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Microsoft Excel to QuickBooks Data Conversion

Switch from Excel to QuickBooks and obtain user-friendly accounting

Switch from Excel to QuickBooks and obtain user-friendly accounting solutions, significantly enhancing productivity.  

QuickBooks stands out for its robust features tailored specifically for accounting and financial management tasks. It provides comprehensive tools for invoicing, expense tracking, payroll management, and financial reporting, all in one centralized platform. In comparison, Excel lacks the specialized features and automation capabilities which QuickBooks offers. 

Quickbooks emerges as the preferred option for users due to its versatility, functionality, and ability to adapt to evolving business needs. 

QuickBooks provides several versions which include Pro, Premier, Enterprise, and Online, each tailored to different needs. For migrating from Excel to QuickBooks, customers prefer to choose QuickBooks Enterprise because of its advanced features and scalability, ensuring a seamless transition.    

Switch from Excel to QuickBooks 

Customers often highlight the challenges of Excel, such as manual data entry, limited automation, complexity in formulas, limited reporting capabilities, and scalability limitations. Migrating to QuickBooks will solve these concerns, providing scalability,advanced features, user-friendly interface, and seamless integration, eventually enhancing businesses efficiency and productivity.   

However, QuickBooks also has its drawbacks. It may lack some of the advanced customization options and scalability for extremely complex financial models or large datasets. Additionally, QuickBooks reliance on internet connectivity for certain functions could pose challenges for businesses operating in areas with unreliable access. Excel provides unparalleled flexibility in creating customized financial models and analysis tools, accessible without internet connectivity and requiring no specialized training or software licenses. 

All About QuickBooks Data Conversion 

QuickBooks offers versatile solutions for businesses through both desktop and cloud-based versions, accommodating various needs from small startups to large enterprises. The desktop versions-Pro, Premier, and Enterprise-provide comprehensive features for accounting payroll, and inventory management, catering to industry specific needs. QuickBooks Online offers cloud flexibility, real-time data syncing, and collaboration features, adapting to modern business requirements with a subscription based model. 

Both options ensure robust security measures and encryption protocols to protect financial information. Customers can choose between the office accessibility and advanced features of QuickBooks Desktop or the cloud convenience and scalability of QuickBooks Online based on their unique business needs, empowering them to align their accounting software with their operational preferences. 

Why you Need an Expert to Switch from Excel to QuickBooks Conversion

Expertise is very important when transitioning from Excel to QuickBooks because of several reasons. Firstly, the differing data structures and formats between the two platforms requires careful analysis and restructuring, so it should be handled by someone who has expertise in both systems. 

Secondly, accurately mapping data fields during the conversion process is essential to avoid errors, a process which requires a deep understanding of both Excel and QuickBooks. Additionally, complex transactions common in business operations demand specialized knowledge to ensure their accurate transfer.

Lastly, providing training and ongoing support to user post-conversion is important for maximizing the role of QuickBooks, a role which requires expertise in both the software and effective training techniques. 

Excel to QuickBooks Data Conversion: Checklist 

  • QuickBooks Integrations: Emphasize integrating key features such as Payroll and Time Tracking post-conversion to enhance business process. 
  • Browser Requirements: Prioritize stable internet access and utilize Google Chrome for optimal compatibility throughout the conversion process. 
  • Excel Installation: Install Excel on the same computer as QuickBooks to facilitate seamless data transfer between the system. 
  • Operating System Compatibility: Verify the system operates on Windows 8, Windows 10, or Windows 11 to effectively support the conversion process. 
  • Processor Requirement: Ensure efficient handling of conversion tasks by maintaining a minimum of a 500 MHz Intel Pentium II processor. 
  • Memory (RAM) Requirement: Allocate at least 512 MB of RAM to support the conversion process and prevent system slowdowns. 
  • Microsoft .NET Framework:.Confirm compatibility with Microsoft.NET Framework Version 2.0 to ensure compatibility with conversion tools, 
  • Excel Version: Use Excel Version 2013 or higher to facilitate the conversion process without encountering compatibility issues.
  • Hard Drive Space: Allocate a minimum of 2.5 GB of free space on the hard drive to accommodate conversion files and ensure smooth operations. 
  • QuickBooks Compatibility: Verify compatibility with QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, or Enterprise editions for seamless conversion and functionality. 
  • Cross-Region Conversions:.Note that QuickBooks Data Conversion tool cannot be used for cross-region conversions, ensuring compliance with data protection regulation. 
  • Storage Considerations: Ensure sufficient hard drive space to store both QuickBooks database and associated files of Excel for efficient data management. 

Process of Converting Excel to QuickBooks 

Converting Excel to QuickBooks 

Note: From an Excel spreadsheet, you can import Vendor, Customer, Items, and Charts of Accounts. There are few options available through which you can import Excel files from QuickBooks. 

Option 1: Use Standard Import 

QuickBooks creates a formatted Excel sheet through which data can be entered. The data that will be entered into the sheet will be available for review in QuickBooks. 

