Quickbooks Online to Quickbooks Desktop conversion

Quickbooks Online to Quickbooks Desktop conversion information and limitations

Cash purchases: Cash purchases are converted to checks.

Chart of Accounts: All your accounts are exported to accounts with the same name with the following exceptions:

  • The account Name is limited to 31 characters. This includes spaces, numbers and special characters if it's been entered as part of the display name. Parent accounts and sub accounts are counted separately.
  • The Detail Type is not exported.
  • Account numbers are exported, but only appear if you turn on the preference in the desktop version to show them. (You'll see instructions on how to do that after exporting is successful.)
  • Deleted accounts are exported as inactive accounts, and they lose their account numbers.

Note. To Determine the number of characters in a list you can make use of Excel and the LEN function:

  1. Go to the Reports menu and select Lists from the sidebar on the left.
  2. Choose Account Listing on the right. This creates a report listing your Chart of Accounts.
  3. Click the blue Excel tab at the top of the screen. this will export the list to Excel.

The Excel function LEN will give you the length (number of characters) of a cell. Refer to your Microsoft Office Help menu for more information on using the LEN function. We cannot offer support on Excel functions.

Class List:

  • The Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • Deleted classes are exported as inactive classes.

Customer Center: All data about each customer is exported with the following exceptions:

  • The DisplayName is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Full Name and Company Name are each limited to 41 characters.
  • The Billing Address and Ship Address are each limited to three lines with 41 characters each.
  • The E-mail address is limited to 81 characters.
  • The Customer Notes, Preferred Delivery Method, Mobile number, Pager number and Is Taxable status are not exported.
  • Deleted customers are exported as inactive customers.
  • If a subcustomer has default terms, they are changed to match its parent customer's default terms instead.
  • Customer Credit card information is not exported due to PCI compliance. The processor compliance portion of this deals with credit card information belonging to our users' customers. Specifically, when Quickbooks Online users process merchant account transactions or use the credit card field on the customer record, there are rules for how we handle that information, including transferring to another version of software.
    • Note: You may see errors when exporting if you have Customer names and Sub-Customer names that are the same names.

Employee List:

  • The DisplayName is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Full Name is limited to 39 characters.
  • Employee Notes are not exported.
  • Deleted employees are exported as inactive employees.

Estimates, Statements, and Purchase orders are not exported because they are non-posting transactions. Similarily, charges and credits are non-posting transactions until they are applied to a posting transaction, so they are also not exported. Instead, the invoices that contain them are exported. ***If you use charges and credits, before you export, create a new Invoice to post unbilled charges and credits onto an invoice.

List Item Limit:

  • The number of combined list items in QuickBooks Pro or Premier is 14,500.
  • If any one list has more than 10,000 list items, only the first 10,000 will export.
  • If you have more than that in QuickBooks Online, you'll have to use Enterprise Edition.

Other Lists: The following lists don't exist in QBO. These lists will be created in QuickBooks desktop and will contain their default list items except:

  • Other Names List
  • Price Level List
  • Payroll Item List
  • Sales Rep List
  • Customer Type List
  • Vendor Type List
  • Job Type List
  • Ship Via List
  • Memorized Report List
  • Templates List
  • Purchase Order List
  • To Do List

Payment Method List:

  • The Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • All data about each payment method is exported.

Payroll Information:

  • Paychecks and Liability Payments
    • Exported as normal checks.
    • The Pay Period and Liability Period is not exported.
    • If a check number field is blank, it will be assigned a number by the QuickBooks desktop edition. This may cause duplicate check numbers.
  • After exporting, if you want to continue running your payroll with a QuickBooks payroll service (such as QuickBooks Assisted Payroll, QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll Plus, or QuickBooks Standard Payroll), you will need to go through a payroll setup process again and enter year-to-date information.

Preferences: Company preferences, including Company information, are not exported and will need to be populated before using many features in Quickbooks.

Products and Services List: If you track expenses billed to a customer, the associated income account is not exported. In QuickBooks desktop, products and services are converted to items and are tracked in the Item List with the following exceptions:

  • All products and services will be converted to Service Type items. You can't change or edit the Item Type.
  • The Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Taxable Status is not exported.
  • Quantity on Hand is not exported.
  • Default purchase costs and sale prices are not exported.
  • Deleted products and services are exported as inactive items.


  • After exporting, the Reconcile screen in the Desktop edition may show the beginning balance as zero and display old transactions. For steps to correct this, see KB article 1458.
  • Reconcile reports, due to their special nature as a static report, also do not export.

