QuickBooks Desktop: IIF Export

The following information will help you configure QuickBooks. You should consult your individual documentation to be sure you are setting up QuickBooks correctly to work with Timesheets.com as things may change slightly from version to version. Timesheets.com recommends strongly that you backup your latest QuickBooks file prior to importing data.

There are 8 topics covered on this page.

  1. Setting up the Payroll Items List for QuickBooks
  2. Setting up Employees for QuickBooks
  3. Setting up the Item List for QuickBooks
  4. Configuring Timesheets.com and Creating Your IIF file
  5. Importing Your IIF file
  6. Creating Invoices in QuickBooks using Imported Project Time
  7. Viewing Time Sheets in QuickBooks after Importing Data from Timesheets.com
  8. Cautions and Other Notes

 Back to Data Export Settings

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: In order to use our service with QuickBooks, manual payroll calculations must be enabled. This step is only necessary if payroll isn’t already activated within QuickBooks. To activate manual payroll calculations in QuickBooks, search the QuickBooks help for ‘manual payroll’. You will see a link in the search results to set your company file to use the manual payroll calculations setting. Select that link. You will see a setting that asks if you are sure you want to manually calculate your payroll taxes in QuickBooks. Click that link to update your company file settings. You are now ready to complete the below setup procedure.

1. Setting up the Payroll Items List in QuickBooks

Begin by opening up the Payroll Items list in QuickBooks. The Payroll Items list is found as shown below. QuickBooks uses ‘Payroll Items’ to categorize employee hours. You must input the Payroll Items exactly as shown here for your import process to work correctly. Also note that you must use our default time classification labels in the Company Settings on the Hourly tab. If you choose to change any of the default time-off labels, then you must also change the Payroll Item in QuickBooks to match. All 7 required Payroll Items are shown below.

  • TCO Std Hours
  • TCO OT Hours
  • TCO DT Hours
  • TCO Sick Hours
  • TCO Vacation Hours
  • TCO PTO Hours
  • TCO Holiday Hours

2. Setting up Employees in QuickBooks

To begin, open QuickBooks and find the edit screen for the employee’s information of the first employee you wish to set up. It is important that the information in Timesheets.com and the information in QuickBooks about each employee match exactly. To set up employees in QuickBooks so they match the employees in Timesheets.com, you must make sure the spelling of the names in both QuickBooks and Timesheets.com is exactly the same. (For example, if an employee name in Timesheets.com contains a middle name or middle initial, it must also be that way in QuickBooks.) We suggest copying and pasting the names from one software to the other to be sure they match exactly. If they do not match, QuickBooks will create a ‘new’ employee during the import process because it will not recognize the employee’s name.

When you are editing the employee’s information, change tabs to the ‘Payroll and Compensation Info’ tab (as shown below). If the specific employee is HOURLY, make sure the ‘Use time data to create paychecks’ box is checked. For Project employees, make sure that box is NOT checked.

Finally, for HOURLY employees, make sure to add all the Payroll Items (from step 1 above) to the Earnings box as shown below. You may add Payroll Items by clicking inside the Earnings box. Each Payroll Item (such as TCO Std Hours) should have an associated hourly rate. Add the appropriate rate each time you add a Payroll Item. Repeat this process for all your employees.

3. Setting up the Item List in QuickBooks

Service Items in QuickBooks are the same as Account/Department Codes in Timesheets.com. You do not need to create Service Items in QuickBooks since they will be created automatically during the import process from Timesheets.com. If you already have service items that you use in QuickBooks and wish to add those items to Timesheets.com, you should make sure the Service Items are spelled exactly the same in Timesheets.com and QuickBooks or QuickBooks will not recognize them and create new Service Items during your import.

Once your Service Items are created you should edit them to add Pricing and Account information by clicking on the LISTS menu in QuickBooks, then ITEM LIST as shown below.

4. Configuring Timesheets.com and Creating Your IIF file

Timesheets.com will create an IIF file that you will import into QuickBooks. In order to create an IIF file, first you must get 3 values FROM QuickBooks and enter them on the Data Export Settings Page. You will only need to do this once. The values you will need are:

  • Company Create Time Number
  • QB Release Number
  • IIF Version Number

In order to get these numbers you must create an export file FROM QuickBooks. To do this, click on the FILE menu in QuickBooks. Select UTILITIES, then EXPORT and finally TIMER LISTS. You will be prompted to save a file. Type in a name for the file if it does not already have one, and save the file to your desktop and open it up using Notepad or another text editor. The values you are looking for are highlighted in yellow below.


