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Import Journal Entries Into QuickBooks

Import Journal Entries Into QuickBooks

As QuickBooks has various versions and editions, the steps to import journal entries into quickbooks vary depending upon the platform, the version, and the edition of the software. You can of course use different file types – Excel, CSV, and IIF – to import journal entries. The most important steps in the process happen before and after the import process. Before importing, you’ve to format your journal entries data properly so that QuickBooks can match the fields. And after you’ve imported the data, you have to create certain reports to make sure that the data was properly imported.

In this post, you’ll learn how to import journal entries into QuickBooks.

Import Journal Entries into QuickBooks Desktop

As there is no direct way to import journal entries from excel to QuickBooks desktop, I’ve created my own workaround, which works quite well if you follow all the steps properly. It definitely saves me from investing into add-ons that cost too much.

This workaround to import journal entries into QuickBooks has two phases:

  • Phase 1: export transactions from Quickbooks desktop to get a sample template for importing data.
  • Phase 2: format your journal entries data in Excel and import the data into QuickBooks Desktop.

Steps to export transactions from QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. Log into the QuickBooks Desktop company file with an admin account.
  2. Click on Customers from the main menu.
  3. Choose the Customer Center, and go to the Transactions tab.
  4. Click on Invoices and apply filters to narrow down your selection.
  5. Choose Run Reports.
  6. Click on Create a New Worksheet in the export window.
  7. Choose Ok, then Export.
  8. Launch the exported excel file and format your journal entries in excel file in the same format as the one in the exported excel file.

Steps to import journal entries into QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. Once you’ve properly formatted the Excel file, choose File in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Click on Save As, and save the file without a file type or extension.
  3. Right click on the saved file, and choose Rename.
  4. Input .IIF at the end of the file and choose yes to confirm the conversion of the File.
  5. Go back to QuickBooks Desktop and click on File.
  6. Click on Import, then choose IIF File.
  7. Browse and select the IIF file that you created from the Excel file containing the journal entries data.
  8. Click on Open, then Ok to finally import the journal entries into QuickBooks Desktop.

If you don’t format the excel file properly before importing the journal entries into QuickBooks Desktop, then you may end up doing more harm than good to your accounting data. So I recommend that you create a backup of the company file in which you want to import your journal entries data from excel:

  1. Switch to Single-user mode from the file menu.
  2. Click on File, then Choose Back Up Company.
  3. Choose to Create Local Backup, then Local Backup in the window that appears.
  4. Click on next.
  5. Choose Browse and select the directory where you want to save the backup file.
  6. Click on Save it Now, then Next.
  7. Choose Finish.

Import Journal Entries into QuickBooks Accountants and Enterprise

The batch enter transactions feature is exclusively available in QuickBooks accountant and enterprise editions. The pro and premier editions of this accounting software lack the ability to import multiple transactions. The batch enter transactions feature enables you to paste upto a 1,000 journal entries from Excel into QuickBooks Desktop. You can then arrange the data and change its format before importing the journal entries into the QuickBooks desktop.

Steps to batch enter journal entries from Excel into QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. Click on Accountant from the main menu bar.
  2. Choose Batch Enter Transactions.
  3. Choose the transaction types as one of the following:
    1. Checks
    2. Deposits
    3. Credit Card Charges & Credits
    4. Bills & Bill Credits
    5. Invoices & Credit Memos
  4. Choose the Accounts Receivable account.
  5. Click on Customize Columns to add or remove fields. This depends entirely on the format in which your journal entries data is stored in an Excel file.
  6. Copy all of the journal entries data from the Excel file.
  7. Paste the journal entries data into the Batch Enter Transactions window.
  8. Add jobs or items that don’t exist. QuickBooks will let you know by marking the items red once the data you pasted has been validated.
  9. Choose Save Transactions.

If you have a lot of your journal entries in Excel, then this method will help import all of that data quickly into the QuickBooks desktop. However, you should note that you can only import up to 1,000 journal entries for transactions at once. So you may have to follow the steps multiple times to get all of your data into the company file.

Import Journal Entries into QuickBooks Mac

Both QuickBooks Mac and QuickBooks Mac Plus have the ability to import journal entries data from an excel file. Because QuickBooks mac has a different user interface, the steps to import the journal entries are also different.

