If you have a list of contacts you want to set up in Xero, you can save time by importing them rather than adding them one by one. In this tutorial, we will import a list of contacts into Xero’s demo company and check to see that the import was successful.

You can copy the steps taken here by using the Demo Company in your Xero account. To learn more about contacts in Xero, please see our tutorials on Xero contacts.

Contacts Section in Xero

To get to the right place in Xero, go to Contacts → All Contacts from the main menu:

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How to Import Contacts into Xero

Next, click on the Import button at the top of the screen:

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Download the Import Contacts Template

You should now be in the main Import Contacts screen. Here you will see that Xero provides a template file to use for importing contacts. To get started, click on the Download template file link:

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The file is in CSV format so you can open and use it in a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel of Google Sheets. I have opened my file in Excel. This is what the first few columns and rows of the file looks like before populating it with data to upload:

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Populate the Import Contacts Template

Now we are ready to populate the template. If you look at the main Import Contacts screen in Xero, you will see instructions on how to do this.

Important Note: make sure you do not delete any columns nor any of the header names in the top row of the Xero import template.

The easiest way to populate the Xero upload template is to download your contacts from whatever system you have them stored in and copy and paste the data into the relevant columns of the Xero template.

Important Note: you do not need to add data to every column for each of your contacts. The only piece of information you must fill in for each contact is the *ContactName in column 1 of the template.

For the purposes of this demonstration, instead of exporting data from another system, I have typed some data into the first few rows of the upload template:

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Upload the Import Contacts Template

Once you have populated your template, save the file in CSV format. Then, click on the Browse button in Xero and choose your saved file for upload. Before importing, select the Ignore empty fields radio button to ensure only the field of data you populated are uploaded.

Click on Import when you are ready to proceed:

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Xero will now check the upload file and display a message with its findings. Check the message to see if anything needs to be fixed before attempting the import again. If there is nothing to fix, you should see an option underneath the message instructing you on how to finish the import.

If you are happy to proceed, click on Complete Import to finish uploading your contacts:

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How to Check Your Import

Let’s take a look to see if my contacts imported. In the main Contacts screen, I searched for the names of my contacts by typing fake into the search box. I can see from the search result that my two contacts have successfully imported into Xero:

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Congratulations! Now you know how to import contacts into Xero. You can now save lots of time by exporting your contacts from other systems and uploading them straight into Xero.

You’re All Set!

That’s it for this lesson. For more helpful tutorials on Xero contacts, please follow this link. For other Xero tutorials, please click here.