How to Import Data Into QuickBooks

By Alexis Lawrence

QuickBooks is an accounting program that can be used to keep track of financial information in a spreadsheet-like format. While QuickBooks can be used at home, it is most widely used by businesses to track inventory, customers, vendors, payroll and other essential accounting information. If you or your company has decided to switch to QuickBooks from another accounting program, you do not have to re-enter all of the information that you have stored in the other software. It is possible to import that data directly into QuickBooks.

Step 1

Separate the data that you want to import into separate data files. Customers and vendors, for instance, should be divided into two separate spreadsheets. The QuickBooks website offers a detailed explanation of exactly what information should be included in each type of file to make a data import go smoothly in their “Preparing Import File” section.

Step 2

Export the data into a file type that is compatible with QuickBooks. Data files that QuickBooks can read include any spreadsheet or worksheet saved in Excel’s “.xls” or “.xlsx” format or in “.csv” format. The “.csv” format is an available save-type in many financial programs, including QuickBooks itself. Excel saves files to “.xls” or “.xlsx” by default. To save to “.csv” in Excel or other programs, go to the “File” menu and choose either “Save as” or “Export” and choose “comma-separated values (.csv)” as the “Save as” type.

Step 3

Back up the QuickBooks file into which you will be importing the data. Importing data into the file cannot be undone, so, if the data doesn’t import correctly, it can be a mess to remove. To back up the original file, simply go to “File” and “Save as” and save the file under a different name to the desktop of your computer.

Step 4

Go to “File” menu and select the “Import/Export” option. Select “Import” when prompted to open the “Import” feature in QuickBooks.

Step 5

Follow the screens that come up in the “Import Data” window to prepare the QuickBooks import. Upload the “.xls” or “.csv” file that you created in the other accounting program when prompted.

Step 6

Click the “Import” button in the “Import Data” window. QuickBooks imports the data from the uploaded file and integrates it into the data already saved in the QuickBooks file.