Why you should import missing transactions into account registers.


Some banks do not have the ability to connect to QuickBooks Online

You can connect most bank and credit card accounts directly to QuickBooks Online. There are a few bank and credit card companies that do not yet offer this direct connection to QBO. In 2018, neither Heritage Bank nor Commerce Bank Credit Cards could be connected to QBO. Note that some bank and credit cards companies may require you to allow third-party access in order to connect your account to QBO, and there may be a fee to allow this access.

Only a limited number of transactions will come into a new bank feed

When you first connect a bank or credit card account to QuickBooks Online, it will download a limited number of account transactions. For this reason, it is important to understand how to download any missing transactions into an Excel csv file directly from your bank or credit card company website and import them into your account bank feeds.

Missing account transactions will result in unreliable company financials

It is very important to add any missing transactions into QBO, otherwise you will not have a complete accounting of your income and expenses for your business. Your financial reports will become unreliable and it will be very difficult to reconcile your accounts each month. If your bank or credit card company does not yet offer a connection to QBO, it is best to download transactions each week to upload into your QBO bank feeds for categorization.

You will need to download transactions from your online bank account

You will want to format the data in the Excel file to ensure that it correctly reflects negative and positive values (debits and credits), and you will want to check for duplicates. The fields need to be mapped properly, and field selections and ranges are somewhat limited. Note that you can import transactions into a bank or credit card account feed that is not connected to QBO. The maximum file size you can upload to QuickBooks Online is 350 KB and only the following file formats or types can be used:

· Comma-Separated Values (CSV)

· Quicken (QFX)

· QuickBooks Online (QBO)

· Microsoft Money (OFX)

Note that Excel csv files are best for uploading transactions into your bank feeds. You will need to sign in to your bank or credit card company website and follow their online process to download account transactions to your computer. Transactions are typically downloaded by account for a specific date range, or by month. If you are uploading transactions yourself, be careful not to overlap date ranges, as this can duplicate transactions that may need to be excluded and deleted within your QBO bank feed.

Avoid creating duplicate opening balance entries upon importing

Note that if the oldest transaction in the excel file to be uploaded into QBO is dated earlier than the opening balance date in your account register, the opening balance and date will change, which will result in a duplicate opening balance entry.

Understand how to import your account transactions with a csv file

You can import your account transactions into QuickBooks Online using an Excel csv file that uses either a 3-column or 4-column format. These are the only columns that can be imported into QuickBooks Online. You can enter additional information such as a payee or category after the import during the bank feed categorization process.

Excel csv file formatting restrictions that prevent transaction imports

Your Excel csv file must be correctly formatted and mapped to the correct fields in order to successfully import your account transactions into your QBO bank feeds. Note that special characters are not allowed. Do not use the following in your Excel csv file:

1. Do not use characters such as #, % or & anywhere in the file

2. Do not use ( ) for negative amount, instead use -123, not (123)

3. Do not include currency symbols, $123 should be 123

4. Do not use commas to separate thousands, 1,234 should be 1234

5. Zeroes are not allowed anywhere, leave a zero-value blank

6. Never leave amounts in the description column, delete or move accordingly

7. Remove the word amount if it appears in the amount, debit or credit column

8. MAC users must save the Excel file as a Windows csv file

9. Correct and standardize the Date format to a single format dd/mm/yyyy

10. Make sure that your negative and positive amounts are correct in 3-column templates

Make sure credit card transactions are not in reverse before importing

Note that Excel csv files for credit card accounts may display transactions in reverse. Your deposits may appear as negative numbers, and your charges may appear as positive numbers. Be sure to select the correct credit card account and not a bank account when importing in your credit card transactions. Account payments will be “matched” to “transfers”.

Understand why “all” transactions should be included in your registers

Having clean books is essential to the success of any business. You need to know how much money your business makes and how much it costs you to make it. If you “manually” enter income and expenses into your account registers, you risk making data entry errors or omissions that will make it difficult to reconcile and audit your books against your account statements. When you “import” your transaction into your account registers, you are creating an exact record of what happened that can be relied upon.



Regina Pitts
Regina PittsPrincipal Accountant & Bookkeeper
Member of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program

Accounting and Bookkeeping Support by a QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program Member

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The Content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.