How to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online in 5 Steps

Are you tired of dealing with the limitations and outdated features of QuickBooks Desktop? You’re not alone. Many business owners and entrepreneurs face similar challenges when trying to manage their finances effectively. That’s why learning how to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online is crucial for staying on top of your financial game. In this blog post, we’ll not only acknowledge the issues you’ve been facing but also provide you with a foolproof solution to make your life easier.

We promise to guide you through a comprehensive 5-step process that will effortlessly Convert QuickBooks Desktop to the online version. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of the conversion process and the benefits it offers. Don’t let the pain of managing finances on an outdated platform hold you back any longer. Let’s dive in and explore the world of QuickBooks Online.

Understanding QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online

Features of QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop has been a reliable accounting solution for many businesses over the years. It offers essential features like invoicing, expense tracking, and reporting. Additionally, it provides inventory management, job costing, and payroll processing capabilities. However, with the rise of cloud-based solutions, it’s becoming increasingly important to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to a more accessible and efficient platform.

Features of QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software that allows you to access your financial data from anywhere, anytime. It offers similar features as the Desktop version but with added benefits. For example, you can automate tasks like invoicing, accept online payments, and collaborate with multiple users in real time. Furthermore, it comes with a mobile app, making it even more convenient for business owners on the go.

Key Differences Between the Two Versions

While both versions share similar functionalities, some key differences make QuickBooks Online a more attractive option. First, it’s cloud-based, which means you can access your data from any device with an internet connection. Second, it offers seamless integration with third-party apps, allowing for a more customized experience. Lastly, it provides real-time data syncing, ensuring that your financial information is always up-to-date.

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Preparing to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online

Ensuring Data Compatibility

Before you Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online, you need to make sure that your data is compatible. Check if your Desktop version is up-to-date and verify that your company file is not too large for the online version. Keep in mind that some features, like job costing and inventory management, might not be available in the online version or may require additional setup.

Cleaning Up Company Files

To ensure a smooth conversion, it’s essential to clean up your company files beforehand. Review your chart of accounts, customers, vendors, and items lists for any inconsistencies or duplicates. Also, consider removing any outdated or unused data. This will not only help reduce the file size but also improve the overall performance of your new QuickBooks Online account.

Creating a Backup Before Conversion

Finally, before you Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online, make sure to create a backup of your company file. This way, you’ll have a secure copy of your data in case any issues arise during the conversion process. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to managing your business’s financial information.

Step-by-step Guide to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online

Step 1: Sign up for QuickBooks Online

The first step to Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online is signing up for a QuickBooks Online account. Visit the QuickBooks Online website and choose a suitable subscription plan based on your business needs. After selecting a plan, create an account by providing the required information and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the sign-up process.

Step 2: Export your QuickBooks Desktop data

Next, you’ll need to export your QuickBooks Desktop data. Open your QuickBooks Desktop software and go to the “Company” menu. Select “Export Company File to QuickBooks Online” and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll be prompted to sign in to your QuickBooks Online account to complete the export process.

Step 3: Import your data to QuickBooks Online

Once your data is exported, it’s time to import it into QuickBooks Online. Log in to your QuickBooks Online account and navigate to the “Settings” menu. Select “Import Data,” and then choose “QuickBooks Desktop.” Follow the on-screen prompts to upload your exported file and complete the import process.

Step 4: Verify your data in QuickBooks Online

After importing your data, it’s essential to verify that everything has been transferred correctly. Compare your QuickBooks Online financial reports with your Desktop reports to ensure consistency. Additionally, review your customers, vendors, and chart of accounts to confirm that all information is accurate.

Step 5: Cancel your QuickBooks Desktop subscription

Finally, once you’ve successfully converted your data and are satisfied with your new QuickBooks Online account, it’s time to cancel your QuickBooks Desktop subscription. Contact QuickBooks support to guide you through the cancellation process and ensure that you don’t encounter any unexpected fees or penalties.

Tips and Best Practices for a Seamless Conversion

converting quickbooks desktop to online
Tips and Best Practices for a Seamless Conversion

Ensuring a Smooth Data Transfer

To guarantee a smooth data transfer, make sure your QuickBooks Desktop software is up-to-date and that your company file meets the size requirements for QuickBooks Online. Additionally, clean up your company files and create a backup before starting the conversion process.

