Using the Betterworks SFTP Server



Note: This Support article is for persons with experience using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). 

If the HRIS integration proves too costly or complex, but you'd still like to automate user management, you can always leverage the Betterworks SFTP server ad-hoc. Using whichever HRIS provider you have, you can export your user data, add it to one of the templates in the Resources section below, and upload the file to our SFTP server using FileZilla or a similar client.

Prepare the Department File

If you include new departments in your user file, they will automatically be created in Betterworks. However, if your organization has a parent/child department structure (i.e. Accounts Payable rolls up to Finance), use the department file template in the Resources section below. 


Note: You can also use the template to deactivate departments. However, the department that you are attempting to deactivate cannot contain active users. You will need to reassign the users to an active department or leave the users without a department assignment.

Prepare the User File

In the Resources section below, you'll find user file templates and explanation documents. The explanation documents will provide you with information about each field, including the formatting that you'll need to use. 

  • If your employee IDs have leading zeros (i.e. 000123), prevent the leading zeros from being dropped when the file is saved by entering a comma before the employee ID (i.e. '000123). 
  • Ensure that your file is using a comma (,) as the column separator as opposed to a semi-colon (;) by opening the file in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets and selecting Data → Convert → Commas.

Connection Details

Betterworks SFTP Servers:

Port: 22 

Username: Provided upon request. Connect

Password: Provided upon request. Contact

File Cadence: Daily.

File Location: Incoming folder. Please ensure the file is being sent to /incoming (case sensitive) to ensure it is picked up properly by Betterworks.

File Contents: Include all users in each file instead of only including new users or users whose data has changed.

Connection Process

1. Download an FTP client (i.e. FileZilla).

2. Enter the address of the server in the "Host" field. In FileZilla, this is located in the top toolbar.

3. Enter your username and password.

4. Enter the Port.

5. Click "Quickconnect" or press "Enter" (on your keyboard) to connect to the server.

6. Click "OK" if you receive a warning regarding an unknown host key.

Note: Files sent to the Betterworks server will be processed as soon as possible, but processing time may vary based on the number and size of files in our queue. As such, if your file is available at 12 AM EST each morning, it may be processed at different times throughout the week (i.e. minutes apart).


For organizations who have Advanced Analytics through our partnership with Visier, please refer to the following resources:


Can I add custom fields?

Yes. See this article for more information.

What if some of the data doesn't process due to an error?

You can usually resolve the error by implementing one of the solutions from this article.

If a user is omitted from a file, what will happen?

If a user is omitted from a file, this will not cause any change or removal of that user's account in Betterworks.

Can I use field names that are different from what is listed in the templates? 

No. Using field names that are not listed in our templates will result in the field not being processed.  

Are there character limits for any of the text fields?


  • email: 254 characters
  • first_name: 254 characters
  • last_name: 150 characters

Can I encrypt my files further?

Yes. Although not required, we do support additional PGP encryption. PGP keys facilitate "encryption at rest", meaning that even if someone were to obtain your organization's SFTP credentials, they would not be unable to view the contents of the encrypted file without the PGP key to decrypt it. If you'd like to use PGP encryption, please contact We will generate the PGP key pair and issue the public PGP key to you. The private key will be saved on our end.
Note: We do not currently support additional Secure Shell (SSH) or Secure Copy Protect (SCP) encryption.