Lesson 25-- Exports and Imports

Goldenseal small business software includes several export commands which send company information to other programs (in the form of text files). You can export raw data, or the contents of a report.

Goldenseal also includes several import commands, which let you read data into your company file. You can bring in items that you've exported from another Goldenseal file, or you can use data from other programs.

This lesson shows you how to export and import data from Goldenseal small business software.

HINT-- this is the last lesson for the basic version of Goldenseal.

Exporting Data

You can export information from any list, account or transaction.

For example, to export details about each of your customers, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Export from the File menu, then choose One Account Class from the submenu.
  2. Choose the class of file you'd like to export, then click OK.
  3. You'll see a standard file saving dialog. Choose the location where you'd like to save the export file, and enter a name for the file. Then click OK.
  4. You'll see a listing of all the fields in the account. Goldenseal will export each item that is marked with an arrow.
  5. To change the fields that are exported, click in the arrow column.
  6. To change the order of the fields, hold down the Control or Command key, and drag fields to a new location.
  7. Click in the Record Range popup to determine which customers are included in the export.
  8. Click on the checkbox to determine whether a title row will be included in the export file, showing the name of each field.
  9. When you are finished setting up the export data, click OK. Goldenseal will automatically create an export file on your hard drive, at the location you specified in step 3.

Bulk Exports

When you move information from one Goldenseal file to another, you can use one of the multiple-item commands to export a group of items.

To export all company data, choose Export from the File menu, then choose Entire Company File from the submenu.

HINT: Exporting the entire company file is an alternative way to back up your company data. It stores everything in a standard format that can be imported back into Goldenseal later.

To export just some data from the company file, choose Export from the File menu, then choose All Accounts, All Lists, All Transactions, All Breakdowns, All Calculators, All Categories, All Payroll Lists or All Unit Prices.

HINT: Bulk exports are not as useful for general reporting, since they include more than one type of item, and label each column with a four-letter 'tag' instead of a regular text title.

Using Exported Data

Goldenseal exports data into simple text files. You can open them with a wide variety of programs.

Word Processors

To open an exported file with a word processor, follow these steps:

  1. Open the word processor you want to use to view the data.
  2. Choose Open from the File menu.
  3. Navigate to the place on your hard drive where the export file was saved.
  4. Select the file, and click OK or Open.

To get a good-looking report, you'll probably need to widen the document's tab spacing so each column of data is wider than the text contained in it.

HINT: Some word processors can use a text file to fill in data for a mail merge. Check your word processor manual for instructions.

Spreadsheets

To open an exported file with a spreadsheet program, follow these steps:

  1. Open the spreadsheet program you want to use to view the data.
  2. Choose Open from the File menu.
  3. Navigate to the place on your hard drive where the export file was saved.
  4. Select the file, and click OK or Open.
  5. You'll see the data in spreadsheet format.
  6. While in the spreadsheet you can get totals, change column widths and text formatting, and do anything else to get the data into the form you'd like.

Databases and Accounting Programs

Database programs and accounting programs other than Goldenseal generally use an Import command to bring in outside data.

You can probably bring Goldenseal data into a general-purpose database program with no additional processing.

To bring the data into another accounting program may require some preparation. Generally it is easiest to do that in a spreadsheet program. Check the manual for the program, to see what kinds of data it accepts and the format that is required.

Exporting Reports

You can save any report as a text file. To do that, click the Save As Text button while you are in the report window.

You can also save a text file from any window in the Billing, Deposit Funds, Pay Bills, Payroll or Job Costs commands. To do that, click the Save As Text button.

Importing Data

Goldenseal allows you to import stock data, data from a different company file, or data from any other program that exports text.

Always make a backup copy of the company file before you import data into it (see Lesson 17). That way if the results are not what you want, you can always go back to where you started.

