QuickBooks Company File to QuickBooks Online

Many companies find it essential to migrate their QuickBooks company file from desktop to online. QuickBooks Online allows remote access, automated updates, and seamless communication. It takes careful preparation and execution to transfer data properly and preserve financial records throughout this shift. These detailed instructions will help you migrate your QuickBooks business file to QuickBooks Online.

Migration Process Understanding

Know the differences between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online before migrating. Due to architectural differences, the migration procedure entails moving data from a local file to the cloud.

  1. Check System Requirements and Back Up Your Data

Before embarking on the migration journey from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, ensuring that your system meets the requirements for both applications is imperative. QuickBooks frequently releases updates and patches, and installing the latest versions on your system is vital for a smooth transition.

Start by checking the system requirements for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop. Visit the official QuickBooks website or refer to the product documentation to verify that your hardware, operating system, and other specifications align with the software’s prerequisites. 

Back up your QuickBooks Desktop corporate file simultaneously. As insurance, this backup protects your financial data against transfer issues. From QuickBooks Desktop’s “File” menu, click “Utilities,” then “Backup Company.” 

A solid backup lets you restore your financial information even if data corruption or migration mistakes occur. 

  1. Create a QuickBooks Online Account

The features of this cloud-based accounting tool simplify financial administration and improve user cooperation. Step-by-step instructions for QuickBooks Online setup:

  1. Visit the QuickBooks Online Website: Create an account on QuickBooks Online (https://quickbooks.intuit.com/).
  2. Select a Plan: QuickBooks Online provides options for diverse company requirements. Choose a package that fits your business’s size and complexity. The features, users, and price of plans vary, so select the ideal one for your business.
  3. Click “Sign Up” or “Try It Free” to begin the sign-up procedure. Your company name, industry, and contact information will be requested.
  4. Set Up User Credentials: Create a secure password and unique username for your QuickBooks Online account. The portal will be accessed securely using these credentials.
  5. Provide business information such as legal structure, tax ID number, and address. Your business’s financial records must be accurate to comply with laws and regulations.
  6. Connect Bank Accounts: QuickBooks Online simplifies reconciling transactions and maintaining financial records by connecting bank accounts. Link your bank accounts to QuickBooks Online securely.
  7. Tailor QuickBooks Online to your company by changing the chart of accounts. To appropriately depict your company activities, categorize revenue and costs.
  8. Explore the Dashboard: Browse QuickBooks Online’s interface after creating an account. This will be your financial data hub, so learn the essential features and architecture.

  1. Convert Your QuickBooks Desktop Company File

The pivotal step in transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online involves converting your existing company file. This process ensures a seamless transfer of your financial data from the locally installed QuickBooks Desktop application to the cloud-based QuickBooks Online platform.

Log in as Administrator: Open your QuickBooks Desktop application and log in as an administrator. Only administrators have the necessary permissions to initiate the conversion process.

  1. From the “File” menu, select “Utilities”
  2. Copy Company File for QuickBooks Online.
  3. This will launch the QuickBooks Conversion Utility, the tool designed to facilitate the migration process.
  4. Sign in to QuickBooks Online: Follow on-screen prompts to access your account. Create an account in the previous stage.
  5. Review the Conversion Summary: QuickBooks Online provides a conversion summary outlining the data that will be transferred and any potential issues or limitations. Pay close attention to this summary to understand the scope of the migration.
  6. Initiate the Conversion: Once you’ve reviewed the summary and are satisfied, initiate the conversion process. QuickBooks will begin transferring your company file to the QuickBooks Online platform.
  7. Review the Post-Conversion Summary: After completion, QuickBooks Online will present a post-conversion summary. This summary highlights any discrepancies or issues encountered during the migration. Review this information carefully.

The meticulous review of the conversion summary and addressing any post-conversion issues are crucial for maintaining accurate financial records in the new cloud-based environment. You’ll fine-tune and reconcile data in the subsequent migration phases to ensure a seamless transition.

  1. Review and Fix Data Discrepancies

Once you’ve converted your QuickBooks Desktop company file to QuickBooks Online, the next critical step is reviewing the post-conversion summary to identify and rectify any data discrepancies. 

Here’s a detailed guide on reviewing and fixing data discrepancies:

  1. Access the Post-Conversion Summary: QuickBooks Online generates a summary report after the conversion process, highlighting any issues or discrepancies encountered during the migration. 
  2. Review Transfer Details: Examine the details in the summary, paying close attention to any warnings or notifications. Common discrepancies may include inactive items, unsupported features, or data that requires manual adjustment.
  3. Address Inactive Items: Reactivate any inactive items flagged during the conversion. In QuickBooks Online, navigate to the relevant sections, such as products and services, and reactivate items as needed.
  4. Resolve Unsupported Features: QuickBooks Desktop may have features not fully supported in QuickBooks Online. Identify and address these features by finding equivalent functionalities in QuickBooks Online or devising alternative solutions.
  5. Manually Adjust Data: If necessary, manually adjust data that didn’t transfer accurately. This may involve correcting transaction details, ensuring accurate categorization, and reconciling discrepancies.
  6. Verify Financial Reports: Run financial reports in QuickBooks Online to verify that the data aligns with your expectations. 
  7. Consult Support Resources: If you encounter challenges in resolving data discrepancies, utilize QuickBooks Online’s support resources. The QuickBooks Online Help Center and community forums are valuable for troubleshooting and obtaining guidance.

By diligently reviewing and addressing data discrepancies, you ensure that your financial records in QuickBooks Online accurately reflect your business’s financial health. 

  1. Reconcile Bank and Credit Card Accounts

After data inconsistencies, reconciling bank and credit card accounts is the next critical step in moving to QuickBooks Online. Reconciliation ensures financial records match transactions and balances. QuickBooks Online’s bank and credit card reconciliation instructions are here:

  1.  In QuickBooks Online, navigate to the “Accounting” tab 
  2. Select “Reconcile.”
  3.  Choose the account you want to reconcile.
  4. Verify Beginning Balance: Confirm that the beginning balance in QuickBooks Online matches the statement provided by your bank or credit card issuer.
  5. Enter Ending Balance: Input the ending balance from your bank or credit card statement into QuickBooks Online. You aim to reconcile this balance by matching it with the transactions recorded in the system.
  6. Address Discrepancies: If transactions in QuickBooks Online don’t appear on your statement or vice versa, investigate and address the discrepancies. This may involve identifying missing transactions or correcting errors in the data.
  7. Complete Reconciliation: Complete the reconciliation process once you’ve matched all transactions and the difference is zero. QuickBooks Online will prompt you to review and save the reconciliation report.
  8. Review Reconciliation Reports: After reconciliation, review the reconciliation reports generated by QuickBooks Online. 

Regular reconciliation is a best practice that helps prevent errors, identifies discrepancies, and provides a clear picture of your cash flow. This step is integral to maintaining financial accuracy and integrity in the cloud-based accounting system.

  1. Adding Additional Features in QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online may have features and settings that differ from the desktop version. This may include setting up users, permissions, and preferences.

  1. Train Your Team on QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online has a different interface and workflow than the desktop version, so familiarizing your team with the new platform is essential.

  1. Monitor and Troubleshoot

After migrating to QuickBooks Online, closely monitor your financial data to ensure accuracy. Periodically review reports and reconcile accounts to catch any discrepancies early.


Migrating your QuickBooks company file to QuickBooks Online simplifies financial management and increases flexibility. You may effectively move to QuickBooks Online and use its cloud-based features for your company by following this tutorial and resolving any concerns.