Associate or Link Parent-Child Companies, Create Accounts Hierarchy and Relationships


Associating child companies with parent companies is critical for maintaining order in your CRM and giving your teams a complete picture of every account.

Your sales and marketing teams rely on properly associated data for context in communications and sales conversations. Without proper child-parent company associations in place, you lack vital context and potentially miss big opportunities.

With Insycle, you can automatically detect and associate child companies to parent companies using advanced matching.

Insycle can help you to associate, in bulk:

  • Child company to parent company
  • Parent company to child company
  • Contacts, companies, deals, and custom objects amongst each other.

How It Works

Insycle allows you to set child-parent hierarchies and associations in bulk, either for existing data in your CRM or from a CSV.

For example, you might tell Insycle to look for two companies with the same company domain, but one of them has "HQ" in the company name. Then, the HQ record would become the parent company, and the non-HQ record would become the associated child company.

Quick Summary

Use the Bulk Operations module or the Magical Import module if you are looking to associate from a CSV. First, you filter your data down to the records that you would like to update, based on rules. Then you use the "Associate" tab in Step 2 to set the rules for your associations.

To associate child and parent company records, you need a naming convention for parent companies, such as including "HQ" in the title.

Associate Child-Parent Companies In Bulk

Step 1: Define Filter

To associate contacts in bulk, we will use the Bulk Operations Module. Navigate there.

First, we have to select the “Companies” record type or comparable record type in your CRM. In Salesforce, for example, the record type is named “Accounts.”

bulk operations companies


Without selecting companies, you will not be able to make associations between companies and other record types in your database.

Insycle’s Bulk Operations module includes a pre-built template for associating or linking child to parent companies in relevant CRMs.

Select the “Associate Child to Parent Companies” Template. To load this template, select it from the Template dropdown menu.



This template provides you with a solid starting point for making child to parent company associations and can be customized to fit your exact situation.

Step 1 is where we tell Insycle how to filter your database down to only the child company records that are relevant for association.

The default filter for the “Associate Child to Parent Companies” Template is:

  • A Parent Company does not exist
  • The Company Name does not include the term “HQ”

Your company might use a convention for naming or marking parent companies in your CRM. A common one might be the inclusion of “HQ” in the company name.

This helps us whittle down our list of companies in our database to just those that may be a candidate to be a child company.

define filter parent company company name


With this filter in place, we have a list of companies that meet those specifications. By clicking the yellow Search button in Step 1, we’ll be able to preview the companies identified using this filter.



When you make changes to the filter, you will need to click the Search button again to reload this preview.

Step 2: Associate

In Step 2, we want to make sure that we are working from the third tab, “Associate.”



In selecting the “Associate Child to Parent Companies,” Insycle automatically loads the saved template that is available for this task.

The template uses typical best practices but can be customized in any way that makes sense for your company to match child-to-parent companies and associate them in bulk. Every situation is different when it comes to CRM data.

Let’s break down how the child company to parent company association process works, piece by piece.

First, we have the Action, we select the action that Insycle will take with this process. You can choose to “Add” or “Remove” associations. To create the child-parent company associations, choose “Add.”

Then we select the Record Type.

child company to parent company


This is where we tell Insycle what kind of associations we will be making. You can associate contacts, companies, and deals as needed here.

options for association


We will select, “Child company to parent company.”

Then, we have the Company Filter.

companies filter


Here, we are telling Insycle how to identify the parent company.

Click on the Company Filter button and the filter screen will pop up.

company filter


With this filter in place, Insycle will only match parent companies when they have “hq” in the company title—such as Microsoft HQ. You can also choose whether or not your filter phrase is case-sensitive.

Now we tell Insycle how to match child companies and parent companies in flexible ways.

First, we have the Field Name.

The default “Associate Child to Parent Companies” Template matches child to parent companies using two fields - Company Name and Company Domain Name.

These are the Fields from your Child Companies.

company name company domain name


Then we must select the corresponding company field that we will match with.

These are the fields from your Parent Companies.

company name


Most often, the Field Name and Match Field will be the same, unless you are using a custom field to track an identifier.

Then we have the Comparison Rule. Here, you can choose:

  • Exact Match
  • Similar Match
company name


Similar matching is a programmatic technique for analyzing data and identifying similar customer records, but not exact matches. It works by analyzing the “closeness” of two different data points.

Closeness is determined by measuring the number of changes necessary to make the two data points match. This is known as ‘edit distance,” which looks at the number of insertion, deletion, and substitution differences required to make two different points of data exact matches.

  • insertion: bar → barn
  • deletion: barn → bar
  • substitution: barn → bark

While not ideal for every situation, similar matching can be a good way to find more child and parent companies to link during this process.

Then, we must choose the Ignored portions of each field. Here, you can tell Insycle to ignore certain aspects of a field.

top level domain


Here, you can tell Insycle to ignore things like:

  • Common Terms
  • Symbols
  • Digits
  • Letters
  • Whitespace
  • Specific Text
  • Top-Level Domains
  • Subdomains

The default settings for associating Child to Parent companies are Common Terms for company names (this includes things like Inc., LLC, etc.). This is often a necessary field for matching companies and making child-parent links.

To view or alter the common terms, click the Terms button at the bottom of this section.



For the Company Domain Name field, the template instructs Insycle to ignore Top-level domains and subdomains by default.

