Want to import an already-existing Chart of Accounts? Here's how:

  1. Choose Gear icon on the top > Import Data > Accounts.
  2. Make sure your file fits the requirements for import (must be a .csv or Excel file format and must have Account Type and Name fields). If you'd like, you can download our sample file.
  3. Click Browse to find your file.
  4. Click Open.
  5. Click the drop-down menus next to the field descriptions to choose which field to import. If you don't use a field, choose No Match.
  6. When you're ready, click Next.
  7. If you're missing critical fields, we'll tell you with instructions (such as Choose type, Choose detail type, or both).
  8. When you're done, click Import.

Important information to note:

  • The Type and Detail Type should exactly match the types available in QBO, including capitalization. If not, you'll either get an error message in red and will need to change each line item manually, or the import will fail.
  • Right now you can't add new types or detail types; these are hard-coded into the system. Please select the best fit for each account. Here's a link to a spreadsheet that has all the detail types listed: Detail Types
  • The import limit is 2 MB or 1000 rows.
  • The colon character isn't allowed, so parent:sub-account relationships will have to imported as parents first, then adjusted to become subs on the chart of accounts after the import is completed.
  • Account numbers should not be left blank and should not include decimal points.
  • The import is ADDITIVE. That means that it will add accounts to the already-existing Chart of Accounts but won't subtract the standard ones that came with QuickBooks Online.
  • You can't undo this import.


You may get an error that reads:  Error while reading the file.  Format may be incorrect.  If this happens:

  • Make sure the headings in columns A-D are: Account Number, Account Name, Account Type and Detail Type.
  • The Description field does not import.
  • Headings are necessary, even if the column is empty or has no data.
  • Entering headings should clear out the error.

If you're trying to start a new QuickBooks Online company with a Chart of Accounts from an existing QuickBooks Online company, see Transferring chart of accounts and lists to a new QuickBooks Online company.