Importing Journals in NetSuite: A Step-by-Step Guide

NetSuite very kindly offers us the ability to import most records from a CSV. This allows us to create or update records in bulk, saving time and reducing the risk of error. All the standard transaction records in NetSuite can be created in this way but the one that gets imported most frequently tends to be the Journal. Journals are often made up of far more lines than any other financial transaction and can be fiddly and time consuming to enter manually. It’s not uncommon that businesses may also have data from external systems such as payroll or expense management systems that will need inputting weekly or monthly.

Luckily importing Journals via CSV is not a difficult process and since Journal records are often less customized than the other financial records it is easy to explain the process step-by-step.

Preparing a CSV file for a Journal import in NetSuite

Although the Journal record in NetSuite is usually kept reasonably close to the standard offering, it is possible your environment will look slightly different to mine. The example I have created for you in the steps below uses the mandatory fields found on my Journal form. Before working through your own import check the Journal form and ensure your template is picking up all the necessary fields.

Your CSV file will be made up of two sections as per the image below.

The two sections of the csv file when importing journals in to NetSuite
  1. Header Data (Left) – This relates to the header of the Journal record. We will define such fields as Subsidiary, Date and Period. This information will be the same for every line that relates to the same Journal.
  2. Line Date (Right) – These are the fields that can be found in the Lines sublist of the Journal record. They are your debits and credits. Each row of your CSV will be for a different line.

If you are importing multiple Journals in to NetSuite on the same file then the External ID column is crucial. This is what will tell the system where one Journal ends and the next one begins. Ensure you have the same value for External ID on every line of the same Journal.

I have populated my columns below and am ready to import. Check out our CSV Import Tips and Best Practices article for detailed information on how to avoid errors on some of these fields.

A journal import file with example data

Importing Journals via CSV file in NetSuite

So now you have your CSV file saved to your computer you need to follow these steps –

  • Using a role with the Import CSV File permission navigate to Setup > Import/Export > Import CSV Records.
  • Select Transactions from the Import Type drop down and Journal Entry from Record Type drop down.
The NetSuite CSV import assistant for journal entries
  • Upload your CSV file and click Next
  • On the Import Options page select the Add radio button and click Next.
  • On the Field Mapping page map the CSV column (left hand side of the central table) to the corresponding NetSuite field (right hand side of the central table). Using column headers that match the field names in NetSuite should result in many of these columns auto mapping. Once all columns are mapped click Next.
Field Mapping for a journal import in NetSuite
  • Enter a name for your Import if you are going to save it for future use, then click Save and Run. If you do not need to save it then hover over the arrow to the right of Save and Run and select Run.

Your import will now begin to load. Navigate to Setup > Import/Export > View CSV Import Status to view it’s progress. You may click the Refresh button at the top left of the page until the status bar shows 100%. Your import will then be complete and you will want to find and check a sample of your Journals.

When your NetSuite Journal Import Fails

If some or all of your import fails you will be given a CSV file containing an error description. You will need to edit your file in response to this error and try the import again. This article outlines some of the more common errors and some unintuitive resolutions.


Strengthen your knowledge of NetSuite’s CSV Import function with the following articles –

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

Mastering NetSuite Purchase Order Imports: A Comprehensive Guide

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