HINT: Please make frequent backups! Reverting to a recent backup is an easy solution to many mistakes and problems. Not backing up is like driving your car without a spare tire. Even worse, because you can't call a tow truck on the information superhighway.

Importing Goldenseal Data

Goldenseal comes with stock data files that only apply to some users. You can use the Import command to bring in just those items that will be useful for your business.

For example, to import state payroll taxes, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Import from the File menu, then choose Payroll Update from the submenu.
  2. You'll see a standard file open dialog. Navigate to the Goldenseal Folder, and open the US Payroll folder.
  3. Choose a file to import, and click Open.
  4. Goldenseal will automatically import the data.
  5. To see the state payroll information, choose Payroll Setup from the Costs menu, then choose Tax Items, Tax Packages or Tax Tables from the submenu.

HINT: Current tax tables are available for free download from our web site (www.turtlesoft.com).

Importing Account and List Data

If you already have data in a database, spreadsheet or 'personal information' program, you can import it into Goldenseal and save some data entry time. You can import data into any list or account.

If you have data in another accounting program, you can also import it if the program is able to export information in tab-delimited text format, and if the information is similar to what Goldenseal uses.

To import a list of customer names and addresses, follow these steps:

  1. Make a backup copy of the company file. That way you can go back, if you don't like the results of the import. See Lesson 10 for more about backing up your company file.
  2. Choose Import from the File menu, then choose One Account Class from the submenu.
  3. You'll be asked what type of data to import. Choose Customer Accounts.
  4. Navigate to the Goldenseal Folder, and open the Other Data Files folder to open a sample export file. NOTE: If you are importing data from some other program, navigate to the location on your hard drive where you saved the export file.
  5. Choose the Customer List file, then click Import.
  6. You'll see an import order dialog that lets you line up the incoming data with the field in Customer accounts. HINT: Click on the right and left arrows beneath the field display to browse through the incoming data.
  7. Hold down the Command key and drag fields on the right side of the screen, until they match up with the corresponding data on the left side of the screen. HINT: If you need to drag an item a long distance, hold the cursor over the up or down arrow while you are dragging, and the list will scroll.
  8. When you have lined up fields, click in the center column to put arrows next to the items that will be imported.
  9. If the import file includes one or more rows of titles that you don't want to import, enter the number of initial rows to skip (in this file it is zero). HINT: If you accidentally import incorrect data, just delete the incorrect records, after the import is finished.
  10. When you have lined up fields with the incoming data, click the Import button. Goldenseal will import all the data.
  11. To see the new Customer accounts, choose Job Accounts from the Accounts menu, then choose Customers from the submenu.

Importing Transactions

Transactions are 'linked' to accounts and lists, so it is more difficult to import them. You can import transactions from another Goldenseal company file if it uses the same accounts and lists. You can import from other accounting programs only if you have first used a translator to process the information properly.

HINT: Goldenseal includes a translator for MacNail Accounting. Other translators may be added in the future.

Importing Estimates

Goldenseal can translate data from Turtle Creek's two estimating programs-- MacNail and BidMagic. If you use those programs, see the separate instruction document for details.

Importing Goldenseal Data

Goldenseal can easily import data that was exported from Goldenseal using All Accounts, Entire Company file, or another bulk export format. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. To import new 'starter' data, choose Import from the File menu, then choose Entire Company File from the submenu. To replace or update existing data, choose Import from the File menu, then choose Payroll Update from the submenu.
  2. Choose the file that you exported.
  3. Click Import.

You can also import data that was exported from a specific class (for example, One Account Class). In that case, you will need to line up the fields, just as you would when you import outside data.

Finishing Up

In this lesson you have learned how to use the import and export commands to move data between Goldenseal and other programs.

After twenty-five lessons, you're ready for a looong break. This might be a good time to take a month off, and spend some time in a Zen retreat center. You can ponder why you are running a small business, and consider running a Zen retreat center instead. It may make your current business seem much easier.

The next lesson will cover setup details for your own company file.