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 QuickBooks 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; or Windows and Macintosh)

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.
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