A Beginner’s Guide to NetSuite CSV Imports: Setting Up Your First Import

Welcome to our beginner’s guide to NetSuite CSV imports! Imports are a powerful and flexible tool that can help you quickly and easily bring data into your NetSuite account from external sources. Most NetSuite record types support CSV Imports to both create new records or update current ones.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of import templates, guide you through the import wizard and show you how to complete your first import. Whether you’re new to NetSuite or an experienced user looking to learn more about CSV imports, this article will have something for you.

What is a NetSuite CSV Import?

A NetSuite CSV import is a facility for creating or updating records in your NetSuite instance through the use of a CSV file. This file might be data that was exported from a previous or alternate system or it could just be manually created as a way of speeding up the process of creating records in bulk.

The columns in the file used will be mapped against fields in NetSuite allowing you to populate data on hundreds or thousands of records at once. Import templates can save you time and effort by eliminating the need to manually enter data or set up complex import scripts. Bulk creating or updating also helps ensure that your data is consistently formatted and accurate, reducing the risk of errors and improving the reliability of your account.

Most records in NetSuite can be imported and generally the process is straight forward although some record types do complicate things a little (see our walkthrough of an Inventory Adjustment Import).

For this example, which will serve as your first practical introduction to CSV imports, we will import some new customer records. This is simple one file import that will serve as an easy way to start understanding the template generation and use of the wizard.

How to Create a NetSuite Customer CSV Import Template

Build your template in Microsoft Excel. You will create columns that map directly to fields on the NetSuite customer record. To help the system auto map you want to make the column headers the same as the field labels in NetSuite.

Example customer import template for NetSuite

In this example we are creating new records so as a minimum we will need columns for all the mandatory fields. Every NetSuite instance is different but I have a very simple form set up. The only mandatory fields I need to map are Name, Email, Sales Rep and Subsidiary plus I am going to map a Phone Number column to add a Phone Number to some of the entries.

If you were importing updates to current records you would also need to map against the Internal ID or External ID to ensure you are updating the correct customers. If you are unsure of how to find the Internal ID of a record you can learn about it here.

Notice the format of my Subsidiary column data. I am mapping to Meeks Outfitters which is a child of Parent Company. When referring to child records you separate the parent and child name with a colon (:).

I will now save my file as a CSV (Comma Separated Value format).

How to Import a NetSuite Customer CSV Import Template

Using a role that has the Import CSV File permission navigate to Setup > Import/Export > Import CSV Records.

Select Import Type Relationships and Record Type Customers Only.

NetSuite import assistant for a customer import

Select One File To Upload from the two radio buttons and then select your CSV file.

Click Next to go to the Import Options page.

In this example we are creating new records so we will select Add. If we were updating records we would select Update.

Click Next to go to the Field Mapping Page.

field mapping for a NetSuite customer import

If your column headers are the same as the field names in NetSuite will normally auto map on this page. If fields do not auto map you will need to match them off yourself as I have done above.

The table in the middle of the screen is made up of two columns. The left hand column contains the headers form your CSV file. The right hand column should be the corresponding field in NetSuite. Select a field from the Your Fields list and it will appear on the central table in the left hand column. Click on the empty field to its right then select the corresponding field from the NetSuite Fields list. It will appear on the central table in the right hand column.

When all fields have been mapped I will select Next to go to the Start Import Page.

On the final page I will enter a name for my import then click Save and Run.

The page will reload and a green confirmation bar will appear a the top of the screen. Here I can click through to the CSV Import Status page.

NetSuite's CSV Import status page

If I refresh this page in a few minutes I will see the progress that has been made on the import. If the import fails then a response file will be attached to let you know the reason it has failed. Use this article to understand the most common errors with CSV Imports in NetSuite.

In this case my import has been successful.

This Customer Import should serve as simply an example of how to run the NetSuite CSV Import feature. The own needs may be more detailed than this but you should now have an understanding of how to approach an import of a customer, or any other record. The next step to deepen your knowledge will be to check out the following articles –

Complete List of NetSuite CSV Import Types and Record Types: Master the Art of NetSuite CSV Imports

Maximizing Efficiency with NetSuite Import Templates: Tips and Best Practices

Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Sales Orders in NetSuite

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