So I heard about this new utility called Guru Importer which works with QuickBooks Online and I decided to give it a little trial and let you know my results. When you go to the Guru Importer website, you have the opportunity to learn about the software, to sign-up, and to start a trial subscription. The free trial gives you complete access and support for 14 days and you are NOT required to provide any credit card information to start your trial.
When you first attempt to log-in you can log-in via the Guru Importer site, or use the link to take you to the Intuit App Center log-in, which then initiates the connection to Guru Importer. The individual signing in the first time is the Administrator, and can invite additional Users thus allowing accounting firms to add co-workers, and/or invite their personnel from one of their clients just as long as that individual has the proper access to the QBO Company, The illustration below clearly shows how you can add Users, add QBO Companies, and in fact set-up additional accounts.
Once I was connected, my own QuickBooks Online Company showed up in the QuickBooks Online Accounts of the user interface. I was then able to view my list data from the Settings-gear enabling me to verify that all my essential data had already sync’d with Guru Importer. If data changes, Guru Importer can be sync’d with the accounts, classes, etc. in the applicable QuickBooks Online Company, from this same Settings-gear menu.
Guru Importer is designed to post Journal Entries into QBO, and can use a variety of file formats for the source data; however, one of the most interesting file types is the iiF file format that Intuit promoted for years. Many third party software products that were developed years ago for the QuickBooks desktop product line chose to use the iiF file exchange format to pass data to, or post data from QuickBooks. A variety of 3rd party Payroll Programs still use this methodology to export data for QuickBooks purposes. Therein lies the problem, while the QuickBooks desktop products will import iiF files without any special software, an iiF file cannot be imported into QuickBooks Online without a tool like Guru Importer. Furthermore some other importers for QBO are not designed to deal with iiF formatted data, although they can import other file types like CSV or Excel files.
How did my testing go?
So now it was time to make a test import, but I decided rather than run a test which ‘should’ work, I would run a test that ‘shouldn’t work’, in other words a test that should produce an error. I did this for a couple of reasons; first, to test the ‘error checking routines’ that Guru Importer says they run as part of the file upload; and second, it would be easy to run an iiF containing data not in my QBO file, then get an error (hopefully) and add the missing data to QBO and attempt to reimport the file to see if the upload processed normally.
As shown in the illustration above, I began the upload process by selecting my iiF file for import, it took only seconds for the import to run the error checking routine and return the results, shown at the top of the next page. The red X indicates that there was a problem with the file and that it was NOT uploaded to QBO. You see, if the IIF file has an account or class that doesn't match or isn't in your QuickBooks Online company an error will result and you won't be allowed to import the file until the problem is corrected.
You can then look at the Journal Entry Detail for additional information, and from that window look at the exact error. Even though my errors were simply related to a lack of list entries, Guru Importer runs several routines to check for potential file problems including unbalanced entries, invalid accounts or classes, invalid or missing dates, etc. Guru Importer notifies the user of the error, what needs to be corrected, and allows the user to easily reprocess the rejected entry once the error has been corrected. I really liked the fact that the error was shown with the exact ‘English’ description, no codes or cryptic error messages to decipher, just plain language telling you what you needed to fix. In this case I did not have the necessary ‘accounts’ set-up in QuickBooks Online to match the information within the iiF file.
I should mention here that Guru Importer retains details about your imports. Users can view (from the Import page shown above) a history of all files uploaded into QuickBooks Online and the related raw files.
For my second test I first entered the missing information in QBO, and then attempted to re-import the same file. This time the Journal Entry Detail (shown below) indicated that my file uploaded fully and posted properly.
When I logged-in to QuickBooks Online, I could easily see that the Journal Entry (as shown below) had posted ‘just right.’
So what ‘is the story’ with Guru Importer?
Like the other Apps that work with QuickBooks Online, Guru Importer is a SAAS application so you are subscribing to use it on a monthly basis. While I typically stay away from talking about price, I will simply mention that there are four levels of pricing that depend upon the number of QuickBooks Online company files you intend to use the product with. For as little as $9.00 per month you can use Guru Importer with 2 QBO companies. Additional price levels support 10, 20 or 40 QBO companies, but if 40 isn’t enough, you can subscribe for additional companies (above 40) at just $1.50 per company per month. Guru Importer also offers support at 2 different levels; E-mail support (e-mail only) and Premium support (e-mail or telephone),
Based upon my limited testing I must say that I found this utility very easy to use, and it appeared to work exactly as the company’s website described it. The learning-curve is minimal, as opposed to more sophisticated 'multi-task' importers. The error checking routines found the mistakes that I intentionally included in the various test files I checked, and the iiF files imported normally and posted properly in the files I used without errors. There were no indications of errors within my QuickBooks Online data, either from a technical standpoint or an ‘accounting’ standpoint. So if you have iiF files with Journal Entries that need to be posted to QuickBooks Online, Guru Importer maybe just what you are looking for.