Recurring Transaction List, Terms List and Budgets:

  • The information in these lists will not be exported.
  • The corresponding lists in the QuickBooks desktop versions will contain their default list items. (Recurring templates are called memorized transactions in the QuickBooks desktop versions.)


  • QuickBooks Online doesn't have all the reports that QuickBooks desktop edition does, and some of the reports are slightly different.
  • Although your Accrual Basis reports will match in both products, your Cash Basis reports may not match. This is because cash basis calculations are somewhat subjective, and there are several differences in how the two products calculate what is considered paid.
  • These differences are limited to what is displayed on reports; your actual account balances will always match exactly after conversion.
  • For example, transactions using inventory items affect COGS and Inventory Asset accounts differently in the two products. Any unpaid or partially paid transactions using an inventory item that affects the COGS account will result in differences in the Cash Basis reports. Fully paid transactions will not be affected. The differences are:
    • In QuickBooks desktop edition, every inventory item on a transaction represents three accounts and three amounts: Income, Inventory Asset, and COGS. One line in the transaction represents three lines, as shown in the Journal Report for the transaction. As Income starts to get paid off by payments, a proportional amount of the payment is included to the COGS lines. This affects the cash basis reports.
    • QuickBooks Online treats all the lines as separate, so the COGS line is fully paid by the asset line when the invoice is saved.
    • Both products treat the asset account the same way (including the way payments are made to it).
  • Another example is the use of negative lines on invoices. Suppose you have a service income line of $1000 and a discount of $ -100 and no payments:
    • In QuickBooks Online, your cash basis P&L report will show $100 of income and $ -100 of discount.
    • In QuickBooks desktop edition, no portion of an unpaid invoice shows in any cash basis P&L report.
    • Similarly, as payments are received:
      • QuickBooks desktop edition prorates the amount of the discount that shows in the P&L.
      • QuickBooks Online continues to show the entire amount.
    • Your accrual reports are unaffected by this change.
  • Memorized reports will not export and will have to be recreated in the desktop.

Sales Tax: Sales tax rates/agencies are not exported. No sales tax payments/adjustments made out of the sales tax center are exported.

Time-Tracking activities: All time activity information is exported with the exception of Location, as there is no comparable feature in the Desktop editions.

   ** Please note that while the activities themselves are exported, the "physical" time sheets are not.

Transactions: When you export transactions, you go beyond exporting the balances in each account; you also export the transactions behind each balance. These transactions are exported: Invoices, Sales Receipts, Credit Memos, and Refund Receipts. Recurring transactions and unaccepted online banking transactions are not exported.

  • Most data is exported except Location information, custom field data, and To Be Sent status.
  • Invoices that contain charges, credits, billable expenses, or time associated with subcustomers will be separated into one invoice per customer. Note: Because of rounding differences in the two formats, there may be instances when payments applied to certain invoices will fail. In this case, you would need to manually edit the invoice and correct the amount, and manually enter the associated payment if it didn't export.
  • Each refund receipt is converted to a credit memo and check (if the refund is from a bank account) or to a general journal entry (for refunds from other types of accounts).
  • Received payments, bill payments: Most data from these types of transactions is exported.
  • Bills, checks, credit card charges, credit card credits, vendor credits, journal entries, and deposits: Most data from these types of transactions is exported.
  • Billable status on a deposit is not exported.
  • When the check number field is blank, it will be assigned a number in the QuickBooks desktop version. This can cause duplicate check numbers. If you don't want this to happen, before you export, please enter some notation in the check number field (for example EFT).

For all transactions:

  • Any transaction with two or more Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable lines become multiple journal entries. (One entry is created for each A/R or A/P line.)
  • Voided transactions of these types are not exported: received payments, transfers, and bill payments made by check or credit card.
  • Markup and locations are not exported.
  • Tax is exported as a detail line item, instead of using the QuickBooks Pro or Premier Tax feature.
  • Links between invoices and received payments and links between bills and bill payments are maintained.

Transfer funds: Fund transfers are converted to general journal entries.

User list and Location list:

  • The information in these lists will not be exported. These lists do not exist in the QuickBooks Desktop versions.

Vendor List:

  • The DisplayName is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Full Name and Company Name are each limited to 41 characters.
  • The Print on Check As field is limited to 41 characters.
  • The Address is limited to three lines with 41 characters each.
  • The E-mail Address is limited to 81 characters.
  • The Vendor Notes, Mobile number, and Pager number are not exported.
  • Deleted vendors are exported as inactive vendors.
  • The 1099 status is not exported; vendors who receive 1099s will need to be edited and re-marked for 1099 after exporting.

  • If you need support for Quickbooks Online to Desktop conversion, please contact us.

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