Switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

If not, then it’s time to make the change and switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. With powerful features and unlimited benefits, QuickBooks Online allows you to run your business the way you want.

What is the Reason for Switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

From the ability to quickly access the software to create reports and process invoices, everything in QuickBooks Online is bigger and better. So should you switch to cloud accounting? Of course! Here are seven convincing reasons to help you make up your mind.

It’s Cost-Effective

QuickBooks Online accounting software is a subscription-based service that’s available for as low as $21 per month. You can access it from any device – computer, tablet, or mobile. The service is also available for a free 30-day trial period. The traditional QuickBooks Desktop software, on the other hand, has a high one-time fee. It can be accessed only from one computer and does not offer a free trial version.

It’s Easy to Use

Working on QuickBooks Online is much easier as compared to its counterpart. Since most of the components are clearly signposted in the software, using QuickBooks Online you don’t require any prior accounting knowledge and you can get going straight away.

It increases your productivity

The biggest benefit of QuickBooks Online over QuickBooks Desktop is its ability to be accessed from anywhere and from any device. Due to this, it automates various accounting functions for you. Like, you can automatically download and categorize your bank and credit card transactions, send invoices, reconcile accounts, run payroll, track business transactions, and stay in touch with your team.

It Saves Time

QuickBooks Online automatically uploads your data from your sales transactions, thus reducing the time required for manual data entry.  With QuickBooks Online you don’t have to transfer files back and forth. Your online data can be easily accessed by multiple users in different locations at the same time.

 It Provides Hassle-Free Security

Multi-factor authentication and data encryption keep all your financial information secure. All your transactions and reports are automatically backed up in the cloud, relieving you of the stress of losing your data or creating backup copies every now and then. QuickBooks Desktop data is not automatically backed up and requires manual intervention.

It offers Automatic Access to the Latest Version of QuickBooks 

With QuickBooks Online, you enjoy immediate access to the latest version of the software. Contrary to this, with QuickBooks Desktop you have to purchase the upgraded version of the software to enjoy new features and benefits.

It provides Seamless Integration with Third-Party Apps

QuickBooks Online allows you to easily connect to 300+ cloud-based apps that can automate various aspects of accounting to help you save time and money. For examples, Transaction Pro – a simple, yet powerful application that imports your transactions from Excel or text files to QuickBooks Online; Bill.com – a business payment system that automates your payment process and syncs it with QuickBooks; Fundbox – the fastest and easiest way to get advances on your outstanding invoices.

Migrating from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online with the use of Internal Tool

Are you thinking about switching to QuickBooks Online from QuickBooks Desktop but aren’t sure where to begin? So let’s go through this and know about it. You can use our internal tool to review the following two sections to help in your choice to switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

Because your company file’s complexity will be relatively low, if you run a small or medium-sized business and use QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, or Premier Accountant, you are a suitable candidate for migration to QuickBooks Online. Take into account the features your company requires to run before you begin the conversion process. The section below goes into further detail on a few of these variations.

Pre-Migration Strategies for Switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

To make sure your information migrates correctly, there are a few things to do before you begin the conversion process. To make sure everything is prepared to migrate, you have to follow the steps that are mentioned below.

Before migrating, you have to back up your data using the following steps

It’s a good idea to regularly back up data in QuickBooks Desktop. You don’t need to manually back up your data because it is safely stored in the cloud with QuickBooks Online.

  • If you are currently using multiple users, then you have to go to the File menu, and then you have to select Switch to Single-user Mode.
  • Select Create Backup from the File menu.
  • Next, choose Local backup.
  • Select Local Backup and click Next in the window.
  • Choose Browse and then the location where you want to save your backup company file in the Local Backup Only section.
  • Then you have to set the number of backups that you want to keep and this is optional.
  • Before you save, a test is done to ensure your backup file is accurate.
  • When you are ready to move forward, you have to click OK.
  • Pick Save it Now and then go on. When the backup is finished, a confirmation message will appear on the screen.
data backup working

Both manual and automatic backup processes are available.

QuickBooks Desktop Update

Before you start the migration, make sure QuickBooks Desktop is up to date by doing the following steps to download and install the latest updates.

