Getting your historical bank and credit card transactions into QuickBooks is critical for accurate books. However importing transactions manually can be frustrating—endless PDFs, confusing CSVs, and manual entry take forever.
It doesn’t have to be that hard. This post walks through how to manually import bank transactions into QuickBooks Online.
We’ll cover downloading transaction histories, converting statements into QuickBooks-compatible formats, uploading into accounts, categorizing, and reconciling.
Follow our step-by-step guide to painlessly import your essential bank and credit card data into QuickBooks Online and get your financial reporting on track.
FIY, if you’re using QuickBooks Desktop, check out how to manually import bank transactions into QuickBooks Desktop.
Reasons for Manual Bank Transaction Uploads
While connecting your bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks Online enables automatic transaction downloads, this isn’t always possible or preferable.
There are a few cases where you may need to manually import transactions instead:
- Your bank isn’t supported by QuickBooks – Not all banks and financial institutions offer transaction downloads that integrate with QuickBooks Online. For unsupported banks, manual import is your best option.
- You want historical transaction data – When initially setting up QuickBooks Online for bookkeeping, you likely want historical transactions from the past year or more. Automatic bank feeds may only go back 90 days, so manual import allows you to upload your full transaction history.
- You have transactions from multiple sources – In addition to bank feed transactions, you may need to import payroll transactions, cash expenses, or other data from sources besides your bank. Manual import provides flexibility to consolidate transactions from multiple places.
- You prefer periodic uploads for control – Some businesses prefer to manually export and import transactions in order to review and categorize everything first for quality control. Manual import offers more control over the timing and steps.
The key benefit of getting transaction data into QuickBooks Online, whether automatically or manually, is to have a complete, accurate record of cash flow for reconciling accounts and running financial reports.
Manually importing transactions takes a bit more effort but provides flexibility not always available through direct bank feeds.
How to Manually Import Bank Transactions Into QuickBooks Online
Manually importing transactions into QuickBooks Online takes just a few steps but following best practices will ensure your data is complete and accurate.
Here is an overview of the end-to-end process:
For converting bank statements to Excel follow step 3.
Step 1: Downloading Bank Transactions
The first step is to access and download your transaction history from your financial institution’s website:
- Sign into your bank or credit card’s website and access your account statements. Every bank’s portal will be slightly different.
- Follow the instructions to download transactions. This usually involves selecting a date range and file format.
Note that the download process varies by bank. You may need to do some searching to find where your bank provides transaction downloads. Common options are PDF, CSV, Excel, and sometimes QBO file formats.
Step 2: Deciding the Date Range for Transactions
When selecting the date range for downloaded transactions, it’s important to avoid duplicate entries in QuickBooks.
Set your download range based on what’s already in QuickBooks:
- For a new account not already in QuickBooks, download as far back as you need. Often this is the full past year or more of transactions.
- For an existing account without any transactions imported yet, download back to the opening balance date when you set up the account.
- For accounts already with transaction history imported, download from the day after your last imported transaction forward.
Step 3: Downloading and Converting Transactions
Once you’ve set the appropriate date range in your bank’s portal, complete downloading the transaction file.
- Save the file in QBO format if available, as this integrates most cleanly into QuickBooks Online.
- Otherwise, save it in Excel CSV format. Both formats work for import.
Converting PDF Bank Statements
Many banks provide transaction history in PDF format rather than Excel or CSV files. To import PDF bank statements into QuickBooks Online, you’ll first need to convert them to a compatible file type like Excel or CSV.
DocuClipper allows you to automatically convert any PDF bank statements to QBO or even Excel and CSV.
Read our guide on how to convert bank statements to Excel, CSV, or QBO to learn more.
The benefit of a tool like DocuClipper is it provides an automated way to convert PDF bank statements into formatted Excel, CSV, or QBO files compatible with QuickBooks Online. This streamlines the process significantly compared to manual conversion and data entry.
