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Find out how your books will move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 1 month ago

When you switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, you may notice differences in how your books appear. Don’t worry, we’ll help you understand how your books were moved.

Check out all the benefits you get when you move to QuickBooks Online. If you're an accountant, learn how to set up your clients for success with their move to QuickBooks Online.

For details on how to make the switch, check out Move your QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online.

You can use the special QuickBooks Online desktop app to access the view you’re used to from QuickBooks Desktop. You'll also have keyboard shortcuts, bookmarks, and the ability to flip between tabs and windows.

How your books move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

Checkout the different parts of a company file and how they move to QuickBooks Online.

  • Terminology - A list of common terms used in QuickBooks and how they differ between Desktop and Online.
  • Features - Learn how Payroll, Budgets, Stock, Online Banking, QuickBooks Payments, Sales Tax, Attached Documents, Multi-currency, and Mileage move to QuickBooks Online.
  • Items - Learn how different item types move to QuickBooks Online.
  • Lists - Learn how the Customer, Supplier, Chart of Accounts, Terms, and other lists move to QuickBooks Online.
  • Preferences - Learn how each QuickBooks Desktop preference setting moves to Online.
  • Reports - Learn how Reconcile, Memorised, Audit Trail, and Favourite reports move to QuickBooks Online.
  • Transactions - Learn how the different types of transactions move to QuickBooks Onine.

QuickBooks Desktop uses different terms than QuickBooks Online for menu options, features, lists, items, transaction types, reports, and other labels.

Here's a list of the terminology differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online:

QuickBooks Desktop TermQuickBooks Online Term
Documents /
Doc Center
Payment RemindersReminders / Automatic invoice reminders
Income TrackerAll Sales
Bill TrackerSuppliers window
Upload & Review BillsReceipts
Stock PartsStock
Non-stock PartsNon-stock
AssembliesBundles (Products & services)
GroupsBundles (Products & services)
Other ChargesNot available in QuickBooks Online
DiscountsNot available in QuickBooks Online
PaymentsNot available in QuickBooks Online
ItemsProducts and services
Memorised transactionsRecurring transactions
LeadsNot available in QuickBooks Online
Price LevelsNot available in QuickBooks Online
Billing Rate LevelsNot available in QuickBooks Online
Other NamesNot available in QuickBooks Online
SuppliersSuppliers (for all Suppliers)
Fixed Asset ItemsAsset Account
Sales Reps
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Not available in QuickBooks Online
Supplier Types
(Customer & Vendor Profile Lists)
Not available in QuickBooks Online
Job Types
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Not available in QuickBooks Online
Customer Messages
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Not available in QuickBooks Online
Ship Via
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Not available in QuickBooks Online
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Manage vehicles
TemplatesCustom Form Styles
Add/Edit Multiple List EntriesNot available in QuickBooks Online
ClassesClasses (and Locations)
Chart of AccountsChart of Accounts
Customer Types
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Customer Types
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Payment Methods
(Customer & Supplier Profile Lists)
Payment Methods
Memorised reportsCustom reports
Scheduled reportsCustom reports
Commented reportsNot available in QuickBooks Online
Custom reportsCustom reports (QuickBooks Online Advanced)
Company SnapshotBusiness Snapshot

Job & Item Estimates vs Actuals
Not available in QuickBooks Online
Supplier Credits
Credit Card ChargesExpenses
Credit Card Credits
Item ReceiptsExpenses
Sales OrdersNot available in QuickBooks Online
Credit NotesCredit Notes
Refund Receipts
Delayed Credits
Batch InvoicesBatch transactions (QuickBooks Online Advanced)
Receipt ManagementReceipts
Adjust Quantity/Value on HandStock Quantity Adjustment
Make General Journal EntriesJournal Entries
Make DepositsBank Deposits
Transfer FundsTransfer
Enter Statement ChargesNot available in QuickBooks Online
Receive PaymentsReceive Payments
Sales ReceiptsSales Receipts
Purchase OrdersPurchase Orders
Pay BillsPay Bills
Undeposited FundsUndeposited Funds
Payments to deposit
Use Register
(For Banks/Accounts)
View Register
Edit > PreferencesSettings (gear) > Account and settings
Settings (gear) > Payroll settings
My CompanySettings (gear) > Account and settings
Weekly TimesheetTime Entries (If you have the Time tab)
Weekly Timesheet (if you don't have the Time tab)
Time / Enter Single ActivityTime Entries (If you have the Time tab)
Single Time Activity (if you don't have the Time tab)
CalendarNot available in QuickBooks Online
Set Up UsersManage Users
To Do ListTasks (QuickBooks Online Advanced)
RemindersNot available in QuickBooks Online
LettersNot available in QuickBooks Online
Customer GroupsNot available in QuickBooks Online
Moves to QuickBooks OnlineDoesn't Move to QuickBooks Online
• Budgets are only available in QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced.
• Only Profit and Loss budget types will copy to QuickBooks Online.
• Stock is only available in QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced.
• QuickBooks Online recalculates your stock based on First-In, First-Out method.
• QuickBooks Online doesn't support units of measure for stock items.
• Multi-currency is only available in QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced.
• Transactions with 3 different currency types won't copy to QuickBooks Online.
Mileage Tracking
• You'll need to manually add previous mileage into QuickBooks Online. Learn how to track mileage in QuickBooks Online.
Moves to QuickBooks OnlineDoesn't move to QuickBooks Online
Payroll Items
Moves to QuickBooks OnlineDoesn't move to QuickBooks Online
Chart of Accounts
• For security reasons, bank account numbers and notes won't move to QuickBooks Online.
• QuickBooks Online has an additional level of account type called Detail type. QuickBooks Online will move your accounts and assign them detail types. You can change this later if you like.
Customers and Jobs

Note: Jobs move to QuickBooks Online as sub-customer of. If you track job costing in Desktop, you'll need to change sub-customers to Projects.

