QuickBooks HelpQuickBooksHelpIntuit

Transferring Xero data to QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 1 month ago

You can move your Xero data over to QuickBooks Online through the power of Dataswitcher, Intuit's partner in data conversion. See below to learn how to convert your data.

Use the links below to navigate to the desired section:

How does the transfer process work?

  1. Review the Pre-Migration checklist section in this document.
  2. Prepare your current Xero file for transfer and ensure your QuickBooks Online file is set up correctly.
  3. Fill out a form to gather your consent for the migration of the Xero data to QuickBooks Online.
  4. Select how many years of Xero data you wish to have transferred, as well as any optional add-ons, such as Inventory, that you may require.
  5. Upload your Xero file via secure server to the Dataswitcher tool for migration to QuickBooks Online.
  6. Start using your new QuickBooks Online company file upon your confirmation of the results.

Note: Keep your pre-transfer back-ups and/or exported reports from Xero for sales tax auditing purposes. It is important that you keep the backups or extracted reports from the source system in a safe location, even after the transfer is complete.

How long will it take to transfer my data?

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

You may reach out to our support team if the transfer has been longer than 72 hours.

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, your data is protected using industry-standard SSL encryption.
  • Your data is governed by Intuit’s Data Stewardship Principles.


What Xero Data will not be transferred?

The following data types cannot be transferred at this time:

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

Transfer limitations

The following limitations of service can occur when you are transferring from Xero to QuickBooks Online using Dataswitcher:

Opening balance for transactions outside transfer period

Transactions outside the transfer period will be consolidated into an automatically-calculated balance for both GL accounts, customers and suppliers. As a part of your free transfer, Dataswitcher will transfer for the last two fiscal years. Transactions from all prior years will be consolidated into an automatically-calculated opening balance unless extra years are purchased.

If the profit and loss and balance sheets don't align, Dataswitcher will add a balance line for retained earnings called undistributed profits.

If you don't want to buy additional years but still want comparative balances, you can divide the Dataswitcher opening balance transaction post-transfer into multiple years.

Sales Tax is transferred as a line item

Dataswitcher applies sales tax from Xero as a line item. This provides a higher-quality transfer that closes financially. However, it's necessary to undertake a post-check step for your first sales tax report. This is a one-time process.

Matching journal entries with related credits

The transfer is unable to match related credits to their respective journal entries. The journal entries will still be posted, but they will remain unlinked. Although this isn't a mandatory step, we advise you to match these entries in Xero prior to the transfer.

Cash basis accounting scheme for Sales Tax

If you use the Cash basis accounting scheme, we advise you to wait to migrate until directly after the close (and reconciliation) of your most-recent sales tax period. This will prevent additional post-transfer work in QuickBooks Online.

If your administration uses Cash basis accounting instead of the Standard (non-cash) accounting scheme for sales tax, you’ll need to manually change your unpaid invoices after the transfer to include the sales tax.

If there are some invoices that remain partly paid at the end of your last sales tax submission (in your source accounting system) you’ll need to ensure that the invoice is split. This can be done manually in QuickBooks Online to reflect the open amount and the respective sales tax rate to be applied.

Also, ensure to follow the pre-transfer checklist before transferring. The reconciliation of the bank is important for Cash basis accounting because this might affect certain sales tax reports.


Dataswitcher supports up to 1,000 items with inventory. Code, inventory code, location, name, and description are posted. Current inventory, purchase, and sales price are also posted. Income and asset account aren't posted to QuickBooks.

Departments and projects

Tracking classes in Xero will become Locations in QuickBooks Online.

Journal Merge

Xero keeps a very detailed journal history for all operations. Because of an overabundance of information on the Customers/Suppliers level, journals will be merged as they relate to Credits, Prepayments, and Overpayments in order to maintain an accurate balance on all accounts. This means that older period reports might not represent the correct balance at that time, even if all the current and outstanding balances are fine.

