Import a chart of accounts file

To import a chart of accounts file, you must:

  • Have a new Accounting Start business with no transactions or records.
  • Have your chart of accounts file saved in comma separated value (CSV) format.
  • Use the same column headings and formatting as in the chart of accounts CSV template file.

How it works

During the import process, the accounts in your CSV file overwrite the standard ledger accounts in Accounting Start.

You can update the code and name of control accounts if you include them in your import file. If you don’t include them, we create them automatically, as they are mandatory accounts.

If you'd like to learn more, you can watch a video about the chart of accounts.

Step 1: Download the CSV template file

Each CSV file contains a standard list of ledger accounts and the required columns for Nominal Code, Ledger name, Control account, and Category.

A CSV file is a special kind of excel spreadsheet.

Download the CSV file from here - Canada COA import.csv

Step 2: Prepare your import file

If you already have a list of ledger accounts exported from another system,

  1. Change the column headings to match the format used in the template file.
  2. Remove any columns in your CSV file that are not used in the template file.
  3. Make sure the data format used in each column matches the format used in the template file.
  4. Category - Each ledger account must belong to a one of the categories already set up in Accounting Start. You cannot used your own categories.

If you don't have your ledger accounts in CSV file already, simple amend the template file with required ledger account names and nominal codes. Make sure you use the correct Category for each one.

The maximum file size you can import is 0.5MB.

Control Accounts

These are ledger accounts that are required as they are used by default for certain transactions must be present in every ledger account list. These accounts cannot be removed but you can change the Nominal Code or Ledger Name as required.

Column headings and required formats

When preparing your file, use the table below to ensure that your file format is correct. Remember that the header row in your CSV file must use the same headings as shown below.

Column Field Name Rules
A NOMINAL CODE Up to 8 numbers, and each code must be unique.
B GIFI CODE The GIFI code assigned to the account.
C LEDGER NAME Max length 200 characters.

If populated must contain a valid control account name, these ledger accounts can be updated with different numbers/names but should not be removed.

Note: When BANK_CURRENT or BANK_CASH control accounts are imported in the BANK category, a bank account is created on the Banking page.


Must be a valid category:

  • BANK
F PART RECOVERABLE PERCENTAGE Enter the percentage (a number from 0 to 100) of tax that is recoverable.
G NON RECOVERABLE LEDGER ACCOUNT Enter the number of the ledger account where you want to post partially recoverable taxes. This must be an existing expense (or direct expense) ledger account.

Step 3: Import the chart of accounts file

  1. Go to Settings, Business settings, Chart of accounts.
  2. From the New Ledger Account dri op-down arrow, select Import Accounts.
  3. Click the Upload Data File link.
  4. Browse to your CSV file and then click Open.
  5. Click OK.

Common errors

If your file cannot be imported, we'll tell you what the problems are and which rows are affected.