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Quick Conversion Reference - Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online




Are you thinking about converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online? Wondering if this is right for your business? 


More than anything, we want folks to find the right accounting software that fulfils their specific needs. The QuickBooks Guide to Converting QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online is a full-service hand-book for anyone converting from QuickBooks Desktop (Pro or Premier) to QuickBooks Online. If you're still deciding and just need a quick reference, download our Quick Conversion Reference (attached to this article) and use this lean version of the guide to help you decide if converting is right for you (or your client).


The Quick Conversion Reference briefly outlines the features and benefits available for the QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop product lines. Identify which tasks and features you need for your business from the left-hand column and see whether it can be done in either Online or Desktop on the right.

Converting From QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online - Quick Conversion Reference (Version 8.18).png



> Want a bigger overview? Start with the “Setting up for Success with QuickBooks Online” series


> Want to jump right in? Check out our “How to Use Basic Features and Functions in QuickBooks Online” series



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Last update:
‎August 14, 2018 09:20 AM
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Yes this can be a good thing for all the benefits above. Beware of stock if you have it. Make sure you do a full stocktake before hand and that your records in Qb match then copy and save a back up. Make sure you have back ups of everything.


If you do the upgrade- your data will have to be sent off for a week if you are lucky before you can use the online version fully. We went from a old desktop to this and it took a month before their developers were able to convert the data successfully, with many painful calls chasing the slowness of it etc. Problem is that the developers are in India and work different time zone to UK and talking if issues/questions etc.  We then has a months worth of invoicing from the desktop to add into the online system plus a months worth of purchase and other transactions to enter. Best to schedule in to quiet time. 


Also if you use Rep facility and rely on it to run commissions which we did. ITS NOT IN ONLINE version! major issue for us. We have to use a thing called CLASS and manually enter the rep initials for every product sold on every invoice for every customer, having a master paper file of reps. You CANNOT set a rep for the customer as before.

All I am trying to do is keep track of my employee time on a cell phone.

Can this program update on line do this?

The above materials said I needed a third party application.

If this update to QB on line will not allow me to enter time on my cell phone, I don't need it.

Please advise.

Terrell Arline

When exporting to QuickBooks Online, step 2 in the process asks you to confirm that you want to replace all of your company QBO data with your QuickBooks Desktop Data? And then it asks if you want to proceed with overwritting the data in this company. What I want to know is if there's current year data in QBO and i'm trying to export 2019 data from QuickBooks Desktop to QBO will that overwrite or replace the 2020 data already there?

I am switching from QB Desktop 2019 to QB Online. I understand the process of converting a file through the Company heading, but I was wondering if there was a way to pick and choose the data I want to convert from the file. Is there a third party app, a selection process??

Thank you for connecting with the QuickBooks Community, kimberlyOC. There is a possibility you can remove transactions by using the Condense Utility Tool before converting your file to Online. Just so you are aware, there are limitations when using this, such as payments recorded to Undeposited Funds will not be removed, and reports can be affected. For more information about this, I recommend reviewing this article about what happens to your data when condensing your files. Also, please note once doing this, it is not reversible. Please let me know if you have any concerns. My team and I are here to help you in whatever way we can. Take care!

I am trying to change from QB accountant desktop to QB on line, and I keep getting an error message after starting conversion.  When I read through the instructions I keep seeing (Pro or Premier).  So how can I change to QB online from QB Accountant desktop?

Hello Karen4640,

Thank you for reaching out to the QuickBooks Community. Could you share the error you are receiving so I can look into this further? 

Although the instructions may say Pro or Premier, the steps are the same with desktop software except for Mac. In the meantime, I am providing this video presentation which goes step by step to assist you in converting to QuickBooks Online.


Please let me know the error message by commenting below. I will be here looking forward to your response. Take care!

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