What to do if Wave can't read your statement in CSV format

If your CSV file doesn't upload properly, you might see one of the error messages below. Read on for troubleshooting tips.

There are other possible errors that can occur with CSV uploads, some of which aren’t listed below. These errors are most likely due to your data being incorrectly formatted. If you run into an error which isn’t mentioned on this page, try using our CSV template, which you can download here, or use Wave Connect instead to import your transactions.

Error: "The CSV file must contain an amount, date and description column"

For your CSV to import properly, it must have 3 or 4 columns:

  • date
  • debit and credit amounts (either in one column or 2 separate columns)
  • descriptions columns

If you have more than 4 columns, try removing any columns that are not date, description or dollar amounts.

If the CSV file is not uploading when you have a separate debit column and credit column, then try moving the debit amounts and credit amounts into a single column.  

Error: "Wave is having difficulty reading the file you uploaded"

This error occurs for two reasons:

  1. When your CSV file has more than 4 columns with inconsistent information in all of your columns. For example, you may have 3 columns for a transaction and 6 columns for another.  To resolve this error, open your file and ensure that you have a date, description, and amount column. Then, delete any of the other columns. 
  2. Your CSV file has too long of a name. To fix this, rename your file as 'month-year-account.csv' or just 'monthyear.csv' then attempt to re-upload it.

Error: "Wave can't find any transactions in your file"

There are 2 reasons you might get this error:

  1. Your file contains no transactions. Open the file to confirm if this is the case. If so, try downloading the statement again from your bank, ensuring that the date range and any other criteria are such that the report will contain at least one transaction. 
  2. Column titles are possibly at the bottom of the file. To fix this, open your file and delete any columns that do not have transactions or information, verify your file has transactions and move any headers to the top of your file. 

Error: "Wave is having difficulty reading the dates of your transactions"

There are 4 possibilities:

  1. You may have two or more date columns, such as a transaction date and approval date. Choose one column and remove the other.
  2. There might be rows with commas in them. If you have a row that does not contain transaction information, delete it.
  3. The date format might be in a format that is not recognized. Make sure you remove any future dates from your column. The day, month and year must be presented in one of the formats listed below: 

    • MM/DD/YYYY (Example: 07/21/2013)
    • Full month names and 3-letter month names (Example: Jan-24-2012 or January-24-2012)
    • 'st','nd','rd' or 'th' after day numbers (Example: 2012/January/5th)
  4. You have blank saved rows at the bottom of your document. Normally, if you are using Microsoft Excel, the csv sheet will have a bunch of blank rows at the bottom of your document and allow you to scroll down many rows. This is fine.  However, if you have something in these rows, such as spaces, it will save these blank rows.

    Open up your CSV file in a text document, and you may see rows at the bottom such as ',,,'. Delete these rows that you are not using. Re-save and try uploading again.

Error: "Wave is having difficulty reading the amounts of your transactions"

 Verify that all of your amounts are numerical values and not words. Here is what we do support: 

  • Any currency symbol that appears before the number (Example: £100 or ₡100). The symbol must be only 1 character but any symbol is permitted. *Note: This is not how Wave detects currency. When you choose your payment account (checking, credit card) choose the currency correctly before uploading. 
  • Spaces, commas, and decimals as thousand separators (Example: 1 000,54 or 1.00,54)
  • Single quotes as thousand and decimal separators (Example: 1'000'43)
  • 0 or empty fields as amounts
  • Negative amounts can be entered as () or - (Example: (500) or -500) 

If you double check all of this and still receive this error, what you can do is select the amount column, right click, and choose 'Format Cells'. A new window will open and under the 'Category', choose 'Currency'. This will provide currency formatting options that Wave supports. 

Error: "Wave can't find a description for your transactions"

Your statement must have a column for the description. There does not have to be a description and there are no limitations on the content of the description. If you receive this error, open your file and add a new column with the header 'Description' to resolve this error.  

Error: "The file you provided doesn't match any format we support"

The file you provided to upload does not match up with any formats that we support (.ofx, .qbo, .qfx, .aso, .csv). A common error is saving an excel sheet as .xls instead of .csv Comma Delimited.  When you are saving your file, you can select 'Save as' and choose the file type 'CSV (comma delimited)'. This should eliminate this error. 

A common question is whether PDF files are supported. Unfortunately, Wave does not have a PDF upload feature and there are no free online tools that we recommend to convert a PDF to any other format. 

Error: "File contains transactions in multiple currencies" OR "File contains an unknown currency code"

These errors occur when there is something wrong with the currency in your CSV file. There are 2 possibilities: Multiple currencies or unknown currency codes.

  1. Multiple Currencies - Open your file and check to see if you have more than one currency in your file (this is common with Paypal).   For example, if you have USD and CAD transactions in one file, remove all CAD transactions and 'SAVE AS'  a separate document. Then, repeat the same process but keep your CAD transactions and remove your USD transactions.  You can then upload these two separate files into separate payment accounts. 
  2. Unknown Currency - if your CSV file has only one currency, but Wave is not recognizing it, your easiest route would be to remove any currency symbol or column from your file.  Then, when you upload the file, ensure you choose the correct currency payment account. 

Other errors

Another possible error is that you have an account balance above or below your transaction amounts. Remove the row that shows the balance, re-save, and attempt the upload again.