Steps to import journal entries into QuickBooks Mac:

  1. From the File menu, click on Import.
  2. Choose Transactions.
  3. Select the Type of transaction that you’ll import.
  4. Choose the Gear menu.
  5. Click on Export Table Template and save it on your desktop.
  6. Launch the template using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.
  7. Set up the Journal Entries data in the same format as the one in the file that you saved from QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.
  8. Go back to QuickBooks for Mac.
  9. Choose File from the main menu.
  10. Click on Import.
  11. Choose Transactions.
  12. Select the type of transactions that you want to import into QuickBooks for Mac.
  13. Copy the journal entries from your Excel file and paste it into the Import Window.
  14. Verify your selections and make the required changes.
  15. Click on Import to complete the process.
  16. Create reports to ensure that all the journal entries data was imported correctly into QuickBooks Mac.

Importing the journal entries into QuickBooks Mac is only part of the process. To complete the process, you need to match the transactions to the appropriate accounts, and then create reconciliation statements to eliminate double entry of data.

Import Journal Entries into QuickBooks from CSV File

As simple text files, CSV files can be accessed using a wide range of programs from simple text editors to spreadsheet software. You can easily import journal entry data stored in a CSV file into QuickBooks Desktop. In fact, Intuit has already provided a Toolkit to facilitate importing CSV data into QB.

Steps to import journal entries from CSV file into QuickBooks Desktop using the toolkit.

  1. Download the QuickBooks Import Excel and CSV toolkit.
  2. Save the setup file on the local storage drive.
  3. Double-click on the setup file.
  4. Click on Browse and choose the directory to which you want the files for the toolkit extracted.
  5. Click on Ok.
  6. Choose to Unzip and wait for the extraction process to complete.
  7. Click on Close once all the files are out.
  8. View the sample files provided, then launch the tool.
  9. Select the CSV file with the journal entries data.
  10. Alter preferences according to your desires.
  11. Choose to Import the journal entries into QuickBooks Desktop.
  12. Once the import process completes, you can launch QuickBooks Desktop and then create reports to check if the data was successfully imported.

An alternate method

You can convert the CSV file into an excel file and then follow the instructions to import journal entries from an excel file to get the data into QuickBooks Desktop.

Import Journal Entries into QuickBooks from One Company File to Another

This is basically migrating your journal entry transactions from one QuickBooks company file to the other. You can definitely do this using excel, but IIF files are better suited for this process.

IIF File vs Excel File

QuickBooks Desktop can import journal entries directly from an IIF File, while you need to first convert the excel file to an IIF File before you import the transactions from it.

So to complete the migration of journal entries, we’ll export the journal entries in IIF format and then import the IIF file into the other company file. Let’s get started with the process.

Steps to migrate journal entries from one QuickBooks company file to the other:

  1. Log into the Company file from which you want to export the journal entries data.
  2. Click on the File menu, then Utilities.
  3. Click on Export.
  4. Choose Transactions.
  5. Select the transactions that you want to export. Then click on Ok.
  6. Choose the Save in dropdown menu.
  7. Select the location to which to save the IIF file containing journal entries data.
  8. Input a name for the file, then click on Save.
  9. Log into the Company file in which you want to import the Journal Entries data.
  10. Click on File.
  11. Click on Import, then choose IIF File.
  12. Browse and select the IIF file that you created from the Excel file containing the journal entries data.
  13. Click on Open, then Ok to finally import the journal entries into QuickBooks Desktop.

Import Journal Entries into QuickBooks Online

You can import journal entries into QuickBooks online by using the inbuilt features for importing transactions. If you’ve connected your bank account to QuickBooks online, then the process simply becomes easier. But since you’re using an excel or CSV file to import your journal entries into QuickBooks online, I assume that you haven’t connected your bank account yet.

That’s no issue as you can still manually upload the journal entries for accounts that are not yet connected to QuickBooks online:

  1. Format your journal entries transactions properly.
  2. Log into QuickBooks online account.
  3. Choose Banking from the Dashboard.
  4. Choose Select Files and choose the Excel or CSV file that contains the journal entries.
  5. Click on the QuickBooks account dropdown option, then select the appropriate account and click on Continue.
  6. Follow the instructions provided by the tool to match the columns in the spreadsheet file to the fields in QuickBooks Online. Then click on Continue.
  7. Select all the journal entries you want to import into QuickBooks online, then click on Continue.
  8. Click on Yes, then choose Done.

You can later categorize the transactions and match them to the correct accounts. Reconciling the transactions is also essential to ensure that your books are accurate. So create the appropriate reports to complete the import of journal entries into QuickBooks Desktop.

Conclusion

Importing journal entries into QuickBooks is easier said than done. Once you get the data into the accounting software, you have to create a reconciliation report so that you can eliminate inaccurate transactions and double entries from your company file. Matching the transactions to the appropriate accounts in QuickBooks is also essential. So take the next steps to maintain the integrity of your accounting data.

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