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    Import or export IIF files

    Article ID: 1001066


    You can use Intuit Interchange Format (IIF) files to import lists, transactions (sales tax payment, general journal entry, credit memo, credit card refund (credit), credit card charge, check, cash sale, bill refund (vendor credit), bill, payment by credit vard, bill payment by check, bill, statement charge) or timesheets into QuickBooks files, and export lists from existing QuickBooks files.

    The following can be imported and/or exported:

    • List information (chart of accounts, inventory items, customer and vendor lists,employee list,class list and so on) can be imported into or exported from QuickBooks. All information shown in the edit window of the list item is included in the export file. This is a convenient way to copy lists from one company file to another. For example, QuickBooks Pro job information (job description, job type, start date, projected end date, and end date) is imported with your Customer:Job list for each Customer:Job list member.
    • Time activities exported from the QuickBooks timer can be imported to QuickBooks.
    • Transactions from other accounting programs that have been put into a text file in the QuickBooks import file format (IIF) can be imported.
    • For more information about importing and exporting IIF files, click here.

    Creating an IIF file or changing data from another accounting program into an IIF file is technically complex and is not recommended for those who do not have programming experience. Unless you have a very large customer database or more than 200 transactions, it might be easier to enter the data directly in QuickBooks.

    You cannot create a link between two transactions during import. For example, if one transaction is an invoice and another transaction is a payment for the invoice, you cannot indicate in the import file that the payment is to be applied to the invoice. To apply the payment, after transactions have been imported into QuickBooks, open the Receive Payments window from the Customers menu, and apply the payment to the invoice.

    The following cannot be imported or exported:

    • Transactions from an existing QuickBooks company data file. However, you can create a report based on transactions and print the report to a file that can be read by a spreadsheet, database, or word processor program.
    • QuickBooks timesheets, except through the Timer. (Time functions are not available in QuickBooks Standard and Basic versions.)
    • Payroll items

    You need to be in single-user mode to import or export lists. The QuickBooks Admin is the only user who can import or export with QuickBooks.

    Expected Outcome

    You can import and export data to and from QuickBooks with IIF files.


    You have an active version of QuickBooks. You are the QuickBooks Admin and have programming experience, and you are in single-user mode.


    To export IIF files:

    1. In the menu bar, select File and then Utilities.
    2. On the sub-menu, select Export, and then Lists to IIF Files.
    3. Put a checkmark next to each of the lists you want to export.
    4. Click OK.
    5. In the Save In window, browse to the location where you want to save the IIF file (often, this will be your desktop).
    6. In the File name filed:
      Delete the asterisk (*). Windows will not save a file if you do not delete the asterisk (*).
      Enter a file name with the extension of .IIF.
    7. Click the Save button.
    8. Click OK to the message that the file was successfully saved.

    To import IIF files:

    Since you cannot undo an import, you must back up your company file before proceeding.

    1. In the menu bar, select File, then Utilities.
    2. On the sub-menu, select Import and then IIF Files.
    3. Navigate to the location of your IIF file and highlight the file.
    4. Click Open.
    5. QuickBooks pops a message confirming that your data has been imported.
    6. Click OK on the message.

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