QuickBooks ProAdvisor

In The Know: Moving clients from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online in one fell swoop

Welcome to In The Know!

This show is designed to keep you up to date on the most exciting innovations across the QuickBooks ecosystem.

You can watch the weekly video episodes and join us for a monthly webinar.

Either way, you’ll hear directly from Intuit leaders and see demonstrations of the product in action.

Jaclyn Anku, ProAdvisor Training & Certification Leader: Hey, I'm Jaclyn, and welcome to In The Know. This is our weekly video show designed to keep you up to date on the most exciting innovations across the QuickBooks online ecosystem.

Today we're discussing QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online migration. We heard that ProAdvisors want to migrate multiple company files to QuickBooks Online at once, instead of having to do this one by one.

We're excited to share more about a new accountant Batch Migration Tool designed specifically for you, so that you can move up to 50 of your clients' QuickBooks Desktop files online at once, including payroll and payments data.

Here are the Fast Facts:

  • The Batch Migration Tool is available to accountants with QuickBooks Desktop accountant versions 2021 through 2024.
  • You can access it by visiting your client’s QuickBooks Desktop file, then clicking on menu, company, and migrate multiple files.
  • The has been live since January 2024 in the United States.

Let me introduce you to Roshan, the talented product designer behind this exciting update. Roshan, welcome.

Roshan Raju: Hey I'm Roshan, and I’m here to show you the new Batch Migration Tool for accountants.

Once you open one of the desktop company files you would like to migrate, you can access the Batch Migration Tool under the company menu bar. Go to the “migrate multiple company files to QuickBooks Online” option. Our Batch Migration Tool opens up, then open the migration dashboard to migrate them all at once. To add the currently open company file, click on the add button. The migration list will update accordingly, and then once that is added, you can go ahead and add another company file by clicking or add another company file. Once you click on it, the file selector opens up to select a second company file you want to add. Once you click on that, you can open the next company file and add that company file to the migration list. 

Let's assume you have five files for migration and have added all five for migration. Once you have done this, you can now add the migration dashboard. We will ask you to sign into your Intuit account, which will land you on the migration dashboard. In the migration dashboard, you will find all the files you have added to the migration list already present. Apart from that, we also, by default, auto match all these desktop company files to the relevant QuickBooks Online company files you are associated with. This is done based on the names you have given to the company files; we match the most similar sounding names to each of the desktop company files you have uploaded. If you click on migrate selected files, you will have the next action item. 

We will let you know if there are any errors during migration and also reveal the next best step you can take to fix that particular error. For example, in cases where migration failed, we will let you connect to an expert; you can schedule a chat or an appointment with an expert to solve the issue. In addition, in case migration is happening, but the values are mismatching between QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online, we provide you with a summary of what is matching and what is not matching, along with links to the reports for you to dig deeper into the mismatch.

In cases where we are not able to migrate to a particular QuickBooks Online company, we will let you know that as well—with reasons. You can also connect to an expert through an action button that lets you fill out a conversion request form. That will be given to our professional services team and we will migrate that particular file for you.

That’s the Accountant Batch Migration tool. Thank you so much for having me on this In The Know episode.

Jaclyn Anku: Roshan, thank you so much for being on the show. We're so happy to have you. Now we'll turn to ProAdvisors Kenji Kuramoto and Nayo Carter-Gray for them to weigh in.

Kenji and Nayo, thank you so much for being here with us on the show. I’m so excited to have you and talk about all-things Accountant Batch Migration. 

So Kenji, let me start with you. I would love to get your perspective on how you talk to clients who are still on desktop, and get them to realize the value of moving to the cloud.

Kenji Kuramoto: I'm always still a little surprised when we find someone on desktop, but to be honest, there are many who are still out there on it. For us as a firm—and I actually think this is becoming much more common—we actually tell prospective clients that if you'd like us to outsource your accounting to us and work with you, we need it to be on QuickBooks Online. We have to make sure that they are in an online state for us to work with them, so migrating them off of QuickBooks Desktop is imperative to working with us. I think that's becoming much more common these days for modern accounting practices.

