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Importing or exporting data with IIF files

Caution: Make sure all accounts in your IIF file are created in QuickBooks prior to importing. If you import a transaction with an account that is not already created in the QuickBooks data file, that account will be created as a new bank account.

Intuit Interchange Format (IIF) files are text files that QuickBooks uses to import and export data. You will find the QuickBooks IIF import and export utilities on the File menu in the program.

Importing and exporting IIF files created by QuickBooks is fairly easy because QuickBooks formats the file for you.

However, creating IIF files from scratch or adapting data from another program is technically complex and may be difficult if you don't have experience formatting delimited text files. In that situation it may be faster and easier to enter the information directly into QuickBooks unless you have very large amounts of data to import.

Use IIF files to
  • Export lists from one QuickBooks company file and import them into another.
  • Import transactions into QuickBooks from another program.
  • Import QuickBooks Timer activities into a company file.
  • Share data between different QuickBooks editions and platforms (such as Pro, Premier, and Enterprise)


IIF limitations
  • Imported IIF files do not create links between transactions. For example, if one transaction is an invoice and another transaction is a payment for the invoice, the transactions will not be linked after importing the data. In this example you must open the payment in the Receive Payments window and apply it to the invoice after importing the data. If you need an import solution that links transactions, refer to the QuickBooks Solutions Marketplace for a listing of third-party QuickBooks developers.
  • You must be in single-user mode to import or export data. This is to prevent other users from accessing data as it is being imported.
  • You must be logged in as the Admin user. The QuickBooks Administrator is the only user that can import or export data. If you have not created users and roles in your company file, you are logged in as the Admin user by default.
  • Payroll data cannot be imported or exported.
  • Transactions can be imported but not exported. You can only export lists. However, you can import both lists and transactions.
Lists that can be imported and exported using IIF files
Chart of Accounts Customer: Job Vendor
Employee Other Names List Customer Type
Vendor Type Class Job Type
Item Payment Terms Payment Method
Shipping Method Customer Message Budgets
To Do Notes Sales Rep Price Level
Sales Tax Code    
Transactions that can be imported using IIF files
Account beginning balances Vendor bills Vendor bill refunds
Cash sales to customers Cash refunds to customers Credit card refunds to customers
Checks Credit card transactions Credit memos to customers
Deposits Estimates General journal entries
Invoices Payments from customers Purchase orders
Account transfers of funds    
How to Export List to IIf files

QuickBooks 2008 and later

  1. Go to File, select Utilities, choose Export and Lists to IIF files.
  2. In the Export window choose the lists you would like to export and OK.
  3. Select a location in the Save in, enter the File name and Save.
  4. When files has completed saving choose OK.

QuickBooks 2008 Multicurrency and earlier

  1. Go to File, select Export, and Lists to IIF files.
  2. In the Export window choose the lists you would like to export and OK.
  3. Select a location in the Save in, enter the File name and Save.
  4. When files has completed saving choose OK.
If you have large lists such as Chart of Accounts, Items, Customers, Vendors or Employees it is recommened that you export these lists one at a time.  This will make the export process quicker and there is less opportunity for errors.



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