How to transfer quickbooks desktop to online

How to Move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

Migrating from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online is a significant step for any business looking to leverage the advantages of cloud-based accounting software. QuickBooks Online offers several benefits, including access from anywhere, automatic backups, and seamless integration with various apps and services. This guide will walk you through the process of transitioning migrating from QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks online, ensuring a smooth and successful migration.

1. Evaluate Your Current Setup

Before initiating the migration, it’s essential to evaluate your current QuickBooks Desktop setup:

Check System Requirements

Ensure your computer and internet connection meet the system requirements for QuickBooks Online. You need a reliable internet connection and a compatible web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari).

Analyze Your Data

Review the data in QuickBooks Desktop. Clean up unnecessary files, reconcile accounts, and ensure that your financial statements are accurate and up-to-date. This step helps streamline the migration process.

Choose the Right QuickBooks Online Plan

QuickBooks Online offers several plans: Simple Start, Essentials, Plus, and Advanced. Compare these plans and choose the one that best suits your business needs.

2. Prepare for Migration

Create a Backup

Before you start the migration process, create a backup of your QuickBooks Desktop data. This ensures you have a copy of your data in case anything goes wrong during the migration.

Update QuickBooks Desktop

Make sure your QuickBooks Desktop software is updated to the latest version. This helps avoid compatibility issues during the migration.

Gather Login Credentials

Ensure you have your QuickBooks Desktop login credentials and create a QuickBooks Online account if you haven’t already.

3. Start the Migration Process

Step 1: Export Data from QuickBooks Desktop

Open QuickBooks Desktop: Launch your QuickBooks Desktop software.

Company File: Open the company file you want to export.

Export Company File: Navigate to “Company” in the top menu, then select “Export Company File to QuickBooks Online”.

Step 2: Log into QuickBooks Online

Sign In: Log in to your QuickBooks Online account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one.

Prepare for Import: QuickBooks Online will guide you through the initial setup and preparation for importing data.

Step 3: Import Data to QuickBooks Online

Upload Data: Follow the on-screen instructions to upload your company file from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

Review and Confirm: Review the data in QuickBooks Online to ensure everything has transferred correctly.

4. Post-Migration Steps

Verify Data Accuracy

After migrating your data, verify its accuracy. Check balances, transaction histories, and reports to ensure everything matches your QuickBooks data migration.

Reconnect Bank Accounts and Apps

Reconnect your bank accounts and any third-party apps to QuickBooks Online. This might involve re-entering your bank credentials and re-establishing connections to apps like payroll, CRM, and other tools you use.

Set Up Users and Permissions

QuickBooks Online allows you to add users and set permissions. Configure these settings to control who has access to different parts of your financial data.

Customize Your QuickBooks Online

Customize your QuickBooks Online settings to match your business needs. This includes setting up custom invoices, email templates, and other preferences.

5. Tips for a Smooth Transition

Plan for Downtime

Plan your migration during a period of low activity to minimize disruption to your business operations. Inform your team about the migration and any expected downtime.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you’re not confident about performing the migration yourself, consider hiring a QuickBooks ProAdvisor or a certified accountant to assist you.

Utilize QuickBooks Support

Take advantage of QuickBooks Online support resources, including tutorials, forums, and customer service. These resources can provide valuable assistance during the migration process.

6. Advantages of QuickBooks Online

Migrating to QuickBooks Online offers several benefits that can enhance your business operations:


Access your financial data from anywhere with an internet connection. This is particularly beneficial for remote work and managing finances on the go.

Real-Time Collaboration

Multiple users can work on the same data simultaneously, making collaboration easier for your team.

Automatic Updates and Backups

QuickBooks Online automatically updates to the latest version and backs up your data regularly, reducing the risk of data loss.

Integration with Apps

QuickBooks Online integrates seamlessly with a wide range of third-party apps, enhancing its functionality and allowing you to tailor it to your specific business needs.


As your business grows, QuickBooks Online can easily scale to accommodate more users, transactions, and complex accounting requirements.

7. Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Data Discrepancies

During migration, some data might not transfer perfectly. Compare key reports from QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online to identify and correct discrepancies.

Learning Curve

QuickBooks Online has a different interface and features compared to QuickBooks Desktop. Utilize training resources and tutorials to help you and your team get up to speed.

Reconnecting Services

Reconnecting bank feeds, payroll services, and other integrations can be time-consuming. Make a checklist of services to reconnect post-migration to ensure nothing is missed.


Moving from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online is a strategic decision that can offer significant benefits for your business. By following the steps outlined in this guide and taking the time to prepare adequately, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition. Embrace the flexibility and advanced features of QuickBooks Online to streamline your accounting processes and support your business’s growth.