  • If you are currently using multiple users, you have to move to the File menu, then you have to choose Switch to Single-user Mode.
  • Then you have to select Update QuickBooks Desktop from the Help menu.
update quickbooks desktop
  • Then you have to select Update Now.
automatic update quickbooks desktop
  • Choose Get Updates, and then you have to click Close.
updates qbdt
  • After that, you have to select the file, and then click on Exit.
  • Launch QuickBooks Desktop again.
  • Run payroll right away if you have it.

Check your Total Targets

Check your total number of targets next. Ctrl+1 will open the Product Information window in QuickBooks Desktop. The File Information section shows your total number of targets.

check total number of targets in quickbooks

If the Targets number exceeds 500,000 in the UK and South Africa (ZA) and 700,000 in Canada, then you are only eligible for a list and balances conversion.

Remove Ministere du Revenu (applicable to businesses only outside of Quebec)

  • Firstly, you have to go to Supplier, then you have to go to Supplier Centre.
  • Then you have to identify Ministere du Revenu.
  • Now you have to open the supplier.
  • Go to the Sales Tax Settings page.
Ministere du Revenu quickbooks
  • Then you have to Uncheck every box.
  • Declare the vendor inactive.
  • To close the window, you have to click OK.

Turn off payroll in the QuickBooks Desktop file

It is advised to switch off payroll in the QuickBooks Desktop file before beginning the conversion in order to prevent payroll issues after the migration.

  • Begin by selecting Edit, then from the dropdown menu you have to select Preferences.
Turn off payroll
  • The window for preferences appears.
payroll and employees in quickbooks desktop
  • Choose Payroll & Employees from the menu that is on the left.
  • In the Preferences window, you have to click the Company Preferences tab.
  • Then you have to select the No payroll option.

Save your sales tax liability report

The report on your sales tax liability should be saved or printed. After you migrate, you will need to enter adjustment entries. Then you have to follow these steps:

  • Start by going to the Reports menu and then you have to select Suppliers and Payables.
  • Then you have to select Sales Tax Liability.
sales tax liability quickbooks desktop
  • Choose All from the Dates dropdown menu.
  • Then you have to choose Save as PDF from the Print menu at the top.
sales tax liability report save as pdf quickbooks
  • Name the file, select Save, and then select the folder where you want to save it.
  • If you want a hard copy, you can print the file after you have saved it.

Export reports and lists

You can avoid manually setting up each item from your lists when you start using QuickBooks Online by exporting your lists before migrating. To export your reports and lists from a QuickBooks Desktop company, follow the mentioned steps.

  • Select Report Centre from the Reports menu in QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Then you have to find and open any report.
  • From the Dates drop-down menu, you have to choose the desired date range.
  • On the toolbar,  you have to choose Excel. In order to save the report as a PDF, you may also choose Print or Email.
  • Then you have to select Create New Worksheet from the Excel option to start a fresh workbook or choose Update Existing Worksheet to add the data from the open report to an existing workbook.
  • Locate the worksheet on your computer, then you have to select Export.
  • Select Advanced if you encounter a notice stating that your report has too many columns. The Space between columns checkbox can be checked or unchecked, then select OK.
  • When you are prepared to export, you have to click OK.

For each report or list, you want to export, you have to repeat these steps.

quickbooks report center

Create a QuickBooks Online account

Prepare for the migration process by setting up your QuickBooks Online subscription. Consider the available options to choose the best plan, and before you begin, consider our system requirements to ensure you have everything you need for the best QuickBooks Online experience. Use the same login information you used to access your QuickBooks Desktop account when prompted to sign in. Setup of your QuickBooks Online company should wait for now; it will be done in the next step.

How to migrate your data

Your desktop file can now be exported to QuickBooks Online. Depending on the version of QuickBooks Desktop you use, follow the instructions below.

QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier

  • Log in as an admin to the company file you need to import in QuickBooks Desktop.
  • Select Export Company File to QuickBooks Online from the Company menu.
export company file to quickbooks online
  • Then you have to select Get started.
company file import in QuickBooks Desktop getting started
  • Now you have to click Select destination, then you have to sign in to your QuickBooks Online account.
congrats data available on quickbooks online

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

  • Log in as an administrator to the company file you need to import into QuickBooks Desktop.
  • To view your product information, press F2.
  • Press CTRL+B+Q while your product information is open, then you have to click the OK button at the bottom of the page to get started.

