CPA Tech Watch: Moving from QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

CPA Tech Watch: Moving from QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

We’ve all been waiting for it anxiously and now it’s here. We can now import our Canadian QuickBooks for Windows companies into QuickBooks Online (QBO) and we can keep the company’s transaction history. Our clients have been asking for it and now we can do it for them.

Two Options for Converting: As it turns out, we have two options available to us when converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QBO. Each has its pros and cons, so you should be aware of which one is suited to your needs.

You can “Do it Yourself” (DIY) from within QBO and QuickBooks Desktop, or you can choose the “Do it For Me” (DIFM) option offered by Odyssey Resources, Intuit’s official conversion partner. Both options are free and they both bring different benefits to the table.

Note: Bear in mind that QBO does not feature Sales Orders, Inventory Assembly, Units of Measure, or Progress Invoicing. If a QuickBooks Desktop company requires any of these features, you will not be able to convert to QBO at this time.

The DIY Method

Converting QuickBooks Desktop files to QBO yourself is right for you if you:

  • Require immediate conversion,
  • Have only one or two companies to convert at a time,
  • Want control over the process,
  • Have your data in (or can easily upgrade your data to) QuickBooks 2012 format or later,
  • Do not have multiple currencies turned on your company file,
  • Do not require inventory items in your company, and
  • Do not require a French language user interface in your conversion screen.

The DIFM Method

Converting QuickBooks Desktop files to QBO via Odyssey Resources’ DIFM is great if you:

  • Don’t mind waiting for the conversion to take place (the timeline depends on the file being converted; many are done within 5 business days);
  • Would rather have a trusted Intuit partner do the work;
  • Have multiple conversions to do at once and don’t have the time to handle them yourself;
  • Have multiple currencies turned on your company file;
  • Require inventory items in your company;
  • Have your data in QuickBooks 2009 or later, including 2009 Quebec; and
  • Require French in a conversion screen if you were to do it yourself.

If you think this method is right for you, call 1-866-854-7605 to speak to the team.

So What Do I Do Now? – Life After Converting

Regardless of which option you’ve chosen to convert the data, there are a number of tasks you will want to undertake as soon as possible after converting to QBO:

1. Enter Payroll

Neither conversion method imports payroll information; however, paycheques from Desktop do come across in QBO as regular cheques. Therefore, payroll items, employee information, and year-to-date payroll information and source deductions must be entered in QBO so that T4’s and other payroll reports are accurate.

2. File GST/HST Returns

You will be required to employ the GST/HST filing function in QBO after conversion, to ensure that the QBO sales tax filing records match those in Desktop.

3. Reconcile Banks, Credit Cards and Other Items

After all transactions have been either converted or entered manually into QBO, you will want to reconcile any bank, credit card or other balance sheet accounts that typically were reconciled in Desktop to ensure that everything was converted or entered properly.

4. Set up Your Company Users and Accountant Users

The users in a QuickBooks Desktop file are not brought over to QBO, so the Master Admin user in the new QBO file will be required to invite regular company users (assuming QBO Essentials or Plus are being used) as well as any of the two free Accountant users. If the accounting professional has set up the company, he or she will want to transfer the Master Admin user to their client and keep themselves as an Accountant user.

5. Run Reports and Compare Them

When you’re done with the transactions and all the reconciliations, compare reports in both QBO and QuickBooks Desktop, to ensure that the conversion was successful and accurate:

  • Balance Sheet (all dates)
  • Profit & Loss (all dates)
  • Open Invoices
  • Unpaid Bills
  • Payments being deposited from “Undeposited Funds”
  • Tax Liability reports

6. Create Custom Reports and Save the Customizations

Just as QuickBooks Desktop has memorized reports, QBO allows you to customize reports and save the report customizations. You will have to do this yourself in QBO because memorized reports from Desktop do not convert. Customized reports in QBO can be saved in groups for automatic emailing to selected email addresses.

7. Make Transactions Recurring

QuickBooks Desktop has memorized transactions, but these do not come across into QBO upon the conversion. Therefore, you’ll want to find each transaction that you want to memorize, open it, select Make Recurring, and specify the schedule.

8. Get Your Logo Ready and Customize Your Forms

Just as QuickBooks Desktop has templates for invoices and other forms you can customize, QBO allows you to customize your invoice forms as well, but you’ll have to set them up yourself. These customizations include using a logo, so have a digital copy of your logo ready.

Now that you know what each import option offers, and what tasks must be completed after conversion, you can make an informed decision about when and how to convert any QuickBooks Desktop company to QuickBooks Online. For accounting professionals, this is a great opportunity to get your clients on QBO and earn revenue for performing the conversion!