It’s difficult to predict trends in technology. For a generation, we watched computing move from mainframes and dumb terminals to incredibly powerful desktop PCs. But in the last few years, despite the fact that everyone has a computer on their desk which is more powerful than the ones that were used to send men to the moon, we’re seeing a new trend: cloud computing. Forbes reported last year that 37% of small businesses have already adopted cloud computing, and predicts that number will increase to 78% by 2020.
More and more, companies are moving away from installing old school software on every desktop computer, and opting for subscriptions to online versions of those products. Accounting software is no exception. If, like most small businesses, you’ve been managing your finances with QuickBooks Desktop, you’re probably hearing a lot about transitioning to the cloud-based version, QuickBooks Online. That shouldn’t be too surprising. QuickBooks Online generates more recurring revenue for Intuit than QuickBooks Desktop. It also allows them to target a more global market, and makes it easier for their customers to purchase additional services.
As we’ve told you many times in this blog, there are also lots of good reasons for you to move your bookkeeping to the cloud. But how difficult is it going to be to make that transition? Fortunately, it’s not all that bad. As we mentioned, Intuit is making a big push to get more of their customers on board with the cloud-based version, so they’ve made the process pretty easy. If you’re looking to do the move on your own, a good place to start is right on their website: Overview Guide - Import To QuickBooks Online From QuickBooks Desktop. It’s got links to some handy video tutorials, as well as links to some articles which will be helpful if you need to do any troubleshooting.
In general, the process should be fairly simple and straightforward. We do recommend that before you start the actual export, you do a bit a cleanup on the .qbw file. That’s got all your data in, so make sure you back it up first, and if you have any doubts, bring in a QuickBooks consultant to help you through this. The first step is making sure that your .qbw file can be converted. To start, open your company file in QuickBooks Desktop, and hit the F2 key. When the Product Information box appears, look at the entry for “Total Targets”. If that number is less than 350,000, you should be OK. If it’s higher, you’re going to need to condense the file first.
The next step is to verify your data. Click on File → Utilities → Verify Data. This will ensure that you don’t have any broken database links and make the conversion as smooth as possible.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready. Click on Company → Export Company File To QuickBooks Online. You can follow the prompts from here. The conversion tool will tell you when it’s time to relax and let it do the conversion work. It will even send you an email when the process is complete.
For most small businesses, the transition goes well, and it’s easy to use QuickBooks Online. If you need help managing your books, consider hiring an outside accounting firm. At KYB, we’re familiar with QuickBooks and we love to help our clients set up their books in the cloud!