CRM (Basic): Import a client list

Our import tool allows you to transfer client accounts and contact data to TaxDome at the same time, so you can quickly start working from your portal. Although you can create new contacts and accounts manually, uploading a CSV file is a much faster way to transfer your data to TaxDome. 

Covered here:


Webinar: Find out how to import your clients, create document folder structures and invite clients to the portal in 45 minutes with Explore how to get started in TaxDome

Step 0. Prepare a CSV file 

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To import your pre-existing contact and account data, use a spreadsheet tool such as Excel or Google Sheets. You can also read the instructions on transferring your data from a specific platform or software program.

  • When importing your client data to TaxDome, remember that Accounts and Contacts are different
    • Accounts are the entities you work for and bill, whether a company, a trust, a family or an individual 
    • Contacts are the actual individuals you interact with. Here's an explanation of Accounts and Contacts
  • Create a spreadsheet with your client data, then save it as a CSV file. Make sure that the CSV file is UTF-8 encoded and doesn't exceed 300 kB
  • Enter only one contact per spreadsheet row, even when several contacts are linked to the same account. You can also skip importing accounts to import contacts only
  • You can have different spreadsheets for different groups of clients. These can be imported one by one, with different settings applied. Here's a video on importing different client groups

Tip: if your source software generates a file with the taxpayer and spouse on the same row, you don't need to manually edit the CSV. Instead, follow the instructions for importing a file with the taxpayer and spouse on one row.

  • 👋  We can help! If your CSV file ends up with multiple contacts per row and you don't know how to fix it, let us know. Our support team is happy to help: Follow these steps to get assistance

1. Create a spreadsheet 

Create and label the columns. 


Tip: when you name the columns, each column header name stands for a different data property.

Here are some examples of column header names: 

  • Column AAccount Name: the name of a company or trust (a non-personal account) or the name of an individual or family (a personal account)
  • Column BContact Name: the first and last name of the contact linked to the account
  • Column CFirst Name  
  • Column DLast Name  
  • Column E | Account type
  • Column F | Email: an email address must be provided for the contact to have portal access
  • Column G | Phone
  • Column H | City
  • Column I | Account tags: a label you can apply for grouping accounts
  • Column J | Contact tags: a label you can apply for grouping contacts
  • Column K | Team members: team members you would like to be automatically assigned during import

2. Fill in the rows of the spreadsheet with contact and additional information

Your spreadsheet might already have custom columns. However, make sure you follow these basic rules for a smooth import:

  • Each row must include only one contact
  • If you plan to create new accounts while transferring your data, make sure there is an Account Name column. Label it Account Name (what TaxDome calls the data property) or whatever name works for you. If a contact does not need to be linked to an account, leave the row in the Account Name column blank.
  • If two or more contacts share the same account, use the same account name in each row for each contact
  • Different types of custom fields support different characters. Please ensure that your fields are filled correctly:
    • Divide options with a comma or semicolon ("," or ";"), the character for multiselect dropdown custom fields
    • The dates should be filled in the corresponding format: MM/DD/YYYY or MMM/DD/YYYY for US firms and DD/MM/YYYY for non-US firms

Not sure how to set up different types of accounts, such as a married couple who file separately? Look at examples of setting up contacts for different account types, then check out these tips:

Importing several accounts with the same contact

Q: How do I enter different accounts that need to be linked to the same person in the spreadsheet? For example, several businesses that belong to the same business owner. 

A: Create one row for each account, then enter the same contact information for each account in the appropriate columns.

In the example spreadsheet below, Account Name gets mapped to Account Name in TaxDome, and five accounts are created during the import process, each one linked to Brian Ross’s contact information. Brian Ross can then log in to TaxDome using and switch between accounts. 

Importing several contacts with the same account

Q: How do I enter several contacts that need to be linked to the same account in the spreadsheet? For example, several business partners who own one business or a taxpayer and their spouse.

A: Use one row for each contact, then enter the same account name for each person in the appropriate column.

In the example spreadsheet below, Name_Business Name gets mapped to Account Name in TaxDome, and six accounts are created during the import process. Michael Douglaston is linked to one contact, Robbie Corp to three contacts, the Smith family to three contacts, Mart Frickey to one contact, Solomon Deutsch to one contact and Chrissy Tidder to one contact.

Importing contacts to two accounts simultaneously

Q: How do I enter several contacts that need to be linked to two accounts in the spreadsheet? For example, children who need their own accounts but still need to be linked to the family account.

A: Use two rows for each contact, then change the account name while keeping the contact details the same. This can save you some work later on since you won't have to manually link contacts.

3. Save the spreadsheet in CSV format

TaxDome only recognizes spreadsheets saved as CSV files. From the menu bar in your spreadsheet, go to File, then select Save as CSV or Download as CSV (the wording may vary based on the program you are using).

Microsoft Excel: In the Save as type field, select CSV (Comma delimited). In the Tools drop-down menu, select Web Options. Open the Encoding tab. In the Save this document as drop-down menu, select Unicode (UTF-8), then click OK.

Now that you’ve saved your spreadsheet as a CSV file and made sure it is UTF-8 encoded, you’re ready to import your contacts to TaxDome.

Step 1. Upload the CSV file to TaxDome

Go to Clients Accounts, then click Import. You can also access this button from the Contacts page.

Drag and drop the CSV file or click Browse to locate it on your desktop to upload it.