This way, Insycle only looks at the domain name and not at the extension or subdomain.

As an example, using the above settings,,, and would all be matched.

Then, we have to tell Insycle which parts of the field we would like to include in the match.

entire value


For most use cases, we’ll select "Entire Value." But, you have many options available, as there are unique circumstances where you only want to match part of the field:

  • First X Words
  • Last X Words
  • Any X Words
  • First X Characters
  • Last X Characters

You can add new fields by clicking the Field button at the bottom right-hand corner of the Step 2 section.



At the bottom left-hand side of Step 2, you can instruct Insycle to create a new company when no matches are found by checking the box at the bottom of the Step 2 section.

create new companies when no match is found


This setting is typically only used for specific use cases. If you would like to use this setting, start by running in preview mode to view the effect without creating accidental clutter in your database.

Step 3: Preview or Update

Now, with our Filter and association/linking Actions in place, we can run the bulk operation.

When running the Bulk Operation module, especially the first time, it is a good idea to run in Preview Mode.

This allows you to view the changes to the data in a CSV file before the updates are pushed to your database. Here, you can check to make sure that everything is working as expected and make any necessary changes before pushing the updates to your live database.

You can do this by clicking the Review button in Step 3.

review button


A popup will appear. Here, in Stage 1: Mode, we can select the Preview Mode or Update Mode. Preview mode runs to process and makes the changes reviewable in a CSV file, but does not update your CRM database. With Update mode, the data changes will go live in your CRM when the operation is processed.



For many tasks in Bulk Operations, it may be a good idea to run a preview to view how the changes will look in your database before running in Update mode.

Then click the “Next” button.

In Step 2 of the “Review” process, you can choose where you send the generated report. Your email will automatically be added to the list but can add other co-workers and colleagues that you are collaborating with here.

bulk associate


Once finished, click the “Next” button.

In Step 3, you can choose whether you would like this operation to run one time, or continuously.

There are two tabs on this screen—Automate and Run Now.

bulk associate


When you select the Run Now tab, you are choosing to run the child-to-parent association operation one time, immediately.

Here, you can choose the number of records that you would like to update with the operation. You can run it only on the records that you have selected in the previous step using the checkboxes next to their names, on a small chunk, or on all of the fields that met the criteria.

Alternatively, you can schedule this module to run on a set, recurring basis in the Automate tab.

bulk associate automate


Here, you can choose to schedule this operation to run hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. When scheduled, the Module will automatically run on your desired schedule and email the reports after it has run.

You can view all scheduled automations on the “Automations” page on your dashboard.



Associate Child-Parent Companies From CSV

You can also use Insycle's Magical Import module to associate child and parent companies directly from CSV files.

To learn more, refer to the Link and Associate People to Companies article.

Step 4: Manage Data

In “Step 4: Manage Data,” click on the Associate tab. This may also be called the Link tab, depending on which CRM you have connected and what naming convention they use.

associate on import


Here, we can tell Insycle how associations should work, using the dropdown selections contained in the tab.

child to parent from CSV


In the "Associate" dropdown, we can choose child to parent companies, or parent to child companies. With Insycle you can make associations in both directions from CSVs.

select child to parent


Then you set your matching fields. Often, for child-to-parent associations, companies will match using things like company domain names, email domains, or other relevant uniquely identifying fields that you can use.

Additionally, you have the option to create a new company record when one is not automatically matched by Insycle. You can do this by selecting the checkbox next to the dropdown selections in this tab.

create when no match found


Insycle's Magical Import module makes it simple to create child-to-parent, or parent-to-child associations from a CSV, on import or as a CSV update.

Associating Child-Parent-Grandparent Companies

Insycle can associate multiple levels of child-parent relationships. 

You can establish these associations by mapping child companies to parent companies and parent companies to grandparent companies.

  • Child Company → Parent Company → Grandparent Company

Similar to other association use cases you can use Bulk Operations to associate based on existing properties, Magical Import to associate based on CSV files.

For example, to associate child-parent-grandparent using Magical Import, here is an image that demonstrates how this would work in your CSV file, while also providing additional context. For in-depth instructions on how to do this, please read this section


Frequently Asked Questions

How does Insycle know which company is the parent?

Insycle does not know what company is the parent. You have to make that clear through the data itself. A common way of tagging the parent company is to include "HQ" in the company name field.

Can I have Insycle create a new company record and associate it if no match is found?

Yes, you can instruct Insycle to create the new company record if no match is found in both the Bulk Operations module and Magical Import module.

create when no match found

Can I make child-parent associations from a CSV?

Yes, click here to learn more about making child-parent associations from a CSV file.

Can I make child-parent associations in bulk?

Yes, you can make child-parent associations in bulk using the Bulk Operations module.


You can set up ongoing data maintenance automation with Insycle on the module level, using Recipes, or integrating with Workflows. You can view all scheduled automations on the “Automations” page on your dashboard.

Preview Changes Before They Go Live

You can preview the changes that you are making to your data before those changes are pushed to your live database. When you run select modules in Insycle, you have the option of choosing between Preview Mode and Update Mode once you click the button.

Audit Trail and History

The Activity Tracker lets you review all changes made through Insycle. At any time you can download a CSV report of the operation and records affected.


Additional Resources

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Additional Resources