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Import data

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This guide explains how to import a wide range of employee information and values using the Data Import function in Sage 50cloud Payroll.


Before you can import data, such as employee details, you should first ensure you have an import file with the necessary information.

You can export data out of Sage 50cloud Payroll or prepare your own import file.

  • To find out more about exporting data from Sage 50cloud Payroll, read more > 
  • To find out more about the data import templates and where you can find them, read more > 


Information you can import

NOTE: All mandatory information is required in a import template for a successful csv import into Sage 50cloud Payroll. 

You can use the data import options to import certain information into Sage 50cloud Payroll. Read more >

To import data into Sage 50cloud Payroll, you must have the necessary access rights to use the Data Import and Data Export options. Read more >

If you are importing employee records, you should be careful about the employee's RTI number. It cannot be changed once it has been imported. Depending on the scenario there are different considerations for the RTI ID:

  • The company hasn't changed, but you need to import records into Sage 50cloud Payroll.
    • If you know the RTI IDs previously used, you should enter this to the Payroll ID column of the import template, and set the Previous Payroll ID Status column to 1 (to confirm the Payroll ID in Sage is the same as it was previously).
    • Or, if you aren't able to get the existing RTI IDs ensure the Payroll ID column is blank and set the Previous Payroll ID Status column to 0 (Unknown).
      TIP: This way, your software generates a new ID while flagging to HMRC on your next FPS that the previous RTI number was not available to you.
  • The company has changed status, PAYE Reference, or the employees are being TUPE'd. 
    • The employees will require new RTI IDs for the new company. You should ensure the RTI ID/Payroll ID column is blank.

If you're in any doubt as to whether you should use an existing RTI ID or create a new one for your new employees, contact HMRC to check this before importing.

CSV import templates

When you import data using CSV files, to ensure that the import is successful, the CSV files must contain the correct information, in the correct order. To help you with the import process, templates are included in the CSV Templates folder within your software installation folder. Read more >

Unable to import CSV file without headers

When importing deduction hours and rates, the import fails due to problems with the headers in the CSV file. 

Add the following headers to the CSV file:

Employee ReferenceDeduction ReferenceHoursRate
Import data
TIP: This process only accepts .CSV files.  To import an .XLSX file you should use the advanced data import.
  1. Click File then click Data Import.
  2. Click Import Sage Payroll Data.
  3. To take a backup of your data, click Backup then follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. Select the data template that you want to import then click Next.
  5. Click Browse then browse to the file that you want to import.
  6. Click Finish then click Print.
  7. Click OK then click Close.

Advanced data import

As well as the standard import options, in Sage 50cloud Payroll you can import data from Microsoft Excel .XLS files or .CSV files using the Advance Data Import wizard. If you use the Advance Data Import wizard, the structure of the data doesn't have to conform to any templates that we provide. During the wizard, you can specify the type of information you're importing, then match, or map, the information in the import file to the corresponding fields in Sage 50cloud Payroll.

The .csv file must be closed before attempting to upload it.

  1. Click File then click Advanced Data Import.
  2. To take a backup of your data, click Backup then follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Select the data template that you want to import then click Next.
  4. Click Browse then browse to the file that you want to import.
  5. Click Next then from the Worksheet drop-down list, select the required worksheet then click Next.
  6. In Import Field, select the data field that corresponds with the information in Payroll Field.

    If you've previously saved a payroll import map, click Load Map then browse to and double-click the required map.

  7. Click Save Map then browse to the required location.
  8. In the File name box, enter a file name then click Save.
  9. Click Finish then click Print.
  10. Click OK then click Close.

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