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Common mistakes on CSV (Excel) Imports (in 2020)

Monday, June 29, 2020

These days every ePOS, ERP, MRP, Accountancy system, etc has the ability to bulk import information using either CSV or Excel (if your system doesn’t then you should be asking yourself why not, as this is a basic requirement). At Joyce Software we all for you to import Customers, Suppliers, Products, VAT Rates, Categories and much more using CSV. But people still make the same mistake, and if you double check all the below before uploading the data you will have a smoother time

Use a valid file type

I have been provided with loads of files with an extension of CSV, where someone has saved it an Excel file and renamed to CSV. If you are editing the data in Excel (which is a great idea) use the File -> Save As option to save it as CSV. Your system might also be able Excel files. Rule of thumb is normally make sure your file is a valid .CSV, .XLSX or .XLS

Make sure you columns are in the correct order

Using the imports saves you so much time, but it can also cause you to waste a lot of time. If your system doesn’t validate the data before hand, or has headers with the columns names then you need to make sure that your layout matches what the re-import requires. The last time you want to do it import the VAT Rate as the Retail price (especially if you are on the higher end of the market), or your customers mobile number as their opening balance

Be careful with Microsoft Excel

I have seen Microsoft Excel truncate long numbers (normally the barcodem when editing CSV files), this then turns your 13 barcode into a numeric reference like 5.14+E. This can be avoided by using makng sure to format the columns as Custom and enter the format as “#################” another option is to use Notepad++ to edit the CSV files

Using commas (,) in description

A lot of errors are caused by people using the comma (,) in the description of their products, it is possible to put a comma in a CSV file but the string must be surround by Quote Marks. Most of the time it is easier to avoid using the comma altogether.

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