NetSuite Chart of Accounts Import Template : A Fast and Efficient Ledger Setup

Setting up your chart of accounts is one of the first tasks you will complete when configuring a new accounting system. However important this task is it doesn’t also need to be difficult.

Using the NetSuite chart of accounts import template you can streamline and automate the process allowing you to spend more time figuring out the details rather than figuring out the system.

The NetSuite chart of accounts import template is a tool that simplifies the task of importing account data into your NetSuite instance.

By using a CSV file, you can efficiently create or update multiple accounts at once, saving valuable time and effort.

Whether you are setting up a new system or making changes to an existing one, this import template streamlines the process and ensures data accuracy.

In this guide, I will walk you through the step-by-step process of generating a CSV import template for your NetSuite chart of accounts. I will cover which fields to use, how to format the details and structure the file correctly. I will also run through the actual import process and provide valuable tips and best practices to ensure a smooth and successful import.

Preparing a CSV NetSuite Chart of Accounts Import Template

The first step to creating your new chart of accounts import is preparing the CSV template.

When creating a CSV template for importing anything in to NetSuite there is no one-size-fits-all. Every companies environment will differ slightly. You might have different features activated or you may have created custom fields.

The example I show here might not be perfect for you but it covers the basic, arguably most important, fields. You will need to check your own Account record before preparing a CSV template to ensure you are picking up all the important and mandatory fields for your company.

Below is the example template I will walk you through. Remember, some of these fields may not be applicable to you.

Example of a NetSuite chart of accounts import template
  • External ID – The External ID is not mandatory. It is, however, a useful indicator to utilize for a number of reasons. In the context of ledger accounts you may use it to reference your previous systems numbering. You can also add a code here to ensure future imports are easy to reference. You can learn more about external IDs in NetSuite in this article.
  • Number – This is your account number. Ensure you are using a logical and scalable numbering system. You can learn more about this in my NetSuite chart of accounts best practices.
  • Name – Enter the name of the account. There is a 60 character limit to this field but do not feel like you need to fill that. Abbreviate common words where possible and use a naming convention to ensure consistency across your chart of accounts.
  • Description – Enter here a description of the account to allow users to understand when and why it should be used. Remember to use this description in place of a lengthy, cumbersome account name.
  • Subaccount of – This is a list field of all other accounts in your ledger. Enter the parent account if you want to make this a child account. You must format this selection as the account number and name eg. 12000 Inventory.
  • Type – Enter the type of account. This can’t be changed later so you need to select the correct choice. The complete list of options is as follows –
    • Bank
    • Accounts Receivable
    • Other Current Asset
    • Fixed Asset
    • Other Asset
    • Accounts Payable
    • Credit Card
    • Other Current Liability
    • Long Term Liability
    • Equity
    • Income
    • Cost of Goods Sold
    • Expense
    • Other Income
    • Other Expense
    • Deferred Revenue
    • Deferred Expense
    • Unbilled Receivable
    • Statistical
  • Currency – If you are using the multiple currencies feature then you should state here the currency being used for Bank accounts. Use the currency name as shown on the Lists > Accounting > Currencies page.
  • Subsidiaries – Enter the subsidiaries you want to make this account live for. If you want to select multiple, but not all, subsidiaries, then separate them with a comma. You can also use Internal IDs here. Read this article to learn more about using Internal IDs during the import process.
  • Include Children – If you have selected a parent subsidiary in the above, then you can check this box to allow access for all child subsidiaries also. If you want global access to an account then enter your top most parent subsidiary in the Subsidiaries field and check the Include Children box. In CSV imports you can use TRUE and FALSE to indicate a checked or unchecked checkbox.
  • Revalue Open Balance for Foreign Currency Transactions – Mark this column as TRUE if you want to have NetSuite run a month end revaluation on open foreign currency balances on this account. Be sure to populate this column with TRUE or FALSE for all accounts as NetSuite does check some account types as default.
  • General Rate Type – General rate type is the exchange rate used for the income statement, balance sheet and some other general purposes. It is defaulted for certain accounts. Be careful deviating from defaults and causing inconsistencies in rate types. This can result in discrepancies on your financial statements, particularly at a consolidated level. The defaults are as follows –
    • Current – for all balance sheet accounts other than equity accounts
    • Historical – for equity accounts
    • Average – for all income statement accounts
  • Cash Flow Rate Type – This defaults to Average for all accounts except for equity. The cash flow rate type is used for the cash flow statement. As with the general rate type you can enter any of the following options –
    • Current
    • Historical
    • Average

Once you have populated the columns with the data listed above you will have something that looks like this.

Example of a NetSuite chart of accounts import template with data populated

Save the file as a CSV file type and you are now ready to import it.

Importing the Chart of Accounts via CSV file in NetSuite

With your CSV file saved locally you can then follow these steps to import the chart of accounts in to your NetSuite environment. In all scenarios, do this in your NetSuite Sandbox account first.

  • Using a role with the Import CSV File permission navigate to Setup > Import/Export > Import CSV Records.
  • Select Accounting from the Import Type drop down and Chart of Accounts from the Record Type drop down.
NetSuite import assistant for chart of accounts import
  • Upload your CSV file and click Next.
  • On the Import Options page select the Add radio button and click Next.
  • On Field Mapping map the CSV columns (left side of the central table – pictured below) to the corresponding NetSuite field (right side of the central table). Using column headers that match the field names in NetSuite, as per my example, should result in many of these columns auto mapping. Once all columns are mapped click Next.
NetSuite import assistant field mapping page for chart of accounts import.
  • 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 right of Save and Run and select Run.

Your NetSuite chart of accounts import template will now begin to load. Navigate to Setup > Import/Export > View CSV Import Status to view it’s progress. You can 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 Accounts.

When your NetSuite Chart of Accounts Import Template Fails

An accounts import is not one of the harder imports you will do in NetSuite but it can still fail.

Lists fields are often the most troublesome so check the formatting of your Subsidiaries, currencies, rate types and any other or custom list fields you have on your account record.

When any import fails you are given a CSV file containing an error description. This file is linked to the relevant line on the CSV Import Status page. Edit your file in response to this error and try the import again.

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