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Create a custom transaction import template in Returns for Accountants

This article applies to:Avalara Returns for Accountants

If you work with clients who are not using AvaTax to calculate their taxes, you must add their transactions from an external data source into Returns for Accountants. Avalara provides a built-in import template format, but you can also create a custom transaction import template using the export format from your client's business application. Using a custom transaction import template saves you time, since you can import using the client's business application export file without the need for complicated data transformation.

Before you begin

Prepare a .xlx, .xlsx, or .csv custom transaction import template file that includes the column headers that you'd like to map to Avalara's columns. Refer to the Guidelines for using the import transaction template for more information about formatting requirements.

For mapping, the file must include columns that correspond to the following information:

  • Customer code: The code your business application uses to identify a customer.
  • Amount: The total sale amount for the line item.
  • Total tax: The total tax amount collected for the line item.
  • Line number: The line number of the line item.
  • Document code: The unique ID for the invoice, credit memo, or return. This is generally the invoice number.
  • Document date: The invoice, credit memo, or return date.
  • Origin region: The origin or ship-from state or province's abbreviation.
  • Origin postal code: The origin or ship-from state or province's postal code.
  • Destination region: The destination or ship-to state or province's abbreviation.
  • Destination postal code: The destination or ship-to postal code.


  1. In Returns for Accountants, go to Transactions > Transaction input file config.
  2. Select the + icon to open the Add input file configuration menu.
  3. Upload your custom template file.
  4. Select the Company to which you'd like to save the custom template.
  5. Enter a name for the custom template in the File type name field.
    This could be the name of the business application you use to export the transaction file, or any other name that helps you identify the custom template format.
  6. Optionally, enter a Description of the custom template.
  7. Select Next.
  8. On the Details menu, select the drop-down menu for each category to see the list of columns from your custom template file, then select the appropriate column.
    • You must map the required fields that end with an *, but all other categories are optional.
    • Leave the other categories blank if your custom template file doesn't include a corresponding column.
    • You'll repeat this same process for additional categories in the subsequent steps.
  9. Select Next.
  10. Map the Location categories to your custom import template columns, then select Next.
  11. Map the Optional categories to your custom import template columns, then select Next.
  12. Maps the Optional continued categories to your custom import template columns.
  13. Select Save.

The custom import template is saved, and you can now use it to import transactions. If you need to edit an existing transaction import configuration, select the field you need to edit and type the new column name. The new column name must exactly match the column name from your import file.

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