Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online Valerie (@vheckman) from Intuit took over this chat for @CathyIconis. Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online brings up a lot of questions, advice, and thoughts so we expanded the chat from our usual five questions to eight.

Q1: Have you moved a file from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online recently? What was the main reason?

Many chatters recently moved a file from QBDT to QBO for a variety of reasons:

@qbclay: sanity

@accountingpeace: Yes – client wanted to be unchained from Desktop computer.

@langekatie: So we can be more collaborative!

@BizBooksCloud: Clients usually come to me wanting to move to QBO, but sometimes I recommend it after they tell me their needs

@getclockshark: Because us time trackers can integrate through API instead of the Web Connector for smoother integration

Q2: For accounting pros, what’s the first step to convert a QBDT client to QBO to ensure best pricing and firm access?

Here are some suggestions on the first step to convert to ensure best pricing and firm access:

  • Add client in QBOA. Enter info, choose subscription level, get best pricing available & decide who at firm has access.
  • Set up the company under wholesale billing
  • After adding the client to your list, go to QBDT.
    • You’ll want to clean up the clients books and check on a few things we’ll chat about next.
  • Be an expert and know what converts and what doesn’t and review their file for potential problems with conversion!
  • QBOA! Start there, you’ll always get best pricing, proper access, and avoid the lovely ProAdvisor CARE hotline hold music

Q3: What are the file-related requirements for a desktop file to import?

Thanks @vheckman, @jazfun, and @vrcqbpro for these tips:

  • Must have less than or equal to 350,000 targets. Check using F2 on keyboard with the file open in QBDT.
  • You also need to import within 60 days of creating the QBO file.
  • US, UK, or Canadian versions of QuickBooks can be converted. QB Pro, Premiere, QB Mac and Enterprise can all convert
  • Run Update: Help> Check for Updates and Utilities> Verify Data before convert
  • If clients are worried about legacy info, I keep QBDT alive in a #DONOTUSE file – read only then import balances and start clean
  • Clean up lists to make sure we are only importing what we need.

Q4: For those who prepare these files often, what’s your best clean up advice?

Anyone else like to put off cleaning up files? If you’re one of those people, here’s some advice:

@BizBooksCloud: Clean up lists before importing!

@AAGJsn: Resort, Rebuild, Verify

@BizBooksCloud: If inventory is used, only import if item number is small, and make sure inventory is clean before importing

@Kimtuitive: I had a firm last week do a period copy to avoid bringing in 10 years of QBDT data she didn’t want junking up the QBO file!

Q5: What updates have there recently been to what converts?

@BizBooksCloud, @jazfun, @QBOchat, @Redmond_Laura, and @AAGJsn mentioned these updates:

  • For most who want to use inventory in QBO, I recommend starting over, but I hear improvements to inventory import are coming
  • 1-change the name to dnu #2-make the close period as of the date of transition 3-password protect
  • The biggest updates have been to convert inventory, multicurrency, recurring transactions and Payroll.
  • If over 350K targets, conversion tool now pushes beginning balances
  • Inventory conversion was greatly improved with August 2015 release
  • QBO uses FIFO instead of average cost. When converting inventory, asks if you’d like to turn on & choose a start date.
  • If you have multiple currencies, you’ll be asked to choose your home currency.
  • In most cases, Payroll entirely converts. Here’s a video showing the updated process
  • Happy to hear about the #qbo #multicurrency feature!
  • Usually if the payroll data does not convert (since update), there is an issue with a pay item or rate.
  • New Adv Cert coming out soon – Mod 1 on complex conversions
  • As mentioned, Memorized/ Recurring Transactions now convert to Recurring Transactions in QBO, located under the Gear
  • So happy not having to reenter the memorized transactions #efficiency

Q6: When I am ready, where do I go in QBDT to covert?

Are you ready to convert to QBO? Here are some suggestions about where to go in QBDT to get started:

  • Company menu – not the File menu
  • In Windows Pro or Premier, Company> Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.
  • In Enterprise, it’s HIDDEN. Press F2, then Press Ctrl + b followed by Ctrl + q and then OK to close the window

Q7: What should I do after converting?

Here’s what @QBOchat, @qbclay, @Redmond_Laura, @BizBooksCloud, and @jazfun recommended:

  • Compare P&L and Balance Sheet on Accrual basis, *All Dates* in both QBDT and QBO
  • Compare financial reports between QBD & QBO
  • May also want to verify A/R and A/P, Sales Tax, Inventory Valuation…
  • Perform easy initial reconciliation
  • Yes, this list is long, but first make sure the financials are right
  • Set up users and permissions, review company settings, create sales form templates…
  • Set up or link existing merchant account, connect bank accounts, reconcile accounts
  • Configure templates
  • Create custom reports
  • Review all company settings, address, phone, connect QBP, connect apps, set up invoices
  • Set closing date password, customize reports, Connect Apps!
  • Set up payroll, if applicable. Remember, for most this will be a verification with no YTD entry anymore!
  • Make sure you reconnect any apps that they had configured to QBDT
  • Review processes while converting & make suggestions for apps that will save time & help with getting client comfortable with

Q8: For the App pros in the chat, what advice do you have for clients using an app on desktop already who move to QBO?

Some advice from @Redmond_Laura, @QBOchat, @AeroWorkflow, @vrcqbpro, and @expensify:

  • Be prepared, you may need to create a new account for the app, most can’t move from QBDT to QBO
  • Like payroll, timing can be important. Some apps require you to set up new account.
  • Be careful – ask about possible data duplication
  • New account – It’s the path of least resistance. Plus keeps out all the garbage you left behind in the QBD file.
  • Great apps have desktop versions & work in real-rime with one another.
  • Syncing is so much easier! Don’t have to open QBD program or company file to sync!
  • @MichelleLongCPA recently did a #QBPowerHour with FAQs on this topic. #QBOchat-er @mb_bossman joined!

Tips shared throughout the chat:

  • Don’t want payroll automatically on in QBO? Edit> Pref> Employees & Payroll> have “No Payroll” selected. (from @qbclay)
  • Best practice is to convert using a 2015 or 2016 version of QBDT
  • Can condense data, if needed. Archive original first then File> Utilities> Condense Data (QB 2012 & up)
  • Conversion guides and info can be found here
  • For a complete list of how info converts click here
  • If using merchant account, beware of any recurring charges set up in desktop. Turn them off and re-establish in QBO.
  • If you have advanced inventory needs and want to use an app, you may not want to convert inventory.
  • If you show overdue invoices but $0 balances, you may have unapplied payments from desktop to apply.
  • You may want to consider timing of payroll before conversion. Last thing anyone wants is delay in paying employees!
  • Click here for the accountants guide to moving online
  • Accountants who convert a client added using QBOA get an emailed import summary to view in excel.
    • This Import Summary can help when troubleshooting any variances/ issues.
    • If you view the import summary, please leave us feedback in Gear> Feedback using hashtag #ImportSummary
  • Conversion guides and info can be found here if you need Mac or Enterprise steps

Thank you to @vheckman for leading our chat! Sign-up for the #QBOchat newsletter for the most up-to-date news on #QuickBooks and more.

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Andrea Mestdagh

Andrea Mestdagh is an award-winning communications and marketing professional.

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