Welcome to the QB Community. Have you seen this resource by the good folks over at QBO Chat Converting from Xero to QuickBooks Online? This group regularly puts out stellar content, and while the piece is a couple years old, it will give you an idea of best practices.
I am not very familiar with Xero's software, but I assume there's a backup feature. Absolutely, back up your financial data. If they offer cloud storage, also do a local backup to your hard drive. This way, if there are any issues, you can start from scratch.
When you're ready, set aside a time when you can "safely" pause work with minimal impact, say the end of the quarter or fiscal year. This way, you'll be working with cleaner data.
Also, with any transfer, you'll want to compare your Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Report to look for discrepancies.
This should get you going. Encouraging other folks in the community chime in!
Hello and welcome to the Community, @caz.
It would be my pleasure to help guide you through migrating your company data to QuickBooks. The biggest obstacle when moving from one product to another is transitioning the individual transaction data. With the use of CSV (comma separated value) files, importing the Chart of Accounts, Customer, Vendor, and Product/Service lists is quick and easy. However, external services like Xero cannot export transaction items (i.e. Invoices, Bills, Checks) in a format that QuickBooks can use.
Generally, the suggested method is to import the lists and record their opening balances for the current date to be used going forward. To ensure your success with this transition, I'll provide all the resources you'll need below. Keep in mind, while the process shares the same general methods and restrictions whether you're using QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop, the steps will be different.
Enter beginning balances - all accounts will have a $0 balance after importing, so these steps are necessary to apply their opening balances.
Record opening balance - once you've chosen a start date for your bookkeeping to move to QuickBooks, use this guide to apply those beginning balances.
With these resources, your transition from Xero to QuickBooks will become a story of success. Feel free to get in touch with me here should you need any additional assistance, I'll be happy to lend a hand. Thanks for coming to the Community and have a great day.
Hi Michael, thanks for the quick reply and all the resources. I will begin importing the lists.
Also, am I reading you correctly in that you recommended not importing historical transaction data from Xero, but importing transactions from the bank and then recoding each transaction?
It sounds like @MichaelDL is recommending Online Banking. While at first this sounds like a potential lift, once you've connected your accounts to QuickBooks, the feature will automatically begin generating entries for you.
There's a bit more on this in "How to Connect Bank Accounts and Use the Bank Feed in QuickBooks Online." Specifically, check out the section called "Adding transactions (not already in QuickBooks)." Depending on how much you plan to bring in, this may not take long at all.
Where are you at in terms of your fiscal year? Do you follow the standard tax calendar? The reason I ask, as I mentioned in my previous post, if you are able to make the switch right at the end of the year or quarter when you start "clean," I've heard you can potentially enter the previous account balances as journal entries (though you'd need help from an accountant to make sure everything stays compliant), as long as you hold onto the old data for your records.
Let's get you through this! Hopefully, this is a viable option. At the very least, the conversation will give you insights you can take with you onto whichever accounting platform you choose.
I am in the middle of this right now. Be wary of the support available from the data transfer team. I kept trying to get information on how to best do this transfer from the support site and chat support. I kept finding international results (Malaysia popped up a bunch) suggesting that QB offered a full transfer. The chat team told me more than once that this was a service available.
Fast forward a few weeks of long waits on questions and responses from the data team and it turns out they do not do full transfers. They transfer contacts (sort of they are not well organized anymore), chart of accounts, and opening balances. Don't get me wrong that is not nothing but it is not a technical feat either. Anyone with an hour an half to spend on manual entries could accomplish that. The full transfer is available to almost every other country besides the US and Canada.
There are a bunch of third party services that say they will transfer your full transaction history but I was never able to get a hold of a real person on the phone. I would get automated responses asking for a backup copy of Xero data to provide an estimate for the service. Maybe that is the only way to get a sense of the challenge but its kind of scary to send literally all of your transaction history just for an estimate right?
The whole thing has proved to be an enormous pain that required hours and hours to deliver a set of books that are not very satisfying. Everything is saved for tax/business purposes and is set up to move forward from here, but I feel like the amount of effort required to get to this point was extreme and the results pretty meh. I had a lot of gripes about Xero and I think they literally just raised their prices to 3x that of QBO so I will probably be happy I switched. Still, plan for frustration.
Thank you for sharing your experience with the transfer, I and others really appreciate you summarizing the potential challenges. I've never personally done the transfer but you put in a lot of work going from one piece of software to the other.