Pre-migration checklist

The following steps are required prior to uploading your file for transfer:

  • 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. Data cannot be migrated into a QuickBooks Online company file that has existing data contained within it.
  • Reconcile all your bank and/or credit card accounts to the most recent statement possible. After reconciling, make a note of the balances on your bank account. You’ll need this when preparing the post-transfer 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 you wait to migrate until directly after close (and reconciliation) of a sales tax period. Otherwise, you may have a considerable amount of post-transfer work in QuickBooks Online, such as dealing with partially complete invoices.

To file your quarterly Sales Tax return:

  1. Select Reports from the Accounting menu.
  2. Select the Tax Return option.
  3. Select View under Looking to see VAT/GST Transactions for your own date range?
  4. Select the data range. The date range is the start of the quarter until the current date (that is, transfer date).
  5. Select Display.
  6. Export the report to a PDF.

After the transfer, this information will be used to generate 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 transfer:

  • Profit and Loss until transfer date
  • Trial Balance until transfer date
  • Balances on your bank accounts

Print a list of outstanding invoices of your customers and suppliers per transfer date.

Extract the following data for auditing purposes:

  • Sales tax or GST/HST Summary or Detail report
  • Account transactions

Get started with transferring your data to QuickBooks Online

Visit the Dataswitcher migration wizard to get started.

Start using QuickBooks Online

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

You may reach out to our support team if you have questions about any of these tasks.

Post-migration checklist

Although we try to make data conversions as comprehensive as possible, there are still a few tasks you'll need to perform before you start using QuickBooks Online. It's best to complete these as soon as possible before you make any changes to the data or enter new transactions.

Enter your company information and fiscal start month

Company information includes elements such as address, phone, email, and more.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Account and settings.
  2. In the Company tab, enter your company and contact information.
  3. Update or verify the email addresses to ensure billing and customer communications are handled correctly.
  4. Enter the email address in the Company email box where you would like to receive the monthly invoices for your QuickBooks Online subscription.
    Note: If you don't want to use the company email address for your customers to contact you, enter the email address in the Customer-facing email box that you want your customers to associate with your business.
  5. Select Save.

Set the Fiscal Start month:

  1. Select the Advanced tab.
  2. Select the first month of your fiscal year from the First month of fiscal year ▼ dropdown.
  3. Select Save, then select Done.

Check your data by comparing reports

We suggest you compare the following reports in QuickBooks Online and in Xero to ensure that your data was transferred correctly.

To verify your reports, run the following reports via This Year in QuickBooks Online:

  • Balance Sheet
  • Trial Balance
  • A/R Aging Summary
  • A/P Aging Summary
  • Profit and Loss

Turn on Sales Tax

Note: You can skip these steps if your business isn’t registered for sales tax.

It’s important that Sales Tax be turned on in QuickBooks Online with the correct CRA Business number and filing frequency before you start using it:

  1. In QuickBooks Online, go to Taxes and select Sales tax (Take me there).
  2. Follow the prompts to turn on the Sales Tax for your province. Be sure to correctly select your home province as this can't be corrected after the fact.
  3. Enter your CRA Business number as per your province and Filing frequency. Set your Reporting method to Accrual unless your accountant has told you otherwise.

Reconcile your bank and credit card accounts

Note: It is critical that you complete this step before connecting your bank and credit card accounts to online banking.

Since you have not yet performed a bank reconciliation in QuickBooks Online, it assumes that no bank transactions have been reconciled.

You need to tell QuickBooks Online to mark all transactions up to the conversion date as reconciled, so that it only considers future transactions for reconciliation:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Reconcile.
  2. Select a relevant bank account from the Account ▼ dropdown.
  3. Enter an Ending balance and an Ending date.
  4. Enter any other information as required depending upon the bank account you've selected.
  5. Select Start reconciling. A list of transactions displays.
  6. Select the checkbox in the header row to select all transactions in the list.
  7. Uncheck transactions that are not yet cleared. When the difference is zero you have completed these steps successfully.
  8. Select Finish now, then select Done.
  9. Repeat the above steps for all bank and credit card accounts in QuickBooks Online.

Sign in now for personalized help

See articles customized for your product and join our large community of QuickBooks users.

More like this