Importing Banking Transactions into QuickBooks Online

Why  Connect Your Bank Account to QuickBooks?

One of the many benefits of QuickBooks Online is that you can save a lot of time by automatically downloading your banking transactions into QuickBooks instead of manually inputting each transaction.

Most big banks allow you to quickly and easily connect to QuickBooks, some of the smaller banks and credit unions do not have that capability. We consider Bank of America to be the best bank for small businesses, based on their low rates.

If you don’t have a business bank account and are using a personal bank account, then I recommend getting a separate bank account for your business as soon as possible and then connect it to QuickBooks. It is always best practice from an accounting and tax standpoint to keep business activities completely separate from personal. Click here to set up a small business bank account with Bank of America.

Importing Banking Transactions Automatically in QuickBooks Online

In order to connect your bank account to QuickBooks, you will need your online banking user ID and password to log into your bank account.

Step 1: Locate Your Bank

From the Home Page, select Transactions and then Banking from the left menu bar:

QuickBooks Online Banking Tab

Type your bank name in the search box as indicated below or
Select from the list of banks right below the search box.
If you are unable to locate your bank then you will need to Import your Banking Transactions using CSV Format which we will cover later in this lesson.

QuickBooks Online Banks List

Step 2: Log Into Your Bank Account

You should see your bank login screen like the one below.

QuickBooks Online Bank of America Login Window

Enter the user ID and password that you normally use to access your bank account as we have done for Paul.

Depending on your internet connection and the number of accounts that you have, it may take a few minutes for QuickBooks to connect to your bank.

Step 3: Select Bank Accounts

You should see a screen similar to the one below that will list all of the accounts you have at this bank.

Bank of America QuickBooks Online Account Selection Window

Place a checkmark in the first column for each account you would like to connect to QuickBooks.
Account Name: From the drop down, select the QuickBooks account you want to link to this bank account. If you have not set up the account in QuickBooks yet, select Add Account from the drop down.
Your screen should display the following account setup window. Complete the fields below to set up the bank account in Quickbooks:
Bank of America QuickBooks Online Add Account Window

A. Account Type: Select the type of account you are downloading transactions for. Typically this would be either a Bank or Credit Card account.

B. Detail Type: Here you want to provide more information on the type of bank account.

C. Name: This is how the account name will show up in Quickbooks.

Suggestion: If you’ve got more than one business checking account that you plan to connect to QuickBooks then I would be more descriptive here and put the name of the bank and the last 4 digits of the bank account number (i.e. Bank of America Checking, x1234). This will allow you to easily tell one bank account from another when you are writing checks.

D. Description: Put the bank name and account type (i.e. checking, savings etc;)

E. Double check to make sure that you have make selections in all 5 fields. Click the Save and Close button

Step 4: Selecting the right date range

The maximum # of transactions that will download is 90 days.

If you need to download more than 90 days of banking transactions, then you will need to Import Transactions using CSV.

If you would like a shorter date range, just click the link that says need a shorter date range as indicated below:

Bank of American QuickBooks Online Account Selection Window

If the date you start using QuickBooks is less than 90 days, then you would need to use a shorter date range.

Below is an example when you might need to use a shorter date range:

Step 5: Click Connect

Before you click the blue connect button, double check to make sure that you did not select any accounts that you do not want to keep track of in QuickBooks. (i.e. personal bank accounts)

Caution: Once you click Connect all transactions will be downloaded into Quickbooks. Unfortunately there is no automatic undo button. Later on if you find out that you accidentally selected an account that you do not want connected to QuickBooks then you will need to manually delete all of those transactions before you can delete the account from QuickBooks.

Click the blue Connect button in the far bottom right part of the screen. This will start the process of downloading transactions for the accounts you selected in Step 3 into your QuickBooks file.

Bank of America QuickBooks Connect Button

Depending on the number of accounts you have selected and the date range, this could take a while to complete.

Once the transactions have been successfully downloaded into QuickBooks, the following message will display:

Bank of America QuickBooks Connection Success Window

Step 6 – Review Downloaded Transactions in the Banking Center

In the Banking Center, you should see the # of transactions that have been imported as indicated below:

QuickBooks Online Review Downloaded Transactions Window

All transactions that are downloaded will appear on the For Review tab. To learn how to manage banking transactions after they are downloaded, watch our step-by-step video tutorial on How do I manage downloaded banking transactions.

