Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online

Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online (1)

The Ultimate Guide to Converting QuickBooks® Desktop to Online and Streamlining Your Business Finances.

Are you a retail business using QuickBooks Desktop? If so, you might be wondering if it's time to make the switch to QuickBooks Online. The online version brings forth a range of exciting features specifically designed for retailers, but it's important to consider its limitations as well.

In this blog post, we're diving deep into the world of QuickBooks and how it can benefit your retail business. We'll explore the process of converting from Desktop to Online, highlighting the key advantages and limitations of each platform. Additionally, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of migrating your valuable data, ensuring a smooth transition. But that's not all! We'll also delve into the vital topic of syncing QuickBooks accounting to your point of sale system, an essential aspect for retailers seeking seamless integration and accurate financial records.

Whether you're on the fence about making the switch or simply curious about the ins and outs of QuickBooks for your retail business, our comprehensive guide has got you covered. So, let's explore how you can unlock the full potential of QuickBooks Online and take your retail operations to new heights!

Benefits of Using QuickBooks Online

There are plenty of advantages to using QuickBooks Online over Desktop.

  • Cloud-based access: QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, which means you can access your financial data from any device with an internet connection. No more being tied to your office computer or lugging around a physical backup! You can log in to your account from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, making it easy to manage your finances on the go
  • Real-time data syncing: With QuickBooks Online, your data is always up to date. Changes made by you or your accountant are synced across all devices in real-time, so you can trust that the information you see is accurate and current
  • Automatic data backups: QuickBooks Online automatically backs up your data, so you don't have to worry about losing important information in the event of a computer crash or other disaster. Plus, with no need for physical backups, you can save time and money
  • Mobile apps: QuickBooks Online offers mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices, giving you access to your financial information from anywhere. You can check your bank balances, send invoices, and even track mileage, all from your phone or tablet
  • Integrations with other software: QuickBooks Online integrates with a variety of other cloud-based software, including PayPal, Shopify, Stratus Enterprise, and Cumulus Retail, to name a few. This means you can sync your financial data across multiple platforms, making it easier to manage your retail business
  • New features not available in Desktop: QuickBooks Online offers some new features that are not available in Desktop, such as the ability to create custom user roles and permissions, and automatic categorization of transactions based on past behavior. Plus, new features are added to Online regularly, so you can expect ongoing updates and improvements

Limitations of QuickBooks Online

While QuickBooks Online has many benefits, it also has some limitations compared to Desktop.

First, QuickBooks Online requires a monthly subscription fee, which may be a limitation depending on the size and budget of your operation.

Additionally, not all features available in the Desktop version are included in QuickBooks Online, and even the included features can be limited depending on the selected plan. For example, advanced features like time tracking or inventory management may require purchasing more expensive plans.

However, if you're looking to bridge any gaps in functionality, Celerant’s cloud-based Always-On POS software -Cumulus Retail can be a valuable addition. With features like real-time inventory management and advanced reporting, our cloud-based retail software can complement QuickBooks Online and enhance your overall business operations.

To explore how our Always-On POS software can benefit your business, you can learn more about it here.

Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online

Converting QuickBooks® Desktop to Online

Converting from QuickBooks Desktop to Online is a relatively straightforward process.

1) Sign up for QuickBooks Online: First, you'll need to sign up for a QuickBooks Online account. Choose the subscription plan that best fits your business needs.

2) Export your data from Desktop: Open your QuickBooks Desktop software and select the Company file that you want to export. Then, click on the File menu and choose the Utilities option. In the dropdown list, choose Export, and then select the Export Company File to QuickBooks Online option. This will start the conversion process and create a new file in a format that can be imported into QuickBooks Online.

3) Import your data into Online: Once your data is in the right format, log in to your QuickBooks Online account and click on the Gear icon in the upper-right corner. From the dropdown menu, choose Import Data, and then select QuickBooks Desktop. Choose the file you just exported and then follow the prompts to complete the import process.

4) Review your data: After importing your data, take some time to review it and make sure everything has transferred correctly. Check to make sure your chart of accounts, customer and vendor information, and transaction history all appear correctly. Note that some information, like inventory data, may not transfer over exactly and may require some manual adjustment.

5) Adjust your settings: After importing your data, you'll need to review your settings in QuickBooks Online to make sure everything is set up the way you want it. For example, you may need to set up new bank accounts, customize your invoice templates, or adjust your sales tax settings.

6) Get familiar with Online features: Once you've converted from Desktop to Online, take some time to get familiar with the new features that Online offers. For example, you can now access your data from anywhere with an internet connection, and you can collaborate with others on your team in real-time.

Overall, converting from QuickBooks Desktop to Online is a manageable process that can be done with a bit of time and patience. Be sure to review your data carefully to ensure a smooth transition.

Migrating QuickBooks Desktop to Online

Migrating from QuickBooks Desktop to Online can be a bit tricky, but it's definitely doable. Here's a breakdown of the steps involved:

1) Back up your data: Before you start migrating your data, it's essential to back up your QuickBooks Desktop data files. This ensures that you have a copy of your information in case something goes wrong during the migration process.

2) Choose a migration method: There are a few different methods you can use to migrate your data from Desktop to Online. One option is to use the QuickBooks Desktop migration tool, which automates the process for you. Another option is to export your data from Desktop and then import it into Online manually.

