How to Update via Excel and FAQs

How to Update using Excel


Not all spreadsheet update requests are the same, and unfortunately, we are not able to update every single field of data within the CRM. The following is designed to provide helpful tips about submitting spreadsheet update requests as well as give you a better understanding of the limitations of these processes.  *** Please see the FAQ section below for more information about fields that we can and cannot update. ***


>> Please remember that if your update request can be done using our Bulk Actions Tool (including: status, category, servicing advisor, keywords, & UDFs), then we will not be able to use the Update via Excel format.  For more information regarding this function, and where to find it, please click here:  How do I make changes in bulk within my database?


>> Also, keep in mind, this process is meant to be used to update contacts in Bulk – if your update can be done manually in the CRM, faster than 3-5 business days, or if there are only a couple contacts that need to be updated, we ask that you make these changes in your CRM yourself.


>> To Update Contact Records:  we will require either the Redtail Contact ID or the Client TaxID to link the new information. This will apply to both the Primary Contact/Head of Household and Spouse Records, we will not be able to update Spouse records using just the Head of Household ClientID number. ** If you need to update multiple fields, please be sure to keep everything on one spreadsheet so that it can all be done at the same time. **

How to obtain Contact IDs:

A custom export is the easiest way, but any export of contact data, sent to excel, will provide you the Contact IDs. Here are a couple links to show you how this can be done:

Export your Selected Contacts in Bulk

How to run a Custom Export

Redtail Essentials: Exports (video)

** To update Spouse records you will need to run a separate report/export to get their unique ContactIDs **


>> To Update Account fields, we will need to have the Redtail Account ID listed on the spreadsheet instead (these are different from the actual Account Numbers).  ** We are not able to update individual Assets under Accounts using this method.

How to obtain Account IDs:

This will depend on how you gather Account data in Redtail. If you run an Advanced Search to find your data, you can select specific Contact Names and run an “Accounts by Contact Export” using the Contact Options drop-down. If you run an “Account by Contact Report” to filter your data, select ‘Export’ at the top right of the Report, and an excel spreadsheet will be created.  Here are a couple links to show you how this can be done:

Export your Selected Contacts in Bulk

Accounts by Contact Report



>> To Update Activity fields, we will need the ActivityID numbers listed on your spreadsheet.

How to obtain Activity IDs:

First, run one of our Activity Reports from the Reports section in the CRM, then use the filters to find the specific Activities that you would like to update and select ‘Export’ at the top right of the Report page. Here are a couple links to show you how this can be done:

Standard Activity Reports

Activities by Contact Report 



>> To Update Note Categories, we will need the Note ID numbers listed on the spreadsheet.

How to obtain Note IDs:

You will need to run our “Notes by Contact” Report. Then use the filters to find the specific Notes that you would like to update and select ‘Export’ at the top right of the Report page.  Here is a link to show you how this is done:  Notes by Contact Report 



>> To Update Primary Marking:  this is to update data on the Contact Card section of the Record, to indication Primary Address, Email or Phone Number.

How to obtain Contact IDs and “Primary” Headers:

First, create and run a Custom Export that includes the “Primary” information you want to update (Ex: Primary Phone, Primary Email, and/or Primary Address), and export to excel. Here is a link to show you how this is done:  Custom Exporting

After exporting, the column headers will be titled with “Primary” headings and will specify which value is currently marked primary in Redtail.

To update which data is marked as “Primary” in Redtail, simply add the information to the columns as needed.  For example, if you want to update a specific email address to “Primary” add the whole email address to the column titled “Primary Email” on the line that matches up with the correct contact record.



>> To Update Opportunities, we will need the Opportunity ID numbers listed on your spreadsheet. 

How to obtain Opportunity IDs:

You will need to run our “Opportunity by Stage” Report. Then use the filters to find the specific Opportunities that you would like to update and select ‘Export’ at the top right of the Report page.  Here is a link to show you how this is done: Opportunities by Stage Report

Not all fields are included on this report, so you may need to add additional columns to complete your update. If you do, please make sure that the column header(s) clearly represents the matching field in Redtail.


Update via Spreadsheet - FAQ’s:


How long does it take to process my request?

  • Update requests can take approximately 3-5 business days to complete, depending on the current number of requests in queue.


How many fields can be updated at a time?

  • We can update as many as fields as needed, but please be sure to list ONLY those that need to have changes made to them on the spreadsheet. The more fields listed, the longer the process takes.


Can I update Accounts and Contact information on the same spreadsheet?

  • No.  Accounts and Contacts will need to be updated separately.  You will want to run the different exports listed above to obtain the information we will need for these updates.


What fields can NOT be updated via a spreadsheet update?

  1. Client Review Date Frequency or Client Next Review Date
  2. Activity Recurrence Frequency
  3. Family Relationships and Membership Linking
  4. Permissions / Privacy Options
  5. Changing Contact Type from a Business to an Individual
  6. Asset Fields (under Accounts - this includes Name, Shares, Balance, Etc.)
  7. Any fields that can be edited using the Bulk Update Feature


What fields do we need a ContactID or Username to update?

  1. Employer - ContactID
  2. Account Owner - ContactID
  3. Account Insured - ContactID
  4. Roles (Advisor, Associate Advisor, CSA) – Redtail Username
  5. Professional Contacts - ContactID


Can we delete information via a spreadsheet?

  • We are able to delete accounts via spreadsheet but will need an export that includes AccountID numbers.
  • We can delete information from specific fields in Redtail as well - these would need to be indicated as a blank cell on the spreadsheet. 


Can we delete contact records via spreadsheet/excel?


How can I add new information to the Contact Card section in my Client’s Contact Record?

  • To add a new address, email or phone number, columns should be titled to specify what TYPE of information is being added. (Ex: Work Email, Home Address Line1, Other Phone, etc.)
  • If a Custom Title needs to be added as well, there should be an additional column on the spreadsheet to indicate what you would like the custom title to be. (Example: Work Email Custom Title, Home Address Custom Title, etc.)


Can we update Note text or dates using this method?

  • No, for compliance reasons, we can only update Note Category.  If you need to change information in a note that has already been saved you can either add a comment, or delete the note and re-enter with a new date. Here is a link with more information:  Working with Notes 



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