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Data Formatting Guide: Data Requirements

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Learn about the data requirements that a general ledger file must fulfill in order to be imported efficiently into MindBridge.

Overall requirements

  • The first row contains the names of the columns.
  • Only transactions are in the rest of the file (i.e., no totals/subtotals, no subheaders).
  • There is one and only one transaction per row (no broken lines; next transaction begins on the next line).

Requirements per row/transaction

Each row must contain valid values for all required fields.

  1. Account ID - Account number
  2. Effective Date - The posting date for the transaction, in a supported format (preferably YYYY-MM-DD; a few other formats such as MM/DD/YYYY are supported). If date format is ambiguous, you will have the option to specify the format during the account mapping stage of ingestion.
  3. Amount, or Debit and Credit.
    • If Amount is used, all debits must be positive and credits negative.
    • If Debit and Credit columns are used, the values in both columns must have default positive balance.
    • The amounts must also satisfy the following:
      • numeric. The only characters allowed are numbers, . (period), - (negative sign)
      • period (.) character used to indicate decimal (i.e., not commas as is the convention in some jurisdictions)
      • - (minus/negative) sign at the front to indicate a negative number (i.e., other conventions such as (), <>, or - after the number, are not supported)
      • all other kinds of characters must be removed (e.g., currency symbols, spaces, letters, and preferably commas as well). Sometimes the system is able to ingest amounts that have commas as thousands separators, but it is safer to remove the commas.
  4. Transaction ID - it is not necessary to have one column used as the Transaction ID, although that certainly would be helpful as MindBridge can sometimes but not always suggest a good transaction ID. But it is necessary to have one or a combination of multiple columns serve as a transaction ID. Please see the below article series for more information on what an transaction ID is and how to identify a better one for your data:

Column requirements

  1. Each column must contain only one field.
      • e.g., Account ID in one column, Account Description in another, not both in one column
      • each field must be in one and only one column — if Account ID is in column A for row 1, it must be in column A for all rows; cannot have some rows with Account ID in column B
  2. Each column must be well-defined (delimited by a given character such as tab, comma, pipe (|), or in an Excel column; fixed width text is not supported, but our data formatting team can format well-formed fixed width text).

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