Skip to content

What is QuickBooks Data Migration Services & How to do Migration

QuickBooks Data Migration

QuickBooks Data Migration may become necessary in specific instances for several purposes. However, it is a technical procedure affected by various external interference. Moreover, there’s considerable confusion about how data migrates from one place to another, why to do so, and more. This guide has been created with the purpose of clarifying what QuickBooks Data migration is and how users can accomplish it without risking their accounting data.

QuickBooks is a well-known accounting application that facilitates quick, efficient, and effective digital accounting. Users can use various QuickBooks versions, like Pro, Premier, Enterprise, Online, etc., based on their needs, business size, etc. However, some instances prompt them to convert or move from one version to another. Let us first consider the instances why you’d want to move your data and then proceed with QuickBooks Data Migration Services.

Do you want to undertake QuickBooks Data Migration but do not know where to begin? Read the entire blog to know how you can go about it, or reach the QuickBooks specialists at +1- 855 738 2784 to receive professional assistance

Fix It Now

Instances where QuickBooks Data Migration Services might be needed

Before understanding the procedure of QuickBooks Migration, let’s know when it might be needed:

Growing File Size

When your QuickBooks company file is growing, you might require more space. Otherwise, your functioning and usability may get affected. It prompts a need for data migration.

Switching from/ to another application

If you wish to move from another application to QuickBooks or vice-versa, QuickBooks Migration Tool might become necessary to take the challenge.

Switching the versions

When the users need change, switching between different versions might also become crucial. For instance, if you are an Enterprise user and it doesn’t seem like you are utilizing its capacity properly, you might want to switch to the Pro or Premier version. Similarly, some may find switching to the cloud beneficial and might like migrating to QuickBooks Online to access it. Therefore, this purpose might lead them to find out more about QB migration.

There can be several other reasons for data migration, but these stand out the most. Now that we know where it might be needed, let’s move to understand what it actually is and how to proceed with this process.

Recommended To Read – How To Fix QuickBooks Migration Failed Unexpectedly Issue

What is meant by QuickBooks Data Migration?

QuickBooks Data Migration simply means moving your files from and to various accounting systems. It can be switching from a different application to QB, using new files to accommodate the growing file size, switching QB’s versions, etc., because of changing business needs and cost-benefit analysis.

Although QB migration is necessary, it is also quite challenging. If not done properly, users can be at risk of losing their crucial company files and data. Therefore, effective procedure is essential to know to ensure things go seamlessly. It is easy to be unsure of how to proceed while converting and undertaking QBO Migration. However, let’s look into how you can proceed when you’re considering migrating from QB Desktop to online or QuickBooks data migration from online to desktop.

Decide Whether to Migrate to QuickBooks Online

Before undertaking the QuickBooks Desktop Data migration services directly, gain clarity on whether you need to do it or not. The procedure of QB migration using QuickBooks migration tool desktop to online is complex and lengthy. Moreover, switching things up will alter your setup completely, so you need to be sure of your decision.

QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are pretty powerful tools, helping companies in various ways. Therefore, let’s look into the difference in features between QuickBooks Online and QB Desktop and see which is suitable for you.

Comparison BasisQuickBooks DesktopQuickBooks Online
Add-onsQuickBooks Desktop offers limited add-on options.QuickBooks Online offers add-ons with numerous cloud-based applications getting developed all the time.
Storage SecurityIn QB Desktop, your essential data remains saved in local files and drives. This storage is not essentially secure, and files can go corrupt, damaged, and misused.The data in QuickBooks Online is stored in high-grade protection servers. Thus, the environment is protected and secured.
UsersIn QB Desktop, you can add only one user.QB Online enables more than one user.
HostingThe cost of hosting and backing up files remains.No need to backup files as you need to import QB desktop to online as QB Online servers securely store the data.
AccessibilityQuickBooks Desktop can be run on specific computers and devices in an office or a specified location.QuickBooks Online makes data available at the fingertips through cloud storage. You can access it from anywhere at any time when needed.

Compare your needs with the features and several other difference points between QB Desktop and Online before planning to Migrating QuickBooks Desktop to Online. Further, once you decide to proceed with QuickBooks data migration from desktop to online, you should also consider the complexity of your company file.

Read Also – Fix QuickBooks 2023 Keeps Crashing

What is a QuickBooks Company File?

Your company file is where all your data about the business is stored. It includes inventory, employee information, banking history, accounting records, customer lists, etc.

