Is it seamless to convert clients from QBDT to Online? How are the reports on QBO compared to Desktop? And are there extra charges on Desktop?


I’m a QBO Proadvisor and have done almost a hundred desktop to online conversions.

The reporting isn’t as robust in QBO, but there are still a lot of reports and all of the basic ones are there.

You do need to have QBO Accountant as opposed to being an admin user on a client account in order to have access to the accountant’s tools, like reclassifying transactions in bulk. Adjusting entries and reconciliations are super simple and are available at the client level, but certain things, like Undoing a bank rec, is only available for a QBO Accountant.

As far as the conversion being seamless, that really depends on the amount of data in the desktop version. Sometimes there are things that have to be cleaned up, but for the most part, I transfer clients without any issues.

Also, if you need to convert an online file back to desktop, it can be done. I’ve only done that once and it was with my own company’s file. And I then converted it to another QBO file. I didn’t have any issues on either end.

There is a monthly/annual subscription, which is different from the desktop version, unless you’re upgrading the desktop version every year. Payroll and merchant services have fees, but desktop also charges for those services. To my knowledge, there aren’t any other charges.

You have to be using the Plus version (which is the more expensive version) to be able to have the 1099 tracking. But I have several clients who use Essentials too, and they can still upload the vendor’s W-9 to the file so I can determine whether or not they get a 1099. I’ve also found that for those clients who are using Essentials, they only have a couple 1099 vendors, as opposed to my clients who use Plus and have several.

You need to have QBO Accountant for multiple windows and undoing bank recs. You can find the accountant’s tools in the briefcase icon next to the client name, once you are inside a client’s file. If you are an admin user for a client account, you will NOT have those tools.

There’s also opening a new window in incognito mode. Then you don’t necessarily need QBOA. But if you’re going to be using QBO for your clients, it doesn’t make sense to not have QBOA for yourself. Especially since it’s free for the accountant.

Jaime Thompson is a Co-Founder and CFO at Bayside Accounting and Consulting – Accounting and tax experts for realtors, service based businesses and non-profits.