I am going to try and connect with some contacts here at QuickBooks to see if I can get some more insight into options for transferring from Xero - even though we can't rectify your past experience, I'd like the community and our teams to be aware of the challenges and share what's being done to improve the process.
Since moving over, has your accounting workflow gotten easier?
I have done this conversion a couple times. It is a semi-manual process by which I mean I can pull the data out of Xero and then push the data into QuickBooks Online using an excel based adapters by CData, Devart, or ZedAxis.
Unfortunately, the process does require quite a bit of knowledge and patience for migrating data. I am not sure if you are looking for advise on how to accomplish the task or if you prefer to find someone who can handle the project for you, either way I am certain we could be of assistance.
Here is a list of important questions (not complete list) that we would need to know more about:
Xero to QBO: Sounds like the company file started fresh in Xero a little over a year ago. How are you tracking your financials now? If you made the split away from Xero over to QuickBooks was it a clean split or did you continue to put some data into two different programs.
Parkway Tip: During previous conversions, our client continued to use Xero while we worked to get everything caught. Due to the volume of transactions being processed, I felt like I was never going to reach the finish line. that is until we used Zapier to create a couple custom zaps to automate the ongoing data entry.
The image below shows the steps we created in Zapier to move over the invoices. Below that are the settings within each step for deeper detail in case it helps you.
What type of transactions need to come over?
Estimates, Invoices, Sales Receipts, Purchase Orders, Bills, Payments, etc.
Do you have payroll that needs to be converted also?
Data Reconstruction Process:
Data reconstruction is a very detail-oriented process that does not like shortcuts! Be careful. We always use the information directly from the bank statements to gather historical information. As accountants, we like to use Ledgersync to collect all the statements but for a personal project you may just want to download QBO or OFX files directly from your financial institution.
Parkway Tip: We use bank rules in a unique way, we create our own bank import files after modifying the data and adding special triggers on to the memo so that QuickBooks Online will auto recognize the transactions and categorize them with less rules. Check out our blog article about QuickBooks Online Bank Feed Rules for more advanced details
When we do this, we send all our revenues to an account we call Revenue Query (Uncategorized Income by another name to allow for rules) This allows us to match up customer payments later by pulling a deposit detail report.
Depending on the companies use of purchase orders and billing terms, anything we think may need to get linked to a purchase order gets tagged to Accounts Payable regardless of cash basis or accrual basis. (This allows us to match up expenses without possibly duplicating the expense amount immediately.) Before we are done, we make sure that there are not remaining duplicates between potential bills and recorded payments.
Chart of Accounts
Classes (if used)
Locations (if Used)
Sales Tax Rates
Please note these are in a specific order.
Before you enter customer data into the program, you should have:
Terms available to select,
Sales tax rate if you plan to set it at the customer level.
Before entering Items, you plan to sell you should have:
Chart of Accounts and Classes in to assign income and expense accounts
Vendors to set a preferred vendor
Sales Tax if you plan to make items taxable
Once all the "list items" have been imported in to QuickBooks Online you can start to work on the transaction information. Again, these should be done in order:
Payments Received (matched up to Bank Feeds)
Bill Payments (matched up to Bank Feeds)
I hope this information helps you a bit further, in the process. There is still more that goes into the over conversion process but it should help provide you some good structure. Just remember print reports before and after and compare everything!
Sorry for the book of a response, but I figured it might help more people reading this in the future to also have Parkway's list of steps that we go through while reconstructing data. While I did do some formatting to make it look better for the readers eye, I did not go in and really modify the list from its original items.
Included in the list you will find items that say (Parkway Tools) listed next to the line items. I left the items in the list to still provide context to the project at hand. Over the years we have been creating internal tools that allow us to do some pretty cool stuff like auto create bank feed rules (between 2 and 200) at the same time and for desktop users we recently introduced Vendorsync, a Parkway tool that is currently in Beta Testing.
We hope you like the list of steps we provided below, if it helped you save time, please pay that time forward if and when you can! If you have questions or need assistance, reach out that is what this community is all about.
Financial Rebuild by Parkway Business Solutions
Data Collection & Cleanup
Vendor List Approval
Form Transaction Entry & Reconciliation:
Managerial Review: Trial Balance Report Summary
Accounts Receivable Balances
Opening Balance Equity
Reports & Worksheets