Importing Tips

Importing Tips



File: A file is a group of related records such as Accounts Receivable, Payroll or General

Ledger. For example, Customer List, Employee List, Sales Journal.


Record: A record is a group of fields that contain information on one subject. When you

select fields to import or export, the records that are moved are those you select using the

filter screen. For example, if you are importing a Customer List, one customer is a record.


Fields: You import/export individual fields of information. The fields that are imported are the

fields that were included when you used the Export icon (if importing from a Peachtree

company). A field is one piece of information with in a record. In a Customer List, the

Customer Name is one field, and Line 1 of the Bill-To-address is another field.

If there is a problem with the data in the file, Peachtree will inform you of the problem and the line

number of the file in which it occurred. Look at the corresponding Field information in Peachtree

Accounting (Windows version) online Help. In Peachtree, select File, Import/Export and then press

F1, or click the Help icon. You will probably want to scan this topic, and all of the related links,

especially the Selector link.

If necessary, you can edit the data file directly using a line editor, spreadsheet, or word-processing

program. You can also try changing the way you exported the file from the original program.

Export the file (list or journal) from Peachtree's sample company, Bellweather Cleaning Service or

Berkeley Custom Pools & Service.

Before exporting the file, verify the dates that you are exporting. Check the Include Headings box on

the ‘Options’ folder tab. Open your exported file in Excel or another editor/spreadsheet program.

Compare your “CSV” (comma separated values) file with the sample company “CSV” file. This file

will give you an idea of what the fields should look like in order to be imported into Peachtree.

Troubleshooting Import Errors

1. General Ledger Accounts:

General Ledger Account numbers are required when importing data into Peachtree. When you

create a new item or ID under the Maintain Menu, Peachtree requires that you have a valid

General Ledger account. Import acts the same way. Your import will not be successful if the

General Ledger account number does not have a corresponding General Ledger Account number

in Maintain, Chart of Accounts.

Peachtree Software

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2. Punctuation

Quotes and Commas in Memos and Descriptions:. If the export/import process detects that a

field value contains a comma, it automatically adds double quotes at the beginning and end of

that field. If you also include double quotes in the text (inch marks or in quoted phrases),

Peachtree’s import process will not understand where the end of the text is. This may change

your intended field order and more than likely produce import errors.

If you are creating CSV files on your own, make sure the file includes double quotation marks

around non-numeric field values which include punctuation marks. Additionally, save your file for

import as a “.CSV” format. Renaming a file with the extension *.CSV does not make it a CSV


3. Importing Date fields

When importing information into Peachtree, dates cannot go beyond the last day of your 24th

accounting period. You may need to import beginning balances for any list information (such as

the Chart of Accounts or Customers) in order to import dates prior to the beginning of your fiscal


The date field may also fail to import if the date is not in mm/dd/yy format. For instance, if the

date was 11/2/03, Peachtree may not accept it unless it is changed to 11/02/03. If you continue

to have problems with this field, check your Windows Control Panel to ensure that the date is not

being forced to mm/d/yy.

4. Spaces in ID fields

Importing a file that contains leading or ending blank spaces in ID's (chart of accounts,

customers, vendors, etc.) will cause problems in Peachtree, although it doesn't immediately

report errors.

For example, importing Inventory Items from an outside program causes no information to show

in the Maintain Inventory Items Screen. If you reindex the line-item file through Integrity Check,

you end up with ‘!!!!!’ characters in the ID.

The extra characters are placed in the file because the program from which you exported may

have used a fixed length for the ID (or other fields). In other words, the ID field from the program

sets the length of the field to be equal to the longest ID. For items that do not use as many

characters as the longest ID, a space would be inserted after the ID until full length is filled.

If necessary, you can open the *.csv file directly using a line editor, spreadsheet, or wordprocessing

program and look at the first field (normally the ID field). If the data was exported as a

fixed length, you will see a blank area after the end of the ID and before the comma.

Usually database products (including some accounting programs) have the ability to export as

"Fixed Width" or "Not Fixed Width." Spreadsheets do not normally have this ability. To prevent

this error from occurring, you will need to re-export the file without fixed length fields or you can

open the exported file in Notepad (or any editor or spreadsheet) and delete the spaces from each

ID. Be sure to save the file as a *.csv file.

ID fields composed of numerals only can be fixed by adjusting the column width in a spreadsheet

program, such as Excel.