If you use QuickBooks Desktop to track inventory

  • To bring them over you have to select Yes, then enter the start date.
  • Then you have to select No if you want to set up new items later in the QuickBooks Online.
  • We will email you once the conversion is complete. In the email, you have to click the Complete Your Setup button.
  • Log in to your account on QuickBooks Online.
  • Select the company file that you want to open.

The dashboard for QuickBooks Online appears.

quickbooks online dashboard

Move lists from QBDT to QBO

In order to import your lists into QuickBooks Online, you previously exported your lists from QuickBooks Desktop. There are many processes that are needed for different types of lists. To see the import process, you have to select a list from the list below.

  • Chart of Accounts
  • Products and Services
  • Customer
  • Supplier

Set up inventory

The actions below will enable inventory tracking in QuickBooks Online.

  • You have to go to Settings and then you have to select Account and Settings..
  • Then you have to select Sales.
  • Under Products and services, you have to click Edit.
  • Activate the sales forms’ Show Product/Service Column setting.
  • Turn on the tracking of inventory quantity in stock, price, and rate.
  • Choose Save and then you have to click Done.

What to do after you migrate

Before using QuickBooks Online, there are still a few steps you must complete. Before making any changes to the data or entering new transactions, it is best to finish these as soon as you can. After the migration, go through the following checklist to make sure all of your data is transferred as planned and to import any data that wasn’t migrated.

Check your data by comparing reports

To be sure your data was migrated correctly, compare the reports below in QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online:

  • Balance Sheet Report
  • Trial Balance – All Dates
  • Customer Balance Summary – All Dates
  • Supplier Balance Summary – All Dates
  • Sales Tax Summary Report for the most recent period
  • Any other reports you’d like to check

Run the reports using All Dates and change the accounting method in QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop to accrual to check your data.

Confirm company settings

We can move your accounting data into QuickBooks Online, but we can’t transfer information like your company’s name, address, or email address. By following the instructions below, you must enter this data in your QuickBooks Online company.

quickbooks online company settings
  • You have to select the Settings (gear icon) menu, then you have to select Account and settings.
  • Enter your company’s name and contact details on the Company tab.
  • To get monthly invoices from Intuit for your QuickBooks Online subscription, enter the email address in the Company email box.
  • Enter an email address in the Customer-facing email box if you do not want your customers to reach you at the company’s email address.
  • Then you have to select Save.

Configure your sales tax settings

Before you use QuickBooks Online, make sure that it is configured with the appropriate CRA Business Number and filing frequency. If your company is not sales tax registered, you can skip these steps.

  • You have to go to Taxes and then you have to select Sales tax.
  • Then you have to select the Set up sales tax button.
  • Select Save after selecting the province or territory where you can do business.
  • On the following screen, you have to provide the information that is required, and then you have to select Next.
  • Then you have to select Ok on the next screen.
  • At any time, you can return and change these settings.

Connect bank and credit card accounts

Bank and credit card information is not moved when you migrate from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online for your security. Follow these steps to link your accounts in QuickBooks Online.

connect bank and credit card accounts in quickbooks online
  • Start by going to Bookkeeping, then you have to select Transaction, then you have to select Bank transactions.
  • If you already have an account, choose Add account or Connect Account from the landing page.
connect bank and credit card account qbo
  • Then you have to search for your bank.
  • Choose Continue, then you have to fill out the pop-up window with your login information for your bank’s website.
  • Choose the accounts you wish to connect.
  • Choose the appropriate account type from the dropdown option for each account.
  • Your chart of accounts currently lists these accounts.
  • Then you have to select the date range that you want to download.
  • Choose Connect.

Clean up bank reconciliations

It assumes that no bank transactions have been reconciled because you haven’t done one yet in QuickBooks Online. In order for QuickBooks to only take future transactions into account for reconciliation, you must instruct it to mark all transactions up to the conversion date as reconciled.

  • Choose Reconcile from the Settings (gear icon) menu.
  • Select Reconcile Now after selecting the appropriate bank account from the drop-down box, entering the Ending balance, and selecting the Ending date.
reconcile quickbooks online
  • The transactions are shown in a list.
  • To choose every transaction in the list, check the boxes at the top.
  • Make sure you have selected every transaction in both columns if the data is in two columns.
  • You have to find transactions that haven’t been cleared yet and uncheck them. 
  • You have successfully completed the reconciliation when the Difference is zero.
  • Then you have to select Finish Now.
  • For every account you have connected to QuickBooks Online, you have to repeat these steps.
reconcile qbo

Link payments and credits to open invoices

You might see names with zero balances in your A/R and A/P aging reports because the transactions transferred into QuickBooks Online did not link invoices with their corresponding payments. By activating the Automatically apply credits feature, you may quickly link credits and payments to your open invoices.

