How to Import Staff Records

Adding Staff is the first big step forward, it covers all of the business-relevant information about the people who work for your company.

Updated over a week ago

Edition: Professional, Business, Enterprise

User-level: System Administrator

It is highly recommended that you consider the Previous steps above before you attempt to Import Staff Records.

Some things, like Unique Staff IDs or Contact Titles, may not require you to DO anything. Provided you're happy with the System options, it will simply be a case of knowing what they are so that you can use them to complete the Upload Sheet.

Other things will depend on the size and structure of your organisation.

For example, if you're in a large company you may need to set up multiple Offices or Teams to segment your staff when importing them.

Then, there are things like Roles and Rates that are specific to what your Staff will do, and how their costs will be charged against your projects. You should customise these to ensure they align with your current project responsibilities and Rates, as they appear in your published schedule of rates.

All of these elements are important because the software is looking to match fields that you fill in on the Upload sheet, with those in the system.

Accuracy is vital, and there are some additional Tips! at the end of this article.

So, how do you import your staff records?

1. Download the Synergy Excel template.

  • Using the Organisation drop down, navigate to
    Settings>Organisation>Data Import>Excel Import
    check that you are on the Staff tab, and click Download.

Your download is the excel file named Synergy data import - Staff.

There should be two sheets, one with instructions similar to those below, and the other 'Staff' to populate with staff data.


  • Do not adjust the column names.

  • Do not adjust the order of the columns.

2. Check what information can be imported.

Navigate to the sheet (tab) 'Staff' to see the column names that will match fields in Synergy.

3. Export your staff from your current system

Use an excel export feature in your current system to get an excel style output with all your existing staff details. This could mean you export the staff details from your accounting system, or another software package, or maybe you already have it in a spreadsheet.

4. Match your data to the Synergy Excel columns.

Compare the data in your excel file to the columns in the Synergy Excel template and check you have all the required information as well as the optional information that you want to import.

5. Using the Synergy Excel template

Copy and Paste your data into the Synergy Excel template.

  • Columns marked blue are mandatory.

  • Columns marked green are optional.

  • Do not change the formatting anywhere (e.g. number, date, currency etc).

  • Do not enter data beyond the last column of the table.

  • Do not rearrange the order of columns.

  • Do not rename the columns.

  • Use 'Skip' in column A to skip the record during import. Any row that contains 'Import' or is left blank will be imported.

  • Do not change the sheet order within the workbook.

If formulas, lookups or a general place to paste data is required, create an additional sheet (tab) and position it as the last sheet (tab) on the right-hand side.

6. Double-check the data in the template.

Required Information (blue columns)

  • The email addresses entered must be unique. You cannot have more than one staff member with the same email address.

  • The 'Unique ID' column must be unique. If you're using the System option, we suggest entering S-0002 on the first record and dragging it down to auto-complete a unique number on all the records. (S-0001 is you)

  • Set the 'Security Level' to be any of the following values:

    • User

    • Assistant Project Manager

    • Project Manager

    • Director Access

    • Assistant Administrator

    • System Administrator

    To check what each access level can see and do, use the Organisation dropdown menu, navigate to
    Settings>Organisation>Security Matrix

  • The 'Reports to' column identifies each staff member's manager.
    The manager must already exist in Synergy before staff can report to them, so it is prudent to add data to 'Staff' in a hierarchical order.

  • The 'Default Rate' denotes the Primary Rate the staff member will use on their timesheet. Additional rates can be added to the staff record after the import.

  • The 'Salary Type' column allows the values: salary, contractor, or hourly cost.

    • For salary type 'salary' enter the annual package (including superannuation or pension fund contributions) in the 'Salary Package / hourly rate' column.

    • For salary types 'contractor' or 'hourly cost', enter the pay rate per hour in the 'Salary Package / hourly rate' column. For contractors, this is excluding superannuation or pension fund contributions value.

Optional Information (green columns)

  • The optional 'cost' and 'calendar' columns when left blank will add the 'default settings' from the Financial controls. For example, if in your financial controls your hours per week are set to 37.5 hours then the working hours per weekday will default to 7.5 hours per day, Monday to Friday. Add values in these columns if you require a different value.

  • Contractor 'Salary type' does not allow values to be imported for 'Cost - Extras' or 'Cost - Super' for Australian organisations.

  • Hourly rate 'Salary type' does not allow values to be imported for the columns 'Cost- Extras', 'Cost - Super', 'Cost - Hours per year', 'Cost - Availabilty', 'Cost - Overhead adjustment', and 'Cost - Target utilisation'.

  • The columns 'Cost - Extras' and 'Cost - Super' are only available for Australian organisations. For all other regions, the values in these columns should be ignored on import.

  • The default project number prefix is available for the Synergy Enterprise product only. Enter the project prefix like 2018 or SYD or LON.
    To set up Project Prefixes, use the Organisation dropdown menu, navigate to
    Settings>Organisation>Project numbers.

  • Multiple tags can be entered. A Comma separates the entries in these fields when this is required. e.g. Tag1, Tag2, Tag3.

7. Import Synergy data import - Staff

  • Using the Organisation dropdown menu, navigate to
    Settings>Organisation>Data Import>Excel Import
    check that you are on the Staff tab and click Upload.

  • Select 'Add files' and navigate your files to select your completed Synergy data import - Staff. Or you can drag and drop the file into the browser.

  • An import preview will display your data to review before the import.

  • In event that you get errors, click on the red and orange triangle for instructions on how to correct the error.

  • Skip any lines in the preview window that you don't want to import. Any lines that have an error are automatically skipped.

  • Click the Import button to import all the non-skipped items. The staff have now been created in Synergy.

After this import, your staff will be entered with enough commercial information to get going.

From this point forward, any updates required to staff records, like an increase in their remuneration or application of additional or different rates will need to be done individually in the staff file.

Importing Staff Tips!

Tip: It is usually a good idea to enter one record and check it before doing any bulk data uploads.

Tip: While it is possible to upload a minimum requirement, and you can run the upload multiple times, you cannot use this Import function to Update records, so the more you can enter in one go, the more efficient you will be at populating your Synergy organisation.

Tip: Any records skipped can be downloaded as a new file and corrected. This allows you to fix the errors and then reupload the skipped rows.

Tip: Use the example records to understand how the entries should look. Then delete them so they don't accidentally get imported.

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