CSV to QBO Conversion
For banks that provide transaction downloads as CSV files but not QBO, you can use DocuClipper to instantly convert the CSV files into QBO format for a smoother import experience. (Visit how to convert CSV to QBO for QB Online and Desktop.)
QBO files integrate directly into QuickBooks Online with the appropriate headers and formatting, reducing the chance of errors during import.
Step 4: Review the Transactions
Before importing your downloaded bank transaction file into QuickBooks Online, it’s important to open and review the contents first.
- Verify the file is in the correct format – it should be either QBO, Excel, or CSV. Scan for any formatting issues that may cause import problems.
- Check that the file size is under 350 KB – this is the maximum for bank transaction imports into QuickBooks Online. If over this size, shorten the date range and download transactions in smaller batches.
- Review amounts, dates, and details for accuracy – spot-check transactions against your bank statements to ensure no discrepancies.
Reconciling with DocuClipper
If you used DocuClipper to convert PDF bank statements, it automatically reconciles bank statements the converted Excel/CSV/QBO file against the original PDF as part of its accuracy verification. This reconciliation catches any conversion errors.
You can also easily update any required transactions within DocuClipper before downloading the converted file. This streamlines corrections.
And once done, then you can download the bank statements into your preferred output format.
As well as customizing the columns.
In summary, carefully reviewing your bank transaction file pre-import catches any formatting issues, data inaccuracies, or file size problems before uploading into QuickBooks Online.
Services like DocuClipper further assist by automating reconciliation during conversion and enabling transaction edits.
You can also visit our detailed articles on:
- How to Import Bank Statements into QuickBooks Online: Easy Step-by-Step Guide
- A Step-by-Step Guide to Import Bank Statements into QuickBooks Desktop
Step 5: Uploading Transactions to QuickBooks Online
Once you’ve downloaded and reviewed your bank transaction file, you’re ready to upload it into QuickBooks Online:
- In QuickBooks Online, navigate to the Transactions page from the left menu bar.
- Click the “Upload transactions” button at the top of the transaction list.
- In the upload overlay window, select “Select files” and browse your computer to select your downloaded transaction file.
- With the file selected, verify the account where the transactions should be uploaded. For new accounts, choose “Create new” and name the account.
- Click “Next” and QuickBooks Online will begin importing the transactions.
- The upload process may take a few minutes depending on the number of transactions. Click “Let’s go” once prompted.
- When complete, you’ll see all imported transactions now listed under the designated account name.
And that’s it! The transactions are now live in your QuickBooks Online account, ready for categorization, reporting, and reconciliation.
Step 6: Categorize Transactions
Once your imported bank and credit card transactions are imported into QuickBooks Online, they will appear under the “For Review” tab.
It’s important to review and categorize each transaction before adding it to your books.
Here are tips for streamlined categorization:
- For uncategorized transactions, manually select a category from the dropdown that fits the transaction. Create new categories as needed.
- Review and confirm/change any suggested categories from QuickBooks autocomplete. Adjust the “Enable suggested categorization” setting as desired.
- Match transactions that already exist in QuickBooks rather than duplicating. Select “match” from options.
- Categorize income to sales, customer payments, etc. Categorize expenses to operating costs, payroll, etc.
- Create bank rules to auto-categorize common recurring transactions for efficiency.
Properly categorizing transactions allows you to generate accurate financial reports by type. Take time to carefully assign categories during the review.
Learn more about how to categorize transactions.
Step 7: Reconcile the Transactions
The final step after importing bank and credit card transactions into QuickBooks Online is reconciling them against your financial institution statements.
Here is a step-by-step process of how you can do that.
- Access account statements from your bank and credit card companies for the appropriate time period.
- In QuickBooks Online, go to Settings > Reconcile and select the account to reconcile.
- Enter the ending balance and date from your statement. Verify the opening balance matches.
- Select “Start Reconciling” and begin matching transactions on your statement to those in QuickBooks. Mark matched transactions.
- Transactions already matched previously during bank feed categorization will be checked. Focus on new transactions.
