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Convert Quickbooks Desktop Company File to An older version

Convert Quickbooks Desktop Company File to An older version

Even though QuickBooks makes it easy to upgrade your company file, it has no particular feature or tool that enables users to convert the QuickBooks company file to an older version. The reason is quite simple – once a user upgrades the company file, he or she is unlikely to use it on a previous edition. Yet there are cases in which users want to downgrade the company file, a process that can be accomplished manually by exporting various transactions and lists from the later version into the older version.

In this post, you’ll learn how to convert a QuickBooks Desktop company file to an older version.

Verify Downgrade QuickBooks Subscription Plan

If you find yourself needing to revert to a previous version of QuickBooks, you’ll need to utilize the “Convert QuickBooks File into an older version” function. Before initiating this process, it’s essential to compare both versions and select the most appropriate course of action.

The need to revert to an older version often arises due to unwanted features that introduce complexities when managing your business accounts with QuickBooks. By selecting an appropriate plan and addressing these problematic issues promptly, you can effectively resolve compatibility issues, which are often the primary reason for downgrading QuickBooks to an older version.

Downgrading your edition may result in several consequences:

  • Loss of connections with other applications.
  • Forfeiture of applied offers received during subscription to the current version.
  • The inability of other users of the service to locate your edition after downgrading.
  • Loss of recurring transactions.
  • Loss of multi-currency functionality.
  • Loss of inventory tracking features.

Prepare to convert the QuickBooks Desktop company file to an older version

Here’s everything you’ll need to prepare to downgrade your company file in QuickBooks Desktop:

  • Install both versions of QuickBooks: you’ll need both versions of QuickBooks – the one you’re downgrading from and the one you’re downgrading to. Without the two software available to you, you cannot complete this manual process of converting QuickBooks company files to an older version. To download the setup for the correct version of this accounting software, you can go to the QuickBooks Desktop Download Page.

Note: you can install the trial version of QuickBooks if you don’t want to work with the current file after conversion.

  • Create a backup of your company file: you can create a backup of your current company file before you export data and create a downgraded version of the same. Switch to the Single-user mode from the File menu. Go back to File, then choose
    1. Create Local Backup from the Back-Up Company option.
    2. Click on Local Backup, then Next.
    3. Choose Browse, then select a directory to store the backup file.
    4. Click on OK after setting and verifying preferences for the backup file.
    5. Click on Save it now, then Next.
  • Install the latest updates: Install all the updates available for both versions of your accounting software.
  • Go to the Help menu.
  • Click on Update QuickBooks.
  • Check for updates and install any available for your version.

You should create and export the Sales Tax Liability report to ensure that you have the right numbers available for paying taxes to the relevant agencies.

  • Here are the steps to create and export a Sales tax liability report in QuickBooks Desktop:
    1. From the Reports menu, choose Vendors & Payables.
    2. Click on Sales Tax Liability.
    3. Choose the Date Range or Choose All if you want to include the entire financial period.
    4. Click on the Print option, then choose Save as PDF. You can also choose to export the data as an Excel file.
    5. Select a folder to save the file. Input a name and click on Save.

You’re all set for the conversion process. As you have to perform the conversion manually, it may take time. First, you have to export the data from the current version of the company file, and then import it into a company file created in the older version of QuickBooks. By moving systematically through each data type, you can successfully convert QuickBooks Desktop company files to an older version.

convert your accounting data to the older version of QuickBooks

First, you need to export all the essential accounting data from the upgraded company file before you can import the data into the older version of the company file.

convert the chart of accounts to an older version of QuickBooks

A chart of accounts is the best place to start because it is essential for later classifying transactions and listing items in QuickBooks. QuickBooks uses the chart of accounts to keep track of all the categories in your financial records. Each transaction or item is generally linked to an account to make tracking easier.

Without a properly set up chart of accounts, you’ll find it quite difficult to create important reports.

Steps to the Export Chart of Accounts from the current version of QuickBooks

  1. From the Lists option, click on Chart of Accounts.
  2. Choose Reports from the bottom menu bar.
  3. Choose Account Listings.
  4. Choose Excel from the top menu bar.
  5. Save the file in Excel format.
Choose export the report

Once you have an Excel file that contains all the accounts in your current company file, you can import the data from an older version of the company file using the 

Import chart of accounts into the older version of QuickBooks

  1. From the Lists menu, choose Chart of Accounts.
  2. Click on the Account drop-down option, then click on Import from Excel.
  3. Click on Browse, then choose the Excel file that you want to import.
  4. Click on Open after selecting the file.
  5. Map your accounts correctly by altering the columns in the heading. You can use the following steps to map correctly:
    • Type in the appropriate name to map the column to the account.
    • Choose the Import type in the Account option.
    • Match each column with the information in QuickBooks.
    • Click on Save.
  6. Click on Import.
  7. When you get a confirmation message, click on Yes.

You can create a report of your chart of accounts to ensure that all the accounts were correctly brought into the older version of QuickBooks Desktop. You can also manually create any missing accounts and input the missing opening balances, which summarize the transaction to date in that particular account. Opening balances are quite helpful if you don’t want to import each transaction that happened before the current date.

Migrate transactions

You should convert the transaction details for the current year so that you can have accurate reports. These transactions will also help you to calculate profit and loss, and file taxes accurately. 

Export report

You can export transactions from a particular account using the reporting feature. Then you can import that report into the older company file version, completing the conversion process successfully. This process can take some time as you’ve to go through each essential account that contains important transaction data.

Non-posting transaction conversion

Once you’ve exported non-posting transactions from the current version of the company file, you can import the transactions into the older version. 

