QB Issue Resolution:

If you’re considering exporting list and transaction data from QuickBooks Online (QBO) to another version of QuickBooks, we’d like to provide you with a little information, just so you understand the capabilities and limitations of the process.

Important: Please take careful note of the limitations listed below for the various list names. Most export errors are due to list names that are too long. If you have any list names that are longer than the limits described here, youmust edit the items and shorten the names before exporting.

Detailed information

Software Required:

  • Exporting from QBO requires QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise 2004 or newer installed on your computer.
  • You can export from QuickBooks Simple Start Online to QuickBooks Simple Start Desktop versions 2004 & 2005, but not to versions 2006 or newer.
  • You can export from QBO to QuickBooks Basic 2004 Release 5 or later, but no older versions.
  • You can’t export to the Premier Nonprofit or Retail editions.

Size Limitations:

  • There isn’t a known limitation of File Size (MB) for any file generated through the export process.  As long as your system has enough disk space, is setup to where it will not sleep, or turn-off while idle, you should be able to export all data.  The only size limitations would be the limitations of the Desktop program that you are trying to convert to.  For list and item limitations for Desktop products see INF12412.

Here’s some information for you on how all your list data will be exported from QuickBooks Online to another QuickBooks version:

Chart of Accounts: All your accounts are exported to accounts with the same name with the following exceptions:

  • The account Name is limited to 31 characters.  This includes the account number if it’s been entered as part of the name.
  • The Detail Type is not exported.
  • Account numbers are exported, but only appear if you turn on the preference in the desktop version to show them. (You’ll see instructions on how to do that after exporting is successful.)
  • Deleted accounts are exported as inactive accounts, and they lose their account numbers.


Products and Services List:  If you track expenses billed to a customer, the associated income account is not exported. In QuickBooks desktop, products and services are converted to items and are tracked in the Item List with the following exceptions:

  • All products and services will be converted to Service Type items. You can’t change or edit the Item Type.
  • The Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Taxable Status is not exported.
  • Quantity on Hand is not exported.
  • Default purchase costs and sale prices are not exported.
  • Deleted products and services are exported as inactive items.


Customer List: All data about each customer is exported with the following exceptions:

  • The Display Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Full Name and Company Name are each limited to 41 characters.
  • The Billing Address and Ship Address are each limited to three lines with 41 characters each.
  • The E-mail address is limited to 81 characters.
  • The Customer Notes, Preferred Delivery Method, Mobile number, Pager number and Is Taxable status are not exported.
  • Deleted customers are exported as inactive customers.
  • If a subcustomer has default terms, they are changed to match its parent customer’s default terms instead.
  • If a customer record has Is Taxable selected, this designation is lost when exported.
  • Credit card information is not exported.


Vendor List:

  • The Display Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Full Name and Company Name are each limited to 41 characters.
  • The Print on Check As field is limited to 41 characters.
  • The Address is limited to three lines with 41 characters each.
  • The E-mail Address is limited to 81 characters.
  • The Vendor Notes, Mobile number, and Pager number are not exported.
  • Deleted vendors are exported as inactive vendors.
  • The 1099 status is not exported; vendors who receive 1099s will need to be edited and re-marked for 1099 after exporting.


Employee List:

  • The Display Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • The Full Name is limited to 39 characters.
  • Employee Notes are not exported.
  • Deleted employees are exported as inactive employees.


Class List:

  • The Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • Deleted classes are exported as inactive classes.


Payment Method List:

  • The Name is limited to 31 characters.
  • All data about each payment method is exported.

User list and Location list:

  • The information in these lists will not be exported. These lists do not exist in the QuickBooks Desktop versions.


Recurring Transaction List, Terms List and Budgets:

  • The information in these lists will not be exported.
  • The corresponding lists in the QuickBooks desktop versions will contain their default list items. (Recurring templates are called memorized transactions in the QuickBooks desktop versions.)


Other Lists: The following lists don’t exist in QBO. These lists will be created in QuickBooks desktop and will contain their default list items except:

  • Other Names List
  • Price Level List
  • Payroll Item List
  • Sales Rep List
  • Customer Type List
  • Vendor Type List
  • Job Type List
  • Ship Via List
  • Memorized Report List
  • Templates List
  • Purchase Order List
  • To Do List


List Item Limit:

  • The number of combined list items in QuickBooks Pro or Premier is 14,500.
  • If you have more than that in QuickBooks Online, use the Enterprise Edition.


Transactions: When you export transactions, you go beyond exporting the balances in each account; you also export the transactions behind each balance. These transactions are exported:  Invoices, Sales Receipts, Credit Memos, and Refund Receipts.  Recurring transactions are not exported.

  • Most data is exported except Location information, custom field data, and To Be Sent status.
  • Invoices that contain charges, credits, billable expenses, or time associated with subcustomers will be separated into one invoice per customer.   Note:  Because of rounding differences in the two formats, there may be instances when payments applied to certain invoices will fail.  In this case, you would need to manually edit the invoice and correct the amount, and manually enter the associated payment if it didn’t export.
  • Each refund receipt is converted to a credit memo and check (if the refund is from a bank account) or to a general journal entry (for refunds from other types of accounts).
  • Received payments, bill payments: Most data from these types of transactions is exported.
  • Bills, checks, credit card charges, credit card credits, vendor credits, journal entries, and deposits: Most data from these types of transactions is exported.
  • Billable status on a deposit is not exported.
  • When the check number field is blank, it will be assigned a number in the QuickBooks desktop version. This can cause duplicate check numbers. If you don’t want this to happen, before you export, please enter some notation in the check number field (for example EFT).


Payroll Information:

  • Paychecks and Liability Payments
    • Exported as normal checks.
    • The Pay Period and Liability Period is not exported.
    • If a check number field is blank, it will be assigned a number by the QuickBooks desktop edition. This may cause duplicate check numbers.
  • After exporting, if you want to continue running your payroll with a QuickBooks payroll service (such as QuickBooks Assisted Payroll, QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll Plus, or QuickBooks Standard Payroll), you will need to go through a payroll setup process again and enter year-to-date information.


Cash purchases: Cash purchases are converted to checks.

Transfer funds: Fund transfers are converted to general journal entries.

Time-Tracking activities: All time activity information is exported with the exception of Location, as there is no comparable feature in the desktop editions.
Note: The ‘Is Taxable’ designation on the customer record is lost when exporting online data into the desktop edition. Customers, therefore, must audit their customer list to reassign the Taxable/Non-Taxable designation on each customer, prior to invoicing for billable time.

Reconcile: After exporting, the Reconcile screen in the desktop edition may show the beginning balance as zero and display old transactions. For steps to correct this, see knowledgebase article KB 1458.

Estimates: Estimates are not exported.

Statements: Statements are not exported.

Purchase Orders: Purchase orders are not exported.

Activity Log:  Activity log is not exported.

Charges, credits: Charges and credits are non-posting transactions, so they are not exported. Instead, the invoices that contain them are exported. Before you export, use New Invoice to post unbilled charges and credits onto invoices.

For all transactions:

  • Any transaction with two or more Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable lines become multiple journal entries. (One entry is created for each A/R or A/P line.)
  • Voided transactions of these types are not exported: received payments, transfers, and bill payments made by check or credit card.
  • Markup and locations are not exported.
  • Tax is exported as a detail line item, instead of using the QuickBooks Pro or Premier Tax feature.
  • Links between invoices and received payments and links between bills and bill payments are maintained.