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Importing Bank and Credit Card Transactions


This article walks you through the process of importing transactions from your bank (operating or trust) and credit card, into your CosmoLex account. 

Operating (General) or Trust Accounts

When it comes to Operating and Trust Banks, the only time you need to import bank transactions is for migration purposes when you first start using the program and need to bring in historical transactions as opposed to just starting with the correct chart of account balances.

Subsequently, once you start using CosmoLex, given that your bank transactions are entered into CosmoLex as you receive payments or issue checks, import would no longer be needed.

Just need to know how to enter an individual transaction?

Learn how to enter Operating Bank Transactions 

Learn how to enter Trust Bank Transactions

Credit Card Accounts

The most useful purpose of importing transactions on a regular basis is to import your monthly credit card statements into your credit card bank in CosmoLex. Let’s face it, many of us use credit cards for business and client expenses, but very few of us keep a daily record of those items. Even if you do, quite often things are missed. With this function, once your monthly cycle is complete, you can import your credit card statement.

Just need to know how to enter an individual Credit Card Transaction?

Learn how to track credit card expenses

Watch a Video

Before Getting Started

To import transactions, you will first need to extract those records from their current location. There are two common options to obtain your transactions:

  • From previous accounting program –  If your previous program allows a transaction export to Excel or CSV you can export a transaction list that can later be imported.
  • From your online bank records – When obtaining records from your online bank account, we highly recommend downloading them in QBO Format. QBO format statements are provided by most of the financial institutions.

Why QBO Format

We recommend this file type over others, as it will provide you with the easiest import. Almost all banks offer this file type, however if your bank does not, you can use 3rd party utilities or work with our consultants to convert your statement into .qbo format. While we can help convert your statement into the correct format, we can not offer any assistance in getting the statement from your bank. You will have to work with your bank directly to obtain the file.

Here are some instructions that could be helpful in obtaining your file:

  1. Log into your bank’s website
  2. Locate where statements can be downloaded
  3. Ensure to choose correct starting and ending dates when downloading the bank statement file
  4. Select QBO format as file type when downloading

If you have a .ofx format file, you can rename that file to have the .qbo extension in order to import.


Here are the steps to get your QBO file from AMEX (it is a slightly different process)

  1. Log in to AMEX website
  2. Click on Statements & Activities
  3. On the right, click the green Download arrow
  4. From the dropdown menu select Card Activity (Very Important that you only select this item)
  5. In the next screen, select Quickbooks, then click Download at the bottom of the screen

Import File

After you’ve obtained your statement, you are ready to upload it to CosmoLex. Follow the steps below to import your file.

1. Click on the Accounting Tab

2. From the Bank Tab, Select the desired bank account and click  Details, or double-click the account

3. Now inside the bank account, from the Transactions Tab, click  Action, then click Import Transactions

4. Click “Choose File” to find your saved bank statement on your computer, once found select the file and click Open

5. When ready, click Upload at the bottom of the screen.

You’re ready to start working with your imported transactions. 

Managing Transactions

When you see the transactions on your screen, they have not been imported yet. They are here for your reference and are waiting to be matched to existing transactions in the same bank account, added as new, or removed from the import. 

You’ll want to first approve the match of any existing transactions, then add any new transactions that are not already in CosmoLex, and finally delete anything that you do not wish to import. The goal is to end with no transactions on your screen. 

Watch the video above for more information.

Matching Screen Tour:

Add/ Confirm Match – used to add transactions and/ or match imported transactions to existing ones. Single or multiple transactions can be selected.

Delete – remove any unwanted transactions individually, or in bulk from import screen.

Payee Mapping Rules – used to help auto-populate payee names and users’ choice of the chart of accounts. Click here for detailed information on how Mapping Rules work.

Status – This will appear as “matched” or “add” next to the transaction. When the status is “matched”, there is an existing transaction already listed in CosmoLex with the exact same information. When the status is “add”, the transaction is not listed and needs to be added. Both “Matched” and “Add” can be clicked. This will remove the transaction from the import list, adding them to CosmoLex.

Statement Payee – the payee listed on the imported statement.

Payee – the name of the payee that will be used once the transaction is imported. This can be changed as per the user’s request before adding the transaction. If the transaction matches what’s listed in CosmoLex, the payee will display “match”.

Account (operating bank only) – the user selects the requested chart of account they want the transaction(s) to be mapped to for accounting purposes.

Match Details () – The screen shows the matching transactions based on date and amount of the imported transaction. If there are multiple matches, make sure to check the box next to the correct transaction. Click “Save” once finished.

Notes Tab – Inside Match Details, notes associated with the transaction, if any.

Importing Tips

  • You may see an alert icon next to transactions that can be added to CosmoLex. This means the payee and account are required before adding the transaction. Enter the account and you will be able to import the transaction, and the system will remember this choice for you next time to make things easier!
  • Once corrections are made, click the status buttons (add or match) to add each transaction individually.
  • If you wish to add in bulk, click the boxes next to the transactions you wish to add. Click “Add/Confirm Match” to remove the transactions from the import list, and add them to CosmoLex.

