This article will help you fix errors when importing to QuickBooks Online from QuickBooks Desktop. This also includes the reason why specific errors show up during the process. Select the error you receive from the list below to know more about it:

Please delete all employees already entered in QuickBooks Online

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This happens when QuickBooks Online has detected that you have activated payroll features, which may include Billing Hold, Direct Deposit Enrollment, and E-Services Enrollment (US only).

For Windows users:
  • It also occurs if you have payroll turned off in your Desktop file and have payroll turned on in your QuickBooks Online subscription. You can turn on payroll in QuickBooks Desktop by going to the Edit menu > Preferences > Payroll & Employees > Company Preferences > select Full Payroll or Online Payroll.
  • This also occurs if there is no payroll information (employees & paychecks/paycheques)
For Mac users (US only):
  • Payroll does not exist within QuickBooks for Mac. You cannot import a Mac file to a QuickBooks Online company that has existing employee/payroll information.
  • If you are using Intuit Online Payroll (IOP)* to export transactions to your file, you can sever the connection to Mac and export the transactions to QuickBooks Online.

*Click here for steps to export Intuit Online Payroll data to QuickBooks Online.

How do I fix this?

If you have activated payroll features or imported/created payroll previously:
  1. Create a new QuickBooks Online account.
    Note: Contact us if you have special discounts that may be lost in creating a new account.
  2. Import your Desktop data into the new account.
If you don't want to create a new account and haven't activated E-Services (QuickBooks Desktop for Windows Only):
  1. Go to Edit > Preferences > Payroll & Employees > Company Preferences tab.
  2. Select Full Payroll.
  3. Create a dummy/test Employee.
  4. From the Banking menu > Write Checks for the dummy/test employee. (These can both be deleted after import.)
  5. Retry importing to QuickBooks Online.
    Note: If you don't want to overwrite the existing payroll information, you will need to create a new QuickBooks Online account.
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Export QBDT Data to QBO: ERROR

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This error occurs when the path to your company file is more than 4 folders deep. Example: C:\My Stuff\QuickBooks files\My Company\2016\Work Files\data.qbw.

How do I fix this?

  1. Press F2 or Ctrl+1 to open the Product Information window. Check the Location to know where the file is saved.
  2. Close QuickBooks Desktop.
  3. Copy the company file to any folder in the C:\ drive.
  4. Open QuickBooks Desktop and go to File > Open or Restore Company.
  5. Open the saved file from the new location.
  6. Once the file is opened, you can retry importing to QuickBooks Online.
If you still cannot export the file after moving the file, delete your [CompanyFileName].qbw.ND file. Search for *.ND on your computer to locate the file.

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Stop running this script?

  • Select Yes to stop the import from completing.
  • Select No to allow the import process to complete successfully.  
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Screen freezes on Making a Copy of Your Company File & 503 Error

This can happen if you have used payroll in your QuickBooks Online company. The easiest way to solve this is to start a new QuickBooks Online account. If you start a new account, don't forget to cancel your old one.

How do I fix this?

For Windows users:
  1. Close QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Right-click the Task Bar > Start Task Manager.
  3. Check the Processes tab and end any QBW32.EXE processes (if applicable).
  4. Add https://* to your browser's Trusted Sites Zone.
    1. Open Internet Explorer.
    2. Select the Gear menu, then choose Internet Options.
    3. From the Security tab, select Trusted Sites.
    4. Ensure that the Enable Protected Mode checkbox is NOT checked.
    5. Select Default Level and set it to Low.
    6. Select the Sites button, and add https://* to the list of trusted sites.
    7. Select Close > Apply > OK.
  5. Close Internet Explorer.
  6. Reopen QuickBooks Desktop and retry importing.
For Mac users (US only):
  1. Close QuickBooks for Mac.
  2. Open Safari and clear cache (instructions).
  3. Close Safari and reopen QuickBooks for Mac.
  4. Retry importing the data to QuickBooks Online.
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System error (-14008)

QuickBooks encountered a system error (-14008) while exporting your company file. Your Company file has not been exported.

You may see this error when you try exporting a damaged company file . Take note that even if you perform Verify, it may still state that “QuickBooks has detected no problems in your data.”

How do I fix this?

