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How to fix errors when converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

Learn how to fix errors when you convert from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.

We’ve made the conversion process convenient, but there are some errors that you may see during or after conversion. Here’s a list of common errors with resolutions.

No errors, but still can't export your company file? Check out these quick troubleshooting steps.

This happens when QuickBooks Online detects that you activated payroll features like Direct Deposit Enrollment.

How do I fix this error?

You can see this error if your payroll is off in QuickBooks Desktop while it’s on in QuickBooks Online. Or if there’s no payroll info. To turn on the payroll in Desktop:

  1. From the Edit menu, select Preferences, then Payroll & Employees.
  2. In Company Preferences, select Full Payroll or Online Payroll.

You won't be charged for payroll in QuickBooks Desktop for changing this preference.


For users who activated or imported payroll

Copy your data to a new Online account. If you have special discounts for your Payroll Service, contact us to avoid removing them.

Important: starting a new QuickBooks Online account and copying your data isn't convenient. Only consider this as a last resort.

For QuickBooks Desktop users who don’t want to create a new account without E-services

Note: Set up Manual Payroll to complete these steps. If you don't want to replace your existing payroll info, create a new Online account.
  1. From the Edit menu, select Preferences, then Payroll & Employees.
  2. Select Company Preferences, then Full Payroll.
  3. Create a test Employee then pay it with a payroll payment. You can delete these after import.
  4. Retry importing to QuickBooks Online.

In QuickBooks Desktop, press F2  on your keyboard to open the Product Information Window. Then check the file size. The file can only have a maximum of 500,000 targets to import.

How do I fix this?

Send your company file to our Data Migration team.

This error is happening because of one of the following:

  • You're not a primary admin, company admin, or accountant user in the QuickBooks Online company.
  • There's an issue with QuickBooks Online Payroll account services.
  • You didn’t sign in to your Online account before you imported data.
  • You didn’t complete the setup interview question in QuickBooks Online.
  • You imported beyond the 60-day timeframe of the subscription start date.

How do I fix this?

  • Have a company admin perform the export or ask the primary admin to grant you admin permissions.
  • Sign in to your Online company and complete the setup interview questions before you import. Important: you don't need to complete any payroll setup interview questions before importing.

Sometimes, re-saving the company address can correct the issue:

  1. Sign in to QuickBooks Online.
  2. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Company Settings.
  3. On the Company tab, Edit ✎ the Address section.
  4. Select Save, then Done.
  5. Import again in QuickBooks Desktop.

If you still receive the error, the easiest way to fix this is to create a new Online account. Make sure to cancel your old subscription first. Important: starting a new QuickBooks Online account and copying your data isn’t convenient. Only consider this as a last resort.

The error  happens during export if your company file is in multi-user mode. It may also happen if your company file resides on a network drive, or location other than you’re local or c: drive.

Step 1: Switch to single-user mode

  1. From the file menu, select Switch to Single-user mode.
  2. The select OK.

If you see Switch to multi-user mode, you’re already in single-user mode so proceed to Step 2. 

Step 2: Copy your company file locally 

  1. In QuickBooks, locate your company data file.
  2. If your file is located on a network, or removable media like a flash drive, close QuickBooks Desktop, 
  3. In Windows file explorer, copy the company file to your local or c:\ drive.
  4. Open your company file in QuickBooks Desktop from the new location.

Step 3: Export again

From the Company menu, select Export Your Company File to QuickBooks Online.

Internet connection problems or browser issues may cause this error.

How do I fix this?

Wait for a few minutes or restart your computer, then retry the process. If that doesn't work, add Intuit as a trusted site.

This error occurs when you try to sign in on the company to export to.

How do I fix this?

  1. Add Intuit as a trusted site in your Internet Explorer.
  2. Close and reopen QuickBooks, then try the export again.

How do I fix this?

How do I fix this?

If you tried to import stock from QuickBooks Desktop 2017 or later, you’ll get an email with this subject: Learn more about this import limitation.

There’s the possibility that the product payment didn’t go through. Here’s how to check:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the toolbar.
  2. Select Accounts & Settings, then Billing & Subscription.

QuickBooks Online must show a green subscribed status for the migration to work properly. If you purchased payroll before the migration attempt, it must also show the same.

These are the common post-conversion issues:

  • Customer balances are off in QuickBooks Online.
  • Invoices or sales transactions converted to journal entries after importing.

How do I fix this?

Customer balances are off in QuickBooks Online

If you used journal entries to apply payments to invoices, the links between journal entry credits and invoices break once imported. As a result, customer balances may be off. To resolve, turn on auto-credits in QuickBooks Online:

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then select Company Settings.
  2. Select the Advanced tab, then Edit✎ the Automation section.
  3. Select the Automatically apply credits checkbox.
  4. Select Save, then Done.

Don’t want to automatically apply all payments? You can record the payments by matching the journal entry credits to existing invoices. Do this on a customer by customer basis.

Invoices or sales transactions converted to journal entries after importing to QuickBooks Online.

  • Happens if you have flat rates (0.00) for Sales Tax items or groups in your Desktop file.
  • Often occurs in Mac files because you can save a sales tax item without a % symbol.
  • To keep your sales transactions from importing as journal entries, edit the sales tax item rates category.
  • If you have multiple items with flat sales tax rates in them, edit all the item rates to import all your transactions properly.

Need more help?

If you’re still having issues, contact us.

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