  • The COMPANYCREATETIME value you must enter into Timesheets.com is 115282269
  • The RELEASE number you must enter into Timesheets.com is R7P
  • The IIF VERSION number you must enter into Timesheets.com is 1

Once you have saved the data export settings into Timesheets.com, the QUICKBOOKS download option on the PAYROLL PERIOD REPORTS page will become available and you will now be able to create your export file. To create an export file, click on Payroll Reports in the Timesheets.com Hourly menu. Then select QUICKBOOKS as the Download Format from the dropdown box right above the payroll period reports table. Finally, select the appropriate DOWNLOAD link from inside the table next to the report you wish to export. You will be prompted to save the IIF file which you should save to your desktop.

5. Importing Your IIF file

Before you import your IIF file into QuickBooks, you should have read and understood the instructions above. You should have set up all your Employees, Service Items and Payroll Items in QuickBooks and you should have entered the correct information into the Timesheets.com configuration screen for your QuickBooks version and your COMPANYCREATETIME value.

If you have completed all these steps, you’re ready to import IIF files.

To import your file, open QuickBooks and select FILE from the main menu. Then select UTILITITES, then IMPORT and finally IIF. Select the correct IIF file that you have exported from Timesheets.com and click OK.

6. Creating Invoices in QuickBooks using Imported Project Time

To bill for Project Time, you will create invoices in QuickBooks. To enter project time on an invoice, click to ‘TIME/COSTS’ button at the top of the invoice window in QuickBooks and then select the TIME tab as shown below. All time for that project will show up in this tab. Select the time you wish to add to the invoice by clicking the line-item icon on the far left and click okay. The Project time should show up on your invoice.

If you have not created your Service Items (see above) with corresponding Price information, your invoice pricing may show a $0 amount. You must make sure your Service Items are correctly configured if you wish to create invoices using imported Project Time. Notice the Rate shown below corresponds exactly to the Service Item rate shown in the Service Item example above.

7. Viewing Time Sheets in QuickBooks after Importing Data from Timesheets.com

In order to view employee timesheets, you must first enable TIME & EXPENSE in your QuickBooks preferences. Select EDIT on the top menu in QuickBooks, then select PREFERENCES. In the window that opens, select TIME & EXPENSE on the left menu and then the COMPANY PREFERENCES tab. Set the DO YOU TRACK TIME? question to YES and set the first day of your work week. Now you are ready to proceed.

Since your import process was already completed in the steps above, you may now view time sheets. Select EMPLOYEES on the top menu in QuickBooks, then select ENTER TIME and finally select USE WEEKLY TIMESHEETS. You will see a window like the one shown below. Select the employee you wish to view and use the previous/next buttons to move between dates.

Notice the icon on the right with the red X. If the time is HOURLY time, the icon will appear with the X. If the time is PROJECT time, the icon will appear without the red X. Hourly employees, therefore, should all have red Xs while Project employees should have none.

8. Cautions and Other Notes

This last section of the tutorial is intended to help avoid problems experienced by some users. When problems with the export process are reported back to Timesheets.com, notes may be updated here from time to time.

Issue: Values must match between Timesheets.com and QuickBooks: Employee Middle Names
Timesheets.com does not require a middle name for employees, but some companies do have middle names or middle initials inside QuickBooks. In order for the export to work correctly, all data sent from Timesheets.com to QuickBooks must match exactly – letter for letter. This is also true for Projects (‘jobs’ in QuickBooks), Account/Department Codes (‘service items’ in QuickBooks) and all other exported values. If you are attempting to export data for an employee into QuickBooks and any of the values do NOT match, QuickBooks will create a new item where the match fails. For instance, if you export time for John Smith but in QuickBooks has the employee listed as John Q. Smith, QuickBooks will assume John Smith is a new employee. The best way to resolve this issue is to remove the middle initial from QuickBooks or you may try adding it to the first name field of the employee in Timesheets.com. Either way, we always suggest running a test before using the export in an actual production environment.

Issue: Duplicate Import into QuickBooks
QuickBooks has no way of knowing if an import file is unique, so if you try to import the same file twice, QuickBooks will treat all entries an new entries and create duplicate time records in QuickBooks. We never recommend importing a file more than once to reduce the chance of duplicate records.

If you experience any issues, please let us know using our normal contact form.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles