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Import bank transactions


As an alternative to setting up a bank feed for auto-import of bank account transactions, you may manually import a bank transactions CSV file that you download from your online banking or create yourself.

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Required file format

At this time, Flare allows you to import CSV files (comma separated values). The CSV file must have a header row (with field names). The minimum required fields are Transaction Date, Amount, and Description in the order shown below.

Example transactions CSV file:

Field formats

Format: mm/dd/yyyy
Example: 07/22/2015 for July 22, 2015.

A positive number (credit) or negative number (debit) without a thousandth's separate (i.e. a comma), to two decimal places when required, and without a dollar sign ($).

Amount examples:



When downloading bank transaction files the description field may contain the type of transaction or other reference number. If you are creating your own transaction file, the description field limit is 255 characters after which text will be truncated.

  If the bank file you download has columns other than those accepted by Flare they must be deleted before attempting an import into a Flare bank account.

Correcting transaction file format from transactions files you download from your bank

Fix the most common bank account transactions file formatting problems:

Column order is incorrect

If the order of columns is different than Flare's required transactions file format, in Excel, move columns by selecting the cell to move (1 below) then selecting where you'd like to paste it. Then, right click and select "Insert Cut Cells" (2). In the example below, the Description column heading is incorrectly to the left of the Amount column heading. As per Flare's required CSV format, the Amount column comes before the Description column.

Select and Cut cell to move:
Selecting and cutting cells in Excel

Select the column where you'd like to paste the cell then "Insert Cut Cells":
Insert cut cells in Excel

The Amount column has been moved to the left of the Description column. Now all that is required are column headings "Transaction Date", "Amount", and "Description". The corrected column order and headings are shown in the example below:

Credits and debits are in separate columns

If credits (deposits) and debits (payments) are in separate columns, you'll have to move the debit column values into the same column as credits, ensuring debit values begin with a "-" sign. The example below demonstrates the removal of a header row and the moving of debits into the same column as credits.

Moving credits and debits into same column

To alter this file so it meets Flare's transactions file format requirements, you would:

  • Delete the header row (1 above).
  • Move debits over to the Credit row (2 and 3).
  • Delete the Debit column.
  • Add the correct column heading row with headings"Transaction Date", "Amount", and "Description" as shown below.

  • In Excel, choose Save As > CSV.

Incorrect date format

If the date format is not mm/dd/yyyy as required by Flare, in Excel do the following:

  • Select the date column (1 below). Right click and choose Format Cells (2 below).

    Correcting date column in Excel

  • Choose Custom (3 below) and in the Type text box enter: mm/dd/yyyy (4).
    Excel shows you a sample of the date.

    Correcting date column in Excel
  • Click OK (5 above).
    Check the file to ensure the date format has been converted to mm/dd/yyyy.

Importing a bank account transactions CSV file

To import a bank transactions file, do the following:

  • Log into your online banking.
  • Select an account. In this example, we'll select Checking.
  • Look for "Export" or "Download". Select CSV (the preferred format) XLS, or XLSX.
  • Download the file.
  • Open the file and ensure the format is correct.
  • Save the file as CSV (1 and 2 below).

    Save as CSV in Excel

  • Click Bank in Flare's main menu (3 below), click the accounts dropdown menu (4) and click the name of the account where you'll import transactions (5).

    Bank in Flare's main menu

  • Click the Import icon (6 below).

    Import icon

    A file browser window will open.

  • Click Click to Select (7 below) and browse for the transactions file.

    Browse for file

  • Double-click the file name or click the Open button (8 below).

    Open file

Flare will import the file. If the bank transactions file import was successful, you will see the alert "Your transactions imported successfully!" displayed at the right corner of Flare's top menu (shown below).

Import success message

  Imported bank transactions are not added directly to the Flare bank account (also known as a "Flare book account"). After a successful import, you'd reconcile bank account transactions with book account transactions by matching, adding or ignoring them. Once reconciliation is complete, you can categorize transactions into appropriate chart of accounts categories. See Bank reconciliation steps and Categorize bank transactions for more information.
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