When the company size is large, the complexity of company files rises due to extensive histories, large inventories, and significant overall file sizes. The complexity of QuickBooks Desktop to Online Migration increases in such cases, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot migrate. It only means that you will require additional setup and more help for QuickBooks data migration to online.

A good candidate for migration can be small and medium-sized businesses using QB Desktop Pro, Premier, and such versions due to the low complexity of files. Let’s look into some functionality comparisons and file issues that you might need to consider while migrating from QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks online.

I utilize QuickBooks Desktop to…Can be done in QuickBooks OnlineCan be done in QuickBooks Desktop
Access my company file and manage my data
Backing up my dataAll editionsAll editions*
Returning to the prior version of my company fileAdvancedAll editions, with backups
Working with my accountantAll editionsAll editions
Accessing my company file remotelyAll editionsAll editions**
Allowing multiple users to access my company fileEssentials, Plus, AdvancedAll editions
Maintaining multiple company filesRequires additional subscriptionsAll editions
Working with multiple QuickBooks windows open at onceAll editionsAll editions
Work with my customers
Creating and managing invoices and bill customersAll editionsAll editions
Creating and managing estimates, sending to customers, conversion to invoices, and using progress invoicingAll editions; progress invoicing in Plus and Advanced onlyAll editions
Tracking sales, accepting payments, and calculating sales taxAll editions, with QuickBooks PaymentsUnavailable
Tracking sales and expenses in multiple currenciesEssentials, Plus, AdvancedAll editions
Track projects including time expenses, pending payments, unbilled workPlus, AdvancedAll editions
Invoice with batch invoicingUnavailableAll editions
Preventing sales to customers with overdue invoicesUnavailableNot available
Work with my suppliers
Managing bills and paying my suppliersEssentials, Plus, AdvancedAll editions
Billable expensesPlus, AdvancedAll editions
Tracking and managing contractorsAll editionsAll editions
Manage employee data
Tracking employee time, including billable hoursEssentials, Plus, AdvancedAll editions
Paying employees, e-filing payroll taxes, and printing and filing reportsAll editions, with Enhanced PayrollAll editions, with Payroll subscription
Use online banking
Connecting to my bank, download transactions, and reconcileAll editionsAll editions
Undoing previous bank reconciliationsBy an accountant, in QuickBooks Online AccountantAll editions
Manage inventory
Using the FIFO method to track inventory quantities, sales revenue, and COGSPlus, AdvancedUnavailable
Using Average Costing method to track inventoryUnavailableAll editions
Setting and managing inventory reorder pointsAll editionsAll editions
Creating and running reports
Tracking income and expenses and organizing according to tax categoriesAll editionsAll editions
Running custom, profit and loss, expense, and balance sheet reportsAll editionsAll editions
Forecasting sales and expensesPlus, AdvancedPremier
Creating custom reports with Intuit Statement WriterUnavailableUnavailable
Using Advanced ReportingUnavailableUnavailable

*For Online backups, you need Intuit Data Protect subscription

**Needs remote desktop app, terminal server setup, and hosting provider

You might not be a good QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks online migration candidate if any issue arises.

What can and cannot be Migrated from QB Desktop to QB Online?

When switching from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, you can enter considerable information without the need to do it manually. However, there are some specific information pieces that do not automatically transfer with the company file. Further, information that gets converted might need some adjustments in QuickBooks Online because of the differences between Online and Desktop. Manually re-adding the data will become crucial when you Migrate QuickBooks Desktop to Online.

Look at the following points to see how data files behave during migration. (Note that the list is long and not complete. You can find more about this in the Intuit community.)

Chart of accounts

QuickBooks Online has an additional column by the name of ‘Detail Type’ in the Chart of Accounts. While converting, a generic detail type might get assigned to various entries needing editing after. However, this procedure doesn’t convert notes and bank account numbers.

Audit Trail

The audit trail of QB Desktop cannot be converted into QB Online. However, QB Online has its own way of maintaining the audit trail for each transaction. It’s known as an Audit log that updates automatically.

Credit card charges

These become expenses when you Migrate Data from QuickBooks Desktop to Online.


The active ones get converted and marked as closed in the QB Online version. The inactive ones, however, get rejected in QBO.


QuickBooks Online tracks inventory only through the FIFO method. Further, it is only available in QBO Plus.

Journal Entries

These get converted except for their billable status.

Vendors or Suppliers

Any information related to contact, alternate contact, supplier type, credit limit, etc., doesn’t get converted during QuickBooks Online Migration.

Migration Preparation

Once you become prepared for migration to QuickBooks Online, it’s time to start your preparations for the same. Take care of the following aspects when you attempt to Migrate from QuickBooks Desktop to Online.

