How do I import expenses from a file?

If you’re not a fan of manual entry, or you’d like to bring in missing expenses, or older expenses than the ones brought in by your bank connection, you can upload expenses in bulk with a CSV file in the same currency.
If you use Bank Reconciliation and you're looking to import historical transactions, review How do I add, edit, or delete manual transactions in bank reconciliation? instead which will also import expenses as well.
Most banks will allow you to download your transactions as a CSV file. When creating the CSV file, ensure the file has these required headers, and then add your data:
  • Amount
    • Use the same currency format for all numbers (123,456.00, 123 456.00, or 123.456,00) 
    • Use all negative (-x.xx) or all positive numbers only, mixed numbers will result only in negative numbers (-x.xx) being imported in
  • Category - Use only Operating Expense parent categories or subcategories
    • If the category does not yet exist, expenses imported under this non-existent category will be categorized under Uncategorized Expenses instead
  • Date - Use the same date format for all (month, day, year; day, month, year; or year, month, day)
  • Description
  • Merchant
Once your file is ready, import it in with these steps:
  1. Select the Expenses section
  2. Then select the More Actions button
  3. Next, select Import Expenses from a File
    Import expenses from a file button in Expenses section.
  4. Select Choose File…
  5. Then select your CSV
  6. Match the fields to the columns from your file using the dropdown (e.g., Date should match to the column in your file that is also labelled as Date)
    Fields for mapping from your file to the fields in Freshbooks.
  7. Once you’re done matching, under Other Details, specify your Currency
  8. Next, for Currency Format, choose either 123,456.00, 123 456.00, or 123.456,00
  9. Then for Date Format, choose either month, day, yearday, month, year; or year, month, day
  10. Select Import Expenses. New expenses will be added and you can start reviewing them in your list of expenses.


How are duplicate expenses handled?
All expenses will be imported, regardless if they are duplicates or transfers to pay off a balance. We recommend checking the CSV beforehand to ensure only unique transactions are imported.

Which types of transactions can be imported? 
Only negative amounts as -x.xx (withdrawals, payments, or debits) can be imported. If your file has both positive and negative amounts, the negative amounts will be imported. 

If your file only has all positives or all negatives, they will still be imported. If you've accidentally imported credits or reimbursements, you can delete the expenses afterwards to keep your reporting accurate. 
If you're looking to import all types of transactions, review How do I add, edit, or delete manual transactions in bank reconciliation? instead.
Why did I get an error uploading my file?
The CSV file may be invalid depending on the error:
  • The CSV file itself is corrupt - Copy the information to a new workbook and re-save as a .csv format
  • There are no header columns in the file or one header column is missing - Amount, Category, Date, Description and Merchant are required to be the first row in the file (if headers are missing, the first row is skipped)
  • There are unsupported characters like $ in the Amount column
  • The dates under the Date column are not written with dashes (-) or slashes (/) in between numbers (e.g., 01/17/2020 and 01-17-2020 are accepted)
  • The specified date format does not match the format in the file
  • The file contains multiple sheet tabs - Separate multiple sheet tabs into separate CSV files instead
  • The file is larger than 5 MB - Try splitting it into two or more CSVs instead