Hiring Events: June 8: Texoma, Edinburg, Edinburg, Virtual | June 13: Texoma | June 14: Virtual, Lampasas, San Angelo | More Job Fairs
TWC has launched a new way for customers to communicate with the agency.
Visit the Request Help portal to find answers to frequently asked questions and get help.

Locate the Payroll File


Before selecting your file type, you must locate your payroll file. You must know the name and location (the drive and folder) of the payroll file you want to import into QuickFile.

Your original file name must not be longer that 45 characters, including the extension. It must not contain any commas, tildes (~), quotes or apostrophes. We suggest using only letters, numbers and underscores, for example: MyCompany_TWC_Q2_2007.ICE.

  1. Once QuickFile is installed, select the Start button, access QuickFile 5 from the Programs menu. A desktop icon is created for future filings.
  2. Select the circular radio button for your file format (ICESA, MMREF -1, Other Text Format), then select the Find and Select File button. By selecting ICESA or MMREF-1, an open dialog box will appear on your screen. If you select "Other Text Format" you must complete additional screens before you reach the open dialog box (see Other Text Format – Conversion Menu below).
  3. Select the directory containing your payroll file. Select the down arrow on the right of the 'Look In:' box. A drop down directory menu appears. Navigate to the folder containing your payroll file for TWC.
  4. Select the correct file and select Open. Your file is selected and you return to the QuickFile program.

Locate File to Send

Return to Top

ICESA Format

QuickFile submits data to TWC in the Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies (ICESA) format. However, QuickFile can obtain this information from employer data that is in the ICESA, MMREF-1 or Other Text formats.

ICESA format indicates the input data is in the format specified for wage reporting by the Interstate Conference of Employment Security Agencies. You may download the specifications for the ICESA formatICESA Format Specifications MS Word orICESA Format Specifications PDF

This format consists of a 275-byte-long record with 6 different types of information.

  • A Record: Submitter Information. Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) required
  • B Record: Placeholder only-required but info not used
  • E Record: Employer information (One E record for each employer-quarter)
  • S Record: Employee Salary information (one record for each employee of the above employer for the quarter)
  • T Record: Employer Total information (ends the E-record group)
  • F Record: Final record at the end

A submission with multiple employers would have the records arranged like this:

  • A Record
  • B Record
  • E Record (info about first employer)
  • T Record (totals for first employer)
  • E Record (info about second employer)
  • T Record (totals for second employer)
  • F Record

Return to Top

MMREF-1 Format

MMREF-1 format indicates the input data is in the form specified for wage reporting by the Social Security Administration. You may download the specifications for the MMREF-1 format Document TitleMMREF-1 Format Specifications MS Word orMMREF-1 Format Specifications PDF

The MMREF-1 format consists of 512-byte-long records of several types of information. The QuickFile program expects the following records. Additional record types are ignored by QuickFile.

  • RA Record: Submitter information
  • RE Record: Employer information (One RE record for each employer and quarter)
  • RS Record: Employee information for this employer for the indicated quarter
  • RF Record: Final record at the end (Optional)

A submission with multiple employers would have the records arranged like this:

  • RA record (first record)
  • RE record
  • RE record
  • RF record (last record)

Additional information is required by TWC that is not defined under the standard MMREF-1 format.

This information includes:

RE record:

  • Columns 300-308 = TWC Acct Number (9 numeric digits, no spaces or dashes)
  • Columns 309-314 = Quarter-Year as MMYYYY (where MM = last month of the quarter, i.e. 03, 06, 09 or 12)


  • Columns 248-256 = TWC Acct Number (9 numeric digits, no spaces or dashes)
  • Columns 338-340 = Hours Worked in Quarter (3 numeric digits with leading 0s)
  • Columns 341-343 = Numeric county code of the Texas county where the employee worked

For employers with multiple work-sites, the following information is requested for each employee:

RS record:

  • Columns 345-350 = NAICS code. The 6-digit Industry Classification code that best describes the work-site where the employee is assigned. This information is available on the Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
  • Columns 352-361 = Establishment ID, also known as the Unit/Division/Location/Plant Code. This ID must be registered with the Multiple Worksite Report office of TWC’s Labor Market and Career Information Division.
  • Columns 363-367 = An optional numeric Unit Number that also associates this employee with a specific work site. This code will appear on unemployment claim notices mailed to you, allowing you to route it to the proper person in your company. You may assign this number yourself. We provide this as an option for your benefit.

