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Move your QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online

Learn how to import your QuickBooks Desktop company file to QuickBooks Online.

No need to start over again—just convert your desktop file to a QuickBooks Online company. Watch our video tutorial or follow the steps below to get it done:

Moving from QuickBooks for Mac instead? Learn how to move your QuickBooks for Mac file to QuickBooks Online.

Step 1: Get your desktop file ready

Note:
  • You can only move a company file within 60 days after signing up to QuickBooks Online.
  • Move your lists instead of your company file if you already set up payroll in QuickBooks Online.
  • Some of your lists and reports won't be converted because of feature differences.
  1. Make sure QuickBooks is up-to-date.
  2. Check if your company file isn’t too big to export.

Step 2: Import your desktop file to QuickBooks Online

Note: You need to use a trial version to convert your file if you’re using a version older than 2018.

QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier

  1. Sign in as an admin to the company file you need to import.
  2. Go to the Company menu, then select Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
  3. Select Start your export.
  4. Sign in as an admin to your QuickBooks Online company.
  5. If you track inventory in QuickBooks Desktop:
    Note: Only QuickBooks Online Plus and Advanced can track inventory. Both plans use the FIFO method.
  6. Select the Choose online company▼ dropdown, and choose the QuickBooks Online company you want to be replaced by your company file.
  7. Select Continue.
  8. Enter “Agree” in the text field, then select Replace.
  9. Select Yes, go ahead and replace the data, then select Replace.


QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

Do you use Enterprise's advanced features?

If you use advanced features (such as advanced reporting and advanced inventory), we recommend starting fresh because some of your data won't be converted.

If you want to keep using these features in Enterprise, learn about cloud-enabled QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. Or switch to QuickBooks Online Advanced instead, which has powerful tools like smart reporting and accelerated invoicing.

Deep dive into QuickBooks Online Advanced features using our test company.

  1. Sign in as an admin to the company file you want to import.
  2. On your keyboard, press Ctrl + 1 to open the Product Information window.
  3. Press Ctrl + B + Q, then select OK.
  4. On the export window, select Start your export.
  5. Sign in as an admin to your QuickBooks Online company.
  6. If you track inventory in QuickBooks Desktop:
  7. Select the Choose online company▼ dropdown, then select the QuickBooks Online company you want to be replaced by your company file.
  8. Select Continue.
  9. Enter “Agree” in the text field, then select Replace.
  10. Select Yes, go ahead and replace the data, then select Replace.

Did you get an error? Check out how you can fix them so you can get back to moving to QuickBooks Online.

Step 3: Make sure your books match

You can run one of your financial reports to check if your import is successful.

  1. Run a report, such as profit and loss, on accrual basis in QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Run the same report on accrual basis in QuickBooks Online.

If your reports match, you can get started with QuickBooks Online. If your reports don’t match:

  1. You can check this guide again to know what happened to your data when you moved from QuickBooks Desktop to Online.
  2. If your reports still have issues, contact us. We can help you reach out to our Data Services team to fix report discrepancies.

What's next?

With your company all set up, let's get you started with QuickBooks Online.

For more resources, check out our Getting Started guide.

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