If you’re a small business owner who uses QuickBooks Desktop to manage your finances, you may have considered switching to QuickBooks Online. While it may seem difficult, converting to QuickBooks Online can save you time and make your accounting tasks more efficient. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps of converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online, including preparing your data for migration, what to expect during the conversion process, and ensuring a smooth transition. So, let’s get started!
If you’re a small business owner who uses QuickBooks Desktop Software to manage your finances, you may have considered switching to QuickBooks Online. While it may seem difficult, converting to QuickBooks Online can save you time and make your accounting tasks more efficient. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the steps of converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online, including preparing your data for migration, what to expect during the conversion process, and ensuring a smooth transition. So, let’s get started!
Is Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online Worthy?
Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online may be advantageous, providing cloud-based access and automatic data backup. Real-time collaboration with team members enhances productivity and streamlines accounting tasks. Automatic updates ensure the software remains current, reducing manual intervention. Customizable reports and dashboards offer valuable insights for data-driven decision-making. Integration with third-party apps expands functionality, while scalability allows for seamless business growth. However, some features from the Desktop may not be available Online, so assess your specific requirements before making the switch. Below table will explain to you what you get after converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online.
|Task of QuickBooks||QuickBooks Online||QuickBooks Desktop|
|Access company files & manage data|
|Data backup||All editions||All editions|
|Revert to previous company file version||Advanced||All editions (with backups)|
|Collaborate with accountant||All editions||All editions|
|Remote access to company file||All editions||All editions|
|Multiple users to access company file||Essentials, Plus, Advanced||All editions|
|Maintain multiple company files||Requires additional subscriptions||All editions|
|Work with multiple QuickBooks windows simultaneously||All editions||All editions|
|Work with Customers|
|Create & manage invoices, bill customers||All editions||All editions|
|Create & manage estimates, progress invoicing||All editions||All editions|
|Manage and track sales, accept payments, calculate sales tax||All editions||Not available|
|Track sales & expenses in multiple currencies||Essentials, Plus, Advanced||All editions|
|Track projects, time expenses, pending payments||Plus, Advanced||All editions|
|Batch invoicing||Not available||All editions|
|Prevent sales to overdue customers||Not available||Not available|
|Work with Suppliers|
|Manage bills, pay suppliers||Essentials, Plus, Advanced||All editions|
|Billable expenses||Plus, Advanced||All editions|
|Track & manage contractors||All editions||All editions|
|Manage Employ Data|
|Track employee time, billable hours||Essentials, Plus, Advanced||All editions|
|Pay employees, efile payroll taxes, file T4s||All editions, with Enhanced Payroll||All editions, with Payroll subscription|
|Use Online Banking|
|Connect to bank, download transactions, reconcile||All editions||All editions|
|Undo previous bank reconciliations||By an accountant, in QuickBooks Online Accountant||All editions|
|FIFO method for inventory tracking||Plus, Advanced||Not available|
|Average Costing method for inventory tracking||Not available||All editions|
|Set & manage inventory reorder points||All editions||All editions|
|Create and Run Reports|
|Track income & expenses, tax categories||All editions||All editions|
|Custom, P&L, expense, balance sheet reports||All editions||All editions|
|Forecast sales & expenses||Plus, Advanced||Premier|
|Custom reports with Intuit Statement Writer||Not available||Not available|
What can and cannot be transferred from QuickBooks Desktop to Online?
When converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online, a significant portion of your company file information can be migrated without manual re-entry. However, certain data elements may not automatically transfer with your company file.
Data that transfers might be managed differently in QuickBooks Online compared to QuickBooks Desktop and could require adjustments post-migration. Data that doesn’t transfer will not automatically move with your company file and must be manually re-entered after migration.
Furthermore, specific features may be limited to certain QuickBooks Online editions. Compare feature lists for each edition to determine the most suitable option for your business. After learning everything about converting QuickBooks desktop to online, let’s initiate the migration process.
Read Also: Activate QuickBooks Desktop
Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online in Easy Steps
This section will take you through a step-by-step guide for converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online with Intuit’s internal tool. So follow the steps.
