Quick Search Results

    Not finding your answer?

    View More Results

    Export data to QuickBooks for Windows (IIF)

    Article ID: 1001371


    It's easy to update QuickBooks with your payroll data by generating an IIF file that you can import. You can specify the QuickBooks accounts for employer expenses, employee wages, taxes, and voluntary deductions such as medical insurance premiums.
    This article provides detailed information on how to export your data and what to do each time you run payroll.

    You should continue to use Intuit Online Payroll for all payroll activities. You should not use any payroll reports in QuickBooks. In fact, you will not need to use the QuickBooks payroll feature at all. (If you have not yet set up your company in QuickBooks, do not choose the payroll feature in the QuickBooks setup wizard.)

    Expected Outcome

    You can export payroll data to QuickBooks.


    You have completed Intuit Online Payroll setup and are setting up export to QuickBooks.


    Set up your QuickBooks accounts for payroll data

    If you have not set up payroll accounts in QuickBooks, Intuit will set them up for you the first time you import data into QuickBooks. Just enter the account names you prefer at the Accounting Software Integration page following the instructions in Step 3.

    If your QuickBooks company already contains appropriate accounts, write down their names or print the account list and highlight the ones you will use for the data from Online Payroll. If you mistype, we will set up a QuickBooks account with the mistyped name. Use only the account name, not any account numbers.

    • To check the list of accounts in QuickBooks, click Lists > Chart of Accounts. Find the name of the bank account you use to write payroll checks and the expense accounts for employee wages and employer payroll taxes. Find the liability accounts you use for tax and deduction liabilities. (For cash advance and loan repayment, use asset accounts.)
    • If you use subcategories or subaccounts, use a colon to separate the category name from the subcategory; for example: Payroll:Gross Wages (no space before or after the colon)

    Set up QuickBooks classes

    If you have not yet set up classes that apply to your employees in QuickBooks, create them now. Once the classes have been set up, write down their names or print the list of classes and highlight the ones you will use for the payroll data.

    Set up accounts in Intuit Online Payroll

    You will use the Export Preferences page to enter your QuickBooks accounts. Use the exact same names of the QuickBooks accounts you will use for the payroll data.
    1. Click the Setup tab.
    2. Under the Export heading, click Preferences.
    3. Select QuickBooks for Windows (IIF) from the software drop down list.
    4. Click Next.
    5. In the Checking Account box, enter only the name of the bank account exactly as it appears in QuickBooks.
    6. Click Customize to enter the account names exactly as they appear in QuickBooks.
      • When entering accounts, read the help topics next to each field to choose the right account type. In general, enter an expense account for the Wage and Tax Categories. For the Liability accounts, enter the corresponding QuickBooks Liability account.
      • If using a cash advance or employee loan deduction, enter an asset account to receive the payroll data
      • If you use different accounts for different groups of employees, select that option in the wage/tax category section to enter QuickBooks accounts for each employee.
      • If you use different accounts for different types of wages/taxes, select that option in the wage/tax category section to enter QuickBooks accounts for each pay type and tax type.
    7. Specify whether you use classes in QuickBooks for employees.
    8. If classes are selected, you can enter them on the next page after clicking OK at the bottom of this page.
    9. If you want to print checks using QuickBooks, select I will print paychecks using QuickBooks. Note: If you select this option, see Pay split between paper check and direct deposit below.
    10. Click OK.

    What to do after you create paychecks or tax payments

    1. Create paychecks or tax payments as usual.
    2. Approve your checks or payments.
    3. From the Pay Day tab, click Export.
    4. Select the checks and payments you want to export.
      • If you're exporting for the first time, checks and payments from the last six months should already be selected.
      • If you don't see your checks, change the date range.
    5. Click Export.
    6. At the File Download window, click Save. (Not sure where the downloaded file went? See the External Links section below for help with your browser)
    7. Save the file to your desktop
      • The export file is called payroll.iif. We recommend that you accept that default name.
    8. If there is a warning that the file already exists, click Yes to overwrite.

    Next, import the payroll file into QuickBooks.

    1. Open QuickBooks.
    2. At the File Menu, click Utilities > Import > IIF Files.
    3. Locate the payroll.iif file you saved.
    4. Click Open.
    5. Click OK.

    What happens when your data is entered into QuickBooks

    When your payroll data is entered into QuickBooks, the process creates one transaction in your bank account register for each payroll service paycheck. Depending upon how you set your preferences, handwritten checks appear in the checking register with or without check numbers. If you set your preferences to mark paychecks to print in QuickBooks, the transactions will not have check numbers but will be marked to print. (Transactions for Direct Deposit are also included in the checking account register but have no check numbers and are not marked to print.)

    The bank account transaction contains splits that affect multiple accounts, depending upon the number of accounts you specified to receive deductions:
    • A split appears for the Wage Account you specified in the export preferences.
    • A split appears for the Tax Account you specified in the export preferences.
    • One or more splits appear for each Liability account for federal, state and local taxes owed.
    • Additional splits are entered for each deduction/garnishment, one for the employee's deduction and one for any company contribution.

    When tax payments are exported, they are recorded in the corresponding QuickBooks tax liability account and reduce the liability.

    These transactions in QuickBooks accounts keep your balance sheet and profit & loss statements up to date. Remember that you should continue to do all of your payroll reporting using our payroll service.

    Pay Split between paper check and direct deposit

    We recommend that you print checks in our payroll service, not in QuickBooks. If you choose to print checks from QuickBooks, only the paychecks can be printed from QuickBooks. The pay stubs will still need to be printed from Online Payroll.

    In the case where an employee receives part of their pay as a direct deposit and the other part as a paper check, the paper check portion must be printed from Online Payroll. If you print a check in QuickBooks for this type of pay transaction, the printed check will include the amount already paid by direct deposit and you will overpay the employee.

    Back up QuickBooks

    We recommend that you back up your QuickBooks company file after exporting to protect against accidental data loss. (You can also set up QuickBooks to perform automated backups on a regular schedule.) Follow these steps:
    1. Select File > Create Backup.
    2. Select Online Backup or Local Backup.
    3. Click the Options button. Use the Backup Options window to tell QuickBooks:
      • Where to save your backup
      • How often to remind you to back up your company file
      • Whether to check your company file for damage before creating a backup
      Then click OK.
    4. Choose whether to:
      • Save the backup now
      • Save the backup now and schedule future backups
      • Only schedule future backups
      Then click Next.
    5. If you chose to save the backup now, in the Save Backup Copy window, change the same of the backup, if necessary. Then click Save.

      If you chose to save the backup now and schedule future backups, or if you chose only to schedule future backups, create a backup schedule. Then click Finish.
    Click here for more information on backing up QuickBooks files.

    Top Answers


    Most Used Forms

    Find and download individual and federal forms required for your business.

    Payroll Tax Support

    Stay in compliance, ensure you're up to date on all necessary tax agency information from Federal to State agency


    Give employees 24/7 access to payroll information they need.