This tutorial shows how to import a CSV file with transactions into Online Accounting system - FreeAgent.
Let's say you have a CSV file, created manually, you've just typed in Excel and save it as CSV or you download from your Bank, or you use some converter, let's say PDF2CSV converter and you convert your PDF bank or credit card statement to CSV file. IMPORTANT: PDF2CSV is now replaced with the ProperConvert app, which converts from more formats and converts to more formats.
And now you want to import a CSV file into FreeAgent, you don't want to type those transactions from PDF file, you want to type them into FreeAgent. And you would use the converter, to convert PDF to CSV, then you just upload CSV into FreeAgent. So, let's try to do that. First, click on 'Banking'.
Then we have to click 'Upload a bank statement'.
FreeAgent supports OFX, QIF, CSV formats.
Click 'Select a file'.
Look for a sample.csv file.
Now you have to select which account you want to upload to. In our case, we have a 'Business Checking Account'.
We can check 'Guess explanations for my bank transactions'. In all accounting systems, when you are importing the transactions, you have to know the system what it is, for what expense account, for which Vendor, for which Payee in your accounting system, in your terms. And the file you upload not always following your accounting settings, your accounting Vendor names, your expense accounts. So, the FreeAgent calls the process "Explaining". Quickbooks Online calls the process "Matching". You could tell the system to guess, if it is like Home Depot or Shell, that this is a certain Vendor. Better to use this function 'Guess explanations for my bank transactions' later, once you have a couple of statements imported and categorized.
Then we click 'Upload Statement'.
But there is a problem with our file upload, the CSV file is not supported. Let's learn more about it.
FreeAgent says, that you have to have three columns: column A - date must be by the certain way only, column B - must be the Amount, column C - must be the Description. They should haven't included a header column.
This is our CSV file. We do have three columns, but there is a header.
Let's remove the header. Your CSV file may have more columns. CSV file is called free form format, it means, that number of columns could be any, the order of columns could be any and there is also the determined format, let's say OFX format or QIF format. So, when you import those formats, usually the accounting system doesn't provide you any mapping, or any options, because it is already determined: where is the Date, where is the Payee, where is the Amount. And for CSV it is not determined. So, let's say, with Quickbooks Online, they allow you to select certain columns when you import a CSV file. But with FreeAgent, they don't allow you, they just say, that you have to follow.
Let's try to follow again. Select a CSV file, just edited, it has three columns, as they ask. And then click 'Upload Statement'. It still does not upload. If you have the CSV file, that was created in a certain way but is not supported by the accounting system, use ProperSoft converter, let's say CSV2OFX to convert from free form format to determined format. IMPORTANT: CSV2OFX is now replaced with the ProperConvert app, which converts from more formats and converts to more formats.
Open a CSV2OFX converter and select a CSV file, which we just have a try to import.
Review the file, review the transactions, Dates, Amount.
Click the 'Convert' button.
Create an OFX file.
Now, go back to FreeAgent, select an OFX file, which is just created. Then click 'Upload Statement'.
And now it works! Because OFX is a determined format, but there is no issue for the FreeAgent - to parse that file before it gets everything in an expected way, like a CSV file. Click 'Review your transactions'.
We have four successfully uploaded transactions. We just have to explain each transaction in the accounting system. A CSV file has just the Description, it doesn't have anything else, but it has the Date, the Amount, and the Description. You have to explain what it is.
Select a 'Category', change the 'Description' (find the document, when it was purchased, and enter what it is).
And then click 'Explain Transaction'.
So, now 'Office Costs' is an explained transaction. Continue for all transactions.
If you realize, that this file was not imported correctly or something wrong with this file, or deposits were converted as expenses and you have to reverse that and convert again. So, FreeAgent has a useful function, as 'Undo Last Upload', click it.
Whatever you imported last time, click 'Delete these transactions'.
So, four bank transactions are deleted.
Summary, we try to import a CSV file, it was not successful. We try to follow the requirements for the layout, it was not useful. And we quickly used a ProperSoft converter to convert to a determined format, which is OFX format. And we successfully upload that file, as the OFX format. You can check other tutorials for QIF, OFX, QBO, QFX import. All those determined formats, FreeAgent upload successfully, unlike CSV format.