  1. From the File menu, choose Utilities.
  2. Click on Import, then Excel Files.
  3. When the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window shows up, click on No.
  4. In the Import wizard, follow the steps provided below:
    1. Choose the type of data that you’re importing.
    2. View and verify your data when QuickBooks opens it in Spreadsheet format.
    3. Choose the option to Add my Data Now.
    4. Verify the results by viewing Data on the QuickBooks desktop.
    5. Click on Close.

Note: you can simply record the opening entries for each account if you don’t want to convert transactions. This also saves time because the opening entries summarize all the previous transactions that took place in each particular account.

convert customer and vendor lists

While both customer and vendor lists are lists, they have to be dealt with in a different manner than how you deal with other lists. So I’ve provided detailed steps to convert customer and vendor data to older versions of QuickBooks Desktop.

Export customer/vendor data from the current version of the company file:

  1. From the Customer/Vendor center, click on the Excel drop-down menu.
  2. Choose one of the two options:
    • Export Customer/Vendor list: this will let you export data – name, contact information, and balances – for selected customers and vendors.
    • Export Transactions: this will let you export transactions based on various parameters.
  3. Click on Create a comma-separated value (.csv) file when the Export window appears.
  4. Click on Export.
  5. Input a name for the file that you’ll export, then choose a location to save the exported CSV file.
  6. Launch the file using a spreadsheet program and edit it as per your preferences before you begin the process of importing the data into an older version of QuickBooks desktop.

Import customer/vendor data into an older version of the company file:

  1. From the File menu, choose Utilities.
  2. Click on Import, then Excel Files.
  3. When the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window shows up, click on No.
  4. In the Import wizard, follow the steps provided below:
    1. Choose the type of data that you’re importing.
    2. View and verify your data when QuickBooks opens it in Spreadsheet format.
    3. Choose the option to Add my Data Now.
    4. Verify the results by viewing Data on the QuickBooks desktop.
    5. Click on Close.

convert items

Next, let’s come to downgrade your list of items. These lists consist of mainly inventory items but may include each item that you’ve created in the current version of QuickBooks Desktop.

Using these steps you can convert the following data types to older versions of QuickBooks:

  • Inventory items
  • Service items
  • Non-inventory items
  • Sales tax items
  • Purchase and discount items

Steps to export item lists from the current version of the QuickBooks Desktop company file:

  1. Go to the Lists menu.
  2. Choose the Item List option.
  3. Choose the Excel drop-down list.
  4. Click on Export all Items.
  5. Choose Create a comma-separated value (.csv) file.
  6. Click on Export when ready.
  7. Input a name for the file and choose a location to store it.

Launch the file using a spreadsheet program so that you can edit it as per your preferences before you import the item lists into QuickBooks Desktop.

Steps to import the item list into an older version of the QuickBooks Desktop company file:

  1. Launch the older version of QuickBooks Desktop and open the company file in which you want to import the item list.
  2. Go to the Lists menu.
  3. Choose the Item List option.
  4. Choose the Excel drop-down option.
  5. Click on Import Items….
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions and map the headings properly, then import the items.

You can repeat the steps to convert multiple lists to an older version of QuickBooks Desktop. After you’re done, create a report for the list in both versions of QuickBooks and match the result.

Steps to Convert QuickBooks Company file to Older version

To convert a QuickBooks file into an older version, you can’t simply use the regular restore function due to differences in how backup files are compressed across versions. 

Here are steps to Convert Quickbooks Desktop Company File to An older version:

Find the file that you need to restore the file might be on a hard disk, USB, or external hard drive, and you need to insert that file into the Computer system.

  • Open QuickBooks
  • Navigate to the File menu and select “Open or Restore Company.”
  • Choose “Restore a backup copy” and click “Next.”
  • Select “Local backup” and then click “Next.”
  • From the “Open Backup Copy” window, choose the specific backup file (.QBB) you want to restore. You can also use the “Look in” feature to locate your file.
  • Click “Open” and then “Next.”
  • If restoring from removable media, specify where the restored file will be saved by selecting the “Save in” arrow and choosing the appropriate folder.
  • Optionally, use the “Save in” drop-down arrow to navigate to the desired location for the restored backup file.
  • Select the backup file, click “Save,” and follow any prompts from QuickBooks.

Conclusion

This process of transferring your accounting data to an older version of QuickBooks desktop may seem time-consuming, but it is more affordable than relying on third-party add-ons that charge a huge amount to facilitate the same function. I hope you can convert the QuickBooks company file to an older version using the solutions provided in this post.


Frequently Asked Questions


q1. Can I open a newer QuickBooks file on an older version?

If you try to open the new file with the old one, it won’t work. But You have an optional solution, you’ll want to manually re-enter the transactions you have to enter in the new version.

Q2. How do I convert QuickBooks files?

  • First, Click on “Company.”
  • After that, Pick “Export Company File to QuickBooks Online.”
  • Then, Start the export.
  • Now, Sign in as an admin for your QuickBooks Online company.
  • After that, Choose the online company you want to replace with your file.

Q3. Restore QuickBooks Backup to Older Version

To bring back your company file from a backup, follow these steps in order:

  • Click on “File.”
  • Choose “Open or restore company.”
  • Pick “Restore a backup copy.”
  • After that, click “Next.”
  • Select “Local Backup.”
  • Then, click “Next” again.

Q4. How Would I Open the Old QuickBooks File?

  • Start QuickBooks.
  • Click “Open a Company File.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and find your old QuickBooks company file in your computer’s files.
  • Look at the information about updating the company file.

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