Learn how to convert your Sage 50 account to QuickBooks Online.
Do you want to move your accounting data from Sage 50 over to QuickBooks Online? Use the Dataswitcher conversion wizard to move your data automatically. Switching accounting software is a big step for any business. We’ve partnered with Dataswitcher who specialize in accounting software conversions to make this process easier to move from Sage 50 to QuickBooks Online. The conversion supports accrual-basis accounting method only. We’ll cover everything you need to know and do for this process here.
- How the conversion process works and what will be migrated
- How long it takes to convert your Sage 50 data
- How we protect your business data
- Sage 50 data that will not be converted
- Limitations of the Sage 50 conversion service
- Step 1: Pre-conversion checklist for Sage 50 (Mandatory)
- Step 2: Pre-conversion checklist for QuickBooks Online (Mandatory)
- Step 3: Get started converting your data to QuickBooks Online
- Step 4: Post-conversion checklist for QuickBooks Online (Mandatory)
- Step 5: Start using QuickBooks Online
How the conversion process works and what will be migrated
It’s important to recognize in advance that converting data from one accounting system to another is never without risk of data error.
We recommend reviewing the instructions in advance so you can determine if you will need the assistance of a QuickBooks ProAdvisor accountant or a QuickBooks Solution Provider data conversion consultant.
We also recommend that you take a moment to plan the ideal time for your conversion so that you have the capacity to properly prepare and review your data.
What will be migrated and fees
Dataswitcher will convert up to 2 fiscal years of the following data from Sage 50 to QuickBooks Online at no charge:
- Opening balances
- Customers and vendors
- Chart of accounts
- Invoices and credits
- Journal entries
- Transactional history
- Matched payments
In addition to the above, Dataswitcher will convert the following data for an additional fee:
- Up to 3 years of fiscal data
- Inventory items
- Jobs & Departments (known as Classes & Locations in QuickBooks)
- Company information (address, email, phone number etc)
Fees will be quoted in the Dataswitcher conversion wizard prior to you submitting your Sage 50 file.
Product version requirements
- Sage 50: You must be using the US edition of Sage 50cloud (formerly Peachtree) 2009 - 2012 or Sage 50 Accounting 2013 - 2017.
- QuickBooks Online: You must have a paid subscription of QuickBooks Online (US). If you don’t already have one then you can purchase a subscription from our website or if you’re on a free trial you can upgrade your subscription.
- You must use the accrual-basis accounting method from the beginning. Cash-basis is not supported.
- If your book in Sage 50 used cash-basis originally, switching the account method from cash-basis to accrual-basis will not work. Dataswitcher only recognizes what you originally used.
User permission levels
Converting Sage 50 data into QuickBooks Online will require the involvement of one or more users with the following user permission levels:
- Sage 50: Have Full Access permission
- QuickBooks Online: Have Admin permission
We recommend that the person managing the conversion is either a qualified accountant or someone with access to an accountant throughout the conversion process. If you do not have any accounting expertise then we recommend connecting with one of our QuickBooks ProAdvisors before you begin.
The conversion steps
This is a summary of the conversion process; each step is described in more detail later in this article.
- Understand the Sage 50 data that will not be converted.
- Understand the limitations of the Sage 50 conversion.
- Review the Sage 50 Pre-conversion Checklist and complete all mandatory tasks to prepare your Sage 50 data file.
- Review the QuickBooks Online Pre-conversion Checklist and complete all mandatory tasks to ensure QuickBooks Online is ready to receive your Sage 50 data file.
- Fill out the online form to access the Dataswitcher conversion wizard and provide your consent for Dataswitcher to view and use your data for the conversion.
- Select how many years of Sage 50 data you would like to be converted as well as any optional add-ons, such as Inventory, that you may require.
- Upload your Sage 50 file into the Dataswitcher conversion wizard via secure connection. This sends your file to Dataswitcher who will convert your data into your QuickBooks Online account.
- You have 72 hours from receipt of the email to review the post-conversion checklist for QuickBooks Online. Complete all mandatory tasks and report any issues to the QuickBooks Online support team.
