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Export Intuit Online Payroll transactions to QuickBooks for Windows or Mac (IIF)

Use the steps below to set up and use the export function from Intuit Full Service Payroll and Intuit Online Payroll to QuickBooks Pro/Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise.

  1. Set up Export
  2. Import to QuickBooks Desktop
  3. Back up your QuickBooks Desktop file

See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) area for answers to basic questions.

Set Up Export

Follow the steps below to setup exporting of payroll information into QuickBooks Desktop.

  1. Go to Account Settings and select Set up now in the Export to QuickBooks section.
  2. Select the accounting software you want to export your payroll transactions to:
    • QuickBooks Desktop for Windows: downloadable IIF (Intuit Interchange Format) file
    • QuickBooks Online
    • QuickBooks Desktop for Mac
  3. Select Continue to proceed.
  4. Select which QuickBooks accounts to export to.
    Important guidelines for account selections:
    • You have 3 options for mapping expenses accounts: By item type, employee type, or employee name. Liability accounts do not have these 3 options.
    • Use only alphabetical characters and numbers in account names. If you have special characters listed in your account names in QuickBooks, you will need to remove them in order to successfully export from Intuit Full Service Payroll.
    • If you use subcategories or sub accounts, use a colon to separate the category name from the subcategory, for example: Payroll:Gross Wages (no space before or after the colon)
    • If you use account numbers in QuickBooks, do not enter the account number in the account name. See screenshot.
    • If using a cash advance or employee loan deduction, enter an asset account.
    • If you use Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) accounts for expense accounts, please contact Payroll Support to enable this functionality for you.

    The following set of screens are the available mapping options:

    Bank Account:

    Wage Expense Accounts:

    All other accounts:

  5. Once you've reached the Review page, review your mapped accounts for accuracy and then click Finish!

Note: Did you create manual paycheck or tax payment entries for existing information in Intuit Full Service Payroll? If you have, you will need to delete these entries. Our system will itemize paychecks and tax payments a certain way, so it's important to use our export file to ensure easy reconciliation and avoid costly errors.

You will use the Export Preferences page to enter your QuickBooks accounts. Use the exact same names of the QuickBooks accounts you will use for the payroll data.

  1. Go to Setup.
  2. In the Payroll and Services section, select Preferences.
  3. Select QuickBooks Desktop for Windows (IIF) as your accounting software.
  4. Select Next to proceed.
  5. In the Checking Account field, enter only the name of the bank account exactly as it appears in your QuickBooks Chart of accounts.
  6. Select OK and the default accounts listed will be created automatically in your QuickBooks.  But if you already have accounts created specific for payroll transactions, select Customize to enter the account names exactly as they appear in your QuickBooks.
    • When entering accounts, read the help topics next to each field to choose the right account type. In general, enter an expense account for the Wage and Tax Categories. For the Liability accounts, enter the corresponding QuickBooks Liability account.
    • If using a cash advance or employee loan deduction, enter an asset account to receive the payroll data
    • If you use different accounts for different groups of employees, select that option in the wage/tax category section to enter QuickBooks accounts for each employee.
    • If you use different accounts for different types of wages/taxes, select that option in the wage/tax category section to enter QuickBooks accounts for each pay type and tax type.
  7. You also need to set up the following as necessary:
    1. Do you assign classes to transactions? Specify whether you use classes in your QuickBooks. If classes are selected, you can enter them on the next page after selecting OK.
    2. How will you print checks? We recommend that you print paychecks in your Intuit Online Payroll.
  8. Select OK until your back to the Setup Overview page.

For QuickBooks Desktop for Mac payroll, you just need to export your transactions. QuickBooks automatically imports them to your file.

  1. Go to the Employees menu, then select Payroll.
  2. Go to the Payday tab, then select Export to QuickBooks.
  3. Select the paychecks or tax payments you want to export.
    Note: You can change the date range to view other transactions.
  4. Select Export.
  5. Review the payroll data, then select Export.

Your transactions are now exported to QuickBooks. To check:

  1. Go to the Lists menu, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Double-click the account you use to pay your employees. The account register shows the transactions you exported.
    Note: QuickBooks shows the net pay, while your payroll shows the total pay.

Import to QuickBooks Desktop

Follow these steps to Import your information into QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. Retrieve the .IIF File from your payroll software using the steps for your platform.
  2. Use the .IIF Import process to place your transaction information into QuickBooks Desktop.
  • If you use Right Networks to run QuickBooks Desktop, use the process below.

