Exporting a Copy of Your QuickBooks Online file

by | Sep 20, 2013

Certified QuickBooks Online AdvisorOne consideration if you’re using QuickBooks Online is that you are storing your company’s mission-critical data on Intuit’s server.

They insist that it’s stored in multiple locations, with backups, and that all are encrypted. So I’m not really concerned about someone breaking into my file, but what I AM concerned about is that there is no way to go back in time, if something unexpected happens with my transactions (read: I make a big fat mistake…but I’m a ProAdvisor so that never happens to me…).

If I were using QuickBooks Desktop, I could always go into a backup file from a few days ago and restore it. But with QuickBooks Online, you don’t have that option, because it doesn’t make local backups.

Here’s what you CAN do!  Periodically, in QBO go to the Gear > Tools > Export Data.

This procedure will create a version of your financial data that you can view on a Desktop copy of QuickBooks. If you’re on a Mac, you can also use QuickBooks Desktop’s utility to convert the file for viewing on a Mac.

This won’t allow you to change your data and then re-upload it, but at least you can sleep soundly knowing that if anything happens to Intuit, your company is not lost.

An issue, though: When I tried this for the first time, it didn’t work, and I had to call QuickBooks Online support. Internet Explorer has several security settings that prevent the download and conversion from working. Here are the steps I had to take.

  1. You do need to be on a PC using Internet Explorer to make this happen.
  2. Press and hold ALT+T to get to the Tools Menu and then go to Security and uncheck Enable Protected Mode.
  3. Add https://qbo.intuit.com to the Trusted Sites.
  4. Go to Privacy then click on Advanced button. On Advanced Privacy Settings window, check the boxes for Override automatic cookie handling and Always allow session cookies.
  5. On the Privacy tab, click the checkbox for Turn On Pop-up Blocker then add qbo.intuit.com. Make sure to uncheck the checkbox for Turn On Pop-up Blocker afterwards.
  6. From Tools in IE, go to Compatibility View Settings then add https://qbo.intuit.com and check the checkbox for Display All Websites in Compatibility View.
  7. On the Advanced tab in Internet Options, unclick the checkbox for Enable Enhanced Protected Mode.
  8. Close then re-open IE.
  9. From the Tools in IE, go to Internet Options then Security tab. Click on Custom Level then disable the Enable XSS Filter and Scripting of Java Applets.
  10. Continue with the download but please make sure that the desktop version is open to the No Company Open screen.

When you’re done with the download, don’t forget to put back steps 3, 4, 6, and 8 or you will open your PC to viruses.

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