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Converting Data to and from QuickBooks Online from other versions of QuickBooks

Answer ID: 1589

This article is regarding importing or exporting data to and from other QuickBooks versions.  For more information about importing or exporting data from other applications such as Excel, see our knowledgebase article KB 1062, Can I import and/or export data from other applications?

Importing Data to QuickBooks Online   (Not available with QuickBooks Online Basic or QuickBooks Online Simple Start)
QuickBooks Desktop Basic Simple Start, Pro, Premier or Enterprise users (on versions 1999 or higher) can easily import their company file into QuickBooks Online (QBO).

When evaluating QBO, we encourage you to import and play with your company data in QBO.  However, since not all data can be imported back and forth between QBO and your Desktop version, we strongly recommend that you maintain your books in your QuickBooks Desktop version until you have committed to using QuickBooks Online. 

  • For more information on limitations and how your data is changed when you convert, see our knowledgebase article KB 4095, Convert limitations. 
  • For a simple visual guide to import, see KB 4777.
  • For detailed instructions on the conversion process from QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks Online, see  KB 2116, Importing data from QuickBooks Pro/Premier.
  • For detailed instructions on the conversion process from QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks Online, see  KB 3205.

Exporting Data from QuickBooks Online.

There are two options to move your QBO information to a desktop version of QuickBooks:

  1. Export lists and transactions to QuickBooks Pro, Premier & Enterprise, version 2004 or later.  Please note, you can't export to the Nonprofit or Retail versions of QuickBooks, or QuickBooks for Mac.  Also, if you have an older version of QuickBooks Basic, the export feature won't work.
  2. Export lists and balances to QuickBooks Pro & Premier, version 2002 or 2003.  You can also export lists and balances into QuickBooks Simple Start and QuickBooks Basic, version 2004, release 5 or later.

For a quick visual guide to export, see KB 4682. For more detailed information on the export process from QuickBooks Online to QuickBooks desktop, see  KB 1077, Can I export back to QuickBooks Pro/Premier?

Important notes:

  • QBO will only import and export entire company files.
  • Data can only be imported into a new company file within the first 60 days.
  • Company files can not be merged.
  • Data will only be exported into a new desktop file that it creates during export.
  • Data that wasn't imported into QBO has been removed from the file and can't be exported back to a desktop version.  Memorized transactions, for example, since they didn't import into QuickBooks Online, won't export back to the desktop version and will need to be recreated.
  • The process for importing online banking data is completely separate.  Once you have connected to online banking, information is downloaded automatically in the background from your bank.

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