Return to Top

Other Text Format – Conversion Menu

The Other Text Format option supports two file formats. These screens are where you tell us about the format of the payroll information file by linking your data to our required fields.

The data file used by this option is expected to contain only employee information (i.e. Social Security number, name of employee and total wages) or have a unique field value that identifies a row as an employee record.

Currently we are only able to process one quarter's wages for one employer account at a time.

You must complete "Step 1: Establish Employer Information" on the TWC QuickFile Conversion Menu before the system will process this data file.

This information is required for the data to be posted correctly to the TWC system. Once entered, you should not need to change the submitter information.

TWC QuickFile Conversion Menu

Help messages are available to assist as you are entering this information. Information required includes the employer name and address, FEIN, TWC employer ID number, reporting quarter, tax rate, total and taxable wages, and the county code of the county in Texas in which most of the employees work. There is also an indicator that provides the ability to file a "No workers/No wages" report. The reporting quarter and year, tax rate, total and taxable wage fields must be reviewed and updated quarterly.

QuickFile Submitter and Employer Information Screen

Select the Save Info for Filing button before you move to the next step: defining the fixed-length or comma-delimited data file.

Return to Top

Fixed-Length Files

A Fixed-length file is one where the information is always in the same place on each row. Text is not enclosed in quotes and numbers must be the same length on each row, including decimal points and spaces. Rows of a fixed-length file might look like this:

Employee Name 00001000.00 00000500.00 012345678 000000000
Another Employee 00002000.00 00001500.00 012345678 000000000

Fixed-length file format considerations:

  • If writing from a Unix system, use the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) option when saving the data to ensure the proper line-ending format.
  • If exporting from an Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code (EBCDIC) system, be sure to use the ASCII/CRLF option to ensure proper conversion to the PC standard format and ensure the correct line-endings.
  • Make sure that the areas between fields are blank-filled and that everything lines up.
  • Add spaces if necessary to ensure a constant line length.

The QuickFile Fixed-Length Import Program is used for fixed-position files. To begin, select the data file and press Start. The program then attempts to read the selected file and displays the first 10 rows in the File View window at the top of the screen.

QuickFile Fixed Length Import Program page

To define the file layout:

  1. Define the file layout.
    1. Select the circular radio button at the left of the desired field definition.
    2. Highlight the corresponding value on the displayed row. You can move to other rows if you like. Highlight from left-to-right for best results. You may repeat until satisfied.
    3. Select Save Settings when you are finished.
  2. Enter the starting position and length of each field in the screen’s top right boxes.
    1. Selecting the circular radio button to the left of the desired field definition.
    2. Enter the starting location at the upper right in the Starting Location box. Enter the length of the field in the Length box.
  3. Repeat either process until all fields are defined.
  4. You must start over if you make an error. Select the Clear Settings button to erase the assignments and reset the screen.
  5. Press the Save Settings button when you are finished.
  6. Press the Import button to convert your data and begin the validation process. Refer to the Validating the File section.

Return to Top

Comma-Delimited Files

A comma-delimited file has units of information (fields) separated by commas. This is also known as a comma-separated-variable or comma-separated-value file and often has a '.csv' extension. This format is a standard save-as type for Microsoft Excel. Usually, text fields are enclosed in quotes and numbers are not.

Rows of a comma-delimited file might look like this:

"Employee Name",1000.00,500.00,012345678,0,""",""
"Another Employee",2000.00,1500.00,012345678,0,"",""

To save a QuickFile compatible Excel spreadsheet in .csv format, refer to the information below.