- If there are no issues, or your issues have been resolved then you are free to begin using QuickBooks Online.
How long it takes to convert your Sage 50 data to QuickBooks Online
Processing times vary depending on the size and format of your Sage 50 file. On average it takes up to 72 hours from the time your data is uploaded into the Dataswitcher conversion wizard. Please note that this does not include any time required by yourself to prepare and review your data before or after the conversion.
If your data file has not been converted after 72 hours then please contact the QuickBooks Online support team for more information.
How we protect your business data
Your business data is protected in the following ways:
- As long as you upload your data into the designated Dataswitcher conversion wizard, we will protect your data using industry standard SSL encryption.
- Your data is governed by Intuit’s Data Stewardship Principles
Sage 50 data that will not be converted
The following data types cannot be converted:
- Memorized transactions
- Invoice template and other templates
- Jobs that are not attached to transactions
- Non-posting entries (estimates)
- Closed or partially closed estimates and purchase orders
- Deleted transactions
- Reversed journal entries
- Bank reconciliation history
- Fixed Assets
- Sales orders (unsupported in QuickBooks Online)
- Work tickets (unsupported in QuickBooks Online)
Year End Transactions
At year end in Sage 50, the Profit & Loss accounts are cleared by transferring the funds into a specific nominal code. The transactions that are posted into this nominal code are ignored by Dataswitcher because QuickBooks Online would otherwise duplicate your company results.
We cannot convert the following payroll data in Sage 50:
- Employee Year to Date pay information
- Employee Payroll setup information (sick pay, vacation, direct deposit, pay rates, tax setup including withholdings and deductions)
Limitations of the Sage 50 conversion service
There are some known limitations when converting Sage 50 files to QuickBooks Online.
For transactions that were converted from Sage 50, your QuickBooks Online audit trail will not display this detail. For this reason you should retain a copy of your Sage 50 backup file for auditing purposes. See the pre-conversion checklist for Sage 50.
Cash basis files
Dataswitcher currently does not support Sage 50 to QuickBooks Online conversions for companies using the cash basis accounting method.
QuickBooks Online does not support refunding a cash payment from a vendor. If your Sage 50 data file contains this type of transaction then they will be converted as regular journals with no link back to the customer or vendor.
Chart of Accounts
- Account number character limit: QuickBooks Online does not support account numbers with 8 or more characters. If one or more of your Sage 50 Account IDs in your Chart of Accounts has 8 or more characters then the conversion will fail.
- Linked Account IDs: Having lots of linked Account IDs in your Sage 50 Chart of Accounts can cause the conversion to fail.
- Multiple Accounts Receivable (AR) & Accounts Payable (AP) accounts: It is possible to have multiple AR & AP accounts in Sage 50 whereas QuickBooks Online uses single AR & AP accounts. If you’re using multiple AR & AP accounts in Sage 50 then these will be merged in QuickBooks Online during the conversion.
- Renaming Account IDs: You may rename normal balance sheet accounts but renaming the system accounts (Retained Earnings, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable etc) through the transaction history can cause issues such as suspense accounts showing up as Customers or Vendors in QuickBooks Online.
QuickBooks Online does not support refunding a check payment from a vendor. If your Sage 50 data file contains this type of transaction then they will be converted as regular journals with no link back to the customer or vendor.
Jobs in Sage 50 will become Classes in QuickBooks Online. Converting Jobs is an additional cost.
Departments in Sage 50 will become Locations in QuickBooks Online. In QuickBooks Online it is only possible to allocate one Department/Location per transaction. If you have transactions in Sage 50 that use different Departments per line item then upon conversion QuickBooks Online will apply one of those Departments across all line items. In these scenarios, Dataswitcher will always use the Department allocated against line item 1.
Foreign currency transactions will be converted into your QuickBooks Online home currency using the historical exchange rate in Sage 50.
In addition, converting Sage 50 files where multi currency has been activated can result in split beginning balances for each currency. Currency revaluations for invoices will not be posted as purchases and sales. When you select matching payments, QuickBooks Online will automatically correct these revaluations for you.