  • First, go to the File menu, and choose Utilities and then Import, after that choose the Excel files. 
  • Now, click on the No option when the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries Windows appears. 
  • In Importing files follow the wizard.
  • Select the type of data. 
    • QuickBooks will display an Excel spreadsheet with formatting. After entering your information, saving the file and closing it, the Add My Data Now option will appear. 
    • Now you are required to review the results and view the Data in QuickBooks. 
    • You have to choose the Close option, once you’re done. 

To Import Chart of Accounts 

  • You are required to choose the Charts of Accounts by navigating to the Lists menu. 
  • By selecting the Account drop-down menu at the bottom, choose Import from Excel option. 
  • Choose the Browse option to select the Excel file you want to import. 
  • Now, you need to select the file and then you have to choose the Open option. 
  • Then,  you have to choose the Excel Sheet where you want to import your data. 
  • Now, map your accounts. 
    • First, type in a mapping name.
    • Now, choose Account as Import type. 
    • Under the QuickBooks match the information with the column headings in your Excel sheet. 
    • Select Save after completing.
  • Lastly, you have to choose Import. If it is the first time you’re importing then Select Yes to confirm the process. 

Option 2: Use Advanced Import 

For Items 

If you want to import items and you do not have an Excel or CSV file yet then follow these steps below: 

Step 1: Turn on Inventory Preferences
  • First, login as admin to your company file. 
  • Now, make sure that Single-user mode option is selected. 
  • Then, you need to choose Preferences from the QuickBooks Edit Menu. 
  • From the left pane, select Items & Inventory and then, choose the Company Preferences tab. 
  • Lastly, choose the Inventory and Purchase Orders are Active checkbox, then choose OK.  
Step 2: In Your Data File Set up Accounts 
  • First, choose the Chart of Accounts from the Lists Menu. 
  • Now, from the Chart of Accounts right-click anywhere and then select New. 
  • Then, select the Account Type. For this step, you’re required to create the following account types. 
    • To track sales Income Account 
    • Inventory Asset Account
    • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) Account
Step 3: For Each Item Create Your Data with the following: 
  • Item Name: Insert the name which you want on your item list. 
    • When you’re importing a spreadsheet with Sub-Items, the Parent Item should be already present in the item list or it should appear before the sub-item in the list order. 
    • The Item Name would be formatted with the Parent and the Sub-Item separated by a colon if you were importing Sub-Items.
  • Item Type: You can add the type of item which is inventory part, service, etc. As it displays in QuickBooks item names must be spelled out the same. 
  • Description of the Item: The description written of the item should match what is found in the item list, sales orders, sales receipts, and invoices. 
  • Income Account: Name of the Income Account which records the item’s sales. 
  • Inventory Asset Account: Name of the asset account which records the inventory value. 
  • Name of the COGS Account: Name of the account in which purchases of the items will be recorded under COGS. 
  • On-Hand Quantity: The Quantity on Hand of the Item(Inventory Items only). 
  • Cost of Item: Cost of the Item.
  • Sales Price: Sales cost of the Item. 
  • Total Value: Total cost of the Item (New Inventory Items only).
  • As of Date:  When the item was last purchased (New Inventory Items only). 
  • Is Passed Thru: Ensure to insert a Y in this column so that you can easily track both the cost and the item’s price. 
Step 4: Prepare to Import 

Note: In your spreadsheet create dedicated cell and map your data accordingly( For example: Inventory: Inventory part items, other charge: other charge items, Non-inventory part:Non-inventory part item, Service: Service item, or Discount: Discount Item). 

Ensure you know where the Excel spreadsheet file is located. Throughout the process, QuickBooks and the spreadsheet will sync. 

  • First, you need to start QuickBooks. 
  • Now, open your company data file. 
  • Without rewriting any old backup you can back up the QuickBooks Company file. 
Step 5: Import the Spreadsheet
  • First, go to the File menu, then choose the Utilities option, after that Import, and then Excel Files. 
  • Now, when the window appears on the screen of Add/Edit Multiple List, choose No. 
  • Then, you need to choose Advanced Import and then set up a mapping. 
    • Choose Browse and then select the Excel file. 
    • From the Excel workBook, select the correct sheet. 
    • To see the available header in your file, select This data file has header rows checkbox. 
    • Lastly, choose Add New from Choose a mapping dropdown menu. 

On the Mappings window:

  • Insert a name in the mapping name box (customer, vendors, etc.), for easy identification of the mapping. 
  • Select the data you are importing from the Import type option. 
  • Choose Save after aligning the QuickBooks and Import Data columns. 
  • Select Preview to verify the mapping. 
  • Lastly, complete the import by selecting Import. 

You have the following choices if you see the Duplicate Record Found error: 

  • The imported data needs to be discarded; keep the existing data. 
  • Ignoring blank fields, import data should replace any existing data. 
  • Import data, including fields with blank values, should replace the existing data. 

