Intuit Interchange Format (.IIF) files are ASCII text, TSV (Tab-Separated Value) files that QuickBooks Desktop uses to import/export lists and to import transactions. The .IIF import and export utilities are on the QuickBooks Desktop File menu.
Importing and exporting .IIF files created by QuickBooks Desktop is fairly easy because QuickBooks Desktop 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 Desktop unless you have very large amounts of data to import.
The import kit is probably a good choice if you think you're ready. The detailed .IIF header information may help, too. If you're not sure, you can also look at the next section for more information. Importing information through .iif format can be tough so you should:
The QuickBooks IIF Import Kit is a reference guide for creating and working with IIF import files. It contains the following components:
To download and install the .IIF import kit:
Note: A similar import kit for importing Microsoft Excel and CSV files is also available.
These downloads contain sample Intuit Interchange Format (IIF) files that you can download to practice or use as templates for importing transactions into QuickBooks.
Using the sample IIF files:
To download sample IIF files:
Individual sample IIF files:
1 If you have the Sales Tax preference turned on in your company file, download the .iif file with tax even if you are not charging tax on all your transactions (enter a zero in the sales tax column for transactions without tax).
IMPORTANT: Be sure all accounts in your .iif file are created in QuickBooks before 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.
The file headers in an IIF file tell the program how to import the type of data that follows (i.e. a customer list or a transaction). Each header specifically defines a field in the company file. The file headers are in rows that begin with an exclamation point. The first column in the header must contain a keyword.
In a list import file, the file headers line is usually located in the first row. In the example below for a customer list, the file headers line starts with !CUST.
In a transaction import file, there are usually three file header lines that occupy the first, second, and third rows (row 1, 2, and 3 in the example below). The example below shows a check transaction in an IIF file. The file headers lines begin with !TRNS, !SPL, and !ENDTRNS.
How to use IIF headers
Note: The correct spelling and placement of these file headers are required to prevent errors during import. Also, not all file headers are necessary in an IIF file in order to import transactions successfully into QuickBooks. Several examples are available in the IIF Import Kit. For more information:
When you export a list from an existing company, QuickBooks creates an export file header:
Importing and exporting data using .iif format can be very tricky. Learn more about .iif format:
Intuit does not offer assisted technical support for creating or importing IIF files. However, there are resources available if you need help: