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Importing from Excel

I just watched the recent webinar: Excel integration with TaxCycle - Webinar from February 24, 2017.

I’ve been hoping for a facility to import T2125 data from a spreadsheet into TaxCycle and I’m glad to see that this is being released soon. That alone would be great but the webinar said that this can be done for any form in TaxCycle - is that the case? If so, that is fantastic!

I’m just wondering how that will work. At first thought, the information that I have the most interest in importing is the following:

  • Donations Worksheet
  • Medical Expenses Worksheet
  • T776
  • T2125
  • Motor Vehicle Worksheet

The first two seem pretty straightforward but I wonder about the last three as the odd time you will have a return that has multiples of these.

I also wonder about how it will all fit together. Will you need a separate workbook (i.e. Excel file) for each form that you import into? I can see why this might be necessary but I would also hope that this won’t be the case.

I can envision a fairly standard return where there are some donations and medical expenses to claim as well as motor vehicle expenses to include in the T2125. That would potentially be 4 different excel files, whereas it would be neat and tidy to be able to collect all of that in a single Excel workbook.

I suppose there will be a webinar forthcoming to take us through this new feature in depth once it is released.

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Thanks @patrick. You are the second person to mention his. I have mentioned it to @Cameron and he was going to consider it.

We will release the first phase of the import this week, which will function pretty much as you saw it on the webinar video. You will be able to import an Excel workbook that has an Export worksheet in it, field codes in the first column and values in the second column.

In a later release, we will expand this to allow you to extract a template from any form in TaxCycle, so you don’t have to spend time copying and pasting field codes. But that will be later in the season (we have a few other key things to complete first).

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Hi @Elizabeth. From what I saw in the webinar, you can extract the field codes now from any form in TaxCycle.

Are you suggesting that a future thought is to actually extract a template of the form in question and we would not have to worry about field codes?

You can’t extract them YET. The button is there but it doesn’t do anything, and I expect we will disable the button before this week’s release. The template you saw in the webinar was one we created by plain old copy paste of field codes into each cell in the spreadsheet, so a lot more time consuming. Yes, you can do the same right now if you want to.

In the second phase of this feature, we will offer the ability to extract a template with all the field codes and descriptions, for a form in one go, so you don’t have to do the heavy lifting.

The requirements for import are as follows:

  1. Have an Excel file with the name Export on a worksheet tab.
  2. In the first column, list the field code (without the curly brackets and without the CurrentClient. prefix).
  3. In the second column, enter the number or value to import to the field.
  4. Go to the form in TaxCycle and click the import button.
  5. Import into the form.

I just talked with @cameron again this morning about the idea of the separate tabs in the same workbook. We are avoiding doing that at the moment because it is really simple right now in that you go to the form and import into the form that is open on screen. Many of the forms are multi-copy and we’d need a way to tell which copy of each form to import it into, or a more complicated mapping dialog box when importing. Both of which are much more complex to implement. We’d rather get the template export in right now. Anyway, we’re keeping the idea in mind, but for the moment, waiting to see if there would be a simpler way to implement it.

Will the import from Excel to T1135 included in this weeks update?

Hi @Elizabeth. Your description of the template as being a dump of the field codes and descriptions for a form into an Excel Workbook sounds fine.

I can appreciate the challenge with this feature and multi-copy forms. I can even see there being a minor challenge with forms that have an undetermined number of repeating lines, such as the Medical Expense or Donation Worksheets.

For the time being, until the ability to extract the field names is available, where will we be able to get the field names to create the Export tab? Is there a cental listing? Or can I right-click on the field in TaxCycle and grab the field name directly?

@patrick You will have to use the copy and paste feature that already exists. You can put your cursor in the field and then click the code at the left of the blue bar at the bottom of the window, like you do with templates. We are going to see if we can create a sample template for T2125 as soon as possible.

Repeating lines are a good point. That needs testing on our end. I’ll let you know how that works once I know.

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@joe.justjoe1 My understanding is that this will work for any form. We haven’t yet tested T1135 specifically.

Hey. Good news folks… The Create a template feature is coming in the release we hope to have out today. Make sure you check out the release notes for details and a link to a help topic.

A few things to note:

  1. If you want to create a template from a multi-copy form, like the T2125, you must enter some kind of data in the form first. Just one field will do. (Data entered in the form will not transfer to the template.)
  2. If the form contains expandable table(s)—for example to list donations or medical expenses—create as many blank rows in the expandable table as you need. When you create the template, you will have field codes for each of those rows in the worksheet. TaxCycle will not export the field codes for expandable tables unless you do this for at least one row.
  3. You can include the field codes for any forms in a form set in the same Export worksheet—for example, create a template for each of these forms and then copy and paste the contents into the same Export worksheet.

Let us know what you think when you try the feature. This is just the first iteration, so we want to hear your thoughts.

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I sent @Cameron an email with some specific things I found while playing with this feature, overall is is working well for us so far.

With regard to dealing with multi copy forms, could we expand the import code so that it includes the forms array? For example, instead of just T2125.Income.M[1], if we had T2125Forms[0].T2125.Income.M[1].

What I like about expanding the code to include the forms array is that we could then have the ability to import into more than one form from a single spreadsheet. For example, my business spreadsheet includes motor vehicle expenses. My Export would then be able to have:
T2125Forms[0].T2125.Income.M[1]
and
MotorVehicle[0].Identification.KilometersDriven
on the same export tab and bring the complete information in through one import process.

We have added a category where you can share files like these with others.

Please read the Share your Excel and TaxCycle Templates post to learn more.

I have just started using the Excel import and had a few questions.

  1. Does each form have to be a separate import? I read the above posts but not sure this question was truly answered. I would like to build a spreadsheet that imports to several forms. i.e. info and dependents
  2. I have exported the dependant form for import but the import form exported only allows for one dependant. Obviously this is unrealistic, so how do I import multiple dependands?

We are using the import for the T2125, T776 and the farm schedules. Yes each one is a separate import, we use different spreadsheets for each import.

We tried to use the import for medical expenses but did not see any time saver as compared to using the software to input. I’m guessing but the dependants is likely the same, keying it in might be faster overall.

Garth