  • Account and settings can be found in the Settings (gear icon) menu, which is located near the top right of the screen.
  • Select Automatically apply credits on the Advanced tab, then  you have to click Save.
Link payments and credits to open invoices in qbo

Review accounts’ detail types

Your sub-account structure is maintained by QuickBooks Online after conversion. However, it also makes use of a Detail type, which is an additional level of account types. You can be more specific with your account organization using detail kinds.

When converting accounts, detail types are assigned to accounts where the detail is obvious. The conversion process assigns a generic detail type, such as Other Miscellaneous Income, to accounts where it is unclear what the appropriate detail type should be. You can change this right now.

To review and modify the detail types for your accounts, run the Account Listing Report:

  • Begin by going to Business overview and then you have to select Reports.
  • Open the Account List report by searching for it.
account list report qb
  • Then you have to review your accounts.
  • To change an account’s detail type, choose the account name.
  • After that, from the Detail Type dropdown menu, you have to select the correct detail.
  • Then you have to click on Save and then close.
account list report save and close

Complete payroll setup

To balance your books, transactions and payroll accounts are converted, but the information behind the transactions—such as payroll item breakdowns and employee year-to-date figures—is not changed. Journal entries are created for liability refunds, adjustment transactions, and opening balance transactions that have an affect on accounts.

To finish setting up your payroll in QBO:

  • You have to go to Payroll and then you have to select Employees.
  • Make that every employee who received a paycheck this year has their status set to Yes in the Paid in [Year] column.
  • Anyone who hasn’t received pay this year is automatically listed as No.
  • To enter or confirm your year-to-date paycheck totals and employee information, choose Complete payroll setup.
  • To finish the setup, you have to follow the instructions that are displayed on the screen.
  • When you are prepared to pay your employees, you have to use Run Payroll.

If your QuickBooks Desktop pay types were not mapped to a typical QuickBooks Online pay type, you might be prompted to match your payroll items. To align your QuickBooks Desktop pay types with those of QuickBooks Online, follow these steps.

  • In the QuickBooks Online column, you have to choose the (choose one) dropdown.
  • Choose the pay type that most nearly matches the item’s configuration in your Desktop file.
  • It’s best practice to review your QuickBooks Desktop file and verify how your items are set up to ensure that the pay types match.
  • After the mapping is complete, you have to choose Save and close.
  • The same process must be followed for each item that needs to be mapped before choosing Continue.

Link Payments account

While your current Payments account cannot be transferred to QuickBooks Online, a new one can be made. To enable payments in QuickBooks Online, you have to follow these steps.

  • Select Account and settings from the Settings (gear icon) menu.
  • Then you have to choose Payments. Choose Learn more from the QuickBooks Payments option.
  • Then you have to select Set up Payments. Three sections of a signup window appear.
  • Select Start in the Business section. After completing the form, you have to click Next.
  • Select Start in the Owner/Proprietor section.
  • After completing the form, you have to click Next.
  • Go to the Bank section and choose Start. Search for your bank after selecting Add a new bank connection.
  • Choose the account that should receive payments from customers.
  • Select Connect after entering your bank’s login credentials.
  • Select Activate Payments when you are finished with all of the sections.

Add users

Check to see that the access is appropriate for any users you want to add to QuickBooks Online. By choosing the Settings (gear icon) menu, then Manage users, you can see your current users.

If you want to add extra users then you have to:

  • Firstly, you have to select Settings, then you have to select Manage users.
  • Then you have to select Add user.
  • Now you have to select the user that you want to create. Based on the user type you choose, more options appear on the screen.
  • After that, you have to enter your new user’s name and email address and then you have to select Save.
Add users

After you finish these process, QuickBooks sends an email to your new user. You can ask them to click the email’s link to access a sign-in or account creation page.

