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Import purchase orders with Square for Retail

Who’s this article for?
This article is for business owners and their team members with custom permissions who want to import purchase orders directly from a locally saved CSV or Excel file into the online Square Dashboard. This is a feature available with Square for Retail Plus. Learn more about Square Staff and custom permissions.

About importing purchase orders

With Square for Retail Plus, you can save time creating purchase orders by importing a CSV or Excel version of the purchase order via the online Square Dashboard. By importing your purchase orders directly into the online Square Dashboard, you can spend less time adding purchase order line items manually and more time running your business.

Before you begin

Prior to importing a purchase order, we recommend downloading Square for Retail Import Template. You can also download it from the Items section of your Square Dashboard.

While we recommend downloading Square’s import template to make the process easier, alternatively, you can use a template of your own choosing, as long as it’s a CSV or Excel file. If you’re using your own template, you’ll need to make sure to go through the column matching steps listed out below.

Fill out the import template

Once you download the template, begin to fill out the information:

  • Item name: Can include numbers, letters, or symbols. Maximum 128 characters.

  • Variation name: Can include numbers, letters, or symbols. Maximum 128 characters.

  • SKU or GTIN: Each variation should be assigned a unique SKU or GTIN.

  • Vendor code: Can include numbers, letters, or symbols. Maximum 500 characters.

  • Notes: Can include numbers, letters, or symbols. Maximum 4000 characters.

  • Quantity: Numeric. This is the quantity associated with each item received in the purchase order. Note: Fractional quantities are not supported at this time.

  • Unit cost: Numeric. This is the cost associated with units included in the purchase order.

Import purchase orders

Using the Square for Retail import template

After filling in the template, you’re ready to import the CSV or Excel file:

  1. from your online Square Dashboard, go to Items & orders > Items > Inventory Management > Purchase orders.
  2. Click Import.
  3. Drag and drop the file into the Import Purchase Order pop-up, or click select it from your computer to upload the template directly from your files. Click Next.
  4. Select the appropriate item identifier by choosing either the SKU, GTIN or item name to easily identify duplicate items during the import process. It’s recommended to select either SKU or GTIN as the appropriate item identifier for ease of use.
  5. Click Next.

All item identifiers must match exactly one item or variation for the import process to be successful.

Using your own template

If you’re using your own template, you’ll need to go through the column matching process during the first portion of the import process. To do so:

  1. from your online Square Dashboard, go to Items & orders > Items > Inventory Management > Purchase orders.
  2. Click the Import button to begin the import process and upload your personalised template. Once uploaded, you’ll see the Match document columns screen.
  3. Use the drop-down menus to confirm each Square purchase order attribute is matched to the correct column in your import file.
  4. Click Next to continue the import process.

The import process can take up to a minute, but usually only lasts a few seconds. Make sure to keep an eye out for any error messages that appear during the import. Once the import is complete, the newly created purchase order will appear at the top of the purchase order list available in your online Square Dashboard.

You can also import any existing purchase order drafts that are already associated with your account by exporting the draft. To do so, click the three dotted icon next to the purchase order draft and select Save as CSV.

Troubleshoot and resolve error messages

If you run into any issues and receive an error message during the import process, refer to the table below for error definitions and how to resolve them.

Error Message Example Troubleshooting Tip
This file appears to be empty. Add items to the purchase order import template and try importing again.
Your CSV contains more than 500 items, which is the maximum allowed for a purchase order. To import a purchase order with more than 500 items, you’ll need to create multiple purchase order import templates and upload them individually.
Field1, Field2 and Field3 are required fields. Enter the missing information into the appropriate fields to finish importing the purchase order.
We didn’t recognise some of the fields in your CSV. Review the order information to make sure everything is correct and try importing again.
Some of the items in this file have duplicate item identifiers. Each item must have a unique name, SKU or GTIN. Update the duplicates and try again. Make sure all purchase order lines have a unique item identifier, and try importing again.
We couldn’t find some of the items from this file in your catalogue. Add the items or variations to your item library, then try again. Make sure all items and variations included in the purchase order import already exist within your item library.

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