Nayo Carter-Gray: I'm the same way. We have QuickBooks Desktop, but it's really only to migrate those customers off of that and on to QuickBooks Online. I don't like to be chained to my desk, and my clients are very enterprising and also don't want to be tied to their desk. So I tell them the benefit of being able to work with QuickBooks Online: As long as you have an internet connection, you can access your books. It's safer because if anything happens to that device, you don't have to worry because your books are saved to the cloud. This makes it easier to work with me and my team.

Jaclyn Anku: You and I have had many conversations about how important client onboarding is and how it helps set up the entire tone of the relationship moving forward. But I have also heard that it's pretty tedious to migrate clients from QuickBooks Desktop to the cloud, so how does a tool like Accountant Batch Migration help ease that transition?

Nayo Carter-Gray It is tedious and one of the reasons why we decided to stop working with desktop. Now, being able to migrate multiple clients to the cloud is going to save a bunch of time. Anytime we can bulk action something, I'm all for it.

The way this tool is set up is pretty slick. As you're upgrading clients to QuickBooks Online, if anything is going wrong, you'll see it right there on the migration screen—so there are no surprises.

In addition, you can actually put one person in charge of the migration, so you don't have to have your whole team trying to work on it. I just love being able to streamline,  so I feel like this tool is really going to help accountants who are looking to take their firms virtual. They can do it a whole lot faster.

Kenji Kuramoto: I totally agree with Nayo. In fact, at our firm, we actually track a metric of the number of days in onboarding. That's how important it is for us to make sure onboarding does not take too long. Any type of tool, or any time there is a batch action to do things much more efficiently across a group of clients, is so helpful for us. This is a very important tool in being able to go online, especially when you're sometimes looking at new clients who have multiple entities. So very, very helpful. 

Nayo Carter-Gray: I never even thought to track the number of days in onboarding, so if you aren't taking notes, I'm taking notes. Kenji is super smart and runs a very successful firm. If he says to do something now, I'm going to do it, too. 

Jaclyn Anku: Kenji, I'm curious. I know that Acuity has made some acquisitions in the past few years. As part of that process, was there a time when you had to migrate multiple clients from desktop to the cloud?

Kenji Kuramoto Absolutely. On the very first acquisition, we specifically targeted a non-cloud firm. This was a great firm, but was kind of a legacy older firm. The business owner who we purchased it from had always wanted to migrate to the cloud, but was always kind of a little nervous about it. We told him that, as part of the acquisition, we're going to do this, and he was excited about it. You're talking not just about onboarding a client or a client with multiple entities, so having a methodology or tool that is going to help you pull it together is much more efficient and a huge, huge timesaver. As we mentioned, onboarding is already challenging. Integrating two firms is a whole next level. It is imperative to have tools like this. 

Nayo Carter-Gray: That sounds good. If anybody out there is considering acquiring a firm from a retiring accountant, for example, this tool sounds like it's going to help. How did you think of that, Kenji? That's pretty cool.

Jaclyn Anku: Nayo, once you're on the happy end of having migrated your client from desktop to the cloud, are there quick wins or ways you then communicate the value back to them like, “Hey, you're in the cloud now … this is what it means for you?”

Nayo Carter-Gray: It’s that first initial invitation when you get to see your QuickBooks Online account has been set up and all your data is there. I tell them when they get that email that they should be celebrating because that means we're that much closer to being able to work together more efficiently. It sounds crazy; who is looking out for an email that says “Sign up for your new account?” But really, it's a time to celebrate because we've made a massive change—and it is really helping to move them in the right direction.

Jaclyn Anku: Kenji and Nayo, thank you so much for being on this episode, for having a little bit of fun with us on the show, and for just helping uplevel the thinking around moving from desktop to the cloud. And again, how this really lends itself towards working more efficiently and ultimately better advisory. So I appreciate you both and we'll catch you next time.

Nayo Carter-Gray: Thanks for having us. 

Kenji Kuramoto: Sounds good. See ya.

Jaclyn Anku Good to see you and thank you for watching this episode. I'm Jaclyn, the host of In The Know and leader of ProAdvisor Training and Certification. Be sure to like, subscribe, and hit the notification bell so that you don't miss a single episode. We'll catch you next time.

Meet the ProAdvisors

ProAdvisor Nayo Carter-Gray : Founder, 1st Step Accounting

ProAdvisor Kenji Kuramotoi: CEO, Acuity

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