Journal Entries are commonly used in QuickBooks to record all sorts of transactional detail. However before you get started there are some basic rules that your journal entry data must follow in order for QuickBooks to accept the transaction.
- If posting to an account that has the account type, Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable, QuickBooks requires that you also include a name on that same line.
- You can only have one Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable line per journal entry.
- The entire journal entry transaction must net to zero.
If you want to eliminate manual data entry of journal entry transactions we offer a QuickBooks Import tool called Transaction Pro Importer. You can request a free trial and test this out here.
Some Quick Tips on How to Format Your Import File
Journal Entry Grouping: Make sure every line of the same journal entry in your import file contains the same value mapped to the QuickBooks field, RefNumber, on the Transaction Pro Importer (“TPI”) mapping screen. The RefNumber is what tells TPI when a Journal Entry beings and ends.
Account Formatting: Include either the account number or the account name in your import file and not both. If using account numbers include the lowest sub-account number only. If using names include the account and any sub-accounts separated by a colon (eg Account:Sub-Account).
Number Formatting: If your import file contains two columns one for debits and one for credits include one positive number per line (eg one positive number in either the debit or the credit column). If your amounts are all in one column in your import file make sure that the credits are expressed as a negative amount.
Many Advanced Options Available
As journal entries are a very common import type TPI has a lot of flexibility in working with various types of data in import files. When on the first screen of TPI select options and we will be discussing options on the Basic and Advanced Tab below.
Options available on the Basic Tab:
Let QuickBooks Auto-Assign Journal Entry Numbers: If you do not want to use the transaction ids mapped to the QuickBooks field, RefNumber, you can tell TPI to use the next Journal Entry number in QuickBooks. Please note that even if you select this option you still need to map data to the QuickBooks field, RefNumber, as TPI needs this data in order to determine how to group lines onto one journal entry.
Options available on the Advanced Tab:
Cross reference account description for account name: This option can be helpful if the accounts in the other system does not have a matching chart of accounts. Read more on all of our cross reference features here.
Specify a single column for Debit/Credit instead of separate columns: If your amounts are in one column make sure that your credits are expressed as a negative number and enable this option.
Journal Entry Offset Account – Out of balance posted to: This option can be helpful is you are importing tranactional data such as cash activity, credit card activity or sales activity that does not have the journal entry offset account. You can tell TPI which account that you want to use if the debits do not equal the credits in your import file.
Options available as a Command Line
Add New Names to QuickBooks: If your import file contains names that do not exist in QuickBooks you can tell TPI how to create these new names (eg as a Customer, Vendor, Employee or Other Name). A common application of this is if you are importing a journal entry that has the net amounts of each pay check and you want new names to be created in QuickBooks if they do not already exist. The name of the command line is /JE_NAME and you can find our command line document here. We also have another blog post on command line parameters available that you can read.
If you have any questions please feel free to post a comment below.