Hubstaff Integrations: How to import IIF files on QuickBooks 2019 (QB 2019 and Enterprise 19.0)

How to import IIF files

Intuit has significantly changed how QuickBooks 2019 and Enterprise 19.0 import IIF files. When importing, QuickBooks now optionally, and by default, imposes many more rules and restrictions. There are several issues which actually stop QuickBooks from importing normal and valid IIF files. Files that have always worked and continue to work in preceding version years of QuickBooks.


Step 1

Go to File Utilities Import IIF Files.

Step 2

Select Import it for me. I’ll fix later.

Note: The Import it for me link uses the method if more compatible with the previous versions of Quickbooks. IIF files created with our applications work best with this option.

Step 3

Locate the file, then select OK.

Step 4

Once the import is successful, you’ll see the numbers of list and transactions imported. Press Done.


Notable items during setup

When importing time records, QuickBooks may error and indicate that the related employee address is invalid – even though you are not importing changes to the employee.

Import will fail if class field values on-time records are not dates – but the class list is not a list of dates.

The Send Later (email later) status for sales forms is ignored.

QuickBooks will not import reverse/credit lines on transactions. For example, you can’t import a return line item on an invoice, a line that reduces the invoice total.

It will not import 0.00 amount invoices (and perhaps other sales) even if the details of the invoice are non-zero.

Document numbers are incorrectly limited to 12 characters through much larger values are actually allowed in QB.

Phone numbers on name records are incorrectly limited in length which will often cause the extension to be omitted – while much longer values are actually accepted in QB.

If you attempt to include a semi-colon (;) on a record in the IIF file, QB stops reading the line at the semi-colon.  If there are required fields after that, the import fails.  If optional fields, then they are not imported and you will lose data.

If you include any characters with a computer-ascii value a little larger than a tilda (~) QB now imports it as a “?” character – while all other QB versions work as expected.

        1. Characters include “€‚ƒ„…†‡ˆ‰Š‹ŒŽ‘’“”•–—˜™š›œžŸ ¡¢£¤¥¦§¨©ª«¬®¯°±²³´µ¶·¸¹º»¼½¾¿ÀÁÂÃÄÅÆÇÈÉÊËÌÍÎÏÐÑÒÓÔÕÖ×ØÙÚÛÜÝÞßàáâãäåæçèéêëìíîïðñòóôõö÷øùúûüýþÿ”
        2. Also higher-end characters beyond this range.
        3. QB does support these characters using the old IIF import and the regular user interface.
        4. This means no names with European/international characters will work.  For example,  René Cresté will import as “Ren? Crest?”.


The reconciled status is ignored during import. All transactions are imported as uncleared, which completely defeats the use of the field.

While the reconciled status is ignored, QB still checks the values and will block the entire import if there is a single reconciled status other than Y or N or empty. But both IIF and QB support a third status, “newly cleared”, the “*” you can see in the register, which is represented in IIF using a third character.

Import fails if you omit the customer on sales receipt transactions. But at the same time QB does not require a customer on sales receipt transactions. You can record them without a name, which is commonly done when importing daily sales transactions.

When importing employees perfectly formatted addresses are trashed: the City, State, ZIP fields are duplicated and entered in the second street address field.

When importing a check with no check number (since it is not really a check, for example, but a debit charge or similar) QuickBooks assigns a check number anyway.

Budget records will not import and QuickBooks reports, that “It’s a list or transaction that is not supported by the IIF import process.”  Which is of course wrong.


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