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Import external data source transactions

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 Managed Returns for Accountants. The easiest way to do this is to use the import template. You can also use the import template to adjust any existing transactions, using special process codes that override tax calculations, add tax credits, calculate consumer use tax, or void transactions.


Example: The process code you enter in column A determines how AvaTax processes the import, such as whether AvaTax calculates tax and what tax rules it applies.

Before you begin

  • Make sure the transactions you want to import to Managed Returns for Accountants have no more than 100,000 combined lines or rows.
    Each transaction is limited to 15,000 rows in the import file.  
  • Make sure the transactions in Managed Returns for Accountants aren't locked during the monthly approval process prior to filing returns.


  1. In Managed Returns for Accountants, download the transaction template.
    1. Go to Returns > Transactions, and select the plus icon (import transactions). 
    2. In the Import Transactions dialog, select Download Template.
    3. If the client needs additional columns outside of the template, in the dialog box, select one or more parameters from the Available list. These parameters are dependent upon the nature of the transactions.
    4. Select the arrows to add or remove parameters from the Assigned Parameters list.
    5. Select Generate Template. The template is downloaded to your computer. 
  2. Open the Excel template, and add the transactions you want to import. The exact process varies depending on your system. When you finish, each line item should be a separate row in the import file. 

    For the import to succeed, you can't change the template columns headings, number of columns, or column order. However, you can simplify the template by hiding the columns you're not using.

    For example, a transaction with three line items requires three unique rows in the import file. Each row in the import file includes both document information (document date, document number, and customer code) and line item information (line number, item code, and item amount).
  3. Enter a process code in column A to tell Managed Returns for Accountants how you want the import to be managed. Streamlined Sales Tax (SST) customers can only use process codes 3 and 4. Here are some of the most common scenarios: 
    • Enter 1 to import transactions and retain prior tax calculations (tax override). AvaTax will not calculate the tax.
      For example, use this process code when you want to import transactions that occurred outside of AvaTax, such as if you use fulfillment by Amazon. Make sure that the TotalTax (AP) column contains the previously calculated total tax amount.
    • Enter 3 to import transactions and tell AvaTax to calculate the tax.
    • See the import template guidelines for information about other process codes and help filling out the rest of the template.  
  4. Once you finish filling out the template, verify the results. The file must be in an .xlsx (Excel Open XML spreadsheet) format to successfully upload.
  5. To upload the template:  
    1. Go to Returns > Transactions > plus icon to upload the import file.
    2. Drag or browse to include the file in the Upload Item field. Select Save. Managed Returns for Accountants uploads the transactions to the Transactions page.
    3. To review the success of the transaction, in the upper right corner of the page go to the Hello, Username menu, and select Imports. In the row for the transactions file you want to review, if the transaction was successful, the Total Count and Success Count fields should be equal.
    4. If these fields are not equal, there was an error in the transaction import. To download a transaction file including only the rows that caused the errors, select the arrow icon, and select Failed. Make corrections to the failed transaction file and upload the corrected error file in the Import Transactions dialog. This file adds only the correct rows to the transactions list. For help resolving errors, see Fix transaction import errors.



      If you upload the entire transaction file again rather than just the corrected error file, you receive an error because the successful transactions have already been processed.

The transactions are imported to Managed Returns for Accountants. The information in your business application remains the same; it's not updated. To stay synchronized, make sure the transactions in your system match the transactions you imported or adjusted in Managed Returns for Accountants.

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