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QuickBooks Desktop: Clio Functionality vs. QuickBooks Functionality

This article provides you with an overview of the accounting functionality available in Clio and QuickBooks desktop.


What do I use Clio vs. QuickBooks Desktop for?
     QuickBooks Desktop
Exporting Transactions - Bills
Exporting Transactions - Accounts

What do I use Clio vs. QuickBooks Desktop for?

Using Clio’s export functionality, you can create IIF files that are ready to import directly into QuickBooks Desktop. This will save you a ton of time when balancing your books! Let’s start by framing your workflow.


Revenue, Time, and Expense Reimbursement

Think of Clio as your revenue tool. Clio is organized into Matters and Clients, so using Clio for time and expense tracking means you can quickly generate invoices.

Client Trust Accounting

Clio gives you the ability to manage client trust funds and advanced client fees with ease. Funds are tracked and allocated on a per client and per matter basis that can be reported individually or at a group, pooled level.

Invoice Payments

The Clio Connect portal allows clients to pay their outstanding invoices directly in Clio.

QuickBooks Desktop

Expense Payment and Check Writing

Think of QuickBooks Desktop as your expense tool. When paying expenses on behalf of your clients, you’ll track the initial cash payment in QuickBooks.

Full General Ledger

QuickBooks Desktop has a full general ledger that will allow you to have sub-accounts and break out your cost and expense categories. All of your Accounts Payable transactions will be processed in QuickBooks Desktop.

You can export your Bills, Operating Account and Trust Account information from Clio to QuickBooks.

Exporting Transactions - Bills

To export your Bills from Clio to QuickBooks Desktop, go to the Bills tab and click the drop down beside “Export” at the bottom of the page. 


Date Range: Selecting "All transactions across all dates" will incorporate bills for all available date ranges. Setting a range will restrict bills to those within the selected date range.

Format: When exporting Bills to QuickBooks Desktop, you can select QuickBooks IIF or QuickBooks CSV formats. We suggest selecting Quickbooks IIF.


Exporting Transactions - Accounts

You can also export your Operating and Trust Account information from Clio to QuickBooks.  To do so, go to the Accounts tab and click "Export Transactions".  For each bank account, you will export transactions for a specified period that you want to import to QuickBooks Desktop. Select the appropriate account, date range*, and the IIF format.

For detailed steps on exporting transactions from Clio and importing them to QuickBooks Desktop, click HERE

*QuickBooks does have some capability to recognize duplicate transactions; however, it’s not perfect so you should be very rigid about the dates that you choose.  Most practices will operate on a monthly accounting cycle, so restricting the date range to the current month of reporting will help prevent information from previous months being duplicated.  This is why we also suggest that you backup your QuickBooks information prior to an import as there is no rollback function within QuickBooks.  


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