To add another account, just click the blue Add account button as indicated above and go back to Step 1 of this course to repeat this process.

If you have bank accounts at multiple banks that you want to track in QuickBooks then you will need to go back to Step 1 and repeat this process for each bank where you have business accounts that you want to track in QuickBooks.

When to Manually Import Banking Transactions Into QuickBooks Online Using a CSV File

If you were not able to locate your bank or if you need to download more than 90 days of banking transactions, then it is important for you to understand how to import your banking transactions using an Excel format called .CSV or a .QBO file.

To obtain this type of file, log into your bank account and go to the section where you can download transactions or bank statements. Most likely you will have the option to download your transactions in multiple formats. If you don’t see either of these options (.CSV or .QBO) then contact your bank. Let them know that you would like to download your banking transactions into QuickBooks and you would like to know how to do that from their website.

How to Manually Import Banking Transactions Into QuickBooks Online with a CSV File

Step 1 – Navigate to the Banking Center

From the left icon bar, select Transactions and Banking.

QuickBooks Online Banking Transactions Tab

Step 2 – Select Upload a file

Click the Upload a file option as indicated below at the very bottom of the screen.

QuickBooks Online Banking Upload File Window

Step 3 – Select the file to upload

Click Browse to locate the file that you wish to upload.

QuickBooks Online Download Banking Data Window

Step 4 – Select a QuickBooks account

From the drop down, select the QuickBooks account you want to link to this bank account. If you have not set up the account in QuickBooks yet, you can do that in Step 5.

QuickBooks Online Bank File Upload Window

Step 5 – Setup the QuickBooks Account

Select Add New from the drop down menu and complete the following fields:

QuickBooks Online Bank Account Setup Window

Account Type: Bank
Detail Type: Checking
Name: Bank of America Checking
Description: Put bank name and last 4 digits of account #
Click the Save and Close button
Once you have both the Bank file and the QuickBooks Account selected as indicated below, you can proceed to the next screen.

QuickBooks Online Bank Account Selection Window

Step 6 – Map the QuickBooks Online fields to your bank account fields

QuickBooks Online Bank Account Mapping Fields

Map the fields in your upload file to the fields in QuickBooks Online:

If your CSV file has a header row, make sure to check the box at the top left of the screen as indicated above.
Select the column that has the date in it
Select the format of the date column
Select the column that has the description of the transaction (i.e. Staples)
Select whether your file has both positive and negative numbers in one column or if it separates the positive and negative numbers into two columns.
Select the column that has the positive numbers (Debit)
Select the column that has the negative numbers (Credit)

Step 7 – Select Banking Transactions to Import

Select the transactions to import into QuickBooks by putting a checkmark in the first column and select Next.

QuickBooks Online Bank Account Transaction Selection Window

TIP #1: If you get to this screen and there are no transactions listed, make sure that you have done the following:

Remove any formatting like $ from the dollar amount column
Delete any blank rows in your spreadsheet. Be sure that everything begins at row 1, column 1 of the spreadsheet.
TIP #2: If you make any changes to your spreadsheet, you will need to save it & reupload it. Go back to Step 3 and browse for the updated spreadsheet.

Step 8 – Confirm Transactions to Import

Click Next and QuickBooks will confirm the number of transactions that you have selected for download:

QuickBooks Online Transaction Import Selection Window

If you agree with the # of transactions then select Yes. Otherwise, select No to go back and make any necessary changes.

Step 9 – Transactions have been downloaded

Once the transactions have been successfully imported the following message will display:

QuickBooks Online Bank Transactions Import Success Window

Step 10 – Review Imported Transactions

In the Banking Center, you should see the # of transactions that have been imported as indicated below:

QuickBooks Online Review Imported Transaction Window

All transactions that are downloaded will appear on the For Review tab. To learn how to manage banking transactions after they are downloaded, watch our step-by-step video tutorial on How do I manage downloaded banking transactions.

To add another account, just click the blue Add account button as indicated above and go back to Step 1 of this course to repeat this process.