NetSuite CSV Import Errors: A Deep Dive into the Most Common Error Messages

The CSV Import function in NetSuite can be an administrators best friend. However, if you’ve used it more than once, you will likely have encountered an error message that left you scratching your head. Understanding what these error messages mean and how to fix the underlying issues can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to NetSuite or not experienced with the import function. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common NetSuite CSV import error messages and offer some guidance on how to troubleshoot and resolve them. Enjoy!

This record already exists

Ok, so a light hearted one to start with. We all know what that means but I’ll just explain the most common cause for me as it may be the same for you. I normally receive this message because I have been importing new transactions with External IDs. I have forgotten to change my External ID column since the last time I did the import. Therefore, the record already exists.

Invalid entity reference key xx for subsidiary xx

Invalid department reference key xx for subsidiary xx

Invalid account reference key xx for subsidiary xx

This is just a few different iterations of the same error. As you can probably guess, the issue here is with subsidiary restrictions. In the first example listed I would initially go to the entity record and check it is activated for the subsidiary in question. It is not always that straight forward though. Sometimes the line fails and NetSuite just gives you the first field it failed on which in this case was the entity column. If it turns out the entity is in fact live for that subsidiary I will then check any other columns that could have a subsidiary restriction. This is normally accounts and classifications.

If the accounts and classifications are all live for the given subsidiary consider the fact that the entity record is not spelled correctly and is mapping to the wrong record. The best solution to this is to map via the Internal ID rather than the entity name. We have explained this in more detail on our CSV Import Tips and Best Practices article.

No empty or blank headers are allowed in the CSV file

This is usually just an oversight. Double check your file to see if you accidentally left a column with no data in it nestled between other data filled ones. Delete the column and try again.

Removing empty columns from a CSV import file.

If you can’t find an empty column in the middle of your data you could of course have forgotten to label one of your data filled columns. This is far less likely as you wouldn’t have got passed the Field Mapping page with an empty header. That said, it’s safest to at least rule it out before proceeding.

The last thing to check for is, what I refer to as, residual data. This is when you have previously deleted the data in columns or rows outside of your data set but Excel doesn’t recognize that it is all gone. To resolve this follow the instructions in the Delete Residual Data section of our CSV Import Tips and Best Practices article.

The amounts in a journal entry must balance

This error is specific to journals. The obvious conclusion here is that your debit column and credit column do not balance. That’s easy enough to resolve. balance your columns and try again.

Normally that is not the case though. I have found a more common cause for this error is this. You are importing multiple journal entries at once using the External ID to differentiate. You have mislabeled your External ID column causing too many lines to full in to one of your journal entries and to few in another. Check your External ID column and try again.

Please enter value(s) for: xx

Please enter a value for xx

When you have mandatory fields on a form and you are creating new records via import you will normally be prompted on the Field Mapping page. You are most likely to receive this error when updating old records. Since they were created, fields have become mandatory and still contain no data. In order to update and save the record you will need to populate these now mandatory fields.

There you have a handful of the most common import errors. There are a lot more possible errors that could be received but if there is one that you are encountering frequently, let us know via the contact page and we will add to this list. The five chosen here are notable due to their regularity of occurrence but also that they often have unintuitive resolutions. Hopefully their mentioning here will save a deal of head scratching.


Don’t stop there! Dig deeper in to CSV Imports by checking out some of the following articles –

NetSuite Inventory Adjustment Import

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

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