Troubleshooting Common Conversion Issues

While the conversion process is generally straightforward, you might encounter some issues. If you face any problems during the conversion, consult the QuickBooks support resources for guidance. They offer comprehensive articles and videos to help troubleshoot common issues related to converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online.

Post-conversion Tips for QuickBooks Online Success

Once you’ve successfully converted to QuickBooks Online, take some time to familiarize yourself with the new interface and features. Attend QuickBooks Online training sessions or webinars to learn how to make the most of your new software. Furthermore, explore third-party app integrations to enhance your accounting experience and improve efficiency.

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In conclusion, converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online can greatly enhance your accounting experience by providing increased accessibility, flexibility, and integration options. By understanding the differences between the two versions, preparing your data, following the step-by-step conversion guide, and applying best practices, you can make the transition with ease. Embrace the power of cloud-based accounting and unlock the full potential of your business with QuickBooks Online.


Can I convert from QuickBooks Online back to QuickBooks Desktop?

Yes, you can revert to QuickBooks Desktop from QuickBooks Online. However, it’s essential to consider the limitations and feature differences between the two versions before making the switch.

How long does it take to Convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

The conversion process duration may vary depending on the size of your company file and the speed of your internet connection. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

Will I lose any data during the conversion process?

If you follow the proper steps and ensure data compatibility, you should not lose any data during the conversion process. However, it’s crucial to create a backup of your QuickBooks Desktop data before starting the conversion as a precaution.

Can I continue using QuickBooks Desktop after converting to QuickBooks Online?

Yes, you can continue using QuickBooks Desktop even after converting to QuickBooks Online. However, keep in mind that any changes made in one version will not automatically sync to the other.

Are all QuickBooks Desktop features available in QuickBooks Online?

While many features in QuickBooks Desktop are also available in QuickBooks Online, some differences exist. It’s essential to review the features and limitations of QuickBooks Online to ensure it meets your business needs before converting.

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

  1. Update QuickBooks Desktop: Make sure you have the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop installed. To check for updates, go to ‘Help’ > ‘Update QuickBooks Desktop’, and install any available updates.
  2. Check Company File Size: QuickBooks Online has a file size limit of 350,000 targets. To check your file size, go to ‘File’ > ‘Utilities’ > ‘Condense Data’. If your file exceeds this limit, you’ll need to reduce it by removing unnecessary data or condensing the file.
  3. Repair Data Issues: Run the ‘Verify Data’ and ‘Rebuild Data’ utilities in QuickBooks Desktop to identify and fix any data issues that may be causing errors during the conversion process. These utilities can be accessed under ‘File’ > ‘Utilities’.
  4. Check for Unsupported Features: Some features in QuickBooks Desktop are not supported in QuickBooks Online. Make a list of unsupported features and determine how you will handle them in the online version. You may need to find alternative solutions or adjust your workflow.
  5. Contact Support: If you continue to experience errors during the conversion process, contact QuickBooks support for further assistance.

What is the process to convert QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

Follow these steps to convert your QuickBooks Desktop file to QuickBooks Online:

  1. Update QuickBooks Desktop to the latest version.
  2. Create a QuickBooks Online account if you haven’t already.
  3. In QuickBooks Desktop, go to ‘Company’ > ‘Export Company File to QuickBooks Online’.
  4. Sign in to your QuickBooks Online account when prompted.
  5. Choose the appropriate QuickBooks Online Company or create a new one.
  6. Select ‘Start your export’ and wait for the process to complete.
  7. You will receive an email once the conversion is complete. Sign in to your QuickBooks Online account and review your data to ensure everything has been imported correctly.

How do I enable online services in QuickBooks Desktop?

To enable online services in QuickBooks Desktop, follow these steps:

  1. Go to ‘Edit’ > ‘Preferences’.
  2. Select ‘Integrated Applications’ from the left panel.
  3. Click the ‘Company Preference tab.
  4. Ensure that the ‘Don’t allow any applications to access this company file’ option is unchecked.
  5. Click ‘OK’ to save the settings.

Is QuickBooks Desktop compatible with QuickBooks Online?

QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are two separate products with distinct features and interfaces. While they are designed to cater to different user needs and preferences, they can be compatible in terms of data transfer. You can convert your QuickBooks Desktop data to QuickBooks Online, and in some cases, you can also export data from QuickBooks Online back to QuickBooks Desktop. However, keep in mind that not all features are supported in both versions, and you may need to adjust your workflow accordingly.

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