Matter Expenses

If the expense you are importing is matter related, you can link it to the appropriate matter and CosmoLex will automatically update your books for you.

1. Click the  edit icon for the desired transaction

2. Click the checkbox for “Post as Matter Expense” and select the matter it is to be linked to

3. Enter any expense card information needed

4.Click Save.

This will automatically create a linked expense card for that matter.

Link To an Existing Expense Card

If you’ve already entered an expense for a matter, and your expense has not been invoiced or has been invoiced but the invoice is not yet paid, you can match it to a transaction during your import.


If you want to link an incoming transaction to an expense on a paid invoice, you can delete the payment applied to the invoice and then link the transaction. You’ll have to re-apply the payment afterwards.

Follow the steps below to link a transaction to its corresponding existing expense card:

1. Start with steps 1 and 2 above (Important: the amount must be an exact match to existing expense card)

2. Choose ‘Existing Expense Card’

3. Choose corresponding expense entry from drop-down menu and click Save.

Trust Transactions

All the features and options are the same as operating and credit card transactions, with the exception of the following:

  • Each trust transaction is required to be assigned to a matter. The transaction cannot be added if a matter is not provided. Only matters associated with the selected Trust Bank will be shown as options.
  • If you see the triangle shaped icon on this screen, it means the payee and matter are required before adding the transaction.
  • Once all the requested transactions are added, you will see them listed with their respective bank accounts and matters.

Importing Excel/CSV Files

While we recommend using a QBO file type, we understand this won’t always be possible. You can still import your transactions using Excel or CSV files.

In Cosmolex, when using an Excel or CSV file to import transactions, there is an extra step. The incoming chart of accounts can be mapped to the CosmoLex chart of accounts at one central place and applied to all the transactions being imported. The purpose of this process is to migrate operating account data from legacy systems or generic business accounting programs fast and accurately.

Once you have obtained the excel or CSV file, you may follow the to Import a File, then continue with the steps below.

In the “Raw Data Mapping”  window, you will see mapping columns where you can map the Incoming chart of accounts with the CosmoLex chart of accounts as well as other fields such as date, memo, payee, etc.

When ready click Complete Import.

You will then see all the transactions imported to the operating or credit card account.

Excel/CSV for Trust Accounts

There is a difference when uploading data into trust accounts, using Excel/CSV files.

In the “Raw Data Mapping” window, in addition to fields mentioned above, you will see mapping columns where you can map the incoming matter names with CosmoLex matters. 

When ready click complete import.

You will then see all the transactions go into the trust account.

FAQs For Importing Transactions

What happens if the transaction was already in the books (in CosmoLex)?

The transaction will automatically be matched (watch the video above to learn more).

  • For Deposits: Date and Amount must be the same.

  • For Checks:  Ref / Check number and Amount must be the same.

  • For all other payment/withdrawals: Date and Amount must be the same.

If there is a match, we will automatically show your imported transaction in “Matched” status. You will be able to clear or confirm the match individually or in bulk.

How can I assign multiple accounts to a transaction?

While importing transactions, you can edit each item and select appropriate Chart of Account.

To split the transaction across multiple accounts, click the ‘Y’ button to the right of the Account field. Here you can select accounts and allocations.

What are “mapping rules”?

Mapping rules are used to automatically rename payees as well as memorize accounts when importing bank statement transactions. Additional mapping rules are built automatically as you import statements, and can be later edited if needed. To block a certain statement payee name from automatically becoming a mapping rule, add those names as an ‘Exclusion Rule’. To prevent application of any rule, make it inactive. Learn more here or watch the video above.

How can I manage “Mapping Rules” lists?

Go to the Bank Tab > Action > Mapping Rules. Here, you can manage existing Mapping Rules lists. You can manually add to this list, but it is also auto-populated. As you add transactions, rules are added if they do not already exist. You can add or edit entries and specify split accounts.

Each bank type has a global mapping rules list. One list for ALL credit card accounts, One for ALL Operating and One for ALL Trust Accounts.

How do I apply mapping rules?

  • Mapping rules are applied automatically when you import statement data.

  • If you add or edit a rule while importing and wish to have it apply to the rest of the import immediately, click on the “mapping rules” button and click “Close and Apply Rules”

How can I stop mapping certain rules?

  • You have the option to inactivate any rule, by editing it and unchecking the Active box.

  • You can also add exclusion rules for those statement payees which are never to be memorized for the purpose of renaming.

How do I reconcile Operating Transactions?

In normal situations, imports for the operating account are only done in the beginning when you move to CosmoLex for the first time. After that, every transaction should be entered in the books first so import of the statements for data entry is not needed.

You can still import for your monthly reconciliations to allow for auto-reconciling. Learn how to manually reconcile your bank account.

How do I reconcile Trust Account Transactions?

As with Operating Transactions, in normal situations, imports for the trust account are only done in the beginning when you move to CosmoLex for the first time. After that, every transaction should be entered in the books first so import of the statements for data entry is not needed.

You can still import for your monthly reconciliations to allow for auto-reconciling. Learn how to manually reconcile your trust bank account.

Learn More

Learn about Mapping Rules

Updated on January 8, 2020

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