Back up your company file

Backing up your data regularly is a crucial consideration when considering migration from QB Desktop to Online or QuickBooks migration from online to desktop. Manual QB backup. Manual QB backup isn’t necessary when your data is stored in QB Online because everything is available in the cloud servers. You can execute the data backup as follows:

  1. The first thing while creating a backup is to ensure you are not in multi-user mode. So, if you are, go to the File menu and hit the Switch to single-user mode option.
  2. Next, go to the File menu in QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Select the Create Backup option, followed by the Local Backup option.
  4. When the window appears, select Local Backup and follow it up with Next.
  5. Go to the Local Backup only section and choose Browse. Here, find and select the location where you want to save the company file.
  6. You have the option to save as many backups as you want.
  7. A test will run to ensure the backing-up procedure goes smoothly. Check the troubleshooting issues section if errors arise in backing up files during Desktop Migration Services.
  8. Choose OK to proceed. Next, opt for the Save it now option, followed by the Next option in the prompt.
  9. You will receive a confirmation message when you take these steps for QuickBooks migration to online and the backup finishes.

This is a manual backup method. However, there are other methods, like automatic backups also, to undertake this procedure.

Update QuickBooks Desktop

Before beginning with the QuickBooks Desktop Migration, ensure that your QuickBooks Desktop is up-to-date. Download and install the latest updates as follows:

  1. Before beginning with this option, ensure to switch to the single-user mode. Do so by going to the File menu and opting for the Switch to the single-user mode option.
  2. Go to the Help menu in QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Select the Update QuickBooks Desktop option.
  4. Tap the Update Now option.
  5. Further, hit the Get Updates icon and click Next.
  6. Now, choose the File, then Exit.
  7. Start your QuickBooks Desktop again and run payroll again.

You May Also Like To Read – Getting QuickBooks Subscription has Lapsed Error

Verify the Total Targets

Next, you need to verify the information related to total targets. Press Ctrl + 1 or F2 key on the keyboard to open the Product Information window in QuickBooks Desktop. The File information section contains information related to the number of total targets. You only become eligible for a list and balances conversion when the target numbers are as follows:

  1. 700,000 for Canada
  2. 500,000 for the UK
  3. 500,000 for South Africa

Save the Sales Tax Liability Report

You need to save or print a copy of your sales tax liability report to enter adjustment entries after you Migrate to QuickBooks. The steps to follow for this include:

  1. In the QuickBooks Desktop, go to the Reports menu.
  2. Choose Suppliers and Payable, followed by the Sales tax liability option.
  3. In the date drop-down, choose All.
  4. In the print drop-down at the top, choose the Save as PDF icon.
  5. Opt for the folder you want to save this report in, name the file appropriately, and then hit Save.
  6. After saving the file, consider printing it to have a hard copy also.

Export the Reports and Lists

Note: This procedure is only required if you have more than 700,000 total targets. If not, you can skip and move ahead with the next step.

When you start using QuickBooks Online, exporting the lists saves considerable time in QuickBooks Migration from Desktop to Online. You need not set up the item lists one by one. The steps to export the reports and lists include:

  1. Go to the Reports menu in QB Desktop.
  2. Further, go to the Report Center.
  3. Here, find and select any report to open.
  4. Choose the desired date range from the dates drop-down menu.
  5. Now, go to Excel on the toolbar. You may also choose the Print or Email option to enable saving the report as a PDF.
  6. From the Excel drop-down, choose to Create a new worksheet for a new excel workbook. Or, tap the Update Existing Worksheet option to update an existing workbook with the data in the open report.
  7. Further, hit Export and locate the workbook on the computer.
  8. Choose the advanced option if you want to format the data in a specific way (optional step).
  9. If a message appears stating that the report has excessive columns, hit Advanced. Now, choose and uncheck the space between the columns checkbox and tap OK.
  10. Hit OK when export is ready to happen before you migrate from desktop to online.

You need to repeat these steps for all the lists and reports you’d want to export.

Form a QuickBooks Online Account

To be ready for the migration procedure, you need to create your QuickBooks Online subscription. You can choose an appropriate plan from the options list. Further, you need to ensure compatibility with the system before you begin to ensure you have what’s needed for a seamless QuickBooks experience.

Important note: One essential thing to note here is that you can only move the company file within 60 days of signing up for QuickBooks Online. So, your subscription should ensure you’re ready to convert within that time frame.

