What Needs to be Considered When Importing Contacts?

When importing contact data into bexio, there are some mandatory fields and special features that you should pay attention to. To make the import easier for you, this report explains the mandatory fields and special features of the bexio contact import.

Note: If the function is not visible, you lack the necessary user rights to access it. Under “Settings” → “Packages/Apps/Users” → “Manage Users” or “Invite and Manage Trustees”, the account holder can grant the “Admin” user right.



  • How does the import work?
  • Import Template
  • Mandatory Boxes
  • Special Features
  • Possible Error Messages
  • Update Contact Information



How does the import work?

Follow the path: “Contacts” → “Import/Export”.



Then on the left, select “Upload Contacts (.xlsx)”. The recommended maximum number of contacts to be imported is 2'000 contacts per import. An import of this size takes about 10 min. without guarantee.




Import Template

Here we strongly recommend downloading the “Excel Template ” in the blue "hints box", in advance. You can then add them to your contact list and then upload them again under “Select File”.




Mandatory Boxes

Contact Type «Private» & «Company»:

  • “Contact Type”
  • “Name 1”
  • “Contact partner”


Contact Type “Company” + “Contact Person”:

In the columns with information on "Company", the mandatory fields contact type "Company" apply. And for the columns "Contact person 1" the mandatory fields of contact type "Private" apply. 


Recommended by bexio

Expand the required mandatory boxes with the following boxes: “Category”, “Address”, “Zip Code”, “City”, “Country”,Phone”, “Email".



Special Features

The contents of boxes that need to be recorded in advance

If you enter a value in the following columns of the following headings, these must be pre-entered in the bexio user interface settings for the import to function properly. Make sure that the spelling is exactly the same. Avoid unnecessary spaces, paragraphs, etc

  • Category → “Settings” → “All settings” → “Master Data” → “Categories
  • Industry → “Settings” → “All settings” → “Master Data” → “Industries
  • Greeting → “Settings” → “All Settings” → “Master Data” → “Greetings
  • Title → “Settings” → “All settings” → “Master Data” → “Title
  • Country → “Settings” → “All settings” → “Functions & Modules” → “Countries
  • Language → “Settings” → “All settings” → “Masterdata” → “Languages


More than 1 category

You can define more than one category for a contact. To ensure that they can be imported correctly, use a "semicolon" as separator and no further space as separation. For example:



“Contact person 1, 2,...”

Contact persons for company contacts are listed in the Excel file on the right-hand side/behind the company contact under “Contact Person 1", “Contact Person 2", “Contact Person 3", etc. You can add as many contacts as you like. To do this, copy all the “Contact Person 1” columns and adjust the number “1”.


Automatic transfer of values from the “Main Contact”

For the following boxes, the contents from “Main Contacts” are transferred if they are left blank: “Contact Person 1 Category”, “Contact Person 1 Industry”, “Contact Person 1 Country”, “Contact Person1 Contact”.



Under “Contact” a user e-mail address, whch has been captured in bexio, must be entered.


"Contact No."

The contact number can be assigned for all contacts either manually (via Excel import) or automatically. To assign the contact no. manually, the field "Contact no." must be filled in for all private and company contacts as well as contact persons ("Contact person 1 contact no."). For automatic assignment, the field "Contact No." must be left blank for all entries.


Line breaks

In order to be able to import a line break via contact import, a break can be inserted in the address cell in Excel using a key combination. This is then recognised as such during the import and displayed in bexio.

Windows: «Alt» + «Enter»
Mac OS: «Cmd» + «Shift» + «Enter»



Possible Error Messages

If a single entry in the Excel file is faulty for the import process, no contacts will be imported; this is so that you can fix the errors and import the complete list into bexio again.

 Error message Meaning
“Row 2 - Contact Column - This is a mandatory box.” “Contact” under row 2 is empty.
“Row 6 - Column Email - This input is incorrect.”  “Email” below row 6 is misspelled or contains spaces".
"Line 9 - Contact person column 2 Category - This entry is not correct." “Contact Person 2 Category” under row 9 does not exist.
"Row 3 - column contact person 1 contact no. - This is a mandatory field" "Contact person 1 contact no." in line 3 is empty (if the contact no. is assigned manually)

Update Contact Information

Question: Can I also update contact details with the contact import operation?

The contact import creates new contacts in bexio. Existing contact information cannot be updated with the contact import operation. In case of amendments to contacts, we recommend that you make them directly in the bexio user interface. To do this, open the contact and click on the pencil icon.





Edit Multiple Contacts

If you would like to make the same changes for multiple contacts, you can do so using “Multiple Changes”. To do this, select the appropriate contacts in the contact overview on the right. Select “Multiple Mutation” below and confirm with “GO”. 



After that, you can select the desired change, and click “Continue To Step 2” to add the information and save the new values for all previously selected contacts. (For more detailed instructions on the multiple mutations, see the following article: “Performing multiple mutations”.)





Convert export to import

General information

As already mentioned, updating the contacts, i.e. exporting the existing contact list and re-importing the same but slightly modified list, is not possible. We recognize the duplicates, but cannot "update" the existing contacts, we can either import them as duplicates or ignore them.

If you want to replace the entire contact list with a new one and delete the existing contacts, please note that the contacts can be "marked as deleted". Documents created on the contacts (orders, invoices, etc.) will of course still exist, but will be linked in the background with the ID ("Record ID") of the contact now "marked as deleted". New contacts are given a new ID. Documents would thus have to be assigned individually and manually to the new contact.


Please note the following for the conversion of the export to the import file:

I have only "private" & "company contacts":

  • The following columns cannot be imported and deleted:
    • «Record ID»
    • «VAT No.»
    • «Number of employees»
    • «Commercial register no.»
    • «VAT IDNR.»
    • «Lead»
  • There are two options for the "No." column:
    • If the column is ignored or deleted, the contact number is automatically assigned by bexio.
    • If the column is renamed to "Contact No.", the entered values will be imported. Please note that all private and company contacts as well as contact persons ("Contact Person 1 Contact No.") must then have a value in the cell for "Contact No.".
  • Replace the content of the "Contact person" column with the e-mail address of a user entered in bexio.
  • The following column values must be entered in bexio before the import:
    • Category: «Settings» → «All Settings» → «Master Data» → «Categories»
    • Sector: «Settings» → «All Settings» → «Master Data» → «Sectors»
    • Form of address: «Settings» → «All Settings» → «Master Data» → «Form of addresses»
    • Title: «Settings» → «All Settings» → «Master Data» → «Titles»
    • Country: «Settings» → «All Settings» → «Functions & Modules» → «Countries»
    • Language: «Settings» → «All Settings» → «Master Data» → «Languages»


I have "private contacts" & "company contacts" with corresponding "contact persons":

Due to the fact that contact persons are listed to the right of the respective company contact as "Contact Person 1, 2, ..." and additionally as separate private persons in the Excel export, "Private" and "Company Contacts" must be imported separately in this case.

  • Sort the list by the "Contact type".
    • Copy and delete all contacts which are "Private" from this list. 
    • Create a separate list for all these contacts you have just copied. Proceed in this list as described in the section above after you have imported the company contacts. ("I only have "Private" & "Corporate" contacts)
  • If you want the data to be taken over accordingly by the associated company, you can delete the following columns:
    • «Contact person 1 Category»
    • «Contact person 1 Sector»
    • «Contact person 1 Form of address
  • First import the list of company contacts and then the private persons. This way you can ensure that the companies are still linked to the private individuals and that no duplicates are created.



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