• Your jobs move to sub-customers.
• Customer Name
• Company Name
• Mr./Ms.
• First Name
• Middle initial (M.I.)
• Last Name
• Phone
• Alt Ph.
• E-Mail
• Terms
• Bill to Address (except Note)
• Ship to Address (except Note)
• Tax code/item
• Preferred Payment Method
• Note (up to 4000 characters)
Customers and Jobs
• Inactive status (this status remains as long as there are no unbilled charges moved)
• Contact
• Alt. Contact
• Customer Type
• Rep
• Price Level
• Custom Fields
• Account
• Credit Limit
• Job Status
• Start Date
• Projected End
• End Date
• Job Description
• Job Type
• Credit Card Info
Scheduled Transactions
• Recurring Transactions in QuickBooks Online
• QuickBooks Online Plus, Advanced, Essentials, and Simple Start support recurring transactions.
Scheduled Transactions
• QuickBooks Online Simple Start doesn't support recurring transaction templates. To avoid errors, you'll have to delete all scheduled transactions and templates in QuickBooks Desktop before you import to Simple Start.
To Do
• In QuickBooks Desktop, a job can't have its own terms. It gets the terms from its parent.
• In QuickBooks Online, the equivalent to a job (a sub-customer) can have terms. You can edit the terms later to make them different from those of the parent.
• Supplier Name
• Company Name
• Mr./Ms.
• First Name
• M.I.
• Last Name
• Phone
• E-Mail
• Terms
• Print on Cheque as
• Address
• Account Tax
• Contact
• Alt. Contact
• Note
• Status
• Supplier Type
• Credit Limit
• Custom Fields
• Alt. Contact
• Alt Ph.
• 1099 ID
Moves to QuickBooks OnlineDoesn't move to QuickBooks Online
Shortcut List
• Your shortcut list and icon bar settings from QuickBooks Desktop won't move to QuickBooks Online.
• QuickBooks Online has its own keystroke shortcuts. In any window, press Ctrl+Alt+? (or Ctrl+Option+? on Mac) to see the shortcut menu.
Users and Permissions
• Existing users don't automatically have access to QuickBooks Online. They need to be invited from QuickBooks Online to gain access.

QuickBooks Online doesn't have the same reports as QuickBooks Desktop.

Accrual basis reports in QuickBooks Online will match your reports in QuickBooks Desktop. Cash basis reports may not match.

Moves to QuickBooks OnlineDoesn't move to QuickBooks Online
Audit Trail
Memorised Reports
  • All reconciled transactions in the register will have an R in the cleared column in QuickBooks Online.
  • Cleared transactions will have a C in the cleared column in Quickbooks Online.
Moves to QuickBooks OnlineDoesn't move to QuickBooks Online
Bills, Bill Payments, and Bill Credits
• The Bill received preference doesn't move to QuickBooks Online.
• A bill discount in QuickBooks Desktop moves to a Supplier credit in QuickBooks Online.
• The address on bill payment checks is replaced by the Supplier address on your Supplier list.
• Bill payments made by credit card move to bill payments in QuickBooks Online.
Credit Card Charges
• Credit card charges in QuickBooks Desktop convert to Expenses in QuickBooks Online.
Finance Charges
• Your finance charge invoices move to invoices in QuickBooks Online.
• You can run an open invoice report to see which customers are overdue. Manually add finance charges to appear on the customer's next invoice.
• Logos will move.
• The PO No field will move to Custom Field 1.
• Sales Rep will move to a Custom Field.
• Subtotals don't move but are included in the Description field.
• Progress Invoices (invoices based on estimates) and their extra fields don't move.
• Other and Other Customer custom fields don't move.
Item Receipts
• Item receipts convert to Bills.
Item Receipts
• The switch removes the link between bills and Purchase Orders.
• Open POs won't reflect items received.
• The PO will need to be linked to the Bill to reflect items received.
Journal Entries
• You may see some transactions like cheques and invoices move as journal entries.
Journal Entries
• Billable statuses don't move. You can't make a journal entry billable in QuickBooks Online.
Pending Sales
• Your past reconciliation reports don't move to QuickBooks Online.
Reimbursable Expenses
• QuickBooks Online has billable expenses which are similar to reimbursable expenses in QuickBooks Desktop.
• In QuickBooks Online, you specify the markup percentage when you create the purchase instead of the invoice.
QuickBooks Desktop ProQuickBooks Online EssentialsQuickBooks Online Payroll AdvancedQuickBooks Online Payroll StandardQuickBooks Online PlusQuickBooks Online Simple Start

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