Option 3: Using Add/Edit Multiple Lists

With this option you can add and edit multiple customers, vendors, and items. This option cant be used to import transactions (invoices, bills,etc): rather, this is for list information(name, description, etc). 

  • First, navigate to the List menu and choose Add/Edit Multiple List Entries. 
  • Now, select the list you wish to work with. 
  • Then, use the Customize Columns button to select the right column on the window. 
  • After that, you can add, rearrange, or remove columns. 

Note: It is not possible to remove certain columns that are customer or vendor names. The order in which they display, however, can be changed. 

  • You have to edit the changes in the appropriate fields in Excel and fix the errors before saving the changes. 

What Can be Converted from Excel to QuickBooks? 

What Can be Converted from Excel to QuickBooks

During the conversion process from Excel to QuickBooks, there are several data elements which can be converted to ensure a smooth conversion. 

  • Chart of Accounts: It includes a list of all the accounts used by a company to group its financial transactions, which includes assets, liabilities, equity, income and expenses. 
  • Customer list: It is a comprehensive compilation of all customers contact details and transaction histories, facilitating efficient management and tracking of client relationships. 
  • Vendor List: It consists of all the vendors contact information and transaction records, through which businesses can efficiently manage their supplier relationships and track expenses. 
  • Jobs List: It contains all the specific projects or jobs managed by business with their associated details such as deadline, tasks, and budgets. 
  • Employee List: It arranges all employee details which includes contact information, employment history, and payroll settings, for streamlined personnel management. 
  • Service Items: It is defined as specific services that are offered by a business, including pricing, description, and associated income accounts, facilitating accurate invoicing and revenue tracking. 
  • Inventory Items: It shows the goods a business buys, sells, or uses during its operations, including details like quantities, descriptions, coasts, and selling prices, enabling accurate inventory management and financial tracking. 
  • Non-Inventory Items: it is defined as the items that are purchased, sold, or used in business operations but they cant be tracked as part of the inventory, typically including details such as coasts, descriptions, and selling prices for accurate financial recording and invoicing. 
  • Assembly Builds Items: It is mentioned as the products which are created by collecting other inventory items, allowing for accurate tracking of components used and streamlined inventory management.  
  • Attachments: It represents the files, documents, or images which are linked to specific transactions or records, providing further context and documentation for easy reference and audit purposes. 
  • Unreconciled Transactions: These are the financial transactions which are not matched or reconciled with corresponding bank or credit card statements, requiring further review and verification for accuracy in financial records. 
  • Allocation of Invoices or Bills against credit notes: It includes applying credit notes to offset the balances of invoices or bills, ensuring accurate accounting and reflecting  adjustments in financial records.  

What Can’t be Converted from Excel to QuickBooks? 

During the conversion from Excel to QuickBooks, various data elements may not transfer directly due to variations in software functionality. 

  • The payroll transactions and employee year-to-date info: It compass detailed records of employee compensation and tax withholdings for the current year, but they cannot be directly converted to QuickBooks due to difference in data structures and software compatibility.  
  • Payroll items used to calculate paychecks: It shows many components that are used to calculate employee paychecks, including deductions, and wages taxes, but they can’t be directly converted to QuickBooks. 
  • Individual employee wage or deduction information: It includes the detailed records of each employee’s specific earnings and deductions, but they cannot be directly converted to QuickBooks. 
  • Fixed asset: It contains long-term assets such as property, vehicles, and equipment, but they can’t be directly converted to QuickBooks. 
  • Work tickets: These are considered as the documents which are used to track the progress and details of work orders or service tasks, but they cannot be directly converted to QuickBooks. 
  • Closed or partially closed sales orders, purchase orders, and estimates: It shows the completed or partially fulfilled transactions, but they can’t be directly converted to QuickBooks. 

Common Errors Encountered in QuickBooks Data Conversion Process

When converting data from Excel to QuickBooks, businesses frequently encounter a range of challenges throughout the conversion process. 

  • Inaccurate mapping and data fields leading to disarrangement of information. 
  • Corruption or data loss throughout the conversion process. 
  • Incompatibility issues between the Excel and QuickBooks data formats. 
  • Lost or incomplete data because of the limitation in the conversion tool. 
  • Wrong setup of vendors, accounts, or customers causing discrepancies. 
  • Currency and tax-related issues because of differences in accounting methodologies. 
  • Integration problems with third-party applications and plugins. 
  • Issues in the transaction history, such as incorrect balance or duplicate entries. 
  • Inadequate data validation leading to inaccurate financial reports. 
  • Insufficient user training resulting in improper utilization of QuickBooks features post-conversion. 


Switching from Excel to QuickBooks requires meticulous planning and execution to ensure a seamless conversion process. Leveraging QuickBooks’ user-friendly interface and advanced features, businesses can enhance their financial management capabilities and position themselves for growth in today’s dynamic business environment. 

By : April 10, 2024
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