Convert QuickBooks Desktop To Online

[Quickbooks File Repair]

The different versions of QuickBooks

QuickBooks has both a desktop version as well as an online version.  The desktop version has been around for a very long time much before the Internet was used. Millions of small businesses have been using QuickBooks Desktop for years and continue to use it. QuickBooks Desktop, undoubtedly, has more features and functionality than the Online version. But in order to use the desktop version, you need to install software onto your computer.

With regards to functionality, QuickBooks Online is more stripped down, but is continually improving as QuickBooks is always adding more and more features to the online version. The online option is more convenient for many small businesses because you are able to do much more in less time.

To use the online version, all you need is an Internet connection.

Whether you decide to use QuickBooks desktop for its extensive inventory tracking capabilities or QuickBooks online for its convenience, you won’t regret it. QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online are both great products that millions of small business owners rely on everyday to keep track of their day to day finances.

How do you decide which to choose?

If you are a service-based business that does not need inventory tracking options, the Online option is the best, as it has simple invoicing requirements, plus it gives you the following:

  • Multiple users access from any location:  by setting up a user id and password for each person who needs to access your data from wherever they are located.
  • Enter transactions using a mobile device, PC or a Mac:  When you use QuickBooks Online, you do not require software installation.  Therefore, you can just open up a web browser from your mobile device, PC or Mac and log right into your account to quickly access your data.
  • Automatic, real-time updates:  As you make real time changes to your data, QuickBooks Online updates automatically.  Whether there is one person in the QuickBooks file or multiple users, changes made are updated.
  • Software Installation: QuickBooks Desktop requires you to download software onto your computer which also means that you are not able to access the program when you anywhere other than your desk.  
  • Automatic online backup and protection:   Online data is automatically backed up and secured by Intuit’s servers however, QuickBooks Desktop does not automatically back up.  You need to create a backup plan.
  • Access data from multiple platforms:  Online data and Desktop data are both only accessible from a PC or a Mac, but it depends on which version of QuickBooks you are using.
  • Access data from anywhere at any time: QuickBooks Online data can be accessed by users in different locations at the same time. There is no reason to transfer files back and forth.  QuickBooks Desktop data can be accessed by multiple users in different locations only with the purchase of hosting services.
  • Unlimited Free Technical Support:  With QuickBooks Online, technical support is available to you 24 hours a day 7 days a week at no additional charge. QuickBooks Desktop support is free for the first 30 days after you install the software.  After 30 days, you will have to purchase one of the support plan packages.
  • Automatic access to the latest version of QuickBooks: With QuickBooks Online, you have immediate access to the latest version of the software.  With QuickBooks Desktop you are required to purchase the latest version of the software in order to gain access to new product features.
  • 30-Day Risk Free Trial:  With QuickBooks Online, you can try the program for 30 days.
  • You do not have to provide a credit card until the trial has expired and you decide to convert to a paid subscription.  Unfortunately, QuickBooks Desktop does not offer a free trial version of the software.
  • Multiple inventory tracking options:  QuickBooks Online allows you to track your inventory using the FIFO (First In First Out) method only. QuickBooks Desktop on the other hand, gives you two options for tracking your inventory: the average cost method or the FIFO method (FIFO method is available when you purchase the Advanced Inventory add-on module.)
  • Batch invoicing:  QuickBooks Desktop has a batch invoicing capability.  It allows you to invoice multiple customers at the same time however QuickBooks Online does not offer this feature.



The good thing about QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop is, that they are very user friendly.  In 2013, there were major changes to the QuickBooks Desktop interface which made it much more user friendly than it had been in previous versions.  This was partly due to the fact that the Online version was a much cleaner, easier program to navigate, and Intuit also decided to apply some of those same features to their legacy desktop product.


If you are currently using QuickBooks Desktop, the same QuickBooks terminology will translate to QuickBooks Online. However, you will have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to navigating within the program since it is very different from QuickBooks Desktop.  If you have never used QuickBooks, there are ways you can get up-to-speed pretty quickly on either of the products you choose.


When you convert a desktop QuickBooks company to QuickBooks Online (QBO), not all data is fully converted. In addition, QBO contains comparable features for some desktop QuickBooks features and doesn’t contain comparable features for others.

What can and cannot be converted to QBO


When reviewing a prospective conversion client, it’s important to know what can and cannot be done to convert QuickBooks Online to Desktop.

The following QuickBooks Desktop company files are eligible for conversion to QBO within the first 60 days of the creation of the QBO company:

  • All QuickBooks for Windows companies:
    • Using QuickBooks US
    • Up to 350,000 targets
    • QuickBooks Simple Start, Pro or Premier companies version years 2008 and later
    • Without multiple currencies
  • All QuickBooks for Mac companies version 2012 and later up to 350,000 targets


What cannot be converted:

There are, however, some types of company files that cannot be converted directly into QBO:

  • QuickBooks Enterprise companies: can be done but only with ActiveX
  • QuickBooks files over 350,000 targets (check by selecting F2 or Control+1 with company open)
  • QuickBooks files in which multiple currencies are used
  • QuickBooks Desktop companies using international versions (e.g. Canada, UK)
  • Any company files more than 60 days after the creation of the QBO company
  • QBO companies using international versions of QBO
  • Non-Intuit accounting software company accounting files
  • Spreadsheet files


It is important to remember, that when a QuickBooks Desktop company file is converted into QBO, it must be done within 60 days that the QBO Company exists.

The conversion will completely over-write any information which was previously entered in the QBO Company.  This information will be wiped out and replaced by any subsequent conversions within the 60-day period. You can however purge the QBO Company within the first 60 days before re-importing.

  • QuickBooks Desktop company files are unaffected by the conversion, and can only be used after any data conversion is performed. Your client wants to use a trial of QBO and see if the company is a good fit for QBO, and would like to continue using Desktop for day-to-day transactions during the trial.
  • When converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online, consideration must be given to the type of Desktop data you have to convert. There are different procedures for Windows and Mac versions. Each operating system has different procedures depending on the version year.
If you're having problems with your QuickBooks data file, we can fix it. Guaranteed!

Want help with Quickbooks Data Recovery?

Email [email protected]