Step 2. Create accounts (optional)

Here’s how to create accounts:

1. Map the Account Name

Select the column header name from your spreadsheet that corresponds to TaxDome’s Account Name property. If you used Account Name as the column header name in your spreadsheet, it is automatically mapped to TaxDome’s Account Name property because they have the same name.


Tip! If you want to skip importing accounts and import contacts only click X to the right of the Choose CSV column for Account Name field.

2. Choose the Account Type

Select an option to specify how you want to apply the account type to your imported clients. For details, go to the article on account types.

Selected option Result
Individual, Company, Other The selected account type will be applied in bulk to all imported accounts. The account type column in your spreadsheet will be ignored (if any).
Map with CSV column You will see the Choose CSV column dropdown. Select the column from your spreadsheet that corresponds to TaxDome's Account Type property.
Ignore For updating your existing clients only. Do not choose this option for importing new clients. Otherwise, the Other account type will be applied and the account type column in your spreadsheet will be ignored.

If Company is applied, the client will have Company name property equal to the Account Name column data.

3. Map account fields

Add any data from your spreadsheet as custom fields for your accounts, tag them or assign team members. Review all column header names on the left, then choose either Ignore or Sync custom field from the Action drop-down menu. If you choose Sync custom field, select the custom field from the drop-down menu in the TaxDome column. 

  • If an account that has the same name already exists in TaxDome, it will not be changed and all of its data will remain the same 
  • If a column header name from the spreadsheet does not have a corresponding account property, create a new one by selecting New field in the drop-down menu. Read more about adding account custom fields while importing
  • You can also tag your accounts here. For details, go to this article on applying tags
  • If you have the Team members column in your spreadsheet, the team members listed in the spreadsheet will be automatically assigned to the corresponding clients. 

Step 3. Define settings (Optional)

In this step, apply settings in bulk to the newly imported accounts.

1. Linked contacts

On the left, under EMAILS, you’ll see the TaxDome Email property. If you have added custom email fields for your contacts, you’ll see these as well. 

Select the access rights for each contact whose email address is linked to the imported account. By default, all access rights are toggled on: 

  • LOGIN: when this is toggled on, the contact can use their TaxDome client portal

  • NOTIFY: when this is toggled on, the contact receives all system notifications, such as for messages, organizers, proposals, invoices and emails sent from TaxDome or via pipeline automations and more

  • EMAIL SYNC: when this is toggled on, you’ll be able to see and reply to the client’s emails in your Inbox+ and view all of the emails in their account’s Email tab   

If you want clients to receive an email invite to their TaxDome portal, check the  Send Invitations box. To add a custom message, type one in the Personalized message field. If you don’t want to invite them right away, send an invitation later by going to the Accounts tab, and opening the Pending Activation subtab.

2. Tags

If you already have some tags created in TaxDome, you can apply them to your imported accounts here. They will be applied to all imported accounts. If you need to apply different tags to different accounts, it's better to add them to the spreadsheet beforehand. Read more on applying tags.

3. Assignees

If team members are not listed in the spreadsheet, new accounts are assigned to the person doing the import. Or you can select additional team members you want to have access to all the imported accounts. Read more on assigning team members while importing.

4. Folders and documents

If you use a custom folder structure for client documents, apply folder templates in bulk to the newly created accounts. Read more about creating folder templates. The Default Tax Years template is automatically applied to new accounts if you don’t select a folder template you've already created.

Step 4. Create contacts

To start importing your contacts to TaxDome, review the column header names from your spreadsheet on the left, then choose either Ignore or Sync custom field from the Action drop-down menu. The column header names in your spreadsheet that match TaxDome contact property names (e.g., First Name, Phone, Email, City) get automatically mapped. 

If you choose Sync custom field, select the contact field from the drop-down or add a new field by clicking New field. Read more about contact custom fields

  • You can also tag your contacts here.  For details, go to this article on applying tags.
  • You don’t have to pair every column header name — you can leave the Action field selection as Ignore.
  • If you skipped account mapping, you can import contacts only.

Once you’ve finished mapping, click Continue. This does not begin the import process. You will still be able to return to this step if you’ve made any mistakes.

Step 5. Review 

When you review the mapping results, you’ll see all of this:

  • Which team members will be assigned to the accounts
  • Which tags will be assigned to the accounts
  • Which custom account and contact fields will be created
  • Which contacts will be created with which names and email addresses
  • Which accounts will be created with which linked contacts

If everything looks good, click Start Import. If not, go back to make any necessary fixes.

Now, you can leave the page. The import process will continue on its own. Once the import is done, you will receive an email notification. Click the link in the message to go to the import results. You’ll see:

  • How many contacts were imported
  • How many spreadsheet rows were skipped
  • How many accounts were created
  • How many accounts were updated
  • How many custom fields were created

If some rows were skipped (because of errors), you can export a zipped CSV file telling you which ones and why. Reasons for skipped rows include empty cells in mandatory columns (e.g., contact names) or cells in the email column that are missing email addresses. Now, you can leave the page. The process will continue on its own. The export results will be sent to you via email.

If you are having difficulties with the import process, let us know! Our team is always happy to help!  

Who can import?

A firm owner and admin can import contacts and create accounts in TaxDome. If you want team members to be able to import, give them access rights to manage contacts:

1. Go to Settings, select Team & Plans in the menu bar, click on the three dots to the far right of the team member’s name, then click Edit

2. Toggle on Manage contacts, then click Save


Tip: check out the TaxDome Academy to take fun, comprehensive classes and become a TaxDome superstar.

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