Importing Q & A

MoneyWorks has extensive and very powerful importing capabilities, allowing you to import almost any data. Below are some of the common questions we get about importing. Note that technical details are in the MoneyWorks manual, which you can search here

How do I import data into MoneyWorks?

The standard way to import data is to choose Import from the File menu, then select the type of data you want to import (Accounts, Transactions, Customers etc). You will then be asked to locate the text file that contains the data.

Alternatively you can just highlight a block of text in a spreadsheet or text editor, and copy it, then display the appropriate list in MoneyWorks and paste it.

What sort of data can I import?

You can import almost any data, including your chart of accounts, budgets, customer/supplier, products, transactions and job information. You can also update existing information (for example, if you get a new price list from a supplier).

MoneyWorks will always check the data being imported, and will discard any information that has errors. For most imports you have the option of rejecting the entire import file if any errors are found, or just the records that are in error (which are written to a new file so they can be identified and corrected).

What form does the data need to be in?

The information can be sourced from other applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, databases or even other accounting programs (provided they have an export capability). It can be simple text (csv or tab delimited), or xml.

What data do I need?

You can only import the data that you have. MoneyWorks has a lot of data fields in its various tables, and a common mistake is to export out some MoneyWorks data and then assume that MoneyWorks needs all of those fields. It doesn’t!

So take just the data that you have (which must be in a CSV or tab delimited text file unless you are copy/pasting).

What order should my fields be in?

Almost any order. The first step in importing data is to align the MoneyWorks fields with your actual data using the Import field order window. This is described in the MoneyWorks Manual, but basically you drag the MoneyWorks fields up and down so they align with your fields. The important thing is that the data must have a consistent structure (for example, if the third column of your data contains say an email address, then all rows must have the email address in the third column).

What is the purpose of the Import Field Order window?

This is where you align the MoneyWorks fields with the data that you are importing, and also supply any missing data. Simply drag the fields in the Destination Field column up or down so they match the equivalent field in the data you are importing. The arrow in the middle column indicates that you are transferring the data on the left into the destination field on the right. If you don’t want to import some of your data, click on the arrow to turn it off. For a description of the MoneyWorks fields, see the Appendix to the MoneyWorks manual.

When you have got all your fields aligned, click the OK button and MoneyWorks will check the data, and, if the data is OK, it will offer to import it. If there are errors in the data (maybe a transaction doesn’t add up, or some required data is not specified), these will be displayed and you need to correct them (either in the Field Order window, by clicking the back button, or in the data file itself). The possible errors are described in the Export/Import section of the MoneyWorks manual.

MoneyWorks seems to want data that I don’t have.

It doesn’t matter, the MoneyWorks import process can provide the data, so long as you tell it. For example, when you are importing new customers you need to set the customerType field to “2” if you want to be able to invoice them. You could do this by manipulating the data in a spreadsheet and adding a whole column with value “2”, but it much easier is to have MoneyWorks provide this. Just double-click on the <= icon in the right hand column, and a window opens where you can supply the value (or calculation) to that field. In the example of the customer type, we would put 2 into the Use Value field.

How do I update existing data?

You can update existing customer/suppliers/items etc by clicking the Options button in the Import Field Order dialog and turning the Update if Exists option. If the data that you are importing already exists in MoneyWorks (identified by the code field), the existing data will be updated. If it doesn’t, a new record will be created.

Will I have to align my data every time I do an import?

No, MoneyWorks remembers the last order you used, so it is ready for next time. But you might want to save it with its own name, just in case someone fiddles with it later—simply click the Save button to save your alignment (technically referred to as an Import Map) with your own preferred name. You can retrieve it by clicking on the Arrows next to load button. You will definitely want to save the map if you are switching between data sources for imports (e.g. loading price books from different suppliers).

What is XML?

XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language, and it is basically text that contains not only the data elements, but also tags that define what the data is. You can import XML data into MoneyWorks using the Import>File>XML command, or by just copying and pasting. The key difference with XML is that you don’t need to align the fields, as that information is in the data file itself as “tags”, with the tag value being the name of the target MoneyWorks field. For more information on the MoneyWorks XML data format, refer to the MoneyWorks XML article

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