Migrate QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

How to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online


Transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online can streamline your accounting processes, offer greater accessibility, and enhance collaboration within your business. While the thought of moving all your financial data to a new platform might seem daunting, QuickBooks provides a straightforward conversion process. This guide will walk you through each step to ensure a smooth transition.

Why Convert to QuickBooks Online?

Before diving into the conversion process, it’s important to understand the benefits of switching to QuickBooks Online:

  1. Accessibility: Access your financial data from anywhere with an internet connection.
  2. Real-Time Collaboration: Multiple users can work simultaneously without the need for a local network.
  3. Automatic Updates: Always use the latest version without manual upgrades.
  4. Integrations: Seamlessly connect with other business applications.
  5. Scalability: Easily upgrade your plan as your business grows.

Pre-Conversion Preparation

Before starting the conversion process, it’s crucial to prepare your QuickBooks Desktop data. Here’s how:

  1. Update QuickBooks Desktop: Ensure you are using the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop. Updates often include critical bug fixes and improvements that facilitate a smoother transition.
  • Open QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Go to Help > Update QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Click Update Now and follow the prompts to install any available updates.
  • Backup Your Data: Create a backup of your QuickBooks Desktop file to prevent data loss during the conversion.
  • Go to File > Back Up Company > Create Local Backup.
  • Choose Local Backup and select the location where you want to save the backup file.
  • Clean Up Your Data: Ensure your data is accurate and up-to-date. Resolve any discrepancies and delete unnecessary data to streamline the conversion.
  • Check Company File Size: QuickBooks Online has a limit on the size of the company file it can import. While the current limit is around 350,000 targets, aim to reduce your file size if it’s too large by condensing your data.

Conversion Process

The process  convert QuickBooks online to desktop involves several key steps:

  1. Sign Up for QuickBooks Online: If you haven’t already, sign up for a QuickBooks Online account. Choose the plan that best suits your business needs.

Export Company File from QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Open QuickBooks Desktop and log in as an administrator.
  • Go to Company > Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to log in to your QuickBooks Online account.
  • Choose Your Data to Export: You’ll have the option to import all your data or only lists (customers, vendors, chart of accounts) and balances.
  • Verify Your Data: QuickBooks Online will check your data for compatibility. If there are any issues, you’ll be prompted to resolve them.
  • Start the Export Process: Once your data is verified, the export process will begin. This may take some time depending on the size of your company file.
  • Complete Setup in QuickBooks Online: After the export is complete, log in to your QuickBooks Online account to review your data.

Post-Conversion Steps

After your data has been successfully imported into QuickBooks Online, there are a few steps to ensure everything is set up correctly:

  1. Review Data Accuracy: Verify that all your data has been transferred accurately. Check your:
  2. Chart of Accounts
  3. Customers and Vendors
  4. Transactions (Invoices, Bills, Payments, etc.)
  5. Financial Reports
  6. Set Up Bank Feeds: Connect your bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks Online to automatically download transactions.
  7. Customize Settings: Adjust your QuickBooks Online settings to match your business needs, including:
  8. Company Information
  9. Sales Preferences
  10. Expense Preferences
  11. User Permissions
  12. Train Your Team: Ensure your team is familiar with QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks offers various resources, including tutorials and webinars, to help users get up to speed.
  13. Cancel QuickBooks Desktop Subscription: Once you’re confident that all your data is accurately transferred and your team is comfortable with the new system, you can cancel your QuickBooks Desktop subscription.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

While the conversion process is generally smooth, you might encounter some issues. Here are common problems and their solutions:

  1. Data Size Limitations: If your company file is too large, consider condensing your data or consulting with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor.
  2. Missing Data: If some data is missing post-conversion, verify the import file and ensure that all data was included. Manually re-enter any missing information.
  3. Connectivity Issues: Ensure a stable internet connection during the conversion to avoid disruptions.
  4. Data Discrepancies: If financial reports don’t match, recheck the data in both platforms and look for any discrepancies. Correct them manually if necessary.
  5. User Permissions: Ensure all users have the correct permissions set up in QuickBooks Online to avoid access issues.


Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online can greatly benefit your business by providing enhanced accessibility, real-time collaboration, and easier integration with other tools. By carefully preparing your data, following the conversion steps, and verifying the results, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition. Embrace the change, and enjoy the efficiency and flexibility that QuickBooks Online offers.