Have you been running QuickBooks Enterprise, and recently discovered that it’s overkill for your needs? If you’re only using the basic functions, you may only need QuickBooks Premier or even Pro. With the new QuickBooks Enterprise (QBES) subscription model, it may have become too expensive to just keep going that way, since it costs at least $85/month. It may be time to convert QuickBooks Enterprise to Premier or Pro.
QBES doesn’t have any way of converting to Pro or Premier. Until now, you couldn’t downgrade.
I just learned a slick, creative way of using QuickBooks Online (QBO) as a pass-through conversion tool, that can be used in simple circumstances. It involves importing your QBES data into QBO, and then exporting it back out to a Desktop version (QBDT) of your choice.
This isn’t easy to do. If you want help, there are conversion services available who can safely do it for you. Two referrals are given at the end of this article.
Here are the instructions provided by Intuit [with commentary by Alicia in brackets] :
Importing QBES into QBO
Before you get started:
- Your QuickBooks file must be under 350,000 targets (file size does not matter). To trim it down, see Trimming your QuickBooks Windows file for import. [If you are over 350,000, you should probably stay in Enterprise, since it’s built for large files. Condensing your QB file removes your history and can cause corruption.]
- You will need to create a QuickBooks Online free trial account at http://qbo.intuit.com.
- You can only import QuickBooks Desktop data within the first 60 days of your QuickBooks Online company start date. If imported, your QuickBooks Desktop file will also replace your entire QuickBooks Online file and overwrite any existing information.
- You must be an Administrator level user on your Quickbooks Online account.
- You must be logged in as the Admin user in your Desktop file.
- You must use Internet Explorer in Windows. Other browsers won’t work.
- If you receive any errors regarding the file you’re importing, see Errors Importing to QuickBooks Online
- To understand key differences and unsupported features prior to moving, see What’s not imported when you move from desktop to online.
Important notice for Enterprise users:
Intuit does not officially support moving data from QuickBooks Enterprise to QuickBooks online and data loss may occur.
As an Enterprise user, you have access to many advanced features not available in QuickBooks or QuickBooks online. In some cases you may have found yourself in Enterprise on accident, or only using the bare essentials, in which case moving will likely not be a problem. In all other cases however, you should strongly consider if QuickBooks online is right for your business by looking at Intuit’s import limitations above and testing out needed features first through a test drive.
[If you are running inventory, be aware that your calculations will change. QB Enterprise typically uses Average Cost to calculate COGS, while QBO changes it to FIFO (“first in, first out”). When you round trip back to Pro or Premier, you’re back to Average Cost. After your conversion, your Inventory Assets and COGS may be different than they were before. Please check with your accountant, as this might require filing a form with the IRS.]
[If you are running Intuit Payroll, you will need to set up your Payroll subscription from scratch in the new file. Call Intuit Desktop Payroll Support at (866) 223-5562 and talk to them before starting.]
[QuickBooks Online has additional data limitations that Enterprise does not. Check this list before you proceed: https://community.intuit.com/articles/1145940-quickbooks-online-file-size-and-feature-limits.]
When you’re ready:
- Subscribe to QuickBooks Online.
- Make a backup of your Enterprise file onto your local computer. Restore the backup to create a second copy, and work off of this second copy. That way, if anything goes wrong your original file is untouched. You are also now working off your local copy, instead of the server.
- Open QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions to the Home screen.
- Press Ctrl+1 to open the Product Information window
- Once opened, press Ctrl+b followed by Ctrl+q.
- Click OK to close the Product information window.
- The screen below should automatically come up. If you don’t see this screen, attempt Step 2 one more time.
- Enter your QuickBooks Online login info, agree to the Terms of Service, and click Submit.
- Pick the online company you want to import your data into.
- Note: You may only have the option to import list and balances if your company file is too large to import. If you don’t see this screen, continue to the next step below.
If QuickBooks is freezing or unresponsive during the import:
First, open Internet Explorer (Non 64-bit if you have two), then follow the guide to disable/enable the appropriate settings:
- Press and hold ALT+T to get to the Tools Menu. From here go to Internet Options at the bottom, then go to the Security tab at the top and uncheck the Enable Protected Mode box.
- On this same page, click on Sites and add one at a time, https://qbo.intuit.com and https://lvdc.qbo.intuit.com to the Trusted Sites, then click Close.
- Still on the Security tab, click on the Zone with an image of a globe called Internet. Drag the slider for security level to Low or Medium.
- Click Apply, then OK. Now close and re-open Internet Explorer before attempting to re-do the import.
11. After following all the above steps, try the import again. During the import flow you will likely get a pop-up asking you to be redirected to qbo.intuit.com, and if you trust this site? Please click Yes to continue.
12. Click OK, Got it. Look for an email from Intuit when your data is done converting and you can log back into QBO.
13. Compare the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet standard reports for All Dates in QBO and in QuickBooks Enterprise to ensure that your data transferred correctly.
Exporting from QBO to QBDT Premier or Pro
Once your file is up and running in QBO, use Internet Explorer to Export your QBO file into a backup for Desktop.Click on the Gear and choose Tools: Export Data.
- Follow the prompts to make sure ActiveX Controls are installed. Click Continue.
- Choose All Financial Data to convert your entire file. If you want to start fresh, choose All financial data without transactions, which will bring over balances but not the history. You can always refer to your old QBES file if needed.
- Once the file has been exported, the next step is to Convert it.
- Open QBDT to the screen where you pick a company to open.
- In QBO, click the button to Convert the file from QBO. Follow the prompts – sometimes the window appears behind other windows, so look for it!
- Once you’re done, don’t forget cancel your QBO trial subscription…although you may want to poke around. A lot of people love QBO more than Desktop.
- Once the import has finished, you will want to restore your browser to its default setting. Do this by opening up Internet Explorer and following these steps:
- Press and hold ALT+T to get to the Tools Menu. From here go to Internet Options at the bottom, then go to the Security tab at the top.
- Click Reset all zones to default level, then click Apply, OK, and close Internet Explorer.
Because this technique is complex, and only to be used in very specific circumstances, I recommend you contact one of these two professionals instead of doing it yourself:
Shannon Tucker: http://quickbooksusers.com/quickbooks-enterprise-downgrade/
But for all of you on QuickBooks Enterprise who know you’re not using any Enterprise-specific features, and have wished there was a way to simplify, use this workaround to import your file into QuickBooks Online and then export it back out again, solving your problem.