To retrieve the .IIF file:

  1. Select Export to QuickBooks from the Payday Success or Home page.

    Note: If you receive a status 404 error, see How do I resolve a status 404 error when clicking "Export to QuickBooks" in the FAQ section.
  2. A window will appear with the number of paychecks and taxes that are included in the export file. Select Export to generate the .IIF file.
  3. Save the file to your computer.
  1. Go to Payday and select Paycheck List.
  2. In the Export section, select Preferences.
  3. Select the paychecks you want to export, then select Export. This will download the .IIF file automatically.
  4. The downloaded .IIF file will show at the bottom of your browser. Don't open the file, just save it in your folders. If the downloaded file does not appear at the bottom, check your downloads folder.
  5. You can now proceed in importing the .IIF files into your QuickBooks.

To import the file into QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Windows: From QuickBooks Desktop, choose File > Utilities > Import > IIF files.
  • Mac: From QuickBooks Desktop, choose File > Import from IIF. You will be prompted to back up your QuickBooks company file before continuing. However, you can click Cancel Backup to skip this step. If you skip the backup in this step, QuickBooks will provide a list where you can locate the .iif file. Open the file and you'll then receive a message that the import was successful.
Note: Intuit does not offer assisted technical support for creating or importing .IIF files

Exporting .IIF Files to Right Networks

If you're using Right Networks to run QuickBooks Desktop, there are a few extra steps to importing.

  1. In a web browser, visit and select Support.
  2. Select Login to File Manager.

  3. Log in to your Right Networks account (these login credentials are commonly the same ones you use for QuickBooks). If you have trouble logging in, contact Right Networks at or by phone at 888.417.4448 x2.
  4. From the File Manager screen, select the Blue Arrow icon pointing up.

  5. Select Add, browse to the .iif file on your computer, and select Open.

  6. Select Upload. The file is now stored on the Right Networks server.
  7. Go to QuickBooks and choose File > Utilities > Import > .IIF Files. Select the file you just uploaded to the Right Networks server.
  8. The .iif file will import into QuickBooks and you'll receive a success message.

Back up your QuickBooks Desktop file

Prevent accidental data loss by backing up your QuickBooks Desktop company.
See Back up the QuickBooks company file for more information.


View these items to answer basic questions and perform tasks related to .IIF import/export processes.

The export of class tracking is not supported via .IIF.

Use the steps below to re-export transactions from your payroll software.

Intuit Full Service Payroll

  1. Go to Home.
  2. Under Related Activities, select View Paycheck List.
  3. Select the checks you want to re-export.
  4. Select Export.

To re-export tax payments, contact Payroll Support for further assistance.

Intuit Online Payroll

  1. Go to Payday and select Export.
  2. Select Show checks & payments already exported to show both exported and not exported transactions.
  3. Select the paychecks or tax payments you want to export.
  4. Select Export.

Use the below steps to review or update your export preferences.

Intuit Full Service Payroll

  1. Go to Account Settings.
  2. Select Edit next to Export Settings.
  3. The accounts mapped to your export preferences will display. If you need to make changes, select Edit to the right of the section you need to update, update the account.
  4. Select Save.

Intuit Online Payroll

  1. Go to Setup.
  2. In the Export section, select Preferences.
  3. The accounts mapped to your export preferences will display. Modify the accounts as needed.
  4. After changing the accounting preference, select OK until you're back to the Setup Overview page.

When your payroll is imported into QuickBooks, 1 transaction is created per paycheck in your check register.

  • The transactions are itemized (split) into multiple accounts based upon your export preferences.
  • When tax payments are exported, they are recorded in the corresponding QuickBooks tax liability account and reduce the liability.
  • These transactions in QuickBooks accounts keep your balance sheet and profit & loss statements up-to-date. Remember, you should continue to do all of your payroll reporting using our payroll service.

In the following example, the employee received $400 in gross wages and received a net pay of $239.52. In addition, the employer paid a total of $46.50 for EMPLOYER taxes.

Account Type
Payroll Expenses: Wages
Payroll Expenses: Tax Expense
Payroll Liabilities: Federal (941/944)
Payroll Liabilities: IL Income Tax
Payroll Liabilities: IL Unemployment
Payroll Liabilities: Federal Unemployment (FUTA)
Payroll Liabilities: 401(k)
Payroll Liabilities: Pretax Health Insurance

How tax payments are itemized:

Account Type
Payroll Liabilities: Federal (941/944)

We recommend that you print checks in our payroll service, not in

QuickBooks Desktop.

If you choose to print checks from

QuickBooks Desktop

, only the paychecks can be printed. The pay stubs will still need to be printed from Online Payroll.

Additionally, be aware when printing a paycheck from

QuickBooks Desktop, 

the amount of the employee's direct deposit will be included in the check amount, and you will overpay the employee.

This error is normally associated with your browser's cache.

To resolve:

  1. Clear your temporary internet files and cookies. See Delete or disable cache and temporary internet files in your web browser.
  2. Attempt to re-export the .IIF file by going to your Paycheck List, selecting the checks to be exported, and then clicking Export.

External Links

Locate or change download location Firefox
Locate or change download location Chrome

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