Next, when prompted to sign in, use the same credentials used to sign into the QB Desktop account. However, wait till you set up your QB Online company yet. Proceed to the next step when you Migrate to QuickBooks Online.

How to undertake migration?

Here’s detailed information on how to migrate from QuickBooks desktop to online.

You can migrate your data from QB Desktop to Online through QuickBooks Data Migration Tool. This tool is pretty useful in transferring data from one version to another. Moreover, the new tool is available for access through browsers. So, the QuickBooks migration to desktop procedure becomes more simplified and streamlined.

Another tool to undertake QuickBooks migration to new computer is QuickBooks data switcher. It is Intuit’s migration supplier, enabling the data transfer to go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. Based on the amount of data to transfer, it can take anywhere between 24-72 hours.

Before exporting the Desktop file to QB Online, undertake the following procedures (steps will depend based on your QB version):

QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier

  1. Log in as an admin to the company file you want to import into QB Desktop.
  2. Hover over the Company menu.
  3. Choose the Export company file to QuickBooks Online option.
  4. Hit the Get Started icon.
  5. Choose the Select Destination option, then sign in to the QB Online account.

QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise

  1. Log in as admin in QB Desktop to the company file you want to import.
  2. Press the F2 key on the keyboard to launch the Product Information window.
  3. When the product info opens, press Ctrl, B, and Q keys together and then hit OK at the bottom of the product page to start.

If you track inventory in your QBD, do as follows:

  1. Hit Yes to bring them over and then clarify the starting date.
  2. Choose No if you want to set items later in QBO.
  3. When the conversion from QuickBooks online to desktop migration is complete, you’ll receive an email. Hit the Complete your setup button in the email.
  4. Sign in to the QB Online account.
  5. Tap the company file you want to open. The QuickBooks Online dashboard will open.

Moving the Lists

The lists you earlier exported from QB Desktop now need to be imported to QB Online. There are different steps for each list in QuickBooks migration services.

Setting up Inventory

Turn on inventory tracking in QuickBooks Online through the following steps after QuickBooks migrate to online:

  1. In the Settings tab, choose the Account and Settings option.
  2. Select Sales > Edit in the products and services section.
  3. Turn the Show Product/ Service Column on, on the sales forms.
  4. Turn on both options:
  5. Track quantity and price/ rate
  6. Track inventory quantity on hand
  7. Hit Save, and you’re done.

QuickBooks Online follows the FIFO method and recalculates existing and further transactions under this method. Therefore, it is suggested to use the first day following the last tax filing period to prevent amending tax forms later. Hopefully, this section cleared out your doubts regarding how to migrate data from QuickBooks desktop to online.

Post-migration Process

Before you start using QuickBooks Online after migration, you need to review and complete some activities. It is crucial to perform them before changing any data or entering new transactions.

Keep the following checklist in mind after QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks desktop migration to ensure data transfer per expectations. Also, you need to import the information that didn’t happen automatically.

Review data through reports comparison

To ensure the QuickBooks data Migration process was correct, compare the following reports in QB Desktop and Online both.

  1. Balance Sheet report
  2. Customer Balance Summary for all dates
  3. Sales tax summary report for the most recent period
  4. Supplier balance summary for all dates
  5. Trial balances for all dates
  6. Any other reports you’d like to review

Verify the reports by running them by all dates and set the accounting method to accrual in both QB Online and Desktop. Move further with the post-migration data conversion services as follows.

You May Also Read – Resolve QuickBooks Won’t Open

Confirm the company settings

While the accounting information gets migrated from QB desktop to online, data like name, email, and address of the company doesn’t get moved. So, enter this information about the company as follows after QuickBooks data Migration services:

  1. Select the gear icon denoting settings in the menu and choose the Account and settings option.
  2. Enter the company and contact information on the company tab.
  3. Type the email address in the box where this information is requested to receive monthly invoices from Intuit regarding your QB Online subscription.
  4. Then, enter the e-mail address in the customer-facing email box if you don’t want customers to contact you on the company email address.
  5. Hit the Save icon and ensure a seamless migration from QuickBooks desktop to online.

Connect bank and credit card accounts

When you migrate from desktop to online QuickBooks, QB doesn’t transfer your bank and credit card details for security purposes. Therefore, follow the steps mentioned below to connect your bank account with QBO:

  1. Go to the Bookkeeping section, choose transactions, followed by Bank transactions.
  2. Further, hit Connect account from the landing page, or Add account if you have already formed an account.
  3. Look up your bank and hit continue, then type and enter your bank account and password used on the bank’s website in the pop-up window.
  4. Hit the accounts you wish to connect.
  5. Choose the account type from the drop-down menu for each account. These accounts are currently on your chart of accounts.
  6. Select the date range to download and hit Connect. Ensure a seamless online data migration.

