The Definite Guide to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online

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quickbooks desktop to online

Small and mid-sized firms use the QuickBooks software extensively to streamline their accounting tasks. In many situations, the need emerges to access QuickBooks on the go. However, although feature-rich, QuickBooks Desktop does not allow you to access QuickBooks from anywhere. If you are one of those QB users who desire this flexibility, it’s time to transition to QuickBooks Online. Switching from QuickBooks Desktop to Online is an easy and quick process.

Moreover, migrating your company’s data to QuickBooks Online will ensure that you or your accountant can securely access data at a place and time of their choice. Read on to find out the entire process of this migration.


What to Note Before You Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online

There are some things you must follow before you commence the migration process. Do the following before you convert your QB Desktop file to QB Online.

  • Update QuickBooks Desktop, especially if you employ a version prior to 2016. It’ll ensure that your bookkeeping does not lag when you are familiarizing yourself with QuickBooks Online.
  • Reconcile bank accounts, process payroll, and modify an inventory. Do all of it before you switch to the new software.
  • Back up the company file. Just head over to ‘File’ in QB Desktop, choose ‘Back up Company’, and click ‘Create Local Backup.’
  • Keep your company file on a local drive before converting it.
  • Check that your QuickBooks file is not beyond the limit of 350,000. Otherwise, you will need to import your lists.

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How to Transfer QuickBooks Desktop to Online

To start this process, carefully follow the series of steps here. Start by creating a QuickBooks Online account.

1. Make a QBO account

Creating a QuickBooks Online account is imperative for this migration. You can choose the version of QB Online as per your needs if you’ve not already created an account here yet. Making a QuickBooks Online account will require you to fill in all the necessary details about your company, such as its name and description.

2. Export QB company file to QB Online.

The next step when you want to migrate QuickBooks Desktop to Online involves exporting company files to QB Online. For it, return to QuickBooks Desktop and log into your company that you want to change to QuickBooks Online. In QuickBooks Desktop company, tap ‘Company’ followed by choosing ‘Export company file to QuickBooks Online.’

3. Use the desktop program to log into your QBO account.

Now that you have chosen the data to export to QuickBooks Online, you will be given two choices. QuickBooks Desktop will question if you want to go ahead and migrate your company file or try it out first.

Here, you need to do only one thing. As you have made QBO company, just tap the ‘Move Now’ option.

4. Show if you desire to import your inventory into the new application.

If you monitor inventory, you will be asked about importing it into QuickBooksOnline. There’s no need to answer yes if you are doubtful about inventory import. If you are certain, you can say yes for the inventory to be recomputed in QuickBooks Online. On the other hand, if you are unsure, hit ‘No.’ It is totally possible to use Excel and import the inventory later on.

Now, you will get a question about having a QuickBooks Online account. Remember that you have configured its account beforehand. So, choose the option, ‘Yes, sign me in.’

When you select this option, you will see a login screen for your QB Online account.

5. Confirm who you are.

Now you will have to validate or confirm your identity. It happens when you access your QB Online account via QB Desktop. Usually, you need to enter a code that’s delivered to you through your email or phone.

6. Choose the relevant company in QB Online.

Once you sign into your QuickBooks account, choose the QB Online company to which you want the information to be imported. You can do it from the drop-down list.

7. Sign in to QuickBooks Online and review your information.

It is a critical step in the process to convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online. After the step above, you must wait for some time till a confirmation screen appears. Wait for the time you get an email from QuickBooks notifying you that your QuickBooks Online company is prepared. When you receive it, sign into QB Online by tapping ‘Complete your setup.


Why is the Migration from QuickBooks Desktop to Online Beneficial?

This migration is quite beneficial for some QuickBooks Desktop users. Here are two of its chief advantages.

  • You can switch to QuickBooks Online free of cost. Intuit will not make you pay for importing your company data to their online version.
  • After conversion, it is possible to undertake a good comparison of the current and previous year’s reports.
  • You can access your books from any system. Not only this, but you can also use QuickBooks Online on your smartphone via the QuickBooks app.
  • There’s no need to think of saving QuickBooks data while using QBO. It gets upgraded constantly, and automatic backups are carried out nightly.
  • QuickBooks Online can seamlessly integrate with a myriad of applications. When you migrate QuickBooks Desktop to Online, you can carry out various automated processes through online integrations.

Use the QB Migration Tool QuickBooks Desktop to Online Migration

Intuit has recently launched a new Quickbooks Migration Tool for the transition to QuickBooks Online. This new release is because Intuit felt that many users find QBO more advantageous than QuickBooks Desktop. Here is how to use this tool.

  1. Access the suitable version of the migration tool by heading to the official website of Intuit.
  2. Tap the ‘Get Started button.
  3. After that, upload your QB company file.
  4. Upon opening the migration tool, choose ‘File’ from the menu bar.
  5. Then sign into your Intuit account.
  6. Choose the ‘Temporary files’ option.
  7. Next, choose ‘Upload files’ to upload the file you want to migrate.
  8. Exit the pop-up when the company file gets uploaded.
  9. Now tap ‘Refresh.’
  10. Sign in to the company file you uploaded as admin.
  11. Your company file will be updated to the latest desktop version.
  12. Now you will get a prompt asking if you have a QuickBooks Online account or if you need to make one.
  13. The next step is to link to your QBO account.
  14. The migration of data to QuickBooks Online will now begin.
  15. Your session will come to an end when the migration process finishes.
  16. Now you can sign into QBO company and examine your accounting information.


Final Thoughts

QuickBooks Online allows you to streamline your business process by accessing the solution from anywhere. The method of transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop to Online is smooth and hassle-free. However, remember that once you migrate your data to QBO, you cannot use QuickBooks Desktop for the same company. Reach out to expert QuickBooks support professionals if you have doubts about the process.



Q1: How do I move from QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

A. To move from QuickBooks Desktop to Online, you will need to use the data conversion tool provided by QuickBooks Online. This tool can transfer your data, such as your chart of accounts, transactions, customer and vendor lists, and more, to the cloud-based software. However, not all data will be transferred, and you may need to update some information manually.


Q2: Will my workflows change when I move from QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

A. Yes, your workflows may change when you move from QuickBooks Desktop to Online. QuickBooks Online operates differently than QuickBooks Desktop, so some of your workflows and processes may need to be updated. We recommend reviewing your data carefully after the conversion process to ensure everything has transferred correctly.


Q3: How do I access my QuickBooks Desktop file after moving to QuickBooks Online?

A. You can still access your QuickBooks Desktop file after moving to QuickBooks Online. However, any changes you make in QuickBooks Desktop after the conversion process will not be reflected in QuickBooks Online. To keep both systems up to date, you can set up a data-sharing arrangement between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.


Q4: Can I convert my QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online independently?

A. Yes, you can convert your QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online on your own using the data conversion tool provided by QuickBooks Online. However, it’s important to note that not all data will be transferred during the conversion process, and you may need to update some information manually. We recommend backing up your QuickBooks Desktop file before starting the conversion process, just in case.


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