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What to expect when you switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

Find out what data doesn't convert when you migrate from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

When you switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, there are some things you should know. You may notice transactions are missing, or reports are different and don't match. We'll explain what converts to QuickBooks Online and what you can expect.

Check out the guide to switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online for more.

How your books convert from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

  • Assemblies will convert as Bundles for sales transactions in the Products and Services list.
  • All components of assemblies convert for purchase transactions.
  • Each item of the assembly appears on a detail line when you view the transactions.
  • Zero amount lines are at the start and end of where the group item was. You can see which items were part of the group.
  • The top line shows the group name. The bottom line shows the group description.
  • Group total will show on the last line of the invoice in the Description field.

Attachments from QuickBooks Desktop won’t convert to QuickBooks Online.

  • The audit trail in QuickBooks Desktop won’t convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • QuickBooks Online has its own Audit log. It has the details of every transaction and the users who open your books.
  • The "Bill received" preference doesn't convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • A bill discount in QuickBooks Desktop converts to a Supplier credit in QuickBooks Online.
  • The address on bill payment checks is replaced by the Supplier address on your Supplier list.
  • Only Profit and Loss budget types convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • Budgets are only available in QuickBooks Online Plus.
  • Bank account numbers and notes won’t convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • QuickBooks Online has an additional level of account type called Detail type.
  • A Detail type will be assigned to accounts like Undeposited Funds.
    A generic detail type will be assigned automatically. You can change this if you like after you convert.

The closing dates in QuickBooks Desktop will convert, but the password will not.

  • Credit card charges in QuickBooks Desktop convert to Expenses in QuickBooks Online.
  • Bill payments made by credit card convert to bill payments in QuickBooks Online.

Custom fields from QuickBooks Desktop don't convert to QuickBooks Online.

  • Your jobs convert to sub-customers.
  • The entire Ship To Address will be placed in the main address field, leaving the City, State/Province, Postcode, and Country blank.

Things that will convert to QuickBooks Online

  • Customer
  • Company Name
  • Mr./Ms.
  • First Name
  • M.I.
  • Last Name
  • Phone
  • FAX
  • 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)

Things that won't convert to QuickBooks Online

  • Inactive status (this status remains as long as there are no unbilled charges imported)
  • 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 Information
  • Discounts for early payments convert as credit notes and are applied to a customer's outstanding balance.
  • Discounts taken from suppliers for early payment of bills convert as supplier credits and are applied to a supplier's outstanding balance.

Documents and attachments don't convert to QuickBooks Online.

  • Your estimates in QuickBooks Desktop will convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • Active estimates are marked as "Closed".
  • Inactive estimates are marked as "Rejected".
  • Estimates used for progress invoicing won’t link to the invoices you created in Desktop.
  • Your existing finance charge invoices convert 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.
  • If there’s no balance tied to a name, it will convert as inactive (deleted).
  • Inactive accounts, customers, or suppliers convert. If they have an open balance, they become active. You need QuickBooks Online Plus to convert inactive names.

Item receipts convert to Bills.

  • Stock is only available in QuickBooks Online Plus . First-in-First-out (FIFO) is the accrual method.
  • When you import stock to QuickBooks Online, it will ask you to choose a date. It uses the date to recalculate your stock based on First-In, First-Out calculations.
  • Stock Assemblies are only available in QuickBooks Desktop. These are called Bundles in QuickBooks Online. A bundle is a collection of products and services you sell together. You use them if you don't need to transfer and track the finished products before they're sold.
  • QuickBooks Online doesn't support units of measure for stock items.

Some invoice features in QuickBooks Desktop aren't available in QuickBooks Online. This is how your invoice data will convert.

  • Logos will convert
  • PO No will convert to Custom Field 1
  • Sales Rep will convert to a Custom Field
  • Subtotals don’t convert but are included in the Description field.
  • Progress Invoices (invoices based on estimates) and their extra fields are don’t convert.
  • Other and Other Customer custom fields.
  • Billable statuses don't convert. You can't make a journal entry billable in QuickBooks Online.
  • You may see some transactions like checks and invoices convert as journal entries. This only happens if there's a complication with recreating the original transaction.
  • Your logos will convert.
  • Custom sales templates will not convert.
  • Your memorised reports in QuickBooks Desktop won’t convert.
  • QuickBooks Online does allow you to memorise reports. However, you’ll need to recreate the reports and memorise them again.

Your memorised transactions in QuickBooks Desktop won't convert.

  • Transactions with 3 different currency types won’t convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • Multicurrency preferences will import to QuickBooks Online.
  • Multicurrency is only available in QuickBooks Online Essentials and Plus .
  • Checks marked "To Be Sent" will convert from QuickBooks Desktop. Their online bill payment status is not.
  • You can set up an online bill payment to pay bills electronically through QuickBooks Online.
  • Other names in QuickBooks Desktop convert as suppliers.
  • QuickBooks Online doesn't have the Other names list.
  • Usernames and passwords from QuickBooks Desktop don’t convert.
  • QuickBooks Online requires each user to have a password.

Some payroll info doesn’t transfer because QuickBooks Desktop has more payroll features. This is how your payroll data will convert.

  • Payroll payments will transfer as regular checks. Once you set up your payroll in QuickBooks Online, you can create payroll payments.
  • QuickBooks Online imports the current year's payroll payment information as lump sums. If it doesn’t come over, you’ll need to enter past year-to-date payroll info for each employee.
  • Employee addresses transfer but may require fixing.
  • Date of birth converts
  • Gender converts
  • National Insurance Number converts
  • Direct deposit account numbers convert
  • Bank names will convert
  • Routing numbers convert
  • Transactions and payroll accounts convert. The details behind the transactions don’t convert. For example, the payroll item breakdown and employee year-to-date numbers.
  • Liability refunds, adjustment transactions, and opening balance transactions that affect accounts convert to journal entries.

See what to do after you convert to QuickBooks Online for more info.

Pending transactions from your QuickBooks Desktop won’t convert to QuickBooks Online.

  • Price levels won’t convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • QuickBooks Online doesn't have a way for you to automatically adjust prices of items.
  1. QuickBooks Online doesn't print mailing labels.
  2. You can create a report of the customer, supplier, or employee addresses.
  3. You can export to Excel and use the data to print mailing labels.
  • Closed purchase orders won’t be linked to their corresponding bill.
  • Purchase orders are only available in QuickBooks Online Plus .
  • Closed purchase orders won’t be linked to their corresponding bill.
  • Purchase orders are only available in QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced.

VAT codes won't convert for all transactions. Some taxes will convert as journal entries or import only the list and balances.

Value added tax (VAT)

  • Your shortcut list and icon bar settings from QuickBooks Desktop won’t convert to QuickBooks Online.
  • QuickBooks Online has its own keystroke shortcuts. In any window, hold Ctrl+Alt+? to see the shortcut menu.

The Target limits for each region are:

  • For the US: 350,000
  • For Canada: 350,000
  • For the UK and South Africa (ZA): 500,000

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