Clear up bank reconciliations

Since you haven’t yet performed reconciliation in QB Online, it assumes no bank account transactions have been reconciled. You need to let QB know to mark all transactions up to the conversion date as reconciled so that only future transactions get reconciled after QuickBooks online migration from desktop. Steps in the procedure include:

  1. Go to the Settings (gear icon) menu and hit the Reconcile option.
  2. Select the relevant bank account from the drop-down menu.
  3. Add the ending balance and date and choose to reconcile now.
  4. You will see a list of transactions. Opt for the top checkmark boxes to select all the transactions in the list. When the data is in two columns, ensure both are selected.
  5. Find and unchecked the transactions still unclear. When the difference becomes zero, it shows successful reconciliation and possibly a hassle-free migration through the QuickBooks Online Migration Tool.
  6. Choose Finish Now and repeat the steps for all other bank accounts.

Link payments and credits to open invoices

The transactions downloaded to QBO do not link invoices with their respective payments through the QuickBooks Desktop Migration Tool. Therefore, you might have zero balances in receivables and payables aging reports. Easily link payments and credits to open invoices as follows:

  1. At the top-right of the screen, go to Settings, followed by Accounts and Settings.
  2. In the Advanced tab, hit the Automatically apply credits option, followed by Save.

Review your accounts detail types

After conversion through the QuickBooks Migrator Tool, QBO keeps a sub-account hierarchy. It also uses detail type as a specific measure to be more particular with your accounting organization. Where the details are obvious, QBO assigns the detail types automatically. However, where the details aren’t clear, generic names like Other miscellaneous income might be given to the accounts during conversion through QuickBooks online to desktop migration tool. Review these settings by running the account listing report to review and edit the account details types:

  1. Go to Business overview and choose Reports.
  2. Look for and open an account list report.
  3. Review the accounts.
  4. After that, choose an account name to edit an account detail type.
  5. Opt for the correct detail type from the relevant drop-down menu.
  6. Hit Save and Close.

Finish the payroll setup

While the transactions and payroll accounts get converted to balance your books during conversion through the QuickBooks migration tool online to desktop, details of these items don’t convert. , details of these items don’t convert. So, finish the payroll setup properly as follows:

  1. Go to your Payroll section and opt for the Employees menu.
  2. In the Paid in year column, ensure to switch to Yes for every employee who received their pay. Others who haven’t been paid will automatically switch to No.
  3. Then, choose the complete payroll setup option to enter or verify the year-to-date payroll totals and employee information.
  4. Finish the setup through on-screen instructions.
  5. Once ready to pay your employees, opt to run your payroll. Make sure the data conversion and other processes through the QuickBooks desktop to online migration tool are complete and hassle-free.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this detailed guide on QuickBooks data migration Services will help you while Migrating your data and transferring files seamlessly from QB Desktop to Online. If you still need some assistance with QuickBooks data migration to new computer, feel free to get in touch with our QB experts at +1- 855 738 2784.


What is the migration utility in QuickBooks?

The migration utility in QuickBooks, also known as the QB Migration tool, helps transfer files from one version of QB to another simply and easily. For example, QuickBooks data migration to desktop or online.

What is crucial to know during desktop to online migration?

During Desktop to online migration, ensure to import the summary reports. You cannot use QBD and QBO together, as one runs on local drives and the other on cloud servers. After conversion, compare the balances and items in your Profit and loss and balance sheet reports. Utilize expert services and tools like QuickBooks data migration tool online to desktop and QuickBooks data migration tool desktop to online wherever needed to prevent data loss.

Related Posts – 

QuickBooks Company File Not Found Error [RESOLVED]

QuickBooks File Repair With Verify Solutions Like A Pro

Troubleshooting Steps to Tackle QuickBooks Error 179

Quick Ways to Get Rid of QuickBooks Error 6190 and 816

A Comprehensive Guide to Eliminate QuickBooks Error 1328

What is QuickBooks Data Migration Service & How to do Migration
Article Name
What is QuickBooks Data Migration Service & How to do Migration
QuickBooks Data Migration is simply a process of moving to a different version of QuickBooks, i.e., Online to Desktop or Desktop to Online. It can also sometimes be used when you switch to a different workstation. Follow this article and educate yourself on all the technical info required for seamless QB Data Migration.
Publisher Name
Accounting Helpline
Publisher Logo

Leave a Reply