import the above Excel worksheet into a new QuickBooks company file.
We will navigate to File->Utilities->Import->Excel Files…
The above window opens. QuickBooks supplies some templates. You can see those listed as buttons in the left half of the screen.
These templates would correspond easily to QuickBooks field names. If we were going to type information in, we might use one of those.
Our Excel sheet though came from another accounting program. It’s not going to fit the template. So, we will choose Advanced Import.
In the above window we will make four choices. The first arrow points to the entry telling QuickBooks the location of the Excel spreadsheet that holds the list we want to import.
The second arrow shows the dropdown where we tell QuickBooks which worksheet in the workbook holds the list information. Sometimes the choice will just be Sheet 1.
Arrow three notes a checkbox that the spreadsheet has a header row. That is, the top row informs QuickBooks what data is held in that column.
Last is a dropdown in which we will select “<Add New>”. In other words, we need to add the instruction as to which column should import into which QuickBooks field. We haven’t used this spreadsheet with this particular mapping before.
This is the Mapping window. QuickBooks lists each field that exists in the item setup window in the left column. In the right column, we specify which column in the spreadsheet holds the information for that field.
The dropdown indicated by the arrow opens a list of all the labels in the header row of the Excel spreadsheet. By working one’s way down the list of possible fields in QuickBooks, each one is mapped to the correct column in the spreadsheet.
Once complete, click Save. That returns the user to Import File window shown earlier. From there, you can select Import.
Assuming there are no errors, QuickBooks will import the items into the new QuickBooks file.
Whenever importing, it is advisable to create a backup copy of the QuickBooks company file. Occasionally, things may not import in exactly the way you planned. It is important to be able to restore the backup and try the procedure again.
Hector Garcia, CPA
Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor
12401 Orange Drive #136
Davie, FL 33330