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Move your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll info to QuickBooks Online Payroll (payroll only)

by Intuit Updated 4 months ago

Learn how to import only your payroll info from QuickBooks Desktop Payroll to QuickBooks Online Payroll.

You can take advantage of the benefits of QuickBooks Online Payroll Core, Premium, or Elite, but still use your QuickBooks Desktop file for accounting if you need. And you don’t have to start over. 

Buy a QuickBooks Online Payroll (payroll only) subscription. Then move your payroll info from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online Payroll. 

Here’s how.

Step 1: Buy a QuickBooks Online Payroll subscription

You’ll need to purchase a QuickBooks Online Payroll Core, Premium, or Elite subscription without accounting (payroll only). 

Step 2: Get your QuickBooks Desktop file ready

Make sure your QuickBooks Desktop is up-to-date. 

  1. In QuickBooks, press F2 (or CTRL+1) to open the Product Information window.
  2. Check your current version and release. You’ll have greater success if you have the following QuickBooks versions and releases or higher: 2021 R16, 2022 R13, 2023 R9, 2024 R4.
  3. Update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest release if needed. 
  4. Make sure to terminate or deactivate any employees that are no longer working for you and haven't been paid in the current year.
  5. Make sure to wait 2-3 days after you've run payroll to move your data. This will insure all your paycheck info transfers over to QuickBooks Online. Then make sure to move your data before your next payroll.

Step 3: Move your QuickBooks Desktop Payroll file to QuickBooks Online Payroll

  1. Sign in as an admin to the company file you need to import.
  2. Go to Company, then select Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
  3. Select Get Started to export your data.
  4. Select export all your company data, then Continue. Since your QuickBooks Online Payroll file doesn't have accounting turned on, none of your accounting info will export.
  5. Sign in as an admin to your QuickBooks Online account. 
  6. Choose the QuickBooks Online company you want to move your payroll info to. If you have multiple companies, select the one you want from the list.
  7. Select Continue
  8. Select Export
  9. Once the export completes, sign in to your QuickBooks Online Payroll. 
  10. Check out this guide to finish your set up and run your payroll in QuickBooks Online. 
QuickBooks Online Payroll CoreQuickBooks Online Payroll EliteQuickBooks Online Payroll PremiumQuickBooks Payroll AssistedQuickBooks Payroll Enhanced

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