If you are using QuickBooks 2019, please see Improved IIF Import in QuickBooks 2019.

Intuit Interchange Format (.IIF) files are ASCII text, TSV (Tab-Separated Value) files that QuickBooks Desktop uses to import or export lists or transactions. These files make it easier to transfer data to and from different platforms to better manage company records in QuickBooks.

Importing and exporting .IIF files in QuickBooks Desktop is 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. This makes it faster and easier to enter the information directly into QuickBooks Desktop, unless you have very large amounts of data to import.
Note:Intuit does not offer assisted technical support for creating or importing .IIF files

To get started, you can download and install the .IIF import kit to save time and improve your results. You can also download sample .IIF files to practice or use as templates for importing transactions into QuickBooks.


This article is part of a series that covers basic information about .IIF files in QuickBooks Desktop.

The IIF import kit

The QuickBooks IIF Import Kit is a reference guide for creating and working with .IIF import files. It contains the following components:

  • IIF Import Manual: A .pdf document that outlines common .iif pitfalls and best practices.
  • IIF Header Help: The column headings used to import list data.
  • IIF Example Files: A folder that contains version-specific .iif transaction examples.

Sample .IIF files

Understand .IIF headers

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.