Invite an accountant

Up to two accountants can be invited to work with you in your QuickBooks Online company If you want to invite an accountant, do the following:

  • You have to go to Bookkeeping and then you have to select My accountant.
  • Select Invite and then enter your accountant’s email address.
  • Then you have to select Manage users from the Settings (gear icon) menu.
  • Then you have to select Accounting firms and then you have to select invite.
  • Fill out the necessary fields and then click Save.
Invite an accountant

Troubleshoot Now… If Getting an Issue while Migrating QBDT to QBO

The process of switching from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online is often quick and simple. However, there are some issues that you could run into during or after conversion. 

Rebuilding company data

Rebuilding the data file and restarting the export process will quickly fix any problems you may be having importing your company file from QuickBooks Desktop for Windows into QuickBooks Online.

Step 1: Verify your company data

  • You have to select Window in QuickBooks Desktop, then you have to Close All to close all open Windows.
  • Choose File, followed by Utilities, and then Verify Data.
verify data in quickbooks
  • Rebuild your company data to fix problems if QuickBooks reports a problem.

Step 2: Rebuild company data to repair problems

  • To close every open window, you have to first choose Window, then choose Close All.
  • Then you have to select File, then you have to go to Utilities, and then you have to select Rebuild data.
  • If you see the message “Rebuild has finished.” Check your updated company information below.
Rebuild company data

Step 3: Verify your rebuilt company data

  • To close every open window, choose Window and then Close All.
  • Choose File, followed by Utilities, and then Verify Data.

Step 4: Start the export process again

  • To the latest release you have to update QuickBooks: then you have to select Help, then you have to select Update QuickBooks.
  • To install the updates, you have to close QuickBooks and reopen it.
  • Choose Company, then click on QuickBooks Online to export the company file.
  • Then you have to follow the onscreen instructions.

Post-conversion issues

Issue: Customer balances are off in QuickBooks Online

The connections between journal entry credits and invoices that you made while applying payments to invoices through journal entries are broken after import. The client balances are incorrect as a result. Then you have to turn on auto-credits in QuickBooks Online to fix the issue.

  • Select Account and Settings from the Settings menu (the gear icon).
  • Then, you have to choose the Edit the Automation section under the Advanced tab.
  • Select the slider to automatically apply credits.
  • Lastly, you have to select Save and then you have to select Done.

You don’t want all payments to be applied automatically. By comparing the credits from the journal entry to the outstanding invoices, you can record the payments. Apply this to each consumer separately.

Issue: Invoices or sales transactions were converted to journal entries after importing to QuickBooks Online

This may occur if your desktop file has flat rates (0.00) for sales tax items or groups. This often happens in Mac files because a sales tax item can be saved without a % symbol. Change the sales tax item rates category if you don’t want your sales transactions to import as journal entries. To properly import all of your transactions, change all of the item rates if you have multiple items with flat sales tax rates.

Ready to make an integration from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online? Give us a call! Expert technicians at AskForAccounting can help you easily upgrade to QuickBooks Online and convert QuickBooks online to Desktop. Thus wait no longer and give us a call at our QuickBooks consultant (toll-free USA/Canada). We are available 24/7 and can help you sort out any issues you might have related to QuickBooks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can QuickBooks Desktop be migrated to QuickBooks Online?

Yes, it is possible to migrate data from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.
● Select Export Company File to QuickBooks Online under Company after going there.
● Then you have to select to begin your export. 
● Log in to your QuickBooks Online firm as the administrator. 
● Now you have to select Choose the online company, then select the QuickBooks Online company that your company file should replace.

Which QuickBooks Online version is the best for business?

Using an online service relieves you of the responsibility of maintaining your on your computer or server, data file. You can use it as long as you have an internet connection whenever and whenever you wish to use the software. Three variations of QuickBooks Online are available.

Simple Start is the entry-level option for monitoring a single user’s earnings and expenses. expenses. More features are provided by QuickBooks Essentials, such as the ability to track billable hours (up to 3 concurrent users) and automatically create invoices on recurring schedules. QuickBooks Plus elevates Essentials.
Purchase orders, inventory management, project evaluation, and budget creation are all possible (for a maximum of 5 users).

Is switching from QuickBooks desktop to online simple?

The conversion of QuickBooks Desktop to Online can be done in three simple steps, which are as follows…
● Update your software to prepare your data. 
● Create a company file and export it to QuickBooks Online. 
● To find any differences, compare your reports.

How long does it take to switch from Desktop to Online QuickBooks?

It just takes 15 to 30 minutes to convert files from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. You have to ensure to keep QuickBooks Desktop running until the migration is done.

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