Template Guide for QuickBooks Desktop

Derek Torres
Derek Torres
  • Updated

Service Timecard allows you to create Templates for the exports of your timecards. These custom templates can be formatted to meet the import requirements of whatever accounting software you use.

This article will walk you through creating a Service Timecard Template that will match the import requirements of QuickBooks Desktop. This article will also teach you how to import your timecards into QuickBooks Desktop.


Important Notes

  • ServiceTrade does not support QuickBooks Desktop. Please reach out to QuickBooks support for QuickBooks Desktop support issues.
  • This workflow was developed and tested for compatibility with QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2022 and QuickBooks Contractor on a Windows operating system. It can be used with or without the QuickBooks Desktop Payroll module.

  • Format: Technician’s middle initial must be included in the first name field of User in ServiceTrade.


Exporting from Service Timecard and Importing into QuickBooks Desktop Workflow

Step 1: Creating a Service Timecard Template for QuickBooks Desktop

  1. Log in to timecard.servicetrade.com
  2. Click Setting in the sidebar.
  3. Click the Template Settings accordion to expand the menu.
  4. Click the Add Template button, to begin creating a custom Template.
  5. Enter a Template Name, then click Next
  6. Select the Clock Events or Labor Items type.
    • Expenses should not be used.
  7. Click to select the QuickBooks Desktop Grouping, then click Next.
    • Note: When selecting this, all exports will be an .iif file and not .csv (you cannot download and open an .iif file with excel/sheets.)
    • To open and review this file you must use Notepad or a Text Reader app.
  8. From the Columns drop-down menu, check to select the following fields, then click Next:
    • !TIMEACT
    • Date
    • JOB 1 (Company:Location), JOB 2 (Company:Job) or JOB 3 (Company:Location:Job)
      • Select which best fits your needs.
      • Max character limit of 41 in the Customer:Job field
    • EMP
    • ITEM
    • Wage Type
      • Can only be hourly or salary.
    • Total
    • BLANK - (Change as needed)
    • BLANK 2 (change as needed)
      • this field will map to your Class, select which best fits your needs.

      Definitions of Service Timecard Template Data Sources

  9. Rename the default column names the following names in the table below, if blank leave as is, then click Next:
    Default Column Field Names Rename


    • JOB 1 (Company:Location)
    • JOB 2 (Company:Job)
    • JOB 3 (Company:Location:Job)





    Wage Type




    BLANK - (Change as needed)

    Note: Can be used for any field you want mapped to your class.


    BLANK 2 (change as needed)





  10. Drag and drop the columns fields to Order the Columns, in the order seen below.
  11. Click Finish when done.

Step 2: Exporting From Service TimeCard

  1. In the Service Timecard, navigate to Settings and then Template Settings.
  2. Find the new template you made, and click the View More eye icon.
  3. Click the Save as Default button.
    • You may also select the template type on the dropdown on the Review Timecard page when exporting timecards.
  4. Select the timecards you want to export. Follow the steps on How to Export Timecards.
  5. This will download as an .iif file.
    • To view the contents of an .iif file you will need to open it with either the Notepad application or a text file reader. This is a best practice to ensure the file has been exported without any issues. If you observe any issues in the exported file, please contact Customer Support.

Step 3: Importing into QuickBooks Desktop

  1. On QuickBooks Desktop, you must be in “Single-User” mode. This is a QuickBooks requirement.
  2. You also must have an Item with the Type of "Service" and the Item Name/Number of "Labor." If you don't have this set up, follow the instructions below:
    1. On the top menu, click to select Lists Item List New
    2. In the Type drop-down, select 'Service'
    3. In the Item Name/Number field, enter 'Labor'
    4. Click OK.
  3. Select Utilities, then select Import.
  4. Select Import IIF
  5. Select the Import Now option.
    • This will present you with successes (and errors, if you have any) for the import, and allow you to review error messages in a separate file generated by QuickBooks Desktop.
      • If errors are found, the utility will export a new .IIF file:

        • It will show the number of items successfully imported or failed.
        • Provides a new .IIF file of only the failed transactions, along with the descriptions of errors found.
    • Selecting the "Import for me and I’ll fix later" link allows you to override any failures during the import process (for example, any character limitation.) This is NOT recommended.
  6. Once the import is complete, navigate to the Employee Center to review all Technician Employees' time for the period imported and verify the wage_type that you want Quickbooks to register for each entry.


Step 4: Troubleshooting The QuickBooks Import

Error: Max character limit of 41 in the Customer:Job field importing to QBD


If this is the only problem with the file, the user can override the error and import by clicking “import for me and i’ll fix later” when Importing into QuickBooks Desktop. The data will import successfully and QuickBooks Desktop will truncate the extra characters for you.


Error occurs when importing a customer that resides in your system with multiple “Types.”


This error, for example, is referring to a customer which is also a vendor. In this case, you would adjust the vendor name in QuickBooks to avoid this error when importing a Timecard (the same will happen if you are trying to import an AR Invoice.)

If you receive "Error on line X - You can't change the type of a name or add a duplicate name" it means that a name that you are trying to import already exists in QuickBooks as a different type, for example, as Other.

Example of the Error from the Web Connector below:



Error: The specified Item is not present in QuickBooks or is not Service Type Item


If this error occurred, You don't have an Item with the Type of "Service" and the Item Name/Number of "Labor."

If you don't have this set up follow the instructions in Step 3: Importing into QuickBooks Desktop


A technician’s middle initial must be included in the First Name field of a User in ServiceTrade.

If this error occurs, edit User Names in ServiceTrade to match this formatting. Example Below:


If the Technician forgets to clock out, they will have over 24 hours in a given day.

This should be reviewed before exporting from Service Timecard.


Wagetype must match character for character, and only one can be applied one at a time.

For timesheet submissions where multiple wagetypes will apply for a user, this must be updated within QuickBooks.

Note: Must map to a payroll item type of hourly or salary.

If you apply class mapping to your labor import

If you must apply class mapping to your labor import, you should map the appropriate dimension to the PROJ header.

Example: if you use JobType as Class is ServiceTrade then you should select JobType from the template field options and rename it to PROJ in the template builder.

It is a recommended best practice to have a separate company file for testing any new import features.

If are not using a test company file, we recommended that users review the file on their desktops Notepad or Text Editor before importing.

Try importing a single line import first, before importing all data.


Error: This employee is set to have activities transferred to paychecks. Activities for this employee must have a payroll item.

This error occurs because the techs in question need to have labor items present on their jobs. You will need to add labor items to all corresponding job instances for all techs that are affected by this error.


Error: An inactive parent cannot have an active child.

For this error, an object on the QuickBooks side that has been set to Inactive. For jobs with these errors, you will need to verify in QuickBooks that all entities associated with the jobs are active.


Error: Invalid argument. The specified record does not exist in the list.

Possible causes:

  • Accounts or records were deleted in QuickBooks.
  • The item exists in QuickBooks, but it is marked inactive. Our tool cannot match inactive items in QuickBooks.
  • The item exists on both sides, but there was a typo / inconsistency between the two


Error: The name 'Service Call XXXXXX' of the list element is already in use.

This error indicates that somewhere within your QuickBooks account this Job Number is already in use.



QuickBooks Settings

The Billable Time toggle allows you to export QuickBooks Desktop Grouping Templates with "billable" flags for customer who perform a lot of job costing and need that indicator in their exports.


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