How to Import IIF Files into QuickBooks Desktop, Online, 2019, Enterprise?

Import IIF Files into QuickBooks

With improving features and services, QuickBooks users now have the capability to manage their records. This super friendly accounting software allows you to import the IIF files into your QuickBooks account in order to combine the data that is stored in different locations. This draws a very clear picture of your QuickBooks account for analytics and reporting. If you have no earthly clue how to import IIF files into QuickBooks Online and Desktop then we are pleased to serve this easy guide.

The purpose of preparing this guide is to enlighten you with the best possible details regarding IIF file import in QuickBooks Desktop, Online, 2019, and Enterprise for both Windows and Mac computers. Apart from this, we will also help you to resolve the issue which you may find when importing the IIF file in QuickBooks 2019.

What Do You Understand By IIF File?

Before importing an IIF file, we want to draw your attention to this particular file format (IIF) and how it works for your QuickBooks company data.

Intuit Interchange Format, i.e., IIF is a file designed by Intuit. It helps users to bring transactions and list the transactions directly to your QuickBooks account. This cross-platform text file also enables users to organize the company data in a smarter way. In addition, an IIF is quite exclusive to your QuickBooks platform but can be edited and opened in Notepad and Excel. It also contains account-related or finance data which you can arrange in a tabular format by using rows and columns.

What Data Can be Imported into QuickBooks?

If you are using an IIF file to import the data into QuickBooks, you must be wondering what all data you can import using the IIF file to the QuickBooks account. For your information, we are providing this list that reveals which type of data and transactions can be imported.

Chart of Accounts

  • Vendor Type
  • Employee
  • Shipping Method
  • Item
  • Sales Tax Codes
  • To Do Notes

Customer: Job

  • Class
  • Other Names List
  • Customer Message
  • Payment Terms
  • Sales Rep


  • Job Type
  • Customer Type
  • Budgets
  • Payments Method
  • Price Level

Account Beginning Balances

  • Checks
  • Cash Sales to customer
  • Deposits
  • Account Transfer of funds
  • Invoices

Vendor Bills

  • Credit Card Transactions
  • Cash Refunds to Clients
  • Payments from Customer
  • Estimates

Vendor Bill Refunds

  • Credit Memos to Customers
  • Credit Card Refunds to Customers
  • Purchase Orders
  • General Journal Entries

These are the list and other transactions that you can easily import to your QuickBooks account using an IIF file.

Backup the QuickBooks Company File

Import action cannot be reversed and every user should create a backup of their QuickBooks data. In case you have no clue how to take backup, you can follow these steps stated below:

  • Launch your “QuickBooks” account.
  • Go to the “File” menu.
  • Locate the “Backup Company” option.
  • When you see multiple options, select the “Company backup” option.
  • Now, hit the “Create Local Backup” option.
Backup the QuickBooks Company File
  • Click on the “Finish” button.
  • Hit the “Ok” button when you see a user confirmation page.

After following these steps, your backup file will be generated automatically. Hereafter, you can continue following the guide for importing the IIF file in QuickBooks.

The Procedure of IIF File Import in QuickBooks Desktop & Online

To import IIF file to QuickBooks Online and Desktop, you need to run your QuickBooks account in a Single User mode. Thereafter, you can go to the Utilities, click on the Import heading and choose the IIF file. This way you can browse the IIF file from its location in order to import IIF file into QuickBooks Online and Desktop.

How Do I Import an IIF File into QuickBooks (on Windows)?

If you use QuickBooks on your Windows computer then you can follow these steps to import an IIF file into your QuickBooks account.

  • Login to your “QuickBooks” account.
  • Make sure you sign in as an administrator. This makes sure that you run QuickBooks in a “Single User Mode”.
  • Now, navigate through the “File” menu on the top.
  • Click on the “Utilities” option.
  • Select the “Import heading” option.
  • Click on the “.IIF File” option.
  • Now, browser the “.IIF file” from its location and highlight it in bold letters.
  • Then hit the “Open” button.
  • When you see the confirmation message on your screen, hit the “OK” button.

As you follow these steps, you can easily open the IIF file into your QuickBooks account. This way you can bring your data instantly to your QuickBooks.

How to Import IIF File into QuickBooks Desktop (for Mac)?

