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Moving from QuickBooks Desktop to Online

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You’ve done your research. You’ve checked out QuickBooks Online and you’re ready to take the plunge into a web experience for your business. But what about all that information in your QuickBooks Desktop Account? I’m going to show you the process to move your company from Desktop to Online and give you the resources to make this as seamless as possible.


Things to note before you get started:

  • You can only move a company file within 60 days after signing up on QuickBooks Online.


It’s always important to have the most up-to-date information on your company. That’s why we encourage you to create a company backup file. This way you have the most recent version to reference if needed.


  1. In QuickBooks, go to the File menu and select Switch to Single-user Mode.
  2. Go to the File menu again and hover over Back up Company
  3. Then select Create Local Backup.
  4. In the window, select Local Backup and then Next.
  5. In the Local Backup Only section, select Browse and choose where you want to save your backup company file.
  6. If you want, you can set the number of backups you want to keep. 
  7. A test is run to make sure your backup file is in good working order before you save it.
  8. When you're ready, select OK.
  9. Select Save it now and Next.


QuickBooks creates a single backup company file. When it's done, you get a confirmation message. And now you have your backup file saved just in case you need it.


Now that you have that done, let’s go ahead and get right to it. If you have QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier, these steps are for you:


  1. Make sure QuickBooks is up-to-date.
  2. Sign in as an admin to the company file you need to import.
  3. Go to the Company menu, then select Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
  4. Select Start your export.
  5. Sign in as an admin to your QuickBooks Online company.
  6. If you track inventory in QuickBooks Desktop:
    1. Select Yes to bring them over, then specify the as of date.
    2. Select No if you want to set them up later in QuickBooks Online. 
    3. Note: Only QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced can track inventory. 
  7. Choose the online company▼ dropdown, and pick the QuickBooks Online company you want to export your data to.
  8. Select Continue.
  9. Enter “Agree” in the text field, then select Replace.
  10. Select Yes, go ahead and replace the data, then select Replace.


If you run into any issues, we got you covered! Here’s an article that covers any bumps you may run into:


Ok so you’ve imported and it was successful...wonderful! Because we like to be extra thorough here in QuickBooks, we’ll want to make sure your books match up with what you have in QuickBooks Desktop. How? We make it easy with our reports!


  1. Run a report like the profit and loss in QuickBooks Desktop on an accrual basis.
  2. Run the same report in QuickBooks Online (also on an accrual basis).


You’ll want to check for accuracy and make sure those reports look the same in both products. 


As always for my visual learners, I have an article with a video tutorial included:

There you have it! Your transition to QuickBooks Online is completed. Be sure to check out our Community for any helpful articles as you navigate through. I recommend our Getting Started with QuickBooks Online page.

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