The Dataswitcher conversion wizard supports Sage 50 files with up to 1,000 inventory items. If you have more than this then you can import or create them manually in QuickBooks Online once your conversion is complete.
Dataswitcher will convert the following data related to inventory items:
- Quantity on hand
- Sales price/rate
Income and asset accounts are not posted to QuickBooks Online. However, if required we can work with Dataswitcher to provide you with a file so that you can manually import inventory into QuickBooks Online.
Journal entries - Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable
If you have manual journal entries in the AR and/or AP accounts in Sage 50 then these transactions will be displayed in suspense customer and/or vendor accounts in QuickBooks Online after conversion.
Journal entries - Inventory
In some instances, Dataswitcher must merge inventory journal entries into a single entry. When it does this, the posting date used will be the first day of the reporting period. While this means the date of these journal entries will be different it does ensure the balance for the reporting period is accurate.
Journal entries - Reversals
Reversed journal entries will not be converted from Sage 50 to QuickBooks Online.
The Dataswitcher conversion wizard will only convert two fiscal years of Sage 50 data by default. You can add more for a fee. If you decide not to purchase additional fiscal years then any transactions from the remaining years on file will be consolidated into an automatically calculated opening balance.
Open equity account
In Sage 50, you can set up an opening balance for an account. In some cases, (especially when the file is relatively new or if you have never closed a period) Dataswitcher cannot reconstruct the account used for creating that opening balance (retained earnings is a common example). Instead, Dataswitcher will create the opening balance transaction and will send the net result to the open equity account in QuickBooks Online.
- Sales tax values: Sales tax is converted as a line item. This increases the accuracy of your conversion but does require a one time check as outlined in our post-conversion steps for QuickBooks Online.
- Sales tax accounts: Sage 50 uses multiple tax accounts whereas QuickBooks Online only uses one. During the conversion process Dataswitcher will merge these tax accounts into the single account used by QuickBooks Online.
- Customer sales tax defaults: Sales Tax items are converted to QuickBooks Online but we are unable to convert any default sales tax codes assigned to customers in Sage 50.
Transactions posted to Sage 50 after your data file is submitted
Dataswitcher can only convert transactions that are included in the Sage 50 file that you send to them Dataswitcher conversion wizard. After submitting your Sage 50 file, you shouldn’t enter any new transactions in Sage 50 as they will not be converted.
Transactions posted to QuickBooks after your data file is submitted
Transactions posted to QuickBooks Online after your data file has been submitted into the Dataswitcher conversion wizard will likely be deleted and can even cause the conversion to fail therefore you should not use QuickBooks Online until you’re notified by email that your conversion is complete and available for review.
Paycheck transactions will be converted as journal entries.
Step 1: Pre-conversion checklist tasks in Sage 50 (mandatory)
Prior to sending your Sage 50 file to Dataswitcher for conversion there are some tasks that you must complete and others that are optional. Optional tasks don’t apply to everyone but we recommend that you review them anyway just in case they do apply to you.
Complete your current tax period prior to conversion (Optional)
We do not recommend converting your Sage 50 file midway through a tax period. You should plan your conversion for the end of your current period or a future period. At the end of the tax period, you should file your taxes based on data in your Sage 50 file then you can start a fresh period in QuickBooks Online.
Check the integrity of your Sage 50 file (Mandatory)
Converting poor quality data will cause issues later in QuickBooks Online. To reduce the risk of this happening you must check the integrity of your Sage 50 file. You can do this in Sage 50 by following the steps below:
- In the main menu, select Help.
- Select Support Utilities.
- Select Integrity Check.
If Sage 50 shows any inconsistencies then these must be resolved before you begin conversion.
Review account number ranges (Mandatory)
Sage 50 uses ranges for it’s account numbers (called Account IDs in Sage 50). Make sure all account numbers are in the range of your chart of accounts. If they are not, then Dataswitcher will be unable to determine which account type (e.g., Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet) the account number belongs to when converting your file to QuickBooks Online.