Mac users can also import the IIF file into the QuickBooks accounts. However, you need to remember that you take a backup before performing the IIF file import so that if you run into any problem, the backup can save you and help you to restore the data.

To import IIF files in QuickBooks Desktop on Mac, you can follow these steps:

  • Login to your “QuickBooks company file”. Make sure you sign in as an admin.
  • Click on the “File” button.
  • Choose the “Import” button.
  • Click on the “From IIF Files”.
  • Then, export the IIF file.

How to Import IIF Files into QuickBooks 2019 & Enterprise?

Intuit has changed the way of importing IIF files in QuickBooks 2019 and Enterprise editions. Moreover, QuickBooks by default started imposing certain rules and restrictions. Hence, users encounter several issues when importing a normal or valid IIF file.

If you are a user of QuickBooks Enterprise or the 2019 version then we are here to enlighten you on how to import IIF file to QuickBooks Enterprise or 2019.

  • Click on the “File” option located on the top left.
  • Then, select the “Utilities” button.
  • Now, click on the “Import” button.
  • Choose the “IIF Files” option.
Import IIF Files into QuickBooks 2019
  • When you see a new window (Import IIF file), click the link that says “Import it for me. I’ll fix later”.

Note: This link uses the method only if it is more compatible with earlier QuickBooks versions. The IIF file that you create with the application works best with this link.

  • Now, find your file and hit the “OK” button.

Once the file is imported, you will find the numbers of transactions and list imported. Thereafter, you can click on the Done button.

Important Things to Remember

  • Before you import the transaction, first you have to set the Items, Accounts, Names & Sales Tax, and Names & Tax Items. You can follow one way from the two. For instance, you can add the codes to the IIF file or directly enter the data into QuickBooks in order to import the data.
  • If you have not set up the data then the import will set up the data for you. However, the information may be unusable or wrong. Hence, it is important to set up the data.
  • The A/R account is marked as a Type Bank Account and thus you cannot change it to the Type A/R account.
  • You cannot use the customer name on the invoices as the name is mentioned as another name.
  • Sales Tax items and Sales items are marked as the Type Service items. This you cannot change them to any other Type.

Limitations for Import and Export IIF Files in QuickBooks

Importing and exporting can be performed easily in a QuickBooks account. However, there are a few limitations or restrictions that you should be aware of.

  • Users can import only a specific number of list items. For that, you need to be aware of the list entries of maximum number.
  • IIF files do not link transactions when you import the file. You need to link the invoice payment and invoices after the import. In order to link the transaction, you have to go to the Pay Bills or Receive Payments window. If required, you can use the third-party apps in order to link and import the transactions.
  • When importing the assembly items, users cannot import the data in the customer fields of items.
  • Users cannot import or export the price levels if they have been set up on a per-item basis.
  • Only the IIF file format is supported to export the payroll data from your Intuit Full Service Payroll and Intuit Online Payroll to the QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Users cannot export and import the IIF files from and from the country’s version to another country’s versions of QuickBooks. As an example, you cannot import or export from the Canadian version of QuickBooks to QuickBooks Unites States or vice versa.
  • You cannot add the numbers with Zeros in Excel especially when creating the IIF import file. However, as a workaround, users can format their column cells as Custom.

How to Resolve QuickBooks 2019 File Import Error?

In QuickBooks Desktop 2019, users find it accurate and convenient to import the transactions and lists using the improved IIF tool. It helps you to eliminate the bad data from the import just by scanning the file for errors.

However, users often encounter problems when they import multiple IIF files into QuickBooks. If that happens to you, the tools show the following problems:

  • The tool displays the number of items that failed or successfully imported.
  • It also offers a new IIF file of the transactions that have been failed including the error description.

This may happen due to several reasons. The primary reason is when you do not run the IIF file in the multi-user mode. This tool supports the multi-user mode in QuickBooks Desktop 2019. So, if you are using the QuickBooks Desktop in Single-User mode then you need to switch it to Multi-User mode.

What If The File Not Imported?

Even running your QuickBooks Desktop in Multi-User mode, if you are facing the QuickBooks IIF file import error or the import transactions and lists shows the failed status then you need to create a new IIF file for the failed records along with the error details. For that, you will have three options:

  • Review now: This helps you to open the new IIF file.
  • Open in folder: This will let you open the IIF file where it is located.
  • Close: It closes the Lists and Transactions that are not imported.

