Skip to main content
Avalara Help Center

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 40,000 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 Batch Import transactions dialog, select Download template.
    3. Select Generate template. The template is downloaded to your computer. 
  2. Fill out the required fields, with a row for each line item of a transaction, and then save the file.
    • Review the Import transactions template guidelines for more information about how to use this template. 
    • Make sure you don'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. 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.
  4. 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.
    3. Select Save.
      Managed Returns for Accountants uploads the transactions to the Transactions page.
  5. To review the success of the transaction:
    • On the Returns > Transactions page, select the Import history icon.
      The Transaction import history menu opens with a list of imported files.
    • Find the row with the transactions file you want to review, and check the Total count and Success count columns.
    • If these fields are equal, it means that all transactions were successfully imported. If the fields aren't equal, there was an error importing some of the transactions.
    • To download a transaction file including only the rows that caused the errors, select the icon in the Error file or Error message column.
      • This file includes only the transactions that weren't imported due to an error.
      • The format matches the original import file, but includes an error message in column CJ - ErrorMessage.
      • For help resolving errors, see Fix transaction import errors.​​​​​​
    • Make corrections to the error file and upload the new file in the Import transactions dialog.

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.

  • Was this article helpful?