Step 1: Prepare for Converting
In the first step, we are going to prepare for converting QuickBooks desktop to online with the following:
Backup Company File
Regularly backing up data is recommended in QuickBooks Desktop. In QuickBooks Online, data is securely stored in the cloud, eliminating the need for manual backups. To backup your data before converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online, follow these steps:
- If in multi-user mode, navigate to the File menu and select Switch to Single-user Mode.
- Go to the File menu, choose Create Backup, and then select Local Backup.
- Click on Local Backup and then Next.
- In the Local Backup Only section, you have to click Browse and then choose where you want to save your backup of the company file.
- Optionally, set the number of backups you wish to keep.
- Run a test to ensure the accuracy of your backup file before saving. If any issues arise, consult our Troubleshooting section.
- Click OK when ready to proceed.
- Select Save it Now and Next. A confirmation message will occur when the backup is complete.
Manual or automatic backups are available.
Update QuickBooks Desktop
Before converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online, ensure QuickBooks Desktop is up-to-date by following these steps to download and install the latest updates:
- If in multi-user mode, go to the File menu and select Switch to Single-user Mode.
- Choose Help, then Update QuickBooks Desktop.
- Click Update Now.
- Select Get Updates and then Close.
- Go to File and click Exit.
- Restart QuickBooks Desktop.
- Run payroll if applicable.
Verify Total Targets
Next, confirm the Total Targets number. In QuickBooks Desktop, press Ctrl+1 to access the Product Information window. The Total Targets figure can be found in the File Information section.
If the Total Targets exceed 700,000 for Canada and 500,000 for the UK and South Africa (ZA), you are only eligible for a list and balances conversion.
Save your Sales Tax Liability Report
- Save or print your Sales Tax Liability report for making adjustment entries post-migration. Follow these steps
- Navigate to the Reports menu and choose Suppliers & Payables.
- Select Sales Tax Liability.
- From the Dates dropdown, pick All.
- In the Print dropdown, choose Save as PDF.
- Determine the folder for saving, name the file, and click Save.
- Optionally, print the saved file for a hard copy.
Export Reports and Lists
Exporting lists before converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online prevents the need to set up items from your lists in QuickBooks Online individually. Follow these steps to export reports and lists from a QuickBooks Desktop company:
- Go to the Reports menu and select the Report Centre in QuickBooks Desktop.
- Locate and open any report.
- Choose the desired date range from the Dates dropdown menu.
- Click Excel on the toolbar, or choose Print or Email to save the report as a PDF.
- From the Excel drop down, pick Create New Worksheet to make a new Excel workbook or select Update Existing Worksheet to update a workbook with the open report’s data.
- Click Export and find the workbook on your computer.
- Optionally, select Advanced to format the data in a specific way.
- If a message appears commenting that your report has too many columns, then you have to click Advanced, unmark the Space between columns checkbox, and after that press OK.
- Click OK to export.
- Repeat these steps for each report or list you want to export.
Set up a QuickBooks Online account
Create your QuickBooks Online subscription to prepare for the converting QuickBooks desktop to online process. Examine the available plans to choose the most suitable one, and review our system requirements before starting to ensure an optimal QuickBooks Online experience.
Important: A company file can only be transferred within 60 days of signing up for QuickBooks Online. Make sure you are prepared to convert within that time frame when you subscribe.
Follow the given steps to create one:
- Firstly, visit the QuickBooks Online website.
- Secondly, on the main page, select the “Sign up” or “Try it free” button to start the registration process.
- Now, review the various QuickBooks Online plans and select the one that best fits your business requirements.
- After that, press the “Buy now” or “Try it free” button associated with the plan of your choice.
- Next, complete the registration form with the necessary details, including your email address, phone number, and password. Click “Continue” to move forward.
- Afterward, enter your business details, such as your name, address, and industry. Click “Continue” to move on.
- Optionally, decide whether to link your bank account or integrate other applications with QuickBooks Online. This step can be completed later.
- Now, click “Continue” to wrap up the account creation process.
- Confirm your email address by tapping on the verification link sent to your email.
- Lastly, sign in to your newly created QuickBooks Online account.
After preparing for converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online, now move to the converting process with the following section.
Step 2: Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online
You are now ready to transfer your Desktop file to QuickBooks Online. Following are the steps, depending on the edition of QuickBooks Desktop you are using.