For US customers:

For Canada customers:

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Uh-oh! Your file is too big to export

File too Large
To check the file size of the QuickBooks Desktop file:

  1. Open your company in QuickBooks Desktop.
  2. Press F2 or Ctrl+1 on your keyboard. This will open the Product Information window.
  3. Under File Information, check the File Size.
  • US/CA: The file can only have a maximum of 350,000 targets in order to import.
  • UK: The file can only have a maximum of 500,000 targets in order to import.
How do I fix this?
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    Error: There was a problem checking this company for import eligibility


    This is happening because:

    • You are not a Master Admin, Company Admin, or Accountant user in the QuickBooks Online company file.
    • There is an issue with the QuickBooks Online Payroll account services. In this case, it's typically because the payroll module is failing to sync with the QuickBooks account itself.  
    • A QuickBooks Online account has been created but not actually opened before you try to import data.
      1. Open the QuickBooks Online company account.
      2. If you are being blocked by the setup interview, please complete:
        • How long in business?
        • Checkbox for Bring in Desktop data.
      3. You will be redirected to the home screen of QuickBooks Online. Once you are on the home screen, you can retry importing.
    How do I fix this?
    Note: Make sure you cancel your old QuickBooks Online subscription so you don't get billed for it.
    • You can also follow these steps if you don't want to start a new account:
    1. Log into your QuickBooks Online account.
    2. Go to the Gear icon > Company Settings
    3. Fill in the Contact Info with your business information (Company Address, Legal Address, and Customer Address).
    4. Select Save then Done.
    5. Go back to QuickBooks Desktop, and attempt to import again.
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    Error: Error in processing data for Mac Desktop file

     Mac Export error

    This can be fixed by updating to the latest Mac release (US only).

    1. From the QuickBooks menu > Check for QuickBooks Updates.
    2. Select Install Updates.
    3. Restart QuickBooks after installing the updates.

    In rare situations, it can also be caused by data corruption in the file. You can resolve this by performing a rebuild of your Mac data file.

    1. See Resolving Potential Data Issues.
    2. If you are still experiencing issues, please contact us.
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     File stored on a network drive - Create a local copy of your file

    Import error

    This screen comes up if you're exporting your QuickBooks Desktop file in multi-user mode or while the .QBW file is on a network drive.

    How do I fix this?
    1. Press F2 or Ctrl+1 with your file open. Check the Location of your company file from the File Information.
    2. Close QuickBooks Desktop then copy the .QBW file to your local drive.
    3. Make sure you have QuickBooks installed on the local machine you are working on. This can be your existing version, or a free trial (if the year you are using is 2015 and older).
    4. Open your company file.
    5. Go to the File menu > Switch To Single-User Mode.
    6. Retry exporting ( File menu > Utilities > Copy Company File for QuickBooks Online).
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    Error: FAIL Server returned error 500 

    Error 500
    Error 500 may occur for various types of data-integrity problems in the .QBW file.

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    Customer Balances are off:

    Customer balances are off and journal entries were used in Desktop to apply payments to invoices.These discrepancies will not be noticed in the Profit and Loss or Balance Sheet report.

    How do I fix this?
    If you used Journal Entries to apply payments to your customer’s invoices, then the import drops the links between journal entry credits to the invoices once in QBO. To resolve this, in QBO, turn on Automatically apply credits to clear out the open balances. To turn on Auto-apply Credits:
    1. Log into QuickBooks Online.
    2. Select the Gear icon > Company settings.
    3. Select Advanced from the left column.
    4. Select Automatically apply credits.
    5. Select Save.

    If you don’t want to automatically apply all payments, you can individually Receive Payment by matching the credits created from the Journal Entry to the open invoices. This would have to be done on a customer by customer basis.

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    There was a problem copying your company file to QuickBooks Online

    You will see an email with this subject line if you attempted to import inventory in QuickBooks 2015 or later. See Import Limitations - QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online for more information.

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    Invoices or Sales Transactions Converted to Journal Entries after Importing to QuickBooks Online

    • This can happen if you have flat rates (0.00) for Sales Tax items or groups in your Desktop file.
    • You will need to edit the sales tax item "rates" category to keep your sales transactions from importing as journal entries.
    • Typically, this occurs in Mac files because in QuickBooks for Windows, you cannot save a sales tax item without a % symbol.
    • If you have multiple items with flat sales tax rates in them, you will have to edit all the item rates to ensure all your transactions import properly.
    • Sales tax items being converted to journal entries with flat rates is an expected behavior because, at this time, those types of rates are not supported by QBO.
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    Your connection timed out

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    This error may be caused by connection problems or browser issues. Try waiting for a few minutes, then retry the process or restart your browser. 

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    Oops, Something Went Wrong

    This error usually occurs when you try to sign in on the company to export to. You need to configure your Internet Explorer settings correctly.
    1. Open Internet Explorer.
    2. Select the Gear menu, then choose Internet Options.
    3. From the Security tab, select Trusted Sites.
    4. Ensure that the Enable Protected Mode checkbox is NOT checked.
    5. Select Default Level and set it to Low.
    6. Select the Sites button, and add https://* and * to the list of trusted sites.
    7. Select Close > Apply > OK.
    Once you have ensured that these settings are correct, close and reopen QuickBooks and retry exporting.

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