You should make sure that the account number used to clear your Profit & Loss accounts at year end has not been changed from it’s default. If you don’t, QuickBooks Online will duplicate those entries when converted which will put your accounts out of balance.
Clean up account numbers (Optional)
It’s a good idea to clean up any account numbers (called Account IDs in Sage 50) that are unlikely to be needed in future. In particular, make sure you review any transactions in your suspense account (which is used when there’s no obvious account for the transaction) and make sure you classify these to the correct account.
Match outstanding payments and sales (Optional)
You should match any outstanding payments and credit memos on accounts to their respective invoices. If you do not match these then they will be brought over as journal entries that will need to be matched post conversion. It’s also possible that your converted historical AR & AP in QuickBooks Online will be incorrect (although the balances will be correct) as some entries may show in the wrong column.
Aged AR & AP (Mandatory)
Run your Aged AR & Aged AP reports and check that these match the balances in the General Ledger as of the conversion date. If they don’t, then you should address any discrepancies and if necessary run a file integrity check in Sage 50.
Reconcile your bank accounts (Mandatory)
You must fully reconcile your bank accounts in Sage 50. Otherwise, it will be difficult to check if the conversion has been successful.
Reconcile your tax accounts (Mandatory)
You must fully reconcile your tax accounts in Sage 50. Otherwise, it will be difficult to check if the conversion has been successful.
Run reports that will be used for checks after conversion (Mandatory)
After your conversion is done, you will be responsible for checking the results. To do so, you will need to run and download a copy of the following reports in Sage 50 before your conversion:
- Balance sheet report up to the conversion date
- Bank Account balances up to conversion date
- Aged receivables up to conversion date
- Aged payables up to conversion date
- Trial Balance up to conversion date
- Income statement
- Taxable / Exempt Sales (if you collect sales tax)
When extracting the trial balance, t disable the show foreign currencies option in the report, otherwise Dataswitcher will convert everything in your home currency.
Make a backup of your Sage 50 file (Mandatory)
We recommend creating a backup of your Sage 50 file.
If you have yet to clean up your Sage 50 file, then we recommend you name this backup file PRE_CONVERSION.PTB. If you have already cleaned up your Sage 50 file then we recommend using the file name PRE_CONVERSION.001 instead. We’ll refer to either of these file names if you need to contact QuickBooks Online support.
Please contact Sage support if you do not know how to create a backup of your Sage 50 file.
For auditing purposes, you should also make sure that you make a copy of the following and store them in a secure location:
- Sales tax report
- Purchase tax report
- Account transactions
Clean up and repair your Sage 50 database (Optional)
If you choose to do this, please make sure you have completed the previous step (Make a backup of your Sage 50 file). Like all locally stored data files, Sage 50 files can become corrupted over time. If you suspect your file is corrupt then you will need to clean it up before sending it to Dataswitcher.
Rebuild your Sage 50 data file (Optional)
If you’re having issues with password authentication in Sage 50 then you should rebuild the data file. Please contact Sage support if you are not familiar with how to rebuild your data file.
Once the rebuild is complete you need to compress data and compress all data files.
Create another backup and call it DS_CONVERSION.001 (this is the file that will have your latest changes and is cleaned up) as we will refer to this file name if you contact QuickBooks Online support.
Step 2: Pre-conversion checklist tasks in QuickBooks Online(mandatory)
Before you submit your Sage 50 file to Dataswitcher, there are some tasks that you must complete in QuickBook Online and others that are optional. Optional tasks don’t apply to everyone, but we recommend that you review them anyway.
Delete your QuickBooks Online data (Mandatory)
It's important that there are no existing transactions in your QuickBooks Online file once you begin the conversion process. If you do have data in your company, you will need to delete your QuickBooks Online data before you submit your Sage 50 file to Dataswitcher.
Sales Tax (Mandatory)
Sales Tax should not have been enabled in QuickBooks Online prior to your conversion. If it has been enabled then you will need to delete your QuickBooks Online data.