3) Check your data: Once you've migrated your data, be sure to double-check that everything is transferred correctly. Make sure all of your transactions, customer information, vendor information, and chart of accounts are present and accurate.

Here are a few common issues that can arise during migration:

  • Missing data: Sometimes, not all of your data will transfer over during the migration process. This can happen if there are any data entry errors or if the data is incompatible with QuickBooks Online. Be sure to review your data carefully after the migration to make sure nothing is missing
  • Duplicate data: If you have duplicate entries in your QuickBooks Desktop data, they may also transfer over to QuickBooks Online. Be sure to review your data carefully to identify any duplicate entries and merge them if necessary
  • Reconciliation issues: Reconciliation is the process of matching your bank account transactions with your accounting records. During migration, you may encounter issues with reconciling your data in QuickBooks Online. Be sure to review your data carefully and double-check your reconciliations after the migration process

Migrating from QuickBooks Desktop to Online requires careful planning and attention to detail. Be sure to back up your data, choose a migration method that works for you, and review your data carefully to avoid any issues.

Converting QuickBooks Desktop to Online-Lady-on-computer

Syncing QuickBooks POS with QuickBooks Desktop

Syncing QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) with QuickBooks Desktop can bring numerous benefits to your business. By syncing the two systems, you can streamline your operations and ensure accurate and up-to-date financial information across both platforms. This integration allows for seamless inventory management, sales tracking, and financial reporting.

Setting up the sync is relatively straightforward.

  • First, ensure you have both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks POS installed on your computer
  • Then, within QuickBooks POS, navigate to the Preferences menu and select the Company tab
  • From there, you can choose to enable the integration with QuickBooks Desktop and follow the prompts to establish the connection
  • Once set up, the sync will automatically transfer sales, inventory, and customer information between QuickBooks POS and QuickBooks Desktop, saving you time and reducing the chances of data discrepancies

But QuickBooks POS is Being Discontinued - What are my Options?

If you're currently using QuickBooks POS and have received the news of its discontinuation, you might be wondering what your options are moving forward. Rest assured, there are alternative solutions available to meet your needs and ensure a smooth transition.

At Celerant, we understand the challenges that arise when a trusted software like QuickBooks POS is discontinued. That's why we offer a comprehensive software solution that seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks accounting, providing you with a powerful and reliable system for your retail business.

To shed more light on the situation and the available options, we recommend checking out our blog post on the end-of-life status of QuickBooks Point of Sale. This post discusses the implications of the discontinuation and how it may impact your business operations.

Additionally, our software provides robust QuickBooks integrations that enable you to seamlessly synchronize your retail operations with your accounting processes. By visiting our features page on accounting integrations, you can explore the specific options we offer and how they can benefit your business.

Our goal is to provide you with a smooth and effortless transition, ensuring that your retail operations continue to thrive with minimal disruption. By leveraging our software's integration with QuickBooks accounting, you can streamline your point-of-sale processes while maintaining accurate financial records and inventory management.

Should I Switch from QuickBooks Desktop to Online?

Making the switch from QuickBooks Desktop to Online is a big decision, and there are several factors to consider before you take the plunge. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) Your business needs: The first thing to consider is whether QuickBooks Online can meet your businesses needs. Online offers many of the same features as Desktop, but there are also some differences. For example, Desktop allows you to manage your inventory more extensively than Online. Think about what your business requires and whether Online can provide it.

2) Cost: QuickBooks Desktop requires a one-time purchase, while QuickBooks Online is a subscription service. Consider which pricing model works best for your businesses budget.

3) Access and mobility: QuickBooks Online is entirely cloud-based, meaning you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. Desktop, on the other hand, is installed on your computer and can only be accessed from that device. Think about whether your business would benefit from being able to access your accounting software from anywhere.

4) User interface: QuickBooks Online has a more modern and streamlined user interface compared to Desktop. If you're looking for an updated look and feel, Online may be the way to go.

5) POS integration: Before making the switch, it’s important to confirm with your point of sale provider that they support both versions and have a seamless integration to both options.

Here's a table comparing the pros and cons of each option to consider:

QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Online

One-time, larger up-front cost

Ongoing subscription costs

More robust inventory management

Dependence on internet connection

No internet connection required

Dependence on internet connection

Limited access and mobility

Cloud-based and accessible from anywhere with an internet connection

Outdated user interface

Modern and streamlined user interface

Requires manual backups and updates

Automatic backups and updates

Ultimately, the decision to switch from QuickBooks Desktop to Online depends on your businesses unique needs and circumstances. Consider the factors mentioned above, weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision that's right for your business.


In conclusion, converting from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online can bring numerous benefits to your business, such as accessibility, automatic updates, and mobile access. However, it's essential to consider the limitations of QuickBooks Online, including the monthly subscription fee and potential feature restrictions.

If you are using QuickBooks Point of Sale (POS) Desktop 19.0, as a reminder, it has reached end-of-life status and will no longer be supported by Intuit in the fall of 2023. To learn more about this situation, and how it might affect your retail business, read here.

If you're considering converting to QuickBooks Online, take the time to evaluate your business needs, assess the pros and cons, and make an informed decision.

Don't hesitate to reach out to the QuickBooks support team or explore complementary solutions like Celerant's Always-On POS software to enhance your operations. Make the switch with confidence, knowing that QuickBooks Online can help streamline your accounting processes and contribute to your businesses success.

Don't hesitate to reach out and request a demo today!


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