How to Fix IIF File Import QuickBooks Desktop Error?

If you are unable to import IIF files into QuickBooks, you can perform a number of techniques to make things work. For instance, you can correct the file errors manually, review the Import errors, change the IIF file extension to XLSX, use the Excel file, change the extension of the Journal Entries, or use the Import tool to avoid errors.

1: Review the Import Errors in IIF File

When importing IIF files into QuickBooks 2019, if you see a File not Imported error, QuickBooks gives you a few options to review and repair the error. Here are the steps one can follow:

  • Click on the “Review now”.
  • Search for the “ERROR” to find out the problem with your IIF file.
  • Now, after correcting the errors, click on the “Save” button.

When you see a message if you want to keep the file then click the Yes button. Thereafter, you can close the window and import the new IIF file that you corrected. Hopefully, this will fix the error. If required then you can ask for technical support from Intuit.

2: Change the IIF File Extension to XLSX

If you are facing an IIF line error then probably the IIF file is not supported by your QuickBooks version. In such a case, you can try changing its file extension from IIF to XLSX format. You can follow the steps stated below:

  • To get started, make a copy of the “IIF file”.
  • Then, click right on the “IIF” file.
  • Select the “Rename” option.
  • Then, change its name to “XLSX”.
  • Now, click twice on the file in order to open it in Excel.

When you are done following these steps, you can navigate through the IIF file and check if you see an IIF line error in your QuickBooks account.

3: Change the Extension of Journal Entries

Users can easily import the Journal Entries from the previous software to the company file. For this process, a QBJ extension can be used. If you are facing errors when importing the IIF file then you can modify the extension of Journal Entries. Check out the following steps:

  • Click on the “File” option.
  • Select the “Utilities” option.
  • Choose the “General Journal Entries” from the “Import”.
  • Now, select the QBJ file that you downloaded before on your PC.
  • Here, you need to click on the “Add General Journal Entries (GJE’s).
  • When you see the “GJE’s summary” page appears, click the “OK” button.

As you are done correcting the Journal Entries file extension, you can check if you still find issues with the IIF file import.

4: Use Microsoft Excel File to Avoid Import Errors

To review the failed import files, you can use the Microsoft Excel file for QuickBooks 2019. This will help you to fix the issue just by editing the failed items in your import list. Let’s understand how this can help you.

  • Click right on the “Export File”.
  • Click on the “Open with” option.
  • Choose the “Microsoft Office Excel”.
  • When you see the “Incompatible features” message, click on the “Yes” button.
  • Now, go to the “File” menu.
  • Click on the “Save and modify the incorrect data”.
  • Close the “Excel” file.

In case you receive a message on your screen to save the file again, you can click the No button. This way you can fix the error related to the IIF import file.

5: Use Import Tool

By using an Import Tool, you can solve the IIF Import error very easily. All you need to update the items and existing transactions. To understand better, you can follow these steps:

  • Click on the “Lists” option.
  • Then, select the “Item List” option.
  • Click twice on the item that should be updated.
  • When the item opens, you can modify the account to a different account.
  • Now, click the “Yes” option to update the existing transactions.
  • Here, open the item again so that you can change the account to the correct one.
  • Hit the “Yes” button in order to update all existing transactions.

This way you can avoid errors related to the IIF file. So, we have given all the best possible ways to fix the problem when you are unable to import the IIF file into QuickBooks Desktop 2019.

To Wind Up

IIF file helps users to bring transactions and list the transactions directly to your QuickBooks account. In addition, a different kind of data can be imported into the QuickBooks platform which we have mentioned in this guide. Here we have shown you how to open QuickBooks import export file IIF. Besides that, if you are having trouble importing an IIF file into QuickBooks then we have also given you the best possible solutions to resolve that.

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Kenneth B.
Kenneth B.
1 year ago

It is quite secure when you import transactions via IIf. Yes, when you have to do the process, Quickbooks IIF file import might seem complex. But you just need to have all the data prepared. Then as you go on doing the process, the complexities will eventually be removed. I have been doing it for over a year now by myself.

Thomas Williem
Thomas Williem
1 year ago

Sinc a long time I use quickbooks online it has so many advanced features that i am unable to understand most. While i was doing quickbooks iif file imports i dont know what i clicked but it got undo. I did it all over to import the data was not affected thnakfully.