- When finished, you should have a zero balance if everything matches between QuickBooks and your statement.
- If there is a discrepancy, re-check transaction amounts and dates. Correct any errors.
- You can finish reconciling with an unresolved difference, but it’s best to identify and fix the cause of the mismatch.
- When done, transactions are reconciled and you can review the reconciliation history anytime.
Reconciling ensures transactions match between your financial institution and QuickBooks books for accurate reporting. Take time to carefully complete this critical accounting step.
After uploading your manually downloaded bank transactions into QuickBooks Online, you’ll see all the new transactions now listed under the appropriate account name.
When you have additional transactions in the future, simply repeat the process:
- Download the new transactions from your financial institution’s website, setting the date range to avoid duplicates.
- Upload the transaction file into the same QuickBooks account.
Remember to take time to properly categorize and match any new transactions before reconciling and double-checking all your transactions.
Manually importing bank and credit card transactions provides flexibility to get data into QuickBooks Online from any source, even unsupported financial institutions.
By following best practices around avoiding duplicate entries and carefully reviewing categorization, manual transaction import gives you the benefits of seamless financial data integration without reliance on direct bank feeds.
The ability to upload transaction history from multiple sources and control the timing of imports also makes manual import a strategic choice for many QuickBooks Online users.
Level Up Your Bank Transaction Imports into QuickBooks Online
Struggling with converting PDF bank statements or getting your exported CSV files into the right format for QuickBooks Online?
DocuClipper makes it fast and easy to convert your PDF and CSV transaction downloads into formatted Excel, CSV, or QBO files compatible with QuickBooks Online import.
Sign up for a free DocuClipper trial today to simplify your manual transaction imports.
FAQs about How to Manually Import Bank Transactions into QuickBooks Online
In this section we’re going to answer commonly asked questions about importing bank transactions into QuickBooks online:
Can I import bank transactions into QuickBooks online?
Yes, you can import bank transactions into QuickBooks Online. Go to the Banking menu or Transactions menu. Then connect your bank or credit card account. QuickBooks will automatically download your recent transactions. You can categorize, match, and accept transactions to keep your accounts up to date. For detailed steps, visit the official QuickBooks support page. This feature saves time and ensures accuracy in your financial records.
How do I import CSV bank transactions into QuickBooks online?
Yes, you can. But to import CSV bank transactions into QuickBooks Online, it’s more efficient to use a tool like DocuClipper. Here’s how:
– Convert your CSV file to QBO format using DocuClipper.
– In QuickBooks Online, go to the Banking menu.
– Click the Link account, select Upload from file.
– Upload the converted QBO file.
This method ensures compatibility and a seamless import process, enhancing accuracy and saving time. For step-by-step instructions, visit the DocuClipper website.
Can I add bank transactions manually to QuickBooks online?
Yes, you can manually add bank transactions to QuickBooks Online. Follow these steps:
– Go to the Banking menu and select the Add Transaction button.
– Enter the transaction details including date, description, and amount.
– Choose the appropriate account for the transaction.
– Click Save to add the transaction.
Manually adding transactions ensures your financial data is complete and accurate, even if not all transactions are imported automatically. For more assistance, refer to QuickBooks Online support.
Can I convert a CSV file to IIF or QBO?
Yes, you can convert a CSV file to IIF or QBO for seamless integration with accounting software like QuickBooks. Utilize specialized conversion tools or software like DocuClipper to easily transform your CSV files into the desired format. This process ensures your files are compatible and ready for import, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in managing your financial data. Always refer to the chosen tool’s guidelines for optimal conversion results.
Does QuickBooks import CSV?
Yes, QuickBooks does import CSV files, but it may present challenges like formatting errors and compatibility issues. These can cause discrepancies in your financial data. To avoid these issues, it’s more efficient to convert your CSV files to QBO format before importing. Using a conversion tool ensures the file is fully compatible with QuickBooks, allowing for a smoother, error-free import process. This step enhances the accuracy and reliability of your financial records in QuickBooks.