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    Posted: 14 September 2006 at 11:22am

We get a lot of clients asking what type of file do they need to use TPI. Although the importer is very flexible and allows mapping fields from any Excel or text file to QuickBooks fields, the file must follow some basic rules.  You can also watch a YouTube video that discusses the content below at 

1. The file must be a flat file, with repeating data from common rows. This means that if you have an invoice file, certain fields like the customer name and invoice number should repeat over and over again for the same transaction. See the example below.

Order Number






John Smith

Widget 300




John Smith

Widget 400




Mary Jones

Widget 500



This file has two transactions (1000, 1001) where transaction 1000 has two line items and 1001 has one line item. Note that the customer name repeats along with the matching order number and only the item, quantity, and price changes. It doesn't matter how many fields are in the import file, or whether or not the file has column headers for each field, as TPI allows you to select just the fields you want to use for mapping to QuickBooks. In this example the file has field headers (Order Number, Customer, etc) but if the file doesn't contain field headers, TPI would display default field headers as Field1, Field2, Field3, etc.

2. The file must be an Excel or text file. If it is a text file it must be delimited with either comma, tab, or pipe. A delimiter shows when one field starts and ends. The text file should also have a CRLF (carriage return line feed, or ENTER key) at the end of each line. This indicates that the row (record) is ending.

3.  TPI determines when a transaction starts and ends by the information mapped to the QuickBooks field RefNumber on the mapping screen.  For instance, in the example above you would map the QuickBooks "RefNumber" field on the mapping screen to the Order Number Column.  This would tell TPI that the first two lines which have the same RefNumber 1000 should be imported to the same invoice. Watch a video demonstrating this concept on our YouTube Channel here -

TPI includes a sample file for each transaction type so you can try importing each of them into QuickBooks. If you have a question whether or not your file with work with TPI, you can send it to support @ and we will be happy to review it for you at no charge.
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