Importing Transactions from a CSV File

You can import CSV data into Easy Books by selecting Import in the File menu.

Note: When you import data, it is not immediately saved to your business. Instead, the app presents a preview showing a list of the transactions as read by the import process. You can double-click them to open them, make changes as necessary and save them. Once you're happy with the transactions in the preview list, these can be added to your business.

Options in this Window

Do not import duplicates

If a transaction in the import file already exists in the business it is identified as a duplicate and not imported. Note that two or more transactions that look the same in the import file but do not appear in the business are not classed as duplicates, the assumption is that the import file has already been de-duplicated.

To be identified as a duplicate the transaction must have a matching date, description, transaction type, number of splits, accounts, amounts, tax and detail.


CSV File Format

A CSV (Comma Separated Values) file consists of text fields separated by a comma. If the text field contains a comma, the field should be enclosed by double quotes ("). Line breaks are allowed if quotes are used. Easy Books recognises CSV files formatted according to RFC 4180.

Easy Books recognises the following columns:

  • Date - Accepted in the same format as when entering a date in a transaction form. The app also recognises text such as "4 July 2015".
  • Description - Single line description for the transaction.
  • Account 1 - Name of one of the accounts. If the account name is not unique, include the account category in braces after the name. E.g. "Other (Other Income)".
  • Account 2 - Name of the other account. You can also use a product name here instead of an account name. When using a product, also include the Qty field.
  • Amount - Amount. If your business uses VAT all values should be exclusive of tax. If you prefer to import amounts inclusive of tax, change the column heading to Amount (incl). The amount is such that a positive amount increases the balance of Account 1 and a negative amount decreases the balance of Account 1. You may prefer instead to use separate columns for debit and credit, see later. For foreign currency amounts, include the currency code in brackets (see later).
  • Qty - If referring to a product in Account 2, include the Qty field.
  • Tax Account - Optional. Name of the tax account, for example "Vat purchase standard". If specified, the tax amount is calculated automatically unless the Tax field specifies an amount.
  • Tax - Optional. VAT Amount.
  • Detail - Optional. If specified, this can be multi-line text that appears in the details field of a transaction.
  • Debit and Credit - Instead of one Amount column, you can instead use separate debit and credit columns. All amounts should be exclusive of VAT.
  • PO - Optional. If the transaction is a sale you may include a Purchase Order (PO) reference.

Split Transactions

To import splits, leave the Date, Description and Account 1 fields blank for the second and later splits. For example,

Date,       Description, Account 1,  Account 2,     Amount, Detail
1 Jan 2015, INV00001,    Customer A, Sale of goods, 100.00, "1 Red Widget"
,           ,            ,           Sale of goods, 5.99,   "Postage and packing"

Note: It isn't necessary to space the columns as above, this is only spaced to make it easier to read.


VAT Options

As an alternative to specifying the VAT as separate columns, you can follow the same format as described in Split Transactions. Leave the all fields blank apart from the Account 2 and Amount (or Dr/Cr) fields. Set Account 2 to one of the appropriate VAT account names such as "Vat sale standard" and include the amount of tax in the amount field. When the tax appears like this, Easy Books sets the tax amount in the split just above.

For example,

Date,       Description, Account 1,  Account 2,         Amount, Detail
1 Jan 2015, INV00001,    Customer A, Sale of goods,     100.00, "1 Red Widget"
,           ,            ,           Vat sale standard, 20.00,
,           ,            ,           Sale of goods,     5.99,   "Postage and packing"
,           ,            ,           Vat sale standard, 1.20,


Foreign Currency Transactions

If you have purchased the "Foreign Currencies" add-on you can import transactions into your foreign currency accounts. To do this you must supply amounts for both the business currency and the account currency.

Simply add new columns to the CSV file with the currency in brackets.

For example,

Date,       Description, Account 1,  Account 2,     Amount (USD), Amount (GBP), Detail
1 Jan 2015, P-123653,    Supplier A, Cost of sales, 100.00,       160.00,       "10 Red Widgets"


Example Spreadsheets

The following CSV file contains some simple example transactions; a sale, a transfer and a purchase. To import the CSV file into Easy Books, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the CSV link below and choose Download linked file.
  • Start Easy Books and create a new business based on the Company template. You cannot import the file into just any business because the file contains references to account names that might not exist in other businesses.
  • Import the CSV file by clicking Open... and choosing the CSV file you downloaded.

Using the CSV file below might be a useful way to learn the format expected by Easy Books.