No matter the reason, sometimes it’s necessary to convert a QuickBooks Online company to QuickBooks Desktop. It’s not that converting a data file is hard – it’s just NEW to most of us. This article covers how to convert, what to look out for and the expected results of the conversion.
The Good – My Thoughts About Converting
It can be done! That’s the good news. But there's more. Most QuickBooks Online company files are simple files that only have one or two apps, which makes the conversion a few steps.
Because there are so many variances in a conversion, I'm going to focus on a typical QuickBooks Online data file, which you might want to note if you have a complex QuickBooks Online company or, if you only want to use parts of the QuickBooks Online data, such as customer, vendor and item lists.
If so, exporting the lists to excel, and them importing them into QuickBooks Desktop might be the simplest way to proceed.
What to Watch Out For
Before choosing to convert, there are a couple of differences to monitor. The way the programs are written and structured are different, which, in turn, means there are areas where features or data will not transfer over. I will point out a few notable areas.
QuickBooks Online “Recurring Transaction” do not convert to QuickBooks Desktop “Memorized transactions;” Shared reports and Automatic emailed reports will not be saved or converted, along with Location tracking, possible loss of apps.
A simple answer is if you are converting a file with no inventory, no attached apps and no payroll your conversion is going to be smoother than a data file with a lot of pieces to convert, which is where the conversion can get tricky.
For a full list of limitations, click here.
Apps definitely are a consideration if your QuickBooks Online Company uses them. Even if your app has both a QuickBooks Online and a QuickBooks Desktop version, I'd recommend calling your apps to ask if they would convert and if there is a fee for conversion.
The 'How to' Convert Steps
First, in order for the conversation to work, you must use Internet Explorer for Windows. Next, from the company gear icon, choose Export Data.
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 1
QBO displays the Export Overview:
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 2
You must have ActiveX Controls and qbo.intuit.com as a trusted site. Pop Up blockers can be a pain. There seems to be resistance to the pop ups when converting from QBO to QBD. Even though Intuit is a trusted site, there were several pop ups that my computer seemed to have resistance to. If this happens, you can trust the pop ups and try the process again.
In order to open the data file, there must be an active QuickBooks Desktop company file on the computer.
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 3
Choose either all financial data or just lists.
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 4
QBO proceeds to prepare your data for download. When you're ready, select "Continue" to download.
(Note: You also have the option to "Start Over.")
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 5
You have Options
Option-1: "Moving your QuickBooks Online data" to QuickBooks desktop.
Option-2: Creating a "local copy" of your QuickBooks Online data for storage on your local computer. If you select the "local copy option," you will still be able to use QBO.
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 6
Open QuickBooks Desktop on Your Computer and Save Export
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 7
At this point, the data file is converted and will open in QuickBooks Desktop for review.
The Expected Results – Looking at the Conversion and Compare
Just like when you're converting a file in the opposite direction (from QB Desktop to QBO), you need to run a "Balance Sheet" and "Profit and Loss" report for all dates on Accrual-basis, and then compare the results.
Most of the time, you're going to have success with the conversion, but if you run into an error, try the steps again, since most often Intuit support tells us to clear cache and cookies, log out and try again.
QBO 2 QBD - FIGURE 8
Once the conversion is complete, you can cancel your QBO subscription. Intuit will keep your QuickBooks Online data for one year after an active company file has been deleted. At any time the data file needs to be viewed again, the file can be activated.
With that said, if you're only using parts of the data, I'd create a QuickBooks Online general journal to Excel for purposes of an audit.
Payroll details and Customer Notes do not transfer, so exporting these lists into Excel will allow you to copy these into your QuickBooks Desktop.
You Can Do It
Really you can. This is not a life challenging hurdle to cross. Getting to the other side will not be as hard as Anakin Skywalker’s conversion of the force. If your clients have never used it before, they will need some training on how to use QuickBooks Desktop. Also, be sure and convert QuickBooks payments, so there is no interruption in payments abilities.
You are ready to use the force.