A person sitting at a table with a laptop computer.
Migrating to QuickBooks Online

Guide to convert QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online

When moving your clients from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, you can migrate their key desktop data with confidence. Let’s go over what to do before migration, how to migrate the data, and how to confirm that everything looks right after the move.

Before migration, some upfront prep is needed to make sure everything is set up correctly. According to eight leading accountants, properly preparing the company file can ensure a smooth migration process.

We recommend accountants use our online tool to migrate clients to QuickBooks Online. You can use this web-based tool even if you don't have access to QuickBooks Desktop, or if it’s not updated to the latest version.

Note: If you are starting the process inside QuickBooks Desktop, make sure you have updated to the latest version before proceeding. 

No matter how you choose to migrate, it's best to prepare your client's desktop data first:

●     Review the chart of accounts for accuracy.

●     Ensure that the balance sheet aligns with the latest tax return.

●     Reconcile the bank and credit statements.

●     Categorize any open transactions.

●     Pay any outstanding invoices.

●     Finish any outstanding payroll runs or payroll tax payments.

If your client has a big company file or simply doesn't want to bring over all of their transactions, you can decide to move only some of your QuickBooks Desktop data, including balances and specific lists.

You’ll then be able to set up a QuickBooks Online account if needed, log in, and choose the company to move to. Your client’s chosen data will be copied to their new file—and they’ll keep the original.

While waiting for the data to migrate, you can suggest to your clients that they download the QuickBooks Online app. This app for Windows and Mac gives your clients a familiar way of working with a view that’s similar to QuickBooks Desktop.* They can keep information for multiple companies open at once, flip between tabs and windows, and stay signed in so they can get to work faster.

After your client receives the migration confirmation email, take a moment to compare their original company information to what’s now in QuickBooks Online. You can do this by running the same report for the same date range in both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online—for example, Profit & Loss, balance sheet, AR, and/or AP reports—to confirm that the data you’d chosen to migrate has arrived safely. If your clients used custom reports in QuickBooks Desktop, they’ll see many of these have moved to Online as well.

Help your clients discover the power and flexibility of QuickBooks Online with a streamlined migration process by following the step-by-step process shown in this demo.

If you have a client who wants to handle their own migration, the Migration Made Easier guide goes over the best practices for the process. It also provides information on how your clients can get free migration assistance directly from our expert team.

Get the latest to your inbox

Get the latest product updates and certification news to help you grow your practice.

By clicking “Submit,” you agree to permit Intuit to contact you regarding QuickBooks and have read and acknowledge our Privacy Statement.

Thanks for subscribing.

Relevant resources to help start, run, and grow your business.

Looking for something else?

Get QuickBooks

Smart features made for your business. We've got you covered.

Tax Pro Center

Expert advice and resources for today’s accounting professionals.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.

How can we help?
Talk to sales 1-800-497-1712

Monday - Friday, 5 AM to 6 PM PT

Get product support