Though many of the gift area settings work specifically with pledges and recurring gifts (on the first and third tabs of the Gift Area Settings), there are also settings that allow you to import directly (skipping Batch entry) and to determine gift matching.
While Importacular defaults to importing gifts to a Batch, beginning with version 4.4, you do have the option to import gifts directly (in some cases, this option may help shorten import times).
Gift Match settings will prevent gifts from being added to a constituent if a matching gift already exists on the constituent record. You can either select that gifts should always be added or choose the matching criteria that will determine if the gift already exists and should, therefore, not be added to the batch.
It is not possible to update an existing gift, but you are able to avoid creating a duplicate entry.
Additionally, you have the option to select what to do if a gift is missing the key fields required to create a gift. You have the option to “Ignore the gift” (so that no gift is created) or “Create an exception” (to view the gift in the Control Report).