How to Prepare a QuickBooks Online File for Copying

by Kellie Parks | Last updated on January 27, 2022

If you are looking to copy a QuickBooks Online (QBO) file, there are a few things you need to do to prepare the originating file. For a manual QuickBooks Online and for a Rewind copy, start with the same things. This is a perfect time to start by cleaning up a file.

In this guide, learn how to:

  • Prepare a file for manual or Rewind copy.
  • When and when not to clean up a file.

Preparing a File to Copy

Start with “unbilled charges” and “unbilled time.” Run the reports on these to double-check that unbilled time and unbilled charges are not going to come across to a new file. Then, go into your “Suppliers” and then “Customers” and make sure that the duplicates are taken care of. Inactivate any accounts that you do not want, such as old accounts that do not have a balance and will not be used again.

Then, go into “Chart of Accounts” and clean that up. Sort by number and then by name. Click the edit “pencil” in the top right corner. Re-number and re-name as necessary, and then click save. Make sure that you are happy with the numbering system and the sub accounts. Deactivate any accounts that are no longer necessary once you ensure that these accounts no longer have a balance.

Finalize the payroll. If you are not using Rewind, make sure you are finalizing all the reconciliations in your account. Ensure that these reconciliations are up to date. Make sure that everything is in their proper positions. Next, finalize your tax payments.

Run transactions by the tax code report to see what is active and needs to be reclassified. Use “batch reclassify” to quickly clean up the file. Go to “Taxes,” and then “Manage sales tax.” Once there, rename or de-activate the duplicates.

When Not to Clean Up a File

Most of this is for file migration where you are going to upload, download, import, and export transactions. If you want a file that is exactly as it is in a point in time, there is no need to reconcile. If you are using Rewind Copy, there is no need to clean up the chart of accounts if you want to leave them exactly the way they are.

One of the reasons you may leave the file as-is is if it is an audit position, and the file still needs to be used day-to-day. Make a copy of the file using Rewind to show the point in time where you filed for the taxes and what the audit or the books looked like at the point in time the audit was initiated. If you are then looking to move on, this is a perfect time not to do the reconciliations or change anything in the chart of accounts.

If you are going to manually move the file using export and import, clean up the file. Reconcile everything, finalize the payroll, and file the taxes.

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Kellie Parks
Kellie Parks is a relentless organizer and believes cloud financial technology is the key to organization. She is the founder of SaaSy Accounting and Calmwaters Accounting and a Certified Professional Bookkeeper with Calmwaters Accounting. When she isn't coaching forward-thinking financial professionals in the future of accounting, she can typically be found with her partner and dogs at their 100-year-old lakeside cabin (that is chronically under renovation).