Restore a backup of the new company before you imported your Lists, and then import those lists


5. Required fields

Importing records without required fields will halt the import process. For instance, fields required

for list information are ID numbers and G/L accounts. Journal information normally requires more

fields before the records can be imported.

For more information on which fields are required in the journals by Peachtree for import, go to

Peachtree’s Online Help by selecting Help from the main menu, then Contents, click the

Reference icon, select Import/Export and click on the file name you are trying to import. There is

a column that lists whether the field is required or not.

Peachtree recommends that you establish your defaults under Maintain Default Information in

your current company before importing data.

Peachtree Software

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6. Number of Distributions

This refers to the number of detail lines in the transaction. This is generally the number of lines

you would see in the grid if you entered the transaction in one of the Tasks screens. Distributions

are also used for Freight, in the case of Sales, and Sales Tax Authorities in the case of Sales and

Receipt transactions. The best way to get this number correct is to create a transaction in our

sample data, export it and look at the export file.

7. Errors importing employee lists

This error may occur when rebuilding your company, from an existing company, due to a change

in your fiscal year, or accounting method. You will need to copy the taxtable.dat file from your old

company data subdirectory in to the new company data subdirectory before importing the

employee list.

If you don't copy the taxtable.dat into the new company (which is receiving the imported data)

when you try to import the Employee List you will get multiple error messages. You'll have to

cancel each one. It gives an error message for each tax table ID it can't find.

It works this way because the taxtable.dat (company payroll taxes) wasn't in the new company

directory. The multiple error messages would be similar to trying to write a payroll check and not

havi ng the correct tax tables. We continue to display the message each time it tries to process a

tax table it cannot identify.

If you did copy your taxtable.dat from your old company to the new company and you still receive

error messages it may be because of the year of your company tax tables. An example would be

your SUI. Let’s say when you recreated your company to import your employees, you created the

company with a different payroll year. Then you might not have a SUI calculation for this new

payroll year. Select File, Payroll Tax Tables, Edit Company, and look at the date for this

calculation. If you are bringing over 2 years of data, you will need two different calculations for the

SUI. The easiest way to have the two different calculations is to give them different Tax Table

ID's and different names. Change the number located at the end of the code and name field to

the year that is needed.

For example:



change to:


Try to import your employee list again.

8. Derived Fields

There are some fields that are not input information, but that are calculated from 2 or more fields.

A good example of this kind of field is the Amount field in the Sales Journal. Multiplying the

Quantity field for an item by the Unit Price field yields the amount. If the amount does not equal

quantity times unit price, the import will not be successful.

9. Existing Inventory Items

You cannot change the item classes of existing inventory items and then import the items back

into your company. Peachtree will prompt you with an importing error. For example, let's say you

already have inventory item XYZ (non-stock item) in your company. If you try to import item XYZ

as a stock item into the same company, you will receive an error. The reason for this error is to

maintain accurate costing information and avoid duplicating or overwriting existing items.

10. List vs. Journal Information

When importing list information (employees, vendors, etc.) into a Peachtree company, any

records that are duplicates of what you are trying to import will be overwritten by the imported


When importing journal information (sales journal, payroll journal, etc.) into a Peachtree company,

any records that duplicate information in the current company will usually be skipped when

importing journal information into your current company. No journal information will be

overwritten by an imported file.

Peachtree Software

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11. When You Receive an Error on a Field That is Valid.

Sometimes Peachtree will stop importing on a valid field if the information in the PRIOR field is

not importable. Check that the prior field has a valid G/L account and does not contain commas

or quotes (see Section #2). Evaluate the field for extraneous punctuation such as ampersands

(&) and use the information above to determine what may be wrong with the field prior to the one

that received the error.

12. Recommended Import Order

Import Lists (Maintain information) first, then import the Journals in the order listed below.

For Lists:

Chart of Accounts








For Journals:

General Journal

Purchase Order Journal

Purchases Journal

Inventory Assemblies Journal

Inventory Adjustments Journal

Sales Order Journal

Sales Journal

Time Ticket Register ( if using Time & Billing)

Expense Ticker Register ( if using Time & Billing)

Payment Journal ( Cash Disbursements)

Cash Receipts Journal

Payroll Journal


: Some of the Lists and Journals will not pertain to everyone, depending on the Release of

Peachtree that you are using. It is advisable to make Backups after each successful import. The

reason for doing this is at any point during the importing of information you run into an error message,

you may go back to your backup that was made prior to importing that information without having to

restart the entire process.

For more detailed information please see the Peachtree online Help.

peachtree importing csv tips