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Quick Start with a Product Expert: Moving from QuickBooks Desktop to Online

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Hello Community! Today our expert is Vicki, and she is sharing her top tips on how you can make your transition from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online as smooth as possible. Vicki is a product expert and has been with Intuit for 19 years. She is passionate about helping customers and wants to make sure everyone has the tools they need to succeed. Integrity without compromise, a pillar value at Intuit, is the one Vicki finds most important and continues to incorporate in her daily interactions with customers.

You can also catch her at our next AMA360 here in the Community, and on Social next Thursday the 22nd where you can ask her questions regarding this topic from 10 AM PST - 11 AM PST. 

Great, let’s jump into Vicki’s tips!

Number 1: Make sure your QB Desktop file is clean and up to date, and create a current backup file. 


Backing up your desktop file is a crucial step. Since you are saving everything in your company file, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a backup copy. You want to make sure that if you ever run into issues, you can just use your backup to restore your data! This includes accounting data, templates, letters, logos, images, & related files. You can back up your data manually or automatically.

Check out this article for more information on creating a backup file and don’t forget this is a very important step in the process:

Number 2: Check your Total Targets. Targets are essentially the amount of data you have, including transactions, journal entries, list items, etc. When it comes to moving data in QuickBooks Online, file size actually doesn’t matter. Targets do!

By clicking Control 1 or the F2 key on your keyboard, you will see your Total Target number. That number should be under 750K, ideally under 500K. If it is over that, we can guide you with options to move your data another way.

Depending on what version of QuickBooks you have, you’re account must be under the following limits:

  • QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2021 (with latest releases) and newer 750,000 targets.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier 2018 (with latest releases) and newer 750,000 targets.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise 2020 and older 350,000 targets.
  • QuickBooks Desktop for Mac 350,000 targets.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Pro and Premier 2018 and older 350,000 targets.

Since this can get complex, here is an article with even more details on how to condense your file if your targets are too large:

Number 3: Create PDF copies of your P & L, Balance Sheet, and Sales Tax reports to compare after migration. Those reports will remain in your Desktop file as well.


This way, once all your information is in QuickBooks Online, you can compare your PDF copies with the information showing in QBO to make sure everything is transferred correctly. When you run reports, make sure of the following:

  • The Report period is set to All Dates.
  • The Accounting method is set to Accrual.
  • To check the balance of each of your Accounts Receivable (A/R) and Undeposited Funds accounts.

For more details on transferring your data, this article with take you through the steps:

That’s all for today’s Quick Start with an Expert! I hope you found this article helpful and will hopefully ease the transition from Desktop to Online. Since we know this is a complicated process, if you have any questions on moving from Desktop to Online, please feel free to join us during our next AMA360 this month on the 22nd and Vicki will be here to assist. And as always, reach out in the Community anytime! See you next time  

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