How To Import Paypal Into Quickbooks

March 15, 2010

How to Import Paypal Into Quickbooks (The FREE Version)

Do you accept payments with Paypal? do you do your accounting with Quickbooks? this article might help you.
Paypal should do something about making it easier to record transactions and to cooperate with a company like Intuit we love that money coming in automatically…but the accounting is a killer… I did my 2009 accounting with the instructions below, imported and reconciled around 500 records in only 4-5 hours!…for FREE!
It saved me tons of hours and headaches! Small business owners most likely will find this one very useful.

(Forgive my lousy English..)

In this article i will show an effective and fast way to import your Paypal data into Quickbooks and refer to some issues in the process.

It will make it easy for you and reduce mistakes when you are not manually adding  all the rows  one by one… however there are some things you need to check – I believe i covered most of it if not all.

FIRST –  BACKUP! BACKUP!! BACKUP!!! your company file before importing any IIF!!

Ok now that you have a backup of your company file we can start…. you will need:

1. Excel      2. Access to your paypal account     3.  Quickbooks  (login as admin or as other user with admin privilages)

The Steps:

  1. Download iif file
  2. Download csv file
  3. import the iif file into Quickbooks
  4. Review transactions and edit.

First we will need to download 2 files from Paypal account – An iif  file (to import to Quickbooks)  and a csv file (to view and fix issues after the import process.)

1.Download iif file:

Login to your paypal account -> Click on “History”  tab,  on the right hover on “More” – drop down menu select ->”Download History”.

On “Download History” page use “Custom Date Range” ->select the date range that you need then on “File Types for Download:”  select “Quickbooks (iif file)”  and click on the button below “Download History”

It will go to a “download log” screen  – make sure you  enter your account names exactly as they appear in your QuickBooks software. -> Select “Download Log”

2. Download the same range as a csv file.

Click on  “History” tab again,

->Select the same date range, and click “Show”   Once all the records within the date range you selected appears,

Click on “CSV” on top right to download the data.

At this point you should have 2 files with same date range downloaded. IIF and CSV.

3. Import the iif file into Quickbooks: (as appear on intuit website)

  1. Select the IIF Import option.
    • QuickBooks 2007 and 2006: Select File > Utilities > Import > IIF Files…
    • QuickBooks 2005: Select Files > Import > IIF Files…
  2. On the Import window, navigate to the import file location (which account/register  it will go under). Highlight the import file and click Open.

4. You should have almost or all of your transactions imported to Quickbooks.

There are 2 types of PayPal transactions that do NOT get imported!  these are:

  • Add Funds from a Bank Account
  • Withdraw Funds to a Bank Account

We will need to add them manually.

Lets open the CSV file that we downloaded before -> mark (highlight) the first row “the heading row” and from the menu

above we will select  Data-> Filter->Auto Filter.

Now lets filter the transactions under Type, open the drop down and select the 2 types (one at a time) that did not

get imported:

  • Add Funds from a Bank Account
  • Withdraw Funds to a Bank Account

Add the rows that appears (if any) into Quickbooks manually.

Once you are done all records should be in Quickbooks and you can start to reconcile.


******2 more important things to take into consideration:********

1. NON USD transactions, may NOT be converted to $$ and may still be in the original currency

Example: if you paid or received 5 euros  – in the transaction it might calculate it as $5 and not as $7.8 you will need to manually fix that to the correct amount – you can view this transaction in your paypal account and click on “details” it will show you the $$ amount of this transaction, simply update the transaction with the USD amount.

You can use the online  filter on the history basic search on the right and select  the drop down ->”in: All currency”  if you dont see there anything else than USD then you are good, but if you do you want to double check these transactions.

2. Paypal calculates “pending or  authorized” transaction with the total,  on the last transaction your ending balance might be including the next day transactions,. Since Paypal doesnt consider it as a complete transaction it wont appear as the last transaction but sometimes it WILL be calculated with the total. In that case you either change the ending balance and deduct this transaction amount.

Paypal has an annoying way to record the transaction…on hold, pending authorized…it is very confusing….

do yourself a favor dont try to compare the balance from Paypal as you wont be there one to one, however the beginning balance, ending balance and all the records should  be correct.

It is a very quick way of handling the data,  I find it very useful and sharing it with you.

Questions and comments are more than welcome! 🙂
Have a good one!



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