One of the more common questions in the QuickBooks community is how to make the transition from QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks Online. While QuickBooks for Mac is undoubtedly a beautiful program, the upside of having your information stored on a cloud and the ability to use third-party apps from Intuit App Center is just too irresistible for some users.
Moving from QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks Online does require the use of a PC for a crucial part of the step. So if you do not have access to a Windows computer or cannot run Parallels, BootCamp or another service that allows you to run Windows inside Mac, you might be out of luck.
The following blog post will detail how to transfer your company file from QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks Online.
Convert your QuickBooks for Mac file
Because QuickBooks Online only accepts company files from QuickBooks for Windows, we’ll have to first convert our QuickBooks for Mac into a QuickBooks for Windows file.
To do so, you must first prepare the company file for conversion. Because the move from QuickBooks for Mac isn’t a perfect process, we must fix all the known bugs ourselves so we don’t run into any trouble.
- Locate the company file in your file system and copy it to the desktop. You can find where your company file by opening up QuickBooks and choosing Help->Product information.
- Copy the company file to your desktop
- Remove all special characters from the name of the company file — special characters are the bane of every developer’s existence and generally causes errors, so we’ll have to eliminate all symbols like !@#$%^&*
- Open up the copied company file in QuickBooks and delete all memorized (i.e. recurring) transactions and reports. To do so, select Lists->Memorized Transactions and select Edit->Delete Memorized Transaction to delete each one of your memorized transactions. To delete your memorized reports, select Reports->Reports Center. You should see your memorized reports so you can highlight and select the red X.
- Resort your lists
- After you’ve deleted all memorized transactions & reports and resorted your lists, you’ll have to rebuild the company file.
- The last “bug” we’ll have to fix is are transactions that have memos longer than 50 characters. To do so, you’ll have to run a report that enables you to locate these transactions and modify them.
- Choose Reports->Custom Reports->Transaction Detail
- Under Date, make sure to choose All and under Columns, make sure Memo has a checkmark next to it, then click OK.
- Expand the memo column and edit any memos that have more than 50 characters (including spaces) by double clicking on the memo.
- If you’ve edited any Memos, then you must rebuild your company file again.
- Now we’ll get to the meat and potatoes: actually converting the company file to a Windows format. Go to File->Back Up to QuickBooks for Windows
- Choose a name and location for the file and click Save. Simple. No sweat.
The next steps are done from a Windows machine. You’ll have to upload the Windows file from a Windows machine to QuickBooks Online.
- Move the file from your Mac machine to your Windows machine and save it
- Open up Internet Explorer and navigate to QuickBooks Online and login
- Choose Company->Import QuickBooks Desktop Data
- Choose Other versions of QuickBooks for Windows
- Follow the wizard to download ActiveX, browse your file system for the company file, and you’re all set!