Bank & Credit card accounts (Mandatory)
When you first log in to QuickBooks Online, it may ask you to connect your bank and credit card accounts. Please do not do this until you’re instructed to do so in the post-conversion checklist.
Multiple currencies (Optional)
If you’re using multiple currencies in Sage 50, then you should also turn on multi currency in QuickBooks Online. If you plan to delete your QuickBooks Online data then be sure to turn on multi currency after you’ve deleted your data as this process will reset your settings.
Departments & Projects (Optional)
If you’re using departments and projects in Sage 50, then you should enable the tracking of classes & locations in QuickBooks Online. If you plan to delete your QuickBooks Online data then be sure to turn on multi currency after you’ve deleted your data as this process will reset your settings.
Step 3: Get started converting your Sage 50 data to QuickBooks Online
Once you have completed all mandatory pre-conversion checklist tasks for Sage 50 and pre-conversion checklist tasks for QuickBooks Online, you will have a file named DS_CONVERSION.001 (not PRE_CONVERSION.001). This is the file you will send to Dataswitcher.
To send your file to Dataswitcher, you must complete the online form on our website. This will direct you to the Dataswitcher conversion wizard.
The Dataswitcher conversion wizard will take you through the following steps:
Step 1: What you need to know
The first screen of the Dataswitcher conversion wizard will ask you to:
- Review the pre-conversion checklist.
- Reset your QuickBooks Online account.
- Not use QuickBooks Online until the conversion is complete.
When you’re ready, select Let’s do it.
Step 2: Contact details
You must provide the following information:
- Company name.
- Email address of the person at your company responsible for the conversion.
Select next or sign in with your Intuit ID.
Step 3: What would you like to move?
Select the Pro plan and select Continue.
Step 4: Review your selection
Dataswitcher presents the data that will be converted by default and some optional extras. If you would like to add some optional extras to your conversion then select as appropriate.
Select Confirm to continue.
Step 5: Prepare your data
Checkmark the check boxes to confirm that you have completed all mandatory pre-conversion tasks including:
- Reconciled all accounts in Sage 50.
- Completed tax reporting in Sage 50.
- Extracted all open invoices and credits from Sage 50.
- Extracted all required reports from Sage 50 as described in the pre-conversion steps.
- Verified that you are using the accrual accounting method.
- QuickBooks Online has been reset.
- Read and understood the limitations of the Sage 50 conversion process.
Once all checkmark boxes are checked, you can upload your Sage 50 file by selecting Browse on the computer, selecting your Sage 50 file then selecting open.
Select Confirm to upload your file.
Step 6: Data file checks
Dataswitcher will immediately begin checking your QuickBooks Online account settings to ensure it’s ready to receive your converted data. This usually takes a few minutes so please standby and do not close your browser.
Once this is done select Start to send your Sage 50 file to Dataswitcher.
Step 7: We are moving your data
Dataswitcher confirms that they have begun the process of converting your data and will provide you with a URL which you can enter into your browser at any time to view the status of your conversion.
You will also receive an email confirming receipt of your Sage 50 data file. It will provide a link back to the Dataswitcher conversion wizard so you can view the status of your conversion at any time.
Note: During this time, do not use QuickBooks Online. Doing so could interrupt the conversion process.
Step 4: Post-conversion checklist tasks in QuickBooks Online (mandatory)
Before you start using QuickBook Online, you must review and approve your conversion. Reviewing your file involves some mandatory and optional tasks that we’ve provided below. Optional tasks don’t apply to everyone but we recommend that you review them anyway just in case they do apply to you.
Review and approve your conversion (Mandatory)
Once your data has been converted, you will receive an email with the subject header “Your conversion is ready to review” from Dataswitcher.
You have 72 hours from the date and time of receipt to review and approve your conversion. After 72 hours approval is assumed by Dataswitcher. To review your file, select Review conversion, which will take you into the Dataswitcher conversion wizard (see below).