Note: If you are using a version older than 2017, you must use a trial version of QuickBooks Desktop to convert your file.
QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier
- In QuickBooks Desktop, sign in as an admin to the company file you want to import.
- Navigate to the Company menu and choose Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
- Click on Get Started.
- Select destination, and then sign in to your QuickBooks Online account.
QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise
- In QuickBooks Desktop, sign in as an admin to the company file you want to import.
- Press F2 to open your product information.
- With your product information open, press CTRL+B+Q and click the OK button at the bottom of the product information page to start the process.
If you track inventory in QuickBooks Desktop:
- Choose Yes to transfer the items, and then specify the starting date.
- Select No if you prefer to set up new items later in QuickBooks Online.
After converting QuickBooks desktop to online, you will receive an email. The following are the steps:
- Click on the Complete your setup option in the email.
- Sign in to your QuickBooks Online account.
- Select the company file to open
The QuickBooks Online dashboard will now open. Now, you can easily perform the task on company files.
However, if you face any problem converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online procedure, then you must follow the next section.
Read Also: Convert QuickBooks Mac to Windows
How to Correct QuickBooks Desktop to Online Converting Problem?
Most of the time, converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online is simple and efficient. However, you may encounter some problems converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online process. Let’s examine the most common problems and their solutions with the following:
Rebuilding your Company’s Data
If you face difficulties migrating your company file from Windows QuickBooks Desktop into QuickBooks Online, then you can fix this by rebuilding the data file and restarting the migrating process. The following are the steps:
1st: Validate your company data
- In QuickBooks Desktop, click Window, then Close All to shut all open windows.
- Click File, then Utilities, and select Verify Data.
If QuickBooks identifies a problem, proceed to the next step.
2nd: Repair your company data
- Click Window, then select Close All to close all open windows.
- Click File and then navigate to Utilities.
- Select Rebuild Data.
- If the message “Rebuild has completed,” appears continue to Step 3.
3rd: Validate your repaired company data
- Click Window, then Close All to close all open windows.
- Click File, then Utilities, and select Verify Data.
- If the “QuickBooks detected no issues with your data,” message then moves to the next step.
4th: Restart the export process
- Update QuickBooks to the latest release by clicking Help, then selecting Update QuickBooks.
- Close and relaunch the QuickBooks Desktop app to install the updates.
- Click Company, then Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
- Follow the onscreen instructions.
With this blog, we try to help you in converting QuickBooks Desktop to online in a hassle-free manner. Following the above steps and requirements, you can easily convert the QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. However, we also provide the solution if you encounter any issues while converting. If you want more help in converting, you can contact our ProAdvisors to process it smoothly. Thank You!
Q: Can I switch back to QuickBooks Desktop after converting to QuickBooks Online?
A: Yes, you can switch back to QuickBooks Desktop within the first 60 days of converting to QuickBooks Online. However, it’s important to note that some data and features may not be accessible or function the same way as they did in QuickBooks Desktop. It’s advisable to consult the QuickBooks support team before making the switch.
Q: Will my historical data be available in QuickBooks Online after converting from QuickBooks Desktop?
A: Yes, most of your historical data will be available in QuickBooks Online after converting from QuickBooks Desktop. Some data, such as custom reports, templates, and memorized transactions, may not be imported during conversion. It’s essential to thoroughly review your data after the conversion to ensure all necessary information is present.
Q: Do I need the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop to convert to QuickBooks Online?
A: It’s recommended to have the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop to ensure a smooth conversion process. If you’re using a version older than 2017, you’ll need to use a trial version of QuickBooks Desktop to convert your file before importing it to QuickBooks Online.
Q: Can I still use QuickBooks Desktop after converting to QuickBooks Online?
A: You can still access and use your QuickBooks Desktop file after converting to QuickBooks Online. However, any changes made in QuickBooks Desktop after the conversion will not automatically sync with QuickBooks Online. If you choose to continue using both platforms, you’ll need to update the information in both versions manually.
Q: How long does the process of converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online take?
A: The conversion process duration depends on the size of your company file and your internet connection. Typically, it takes a few hours to complete the process. However, larger company files may take up to 24 hours or more. You’ll receive an email confirmation when the conversion is complete, and you can then sign in to your QuickBooks Online account to access your data.