Make sure the employee information for a single employer account is included in the spreadsheet.

Note: If this spreadsheet was created by a program like QuickBooks, follow the directions below to ensure the Excel spreadsheet is in .csv format.

  1. Remove all headers or footers. Only the actual employee data can be in the file.
    1. In Microsoft Excel, choose the Data tab and select Sort.
    2. Sort by Column B or C (whichever is empty on the header line).
    3. Choose No Header, Select OK.
    4. The lines to be deleted should be at the top of the list.
    5. After deleting these lines, you can re-sort your data if you desire.
    6. Format spreadsheet as text.
  2. Copy and paste the body of the spreadsheet into a new workbook to delete spreadsheet formulas.
  3. Remove blank rows between the data.
  4. Include only the employee name, Social Security number, and total wages for each employee. The name field can be in one column (QuickFile will allow you to separate the name field with the click of your mouse) or in two or three separate columns.
  5. Total wages entered must exactly match the total of employee wages in your comma-delimited file. Do not enter negative wages. You must adjust the quarter where the error/adjustment occurred.
  6. Save the file as an Excel spreadsheet in .csv format.
    1. From the menu, choose the File tab and select Save As.
    2. Select the directory where you want to save the file.
    3. Enter file name (if a change of name is desired) or use current name.
    4. Select CSV (Comma-delimited) (*.csv).
    5. Save the file.

When working with comma-delimited files, the QuickFile Comma-Delimited Import Program is used.

Select the comma-delimited data file containing the employee information created by your payroll software. Select the Find File button to open a window where you can navigate to locate your file. Highlight the file name, and press Select. The file-locator window will close. Then, if the file name in the upper box appears correct, press the Start button.

QuickFile Delimited Import Program page

The next window will reveal three columns. Connect your data to the fields used by QuickFile, as described below.

Note: When you finish, scroll through the file to make sure everything lines up properly.

  1. Left column "Your Data" reads from your file. You can scroll through the file by pressing the arrow buttons at the bottom of the column.
  2. From the Center column "Fields used by QuickFile" select bolded description that matches one of your data fields. The description box will change to a salmon color.
  3. Click twice on your matching data in the left column. It will change from black on white to green on salmon, and the data will appear in the right-hand column labeled as Data Assigned to Field in a green box next to the description.
  4. Repeat this process until everything is defined.
  5. TWC requires a minimum of full last name and first initial for each employee. QuickFile will ask how to separate the names if the employee's first and last names are not in separate fields.
  6. Assign the name field to our required Last Name box. If the employee name is in a single field, you will be prompted for the format of the name, either "Last, First"; or "First Last". Select the correct format and press Save Settings again. Verify that the name is properly interpreted by scrolling through your data and observing the various name fields.
    • Make sure that all employee names are in the same format. Be careful that you do not mix the formats (Last/First & First/Last).
      Allowed formats are:
  7. You must start over if you make a mistake. Select the Clear Settings button to erase the assignments and reset the screen.
  8. Select the Save Settings button so you do not have to do this again. (The settings will remain between filings until you change them.)
  9. Select the Import button to convert your data and begin the validation process. Refer to Validating the File section for more information.

Return to Top

Import Program Button Descriptions

Page buttons are as follows:

  • Help: Selecting this button will display a series of brief help pages on how to use the form. Select OK to take you to the next screen. Select Cancel to stop the presentation.
  • Save Settings: Selecting this button will save the assignments you have made. The information is saved into the QuickFile program directory, in a file named QF_import_specs.ini (for fixed-length) or QF_import_specs_d.ini (for comma-delimited).
  • Import: Select this button once the necessary data areas have been associated with the QuickFile fields to start the conversion and edit processes.
  • Clear Settings: Select this button to restart the process and to remove the current field assignments from memory. This is the only way to clear out an incorrect field assignment.
  • Pick New Wage File (comma-delimited only): Select this button to redisplay the file selection box so that another file can be selected.
  • Close: Select this button to close the form without taking any further action and to return to the previous menu.

Return to Top