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Export lists from the old company file into a new data file

by Intuit Updated 3 weeks ago

This article guides you on exporting lists from a QuickBooks company file to another. The steps provided here assume you already created a new company file.

See Create QuickBooks Desktop company file: Overview for other workflows you can use to create a new QuickBooks Desktop company file.

Quick tip:
  • Exporting the list from QuickBooks will create an .IIF file that you can open on notepad or excel.
  • Export the major lists (Item, Customers, Suppliers) one at a time to prevent issues caused by exporting very long lists.
  1. From the QuickBooks File menu, select Utilities > Export > Lists to IIF Files.
  2. Select the list you want to export and click OK.
  3. Browse the location where you want to save your file and click Save.

Step 2: (Optional) Clean up your lists

What do I remove from my lists?

  • Customers to whom you no longer sell.
  • Suppliers from whom you no longer purchase.
  • Employees whom you no longer employ.
  • Items that you no longer sell.
  • Any other entries that are not needed in the new company file.
  1. Open the IIF file you exported from your company file in Excel.
    1. Open Microsoft Excel.
    2. From the File menu, select Open (if you're using Excel 2007 choose the Office Button Open).
    3. Choose the location where you saved the .IIF file.
    4. In the file type field, choose All Files.
    5. Select your IIF file then click Open.
    6. Click Next twice and select Finish in the Text Import Wizard. The IIF file is now opened in MS Excel.
  2. Make the necessary edits using MS Excel.
  3. Save the changes you made to the IIF.
    1. From the File menu, select Save (if you're using Excel 2007, choose the Office button > Save).
    2. Click Yes on the prompt that appears.
    3. Exit Excel.
    4. You will be prompted to save the IIF file again. Click Don't Save.

Get a more thorough discussion about IIF files in IIF Overview: import kit, sample files, and headers.

Step 3: Import the list


  • To make sure the import process runs smoothly, import the list following the order listed below.
  • It is highly recommended to back up your company file before importing any list and every after successfully importing one or two major lists.
  1. Open the new company file. Make sure that you are logged in as the Administrator and you are in single user mode.
  2. From the File menu, select Utilities.
  3. Select Import and click IIF Files
  4. Import the Chart of Accounts.
  5. After successfully importing the Chart of Accounts, import the other list following this order.
    1. Import the lists that do not contain information from other lists.
      • Customer Type List
      • Supplier Type List
      • Class List
      • Job Type List
      • Payment Terms List
      • Payment Methods List
      • Shipping Methods List
      • Customer Message List
      • To Do Notes
    2. Import the following lists one by one in this order:
      • Supplier
      • Employee
      • Other Names
      • Sales Rep
      • Item
      • Price Level
      • Customer
      • Budgets

Step 4: Set up the Opening Balance

See Record Opening balance in QuickBooks Desktop for detailed information.

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