Step-by-Step QuickBooks Migration Planning

migrating your application to quickbooks online

Migrating desktop applications like QuickBooks to the cloud is the new standard. Forbes predicts that eighty-three percent of enterprise workloads will be on a public, private or hybrid cloud by 2020.

QuickBooks Online can secure your organization, optimize productivity and take your technology to the next level.

But QuickBooks Online was written from the ground up. It looks and feels different than QuickBooks Desktop. Migrating your data to from your on-premises application to QuickBooks Online isn’t always a straightforward process.

If it’s not managed properly, migrating to QuickBooks Online from the desktop version can be costly, disrupt business and cause downtime.

Today we’ll tackle the benefits of migrating to QuickBooks Online and the components of a successful QuickBooks migration plan.

Why Migrate to QuickBooks Online?

First, let’s start with the benefits. Here are a few advantages of migrating your business to QuickBooks Online.

  • 24/7 access: With QuickBooks, you can work from anywhere that has an internet connection. Accounting staff can access secure data when and where they need it.
  • Less data entry: QuickBooks Online automatically categorizes bank and credit card transactions, reducing manual data entry and clerical errors while boosting productivity.
  • Add-ons and applications: A top benefit of QuickBooks Online is it’s constantly evolving and improving. There are over 300 cloud-based applications available and more are developed all the time.
  • Security: Cloud applications and service providers offer security solutions that include data encryption, firewalls, multi-factor authentication and virus detection. With QuickBooks Online, your software and data will be hosted on enterprise-grade servers in protected environments instead of on your local network.

Step-By-Step QuickBooks Migration Guide

 Step 1: Inventory Your Application and Identify the Key Players

There are several common QuickBooks migration mistakes.

Migrating your data to QuickBooks Online isn’t a simple data transfer. The desktop and cloud versions aren’t mirrored images of each other. There are features, apps and data in the online version that don’t exist in the desktop version.migrating to quickbooks online

To start, you’ll need knowledge of your organization’s current environment including:

  • Networking
  • File sharing
  • Permissions

Who Can Perform a QuickBooks Migration?

It depends on how your organization is set up. If you’re self-employed or run a small business, you should be able to tackle the migration yourself (Intuit also has a vast library of resources to help).

If you use multiple desktop applications or have droves of historical data, you’ll need professional IT migration expertise.

IT personnel and skills vary from general desktop support to highly specialized engineers and architects. To perform a successful QuickBooks migration, you need IT professionals with systems experience or network administrators who understand networking and file-sharing.

On the business side, you should have a financial professional or office manager who can articulate the company’s financial needs, knows the user and file access permissions and what QuickBooks features users will need.

If you don’t have the resources in-house, you can hire outside expertise to manage your QuickBooks migration.

Step 2: Assess Your QuickBooks Data and Needs

Failing to review and understand your company data can also set the migration up for failure. Because the desktop and online platforms differ, you have to consider the business requirements before transferring any information between them.

Are you an appointment-based business? Retail or ecommerce? Professional or field services? Do you manage multiple companies? How are you operating now? How will the data be processed in QuickBooks Online?

For example, with QuickBooks Desktop, you can create and manage multiple company files. With QuickBooks Online, each company requires a separate subscription. If you need to manage multiple accounts, you’ll need individual subscriptions for each one.

You’ll also need to audit any software or tools that are currently integrated into QuickBooks Desktop. Adding third-party application integrations can complicate the migration. Research whether QuickBooks Online supports those application integrations well before making the switch.

What Isn’t Imported When You Migrate From QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online?

Finally, certain features like reconciliation reports, credit card charges, reports, audit trails and inventory won’t transfer to QuickBooks Online.

The following features don’t convert from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online:

  • Chart of Accounts
  • Audit Trail
  • Bill Payment
  • Budget
  • Closing Date
  • Credit Card Charges
  • Custom Fields on Lists
  • Customers and Jobs
  • Discounts
  • Documents
  • Estimates
  • Group Items
  • Inactive Elements on Lists
  • Inventory
  • Invoices
  • Journal Entries
  • Memorized Reports
  • Multicurrency
  • Online Banking
  • Online Bill Payment
  • Other Names
  • Password
  • Print Mailing Labels
  • Progress Invoices
  • Purchase Orders
  • QuickBooks Payments
  • Receive Items
  • Reconcile
  • Recurring Transactions
  • Reimbursable Expenses
  • Report Customization
  • Sales Rep
  • Sales Tax and Value-Added Tax (VAT)
  • Ship  Via
  • Shortcut List
  • Tax Support
  • Terms
  • Type: customer, vendor, job
  • To Do list
  • Users and Permissions
  • Vendors
  • Write Letters
If your organization relies on this data, Intuit recommends keeping your data file in QuickBooks Desktop while you try QuickBooks Online. They also recommend maintaining transactions in QuickBooks Online and your desktop version to verify it’s the right fit for your business.
There are certain cases where desktop QuickBooks may be a better fit:
  •  Sales Orders
  • Fixed Asset Tracking With Fixed Asset Manager
  • Price Levels
  • Estimate to Actual Reporting
It is critical to assess the current QuickBooks features you use and how it will be mapped out in the new QuickBooks. Otherwise, you could lose critical data or business functions during the migration.
Check out additional information on what is and isn’t important from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online in the QuickBooks Resource Center.

Step 3: Migrate Your Data

There are two options to migrate your data to QuickBooks Online — the right one depends on how you use the application.

Pro tip: Always make a copy of your data before migrating. This ensures you can restore the data if there’s a botched migration.

Option 1: Migrate to QuickBooks Online

The standard route is migrating to QuickBooks Online’s cloud platform.

By migrating to QuickBooks Online, you’ll be using Intuit-hosted services. You’ll no longer have to support or maintain the operating system. However, if your QuickBooks is integrated with other applications, you may not be able to use Intuit’s platform.

Option 2: Install QuickBooks in Azure

Many organizations have additional applications like a sales CRM, ecommerce platform, timesheets, reporting or quoting services integrated into QuickBooks.

If you have a third-party application or other desktop integrations that won’t work in the cloud, you may need to install QuickBooks in Azure.

With this option, you get the same benefits of storing it securely in the cloud and use Azure technology to back up your environment.

Plus, utilizing Microsoft’s remote desktop can connect thick applications that weren’t designed to work with web applications like QuickBooks Online.

It’s an efficient way to create a more cohesive environment in the cloud, even if you have a legacy on-premises application.

Check out why you should move your on-premises application to the cloud.

Migrate to QuickBooks Online With Helixstorm

Having the right expertise guiding your data migrations is crucial. All IT professionals don’t operate the same. Depending on the organization and role, they range from highly specialized to general support technicians.

If your in-house IT staff doesn’t have migration expertise and cloud technology, it could disrupt business and potentially shut down your QuickBooks, causing data loss, reduced productivity, lost orders and a negative customer service experience.

At Helixstorm, we’ve performed countless legacy migration to the cloud. We have the expertise to migrate you to the cloud on time and on budget.

Give us a call today to get started.