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Converting Sage 50 data to QuickBooks Online

The following list details an overview of the conversion process; each step is described in later sections of this article for more information:

  1. Review the Pre-migration Checklist section in this document.
  2. Prepare your current Sage 50 file for conversion and ensure your QuickBooks Online file is set up correctly.
  3. Fill out a form to gather your consent for the migration of the Sage 50 data to QuickBooks Online.
  4. Select how many years of Sage 50 data you wish to have converted as well as any optional add-ons, such as Inventory, that you may require.
  5. Upload your Sage 50 file via secure server to the Dataswitcher tool for migration to QuickBooks Online.
  6. Once your data is migrated,  review the results and perform some tasks using the post-conversion checklist.
  7. Once you confirm the results you can start using your new QuickBooks Online company file.

The process of converting your data takes, on average, up to 72 hours from the time your data is uploaded in to the Dataswitcher tool.

Contact the QuickBooks Online support team if it has been longer than 72 hours.

Your business data is protected in the following ways:

  • as long as you use the online form to upload, we will protect your data using industry standard SSL encryption
  • your data is governed by Intuit’s Data Stewardship Principles

The following data types cannot be transferred at this time:

  • Budgets
  • Multi-Currency
  • Memorized transactions
  • Invoice template and other templates
  • Sales orders
  • Payroll records
  • Projects
  • Attachments
  • Non-posting entries (estimates)

The following limitations may occur when you are transferring data from Sage 50 to QuickBooks Online using Dataswitcher.

Cash refunds and cheque refunds

Quickbooks Online does not support refunding a cash payment or cheque from a supplier. These entities will be posted as regular journals with no link back to the customer or supplier.

Reversed journals

Reversed journals will not be posted.

Data Integrity check issues

If your file fails the Data Integrity check (Maintenance -> Data Integrity Check) you may experience several issues during the conversion such as:

  • Balances on Customer or Supplier
  • Non-matching trial balances for several years

Some debtor or creditor transactions may not be posted as expected

Dataswitcher may need to use a "dummy" customer or supplier to align your AR and AP history.

Historical migrations of accounts

Sage 50 Canada allows you to transfer balances to new accounts on the close of the year (transferring of opening balances): Quickbooks does not support this, as it does not support fiscal years. As a result, Dataswitcher closes the account off on the start of the fiscal year.

Financial start date

In Sage 50 Canada it is possible to choose a start day other than January 1st:  Quickbooks does not support this. Please keep this in mind when you are checking your trial balance, since the profit and loss accounts can be inaccurate.

Check your retained earnings

In Sage 50 you can set up an opening balance for an account. In some cases, especially when the file is relatively new  or you have never run a close of year before, Dataswitcher cannot reconstruct the account used for creating that opening balance. Dataswitcher will create the opening balance transaction, and will send the net result to the retained earnings account in the destination system. It is necessary to check your retained earnings post-migration to determine if this agrees.

Departments and classes

If you select classes and locations (paid extra) during the migration, the migration will be done as journal only. Additionally, departments and classes may not align on retained earnings. Since you can purge data from Sage 50 Canada for the old journals, the classes and departments for retained earnings may be inaccurate. Due to QBO API limitations, only departments are converted, not projects.

Forward journals (Next Year) will not be posted

Any next year journals will not be posted to Quickbooks Online. These must be added manually.

Items and Stock

Dataswitcher does not post all of the fields for items and stock. Only code, stock code, location, name and description are posted. Current stock and purchase and sales price are also posted. Income and asset account are not posted to Quickbooks. Dataswitcher is able to deliver a set of files (the database tables from Sage 50 Canada) which you can import manually into Quickbooks Online.

Positions for COA numbers

QuickBooks does not support chart of account numbers that exceed the length of seven numerals. The migration will fail if any accounts in your chart of accounts are seven numerals or longer.

Renaming of Sage 50 system accounts

Dataswitcher can support renaming of normal balance sheet accounts, but renaming the system accounts (for example, Retained Earnings, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, etc.) can cause issues after the conversion. Revert any renaming of system accounts back to the original settings before attempting to migrate.

These steps are required prior to uploading your file for migration:

  • if you have an existing QuickBooks Online Company file that you have used in any way, it is necessary to cancel your subscription and start a new account. Data cannot be migrated into a QuickBooks Online Company file that has existing data contained within it.
  • create a backup of your Sage 50 file. Save the backup file in a location that is easy to locate, as it will be used for upload in a later step.
  • reconcile all your bank/credit card accounts to the most recent statement possible. After reconciling, make a note of the balances on your bank account, as it will be used when preparing the post conversion reconciliation in your QuickBooks Online company file.
  • file your quarterly Sales Tax return for the remaining quarter. If you use Cash-based accounting, it is advised to migrate directly after the close (and reconciliation) of a tax period. Otherwise the post-conversion work in Quickbooks Online can be significant  (considering partial paid invoices).

To start this process:

  1. Click Reports under the Accounting menu.
  2. Choose the Tax Return option.
  3. Click: View under Looking to see VAT/GST Transactions for your own date range?
  4. Select the data range. This is the start of the quarter until the current date (i.e., the conversion date).
  5. Click Display.
  6. Export the report to PDF.


After the conversion this information will be used to make a full report. This is done by adding the amounts in the boxes together in the old and new software.

Extract the following reports to check your data after the conversion:

  • Profit and loss until conversion date
  • Trial balance until conversion date
  • Balances on your bank accounts
  • Print a list of outstanding invoices of your customers and suppliers per conversion date

Extract the following data for auditing purposes:

  • Sales Tax report
  • Purchase Tax report
  • Account Transactions

Check your file:

  • check your Sage 50 file via Maintenance -> Check Data Integrity. If there are any inconsistencies, these need to be resolved before posting the file to Dataswitcher.

Requirements for Receivable and Payable accounts:

It’s possible to set up multiple AR and AP accounts within Sage 50, however QuickBooks Online uses only a single AR/AP account. This causes an error if there are no linked AR and AP accounts in your file. It’s recommended that you check your settings before submission. In Sage 50, go to Setup -> Wizards -> Linked Accounts.

If you have more than one in your Sage 50 file, these accounts will be merged in your QuickBooks Online file during the conversion process.

It is also recommended that you run an Integrity Summary check on the file is highly recommended.

Take particular note of any AR/AP accounts versus unpaid receivables/payables, as such items will generate an exception during conversion.

If there are manual journals using the AR and AP accounts, these transactions will be displayed to suspense Customer/ Supplier accounts.

You can visit our migration wizard to get started.

Please note that the wizard is only available in English at this time.

Once you’ve performed the tasks described in this document you can start using QuickBooks Online.

If you have any questions about any of these tasks,  contact the QuickBooks Online support team.

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