Employee Bulk Import

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Employee Bulk Import

Beta version is now available!

Watch a video of the employee bulk import here: Adding Employees in the Wizard

Instead of adding employees manually one at a time, you can add employees by bulk import from a spreadsheet or CSV file in the payroll wizard. This import tool is only available in the payroll setup wizard at this time.

You will first build a CSV template by selecting the data you want to import for each employee. 

In the payroll wizard, you will be able to add employees by using the option “Bulk Import” to securely import multiple employees in a single file.

First, select the states where employees live and work:

  • You can select states, either toggling by the state name or clicking the state on the map
    • Some states may have specific field requirements, so this selection will make sure you have everything needed to import successfully


Next, begin building your import template:

  • Employee Details
    • Required fields for employees are preselected: address, city, state, first and last name, Social Security number, zip code
    • Optional fields are address 2, birthdate, email, gender (optional unless you are in a state requiring gender reporting), home phone, marital status, middle name, other name/maiden name 
  • Position information
    • Required fields are position type and work location
    • Optional fields are hire date (unless you are in a state requiring hire date reporting)
  • Compensation
    • Required fields are annual salary, hourly pay rate, pay frequency, pay type
  • Time Card Info
    • Only shown and required if you have Patriot’s Time and Attendance software


After you make your selections of fields you want to import, click the “Continue” button.

  1. Download the import template by clicking the purple “Download Template” button.

When you open your template, you will see that the first row is the header for each column, and the second is a sample employee’s data. While you may remove or keep the sample employee row (it will be ignored when your actual employees are imported), do not remove or alter the header row.

2. Next, Enter Employee Data into Your Custom Import Template spreadsheet

Before you get started entering employees, take a moment to review the following help on the page.

  • Important FAQs
  • Your Selected Field Headers
  • Import Validation Key
    • “The Import Validation Key is an essential reference to see the specific input required for the importing of data. You have to enter the data under each column exactly as the employee import key has it. 
  • Format Examples 
    • Date format should be MM/DD/YYYY
    • Work location name: The first work location is automatically labeled with the format of city and state abbreviation (for example: Canton, OH)
    • If your employee works from home, you can enter this information by entering either of the following: Works from home, Work from home, or WFH

Enter each employee on a single row in your template file under each appropriate header. 

  • Remember, you can leave or remove the sample employee provided in the template in Row 2, but do not remove or alter the headers in Row 1.

3. Import your file

When the import has been uploaded, you will see a verification with the number of employees that the file has imported.

If you import the file and there is an error, a message will appear with the column name, row, and employees affected. Simply correct the errors in your spreadsheet and re-upload the new corrected file. Remember to review the Import Validation Key. The input on your spreadsheet should exactly match the Import Validation Key.

When  there are no errors, click the “Complete Import” button. A green banner will display with the number of employees and columns that were imported.

FAQs and troubleshooting importing employees

What file types can be used?
You can use .xls, .xlsx, or csv to import your file. 

I got an error message. Do I need to completely start over? 

No. Simply fix the errors on your original spreadsheet and re-upload the document. 

I am getting an error message that the work location must match an existing company work location, but I entered the correct location. Why?

When inputting the employee work location, please check the Employee Import Key. Under work location in the Employee Import Key, you will see the acceptable input names. The name on your spreadsheet will need to exactly match the name as it appears on the Employee Import Key

Do I need to put in both the annual and hourly rate for employees?

When entering compensation information, you will need to enter the hourly rate for all hourly employees and the annual rate for all salaried employees. The annual rate will be ignored for hourly employees and the hourly rate will be ignored for salaried employees. 


Do the order of the fields matter?

No, the fields and columns can be in any order, but the field headers in the columns do need to match those provided within the templates column headers.

I uploaded a file, but it says no employees were found. 

This error message will display if you uploaded a file that matches current employee data in the system. Check your file and make sure you have the correct file you want to import.

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