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Preview and troubleshooting import errors

About importing data from an Excel or CSV file

The Preview window shows records at the top and the details for a selected record at the bottom. QuickBooks displays OK in the Data Preview section for records without errors, and Error for records for which it has detected a problem. You can correct errors directly in the Preview window or you can correct them later in the error log.

To preview the data import

  1. Display the Import a file window.

    To do this task
    1. Go to the File menu, click Utilities, click Import, and then click Excel Files.

    2. Click Advanced Import.

  2. If you have not already done so, set up the import by specifying the import file and mapping its contents to fields of QuickBooks data.

    About importing data from an Excel or CSV file

    You set up an import by selecting an import file and mapping columns in the import file to fields of QuickBooks data. For example, you might map the Customer Name column in an import file to the Customer field in QuickBooks.

    To do this task
    1. If necessary, click the Set up Import tab.

    2. Select the Excel or CSV file you want to import.

    3. If you are importing an Excel file, specify which sheet in the Excel workbook contains the data you want to import.

    4. If the import file contains a header row that labels the contents of each column, select this data file has header rows.

      What does this option do?

      If you select this option, the labels in the header row (for example, first name, last name, and phone number) will be used to help you map columns in the file to the corresponding QuickBooks data fields. It will also ensure that the header row is not imported as data.

    5. Click the Choose a mapping drop-down list and then click Add New.

    6. Give your new mapping a name.

    7. Select an Import type.

      An Import type is a template that allows you to map QuickBooks fields to your import data. Here are the four different QuickBooks Import types and some of the fields available in each.






      Job or Customer Name




      Opening Balance

      Account Type



      Company Name

      Account Number


      Bank Acct. No./Card No.


      Credit Limit

      Tax Code

      Opening Balance


      Print on check as

      Income Account

      As of


      Tax ID

      Expense Account

      Income Account


      Vendor eligible for 1099

      On Hand

      Account is Inactive


      In Inactive


      Remind me to order checks

      Billing Address 1


      Preferred Vendor

    8. In the QuickBooks column, click to select the QuickBooks field you want to map.

    9. Click in the Import data column and choose the column in the Excel or CSV file to use for the selected QuickBooks field.

      Here's an example:

      Mapping to QuickBooks data

    10. Repeat this process until the mapping is complete.

    11. Click Save.

    See also

  3. Click Preview.

    The Preview window shows all records to be imported.

  4. Do one of the following, depending on whether QuickBooks detects any errors in the data to be imported.

    • If QuickBooks doesn't detect any errors, click Import to import the data file.

    • If QuickBooks detects one or more errors, you can display just the import errors by clicking the In data preview show drop-down list and then clicking only errors.

To correct errors in the Preview window

About the error messages

The error message that QuickBooks displays depends on the type of data that it expects for a particular data field. For example, if you entered 1234 in a field that requires the name of an account, QuickBooks displays "Invalid Account Type" in the Error field. If you leave a required field blank, such as the name of a customer, QuickBooks displays "The blank is not allowed in this field."

Here are the most common error messages that you might see, together with an explanation of each message.

What are the data requirements for each field?

  1. Select the record containing the error in the Data Preview section.

    The "Details for" section displays the details for that record.

  2. In the "Details for" section, find the line that contains the error message.

    If the entire error message is not visible, move the mouse pointer over the Error column to view the complete error message.

  3. Enter a valid value in the Data field for that line, then click on a different field for that record.

    If the value you entered successfully corrects the error, QuickBooks displays OK in the Data Preview section.

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