1. Export Your Company File to QuickBooks Online

So you're ready to switch from your old QuickBooks to QuickBooks online. Great! Before you start, if you need to run payroll or make tax payments, do these tasks in Desktop before you export your company file. Doing this export doesn't change or harm your QuickBooks desktop company file. It just copies it and adds the copy to your QuickBooks Online account. You can still use QuickBooks desktop just like you always have.

Export Your QuickBooks Desktop Company File

First, you need to export your QuickBooks desktop company file to QuickBooks Online. Start off in your existing QuickBooks Desktop file. Check to see if you’ve got Export into QuickBooks Online in your company menu.

Don’t see Export in the menu? Then go to the Help menu and select Update QuickBooks to install the latest software updates.

The update can take a while to download, especially if you’re on an older version.

After the upload finishes, quit out of QuickBooks by clicking Exit under the “File” menu.

Next, reopen QuickBooks. Go slow! When you see the popup that tells you to install the updates, click Install Now.

When you get to the homepage, check the Company menu again, and choose Export to QuickBooks Online.

Sign In to QuickBooks Online

If you have a QuickBooks Online account, sign in. If you don’t have QuickBooks Online yet, now’s a great time to create one.

If you have a lot of data in your company file, the export may look like it’s frozen.

Be patient—it may take several minutes to before you get to the confirmation screen.

When QuickBooks Online finishes importing your desktop company file, you get an email. Follow the link in your email to sign in.

Run Profit and Loss Reports to Compare

To make sure all your data came into Online correctly, you need to run a couple of reports in both your Online and Desktop accounts and compare them. First, run your Profit and Loss reports. From the Online Home Screen, click on Reports from the options in the left menu.

On the Reports screen, click on Profit and Loss to open your Profit and Loss report.

In your Profits and Loss report, click Customize.

In the customization modal, choose All Dates for your Transaction Date option, and Accrual for your Accounting Method option. Even if you do Cash Basis accounting, you need to use Accrual on these reports just this once, to make sure your data transferred correctly.

Make the same choices in your Desktop company file. Go to Reports, and in the “Company & Financial” sub-menu, choose the Profit & Loss Standard option.

Run Balance Sheet Report to Compare

Next, run Balance Sheet reports on both Online and Desktop to compare Online to Desktop. From the Online Home Screen, click on Reports from the options in the left menu.

On the Reports screen, click on Balance Sheet to open your Balance Sheet report.

In your Balance Sheet report, click Customize.

In the customization modal, choose All Dates for your Transaction Date option, and Accrual for your Accounting Method option—the same as you did for Profit and Loss.

Make the same choices in your Desktop company file. Go to Reports, and in the “Company & Financial” sub-menu, choose the Profit & Loss Standard option.

Now compare the Profit and Loss reports to each other and the Balance Sheet reports to each other. If they match, great! Your data all came into Online correctly. If you find any discrepancies, call Intuit Customer Care at 1-800-638-8615. We’ll help you fix the problem.

Now it’s your turn. Open QuickBooks Desktop to get started exporting your company file to QuickBooks Online.