Log into QuickBooks Online. Then, using the steps in the remainder of this article, proceed to review your conversion. Once you’re happy with your conversion please:
- Return to the Dataswitcher conversion wizard via the email with the subject line “Your conversion is ready to review”.
- Select Review conversion.
- Select the check box to acknowledge that you have completed the checklist and approve the migration.
- You have now approved the conversion and may use QuickBooks Online.
Do not connect your bank or credit card accounts (Mandatory)
Before connecting your bank or credit card accounts, mark up your transactions in QuickBooks Online as reconciled to reflect the bank reconciliation you did in Sage 50 pre-conversion. Do not connect your back or credit card accounts yet, this is covered later.
Enter or review your company information (Mandatory)
During the process of uploading your file into Dataswitcher you had the option to have Dataswitcher do convert your company information (address, phone, email etc) for you. If you selected this then you simply need to review it for accuracy. Otherwise you must now enter it.
To enter your company information:
- Go to Settings ⚙ and then select Account and Settings.
- Select Company, then enter your company and contact information.
- Update or verify the email addresses so billing communications and customer communications are handled correctly.
- Enter the email address in Company email where you would like to receive the monthly invoices from Intuit 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.
- Select Save.
Set Fiscal Start Month (Mandatory)
- Select Advanced.
- In Accounting, select the first month of your fiscal year.
- Select Save, then Done.
Check your data by comparing reports in Sage 50 and QuickBooks Online (Mandatory)
Run the following reports by "This Fiscal Year or This Year" in QuickBooks Online and compare them with the reports you exported earlier from Sage 50. Note: Sage 50 reports on periods while QuickBooks Online reports on specific dates. When checking your conversion in QuickBooks Online, use the dates provided by Sage 50 for the end of periods.
|QuickBooks Online report
|Sage 50 report to compare it with
|Accounts Receivable Aging Summary
|Accounts Payable Aging Summary
|Profit and Loss
If the data does not match and you’re unable to identify and fix the issue, contact QuickBooks Online support team
Sales Tax (Optional)
If you collect sales tax, turn on sales tax in QuickBooks Online and review the sales tax balances in QuickBooks Online for accuracy. Remember the limitations of the Sage 50 conversion service as it relates to Sales Tax.
To review your sales tax balances, you need to open the Sales Tax Liability Report in QuickBooks Online and compare it to the Taxable / Exempt Sales report in Sage 50.
If the data does not match and you’re unable to identify and fix the issue, contact QuickBooks Online support team.
Mark up transactions as reconciled (Mandatory)
Important: It is critical that you complete this step before connecting your bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks Online.
In the pre-conversion checklist for Sage 50, we asked you to reconcile your transactions in Sage 50 prior to sending your data to Dataswitcher. Your QuickBooks Online file has no knowledge of that reconciliation. To fix this, you must mark all transactions up to the conversion date as reconciled so that it only considers future transactions for reconciliation.
To do this, begin the bank reconciliation process in QuickBooks Online, then do the following when prompted:
- Next to Deposit (USD), select blank check.
- Select Yes, select all.
- Next to Save for later, select the dropdown and select Finish Now.
QuickBooks Online now knows all transactions that were converted from Sage 50 are reconciled.
Match unmatched entries (Mandatory)
As mentioned in the limitations of the Sage 50 conversion service section, if you have manual journal entries in the AR and/or AP accounts in Sage 50, then these transactions will be displayed in suspense customer and/or vendor accounts in QuickBooks Online after conversion. You should link these journal entries to their respective invoices and bills. If you do not do this, then your trial balance will be affected. To do this:
- Open a vendor.
- If the open amount does not equal the overdue amount, go to step 3, otherwise go to the next vendor.
- Select New check.
- Select Add all.
- Quickbooks will automatically make a payment linking the journal entries and the bills (amount paid should be 0.00).
- Select Save and close.
Step 5: Start using QuickBooks Online
Once you’ve reviewed and completed the post-conversion checklist and approved your conversion, you may begin using QuickBooks Online.
If you or your team have never used QuickBooks Online before then you should check out the following content intended to help you get to know your new accounting software.