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Transferring Xero data to QuickBooks Online

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Online6Updated 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.

  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 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.

Contact the QuickBooks Online 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 the last 2 fiscal years. The 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 do not align, Dataswitcher will add a balance line for retained earnings called undistributed profits.

If you do not 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 is 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 is not a mandatory step, we advise you to match these entries in Xero prior to the transfer.

Cash basis accounting scheme for taxes

If you use the Cash basis accounting scheme, we advise you wait to migrate until directly after the close (and reconciliation) of your most-recent 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 taxes, you’ll need to manually change your open invoices after the transfer to include taxes.

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 tax reports.


Dataswitcher supports up to 1,000 items with stock. Code, stock code, location, name and description are posted. Current stock, purchase, and sales price are also posted. Income and asset account are not 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.

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 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. 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. The date range is the start of the quarter until the current date (i.e., 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 report
  • Account Transactions

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.

Contact the QuickBooks Online support team if you have questions about any of these tasks.

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.

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

  1. Select the Gear icon, then select Account and Settings.
  2. On the Company tab, enter your company and contact information.
  3. Update or verify the email addresses to ensure billing communications 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. If you do not 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 on the left-side menu.
  2. Select the first month of your fiscal year from the First month of fiscal year drop-down menu.
  3. Select Save in that section, then select Done at the bottom-right.

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 Fiscal Year or This Year in QuickBooks Online:

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

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, select Sales Tax from the left-side menu.
  2. Follow the prompts to turn on the Sales Tax for your province. Be sure to correctly select your home province as this cannot be corrected after the fact.
  3. Enter your CRA Business number and Filing frequency. Set your Accounting method to Accrual unless your accountant has told you otherwise.

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, QuickBooks Online 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. Select the Gear icon, then select Reconcile.
  2. Choose the relevant bank account from the drop-down menu, then select Reconcile Now. A Start Reconciling window displays.
  3. Enter your last reconciliation date in the Statement ending date field and enter the Cleared Balance as it was on your last reconciliation in the Ending Balance field. Leave the rest of the form blank.
  4. Select OK. A list of transactions displays.
  5. Select the top checkmark boxes to select all transactions in the list. If the data is in two columns, make sure you’ve selected all transactions in both columns.
  6. Uncheck transactions that are not yet cleared. When the difference is zero you have completed these steps successfully.
  7. Select Finish Now.
  8. Repeat the process for all bank and credit card accounts in QuickBooks Online.

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