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Our comprehensive guide to moving your data to QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooks61Updated 2 weeks ago

Find answers to frequently asked questions about moving your data to QuickBooks Online.

In QuickBooks Online, you can transfer data from your previous accounting program, making it easier to get started.

Note: The following applies to Canadian QuickBooks Desktop, Sage 50, Xero and Acomba files. The information provided can only be applied to Canadian QuickBooks Online accounts at this time. For more information on migrating data for US accounts, please refer to this article.

Below, you’ll find lots of helpful information to help guide you through the process of moving your data over to QuickBooks Online from wherever you store it today, including information about Intuit's internal migration tool and Intuit's data conversion supply partner Dataswitcher.

In this article, you'll learn about:



What software can be converted?

Currently, we offer conversion services for the software versions below:

  • QuickBooks Desktop using Intuit's internal tool
  • QuickBooks Desktop using Dataswitcher
  • Excel/CSV
  • Sage 50 Accounting
  • Xero
  • Acomba


How long will it take to transfer my data?

When migrating your data from Sage 50, Xero, Acomba, or QuickBooks Desktop using Dataswitcher, it usually takes up to 72 hours to complete once your data file is uploaded to the Dataswitcher tool. Migrations from QuickBooks Desktop products to QuickBooks Online using Intuit's internal tool can usually be completed in up to two hours once your data is uploaded.



How much will migrating cost?

When migrating your data from QuickBooks Desktop products or Excel to QuickBooks Online, there's no charge for you to transfer the data using Intuit's self-serve migration tool.

At this time, when migrating your data from Sage 50, Xero, Acomba, or QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online using Dataswitcher, Intuit will cover the cost to transfer the last 2 years of data for QuickBooks Desktop, Sage 50, and Xero and 1 year for Acomba. Depending on the software being migrated from, Dataswitcher charges nominal fees to transfer extras, such as additional years of data, classes, company info, etc.

Data types that we cannot convert at this time are: Budgets, memorized transactions, invoice and other templates, sales orders, payroll records, projects, attachments, and non-posting entries (estimates). All additional limitations are listed in the links above. Please refer to the one corresponding to the software you are migrating from to make sure you're clear on the migration process and Dataswitcher limitations.  



How to move from QuickBooks Desktop

There are two ways you can now move your data from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online: Dataswitcher, which is a third-party data conversion partner of Intuit, or Intuit's migration tool.

Dataswitcher vs. Migration tool comparison

 DataswitcherIntuit’s migration tool
File SizeUnlimitedUp to 700,000 lines. Files greater than 700,000 can be migrated as lists only...no transactional data.
Speed90% of conversions are processed in under 12.5 minutes. 100% are completed in 72 hours.Typically completed within 45 minutes.
SecurityData is held in secure AWS servers during migration and destroyed once your conversion is approved.Intuit’s data security policy can be found here.
User ExperienceGuided “wizard” to help you through the experience.  Real-time insights into the progress of your migration.The process starts from inside your desktop file.  Real-time updates are not available.  Email notification upon completion.
CustomizationTiered options allow choice in which data and years to convert into your new Online file. Some additional fees may be requiredCustomization is limited to inventory (yes/no).
ValidationDataswitcher performs preliminary checks of your file to identify inconsistencies prior to start (that is to say, are debits and credits equal).   Pre- and Post-Migration checks aid in confidently checking the quality of your data.  

The following detail reports are also provided:

-Profit & Loss reports for all years
-Balance Sheet reports for all years
-AR and AP reports per conversion date
-Retained Earnings report
Migration Summary report is provided via email to the primary admin on the Online file upon completion. It outlines unmatched accounts and discrepancies with list items.  Detail reports are not available.
TaxesGST is migrated as line level items. This serves as an additional check for your first GST report. Enable taxes post migration and start working in QuickBooks Online until your first tax report is due.Sales tax is fully imported. Prior tax filings are also imported.
AR/APDataswitcher automatically corrects common AR and AP issues.No corrections are provided.
ReconciliationManual bank reconciliation post- migration is required.Automatic reconciliation at the Register level is provided. Prior reconciliation reports are not imported.
Accruals basis recordsDataswitcher currently supports the conversion of all accruals basis records. Cash basis conversions may be added at a later date.Accruals and cash basis conversions are both supported.
PayrollPayroll information is not converted.Only Employee lists are converted.
Report customizationNot carried over to QBOCustomization (for P&L Report only) will be imported

Once you’ve made your decision, use the below links to review more information on how to process the data migration.



Using Intuit's internal tool

Using Dataswitcher

Importing your Data from Excel

Moving data from other software

See the following links below if you're migrating to QuickBooks Online from Sage, Xero or Acomba.



Getting started with Dataswitcher

Dataswitcher is our data migration supplier, available to help make your transition to QuickBooks Online as smooth as possible.

Depending on the amount of data to transfer, the migration process can take up to 72 hours. You can visit our migration wizard to get started.

Note that data cannot be migrated into a QuickBooks Online Company file that has existing data contained within it. If you have an existing QuickBooks Online Company file that you have used in any way, you will need to cancel your subscription and create a new account



Frequently asked questions about Dataswitcher

Is Dataswitcher endorsed by Intuit QuickBooks?

Yes. Although Dataswitcher is not part of Intuit, we work in partnership with Dataswitcher to ensure we’re able to transfer data swiftly and accurately. Intuit recommends using Dataswitcher if you’re transferring to QuickBooks Online from Sage, Xero, Acomba, or QuickBooks Desktop.

How long will it take to import my data?

We aim to complete your conversion within 72 hours of receiving your data file, although it is often much faster than that.

How will my business data be used?

When you send us your business data, we simply convert it to QuickBooks Online format. We don’t review it in detail, share it with anyone outside our business, or use it for anything else. Once you let us know you’re happy with your QuickBooks Online account, your data will be permanently deleted from Dataswitcher servers.

How will my business data be protected?

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.

How does the process work?

  1. Connect to the Dataswitcher wizard (use the wizard to select the correct service).
  2. Follow the instructions on the screen including visiting our comprehensive help article.
  3. Once you complete the conversion, you will receive an email to track the conversion.

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