How to Convert Your QuickBooks for Mac Company File to QuickBooks Online


By Amanda Karen | CrunchSum



QuickBooks Online is becoming more widely used among small business owners. With the many benefits it offers including anywhere, anytime access and automatic data backups, it’s no surprise that many are converting to QuickBooks Online from their QuickBooks desktop version. This tutorial walks you through step by step how to convert your QuickBooks for Mac file to QuickBooks Online.

    *To accomplish this you will need to be using some type of virtual machine software that enables you to operate in both Mac and Windows operating systems. At CrunchSum, we use Parallels. If you do not currently have a virtual machine process in place contact CrunchSum and we can save you the time and convert your desktop data to QuickBooks Online for you.

      Step 1: Sign Up for QuickBooks Online

      If you are new to QuickBooks Online, find out how you can get a discount here. Determine which plan is right for you and sign up.

        *If you are not using QuickBooks for Mac skip to step 4. You can also reference this post, which walks you through step-by-step how to convert your QuickBooks PC desktop company file to QuickBooks Online.

          Step 2: Make a Copy of Your QuickBooks for Mac File

          Currently, QuickBooks Online can only import Windows-only converted data. Because of this you need to first convert your QuickBooks for Mac file to a Windows version.


          In QuickBooks for Mac: File > Back Up to QuickBooks for Windows. This saves your file in a .qbb format, which you will need for the next step.

            converting quickbooks for mac to quickbooks online

              Step 3: Open QuickBooks for Mac File in Windows Version of QuickBooks

                File > Open or Restore Company > Restore a backup copy > Next

                  converting quickbooks for mac to quickbooks online

                    Local backup > Next, select your QuickBooks for Mac file (make sure it is in .qbb format) > Open

                      converting quickbooks for mac to quickbooks online

                        Select Next to choose the location where the restored file will be saved in the new .qbw format. By default, your file will be saved with your other QuickBooks company files. Electing to save to your desktop may be easiest.

                          converting quickbooks for mac to quickbooks online

                            After your file has been successfully restored then choose to update the company file.

                              converting QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks Online

                                If you receive the message below, select Yes. It will then update and rebuild your data file. This step can take a few minutes to complete.

                                  converting QuickBooks for Mac to QuickBooks Online

                                    Click OK and your QuickBooks for Mac file should open in your Windows version of QuickBooks.

                                      converting quickbooks for mac to quickbooks online

                                        Step 4: Save Company File in QuickBooks Online Format

                                          From within your QuickBooks desktop PC version, create a copy of your company file that is compatible with QuickBooks Online.

                                            File > Utilities > Copy Company File for QuickBooks Online

                                              converting quickbooks for mac to quickbooks online

                                                Save the file to your desktop.

                                                  This will create a new QuickBooks Online compatible file with the file extension: OE.qbw.

                                                    Step 5: Import Your QuickBooks Desktop File into QuickBooks Online

                                                      Currently, you can only import your desktop file into QuickBooks Online using the Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9 browser.

                                                        Company > More > Import QuickBooks Desktop Data

                                                          converting quickbooks for mac to quickbooks online

                                                            Select the file you want to import and then continue through the interview process until your file has successfully been imported. You should receive an email confirming that your file import is complete. It is recommended that you do not login to your QuickBooks Online account until you receive this email.

                                                              Click here to learn more about converting your QuickBooks desktop data to QuickBooks Online.


                                                              Have you made the switch to QuickBooks Online from QuickBooks for Mac? Tell us about your experience below!


                                                              CrunchSum provides web-based bookkeeping and QuickBooks support services to web and technology companies.


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                                                              6 thoughts on “How to Convert Your QuickBooks for Mac Company File to QuickBooks Online

                                                              1. Amanda Karen,
                                                                This is great and I think the route I need to take with my company file. I’m honestly quite lazy when it comes to entering my company’s bank transactions after taking care of my clients, and the fact that QBO automatically downloads this information…why haven’t I done this sooner? All I have to do is categorize!
                                                                Now that you’ve shown me how seamless it is, I’m going to do it RIGHT NOW!
                                                                :)

                                                                • Yes, in addition to automatic downloaded transactions, with QuickBooks Online you can enjoy many benefits including anywhere, anytime access, automatic data backups, reduced data entry and more. Enjoy QuickBooks Online Shamese! Thanks for the comment.

                                                              2. Hi great article. Is there a way to get the data into the online format from Mac Quickbooks 2010 without owning a copy of Windows Quickbooks??? Many Thanks!

                                                                • Hi Dave,

                                                                  Unfortunately, at this time, there is not. QuickBooks Online requires a converted windows version of your file for import. This is a task that CrunchSum can complete for you. For more information please send an email to: info@crunchsum.com. Thanks for your comment.

                                                                  • This is pretty ridiculous. I am excited for the transition – support whatever our company does, but my experience as a contractor for several clients over the past few years is that QuickBooks is clearly Accountant- and report-centered, and not business-oriented. Not even friendly! I have had to become an expert in so many tricks just to have an invoice be what works for a client, and even confirmed with QB reps that they simply have certain options because so many people complained about it, so – while it’s not functional for what the people need – they just added the list item to make them happy. (They confirmed it as professionally as possible when I asked to be clear.) And now, with all the designers and creative firms in this technology age, there is NO option but to have, not just a Windows machine, but Quickbooks for Windows (!!!) in order to transition from QB Desktop for Mac to QBO? It’s not like you can install your software on both platforms, that requires using someone else’s expensive software, or being “lucky” enough to have access to both platforms.

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