Transferring Data

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The Data Transfer Utility is a general purpose program for transferring list names and transactions from one QuickBooks file to a different QuickBooks file.


1. Data that you export is held in temporary files until you open the destination company and import it. Exporting data does not change the source or destination companies. This allows you to review the exported data (using the “Export Status Report”) to make sure it's the data that you want to transfer. If it's not, you can change the export criteria and export again until you get the exact data that you want to transfer. If you export data and decide not to import it, just exit the program and the temporary files are erased and the data in your companies is not changed.


2. After exporting the data that you want to transfer, you can begin the import process by clicking the “Import Data” button or row 6 of the main screen. During the import process, QuickBooks carefully validates the data and rejects individual list items or transactions that don’t pass the validation tests. In addition, QuickBooks generates error messages that tell why the data was rejected. These error messages are shown on the “Import Status Report” (click the View Import Report button on row 6 after each transfer pass to see this report. To see this report for the last 3 transfer passes, click Reports>Saved Reports>Import Status Report.

The most frequently encountered message for Lists (customers, vendors etc.) is the “name is already in use” type of error message. In most cases this error can be ignored because all QuickBooks is telling you is that the name being transferred is already in the destination company and that a duplicate wasn’t created.

The most frequently encountered error message for Transactions (checks, invoices etc.) is that a list name is missing. When you transfer a transaction, all lists names (customer, vendor, item etc.) used on that transaction must either be in the destination company or be transferred at the same time as the transaction. When you encounter this error, you will need to transfer the missing list names and the transactions that were rejected. The import process will not auto generate any List names such as accounts and customers. You can avoid this problem by following step 1 of the 4 step process discussed in paragraph 8 where you transfer all list names first with no date range limitations.


3. The Data Transfer Utility transfers “Lists’ and “Transactions” as they are at the time of transfer. The utility can't change existing Lists items (except customers) or Transactions.


4. You cannot create a duplicate List name by transferring a customer, vendor etc. more than once. All transfers that would create duplicate List names are rejected with the “name is already in use” type of error message.


5. You can create a duplicate Transaction if you transfer it more than once. We used Intuits Software Development Kit (SDK) to develop this software and the SDK does not check for duplicate transactions. However beginning with version 5, the transfer utility will warn you if you try to transfer a transaction more than once in the same transfer session (a transfer session lasts from the time the transfer utility is started each day until it is exited). This is an improvement but it’s not foolproof because it will not warn you if the same transaction is transferred in different transfer sessions or if the transaction is already in the destination company for some other reason. To avoid duplicates, review the “Export Status Report” (row 4, “View Export Report button) carefully to make sure it contains only transactions that are not in the destination company. If it does, change the export criteria and export again.


6. After importing data, we recommend that you print and retain the “Import Status Report” so that you have a printed record of what has been transferred and any errors that were encountered.


7. No longer needed.


8. For transfers of large amounts of data we recommend the following sequence of events (we refer to these as Transfer Passes 1 through 4):

1. Transfer all Lists without using any date range or other filters.
2. Transfer Transactions other than Receive Payment, Bill Payment Check and Deposit
3. Transfer Receive Payments and Bill Payment Checks
4. Transfer Deposits

After each step above, any rejects noted must be corrected and re-transferred before proceeding to the next step.

You can click the buttons in the lower right corner of the Select Type of Data screen (see the Change button on row 2 of the main screen) to select the types of date to transfer in each of the 4 transfer passes noted above.

To transfer data:

a) Make a new backup of the source and destination companies
b) Transfer just the “Lists” (no transactions) without using any date range or other filters (this is referred to as Pass 1). You can use the transfer utility or you can use QuickBooks’ built-in export/import process. The transfer utility allows you to transfer just selected list items (e.g. only active customers or customers added/modified after a certain date) whereas the QuickBooks process transfers all items in a list. This step is not required if you use the QuickBooks “Remove ALL transactions” processed as discussed in the “Preparation” section of the following web page http://www.q2q.us/bbtuoverview.htm
c) If you use the transfer utility, use the “Import Status Report” (View Import Report button on row 6) to identify all rejected List names, if any. If there are any import errors, you will need to correct the underlying problem and transfer the lists again because if the rejected list entry is used in a transaction imported later, the transaction will be rejected. Following is an example of an underlying problem that prevents the transfer of a vendor.

Some Lists such as customers and vendors contain references to other Lists. For example a vendor (say Cal Telephone) could reference the Vendor Type “Residential”. If you transfer Cal Telephone, the transfer will be rejected if the Vendor Type “Residential”, is not in the destination company or if it’s not transferred at the same time as the vendor Cal Telephone. If a needed list name (in this case vendor type “Residential”) causes a rejection of a List transfer you will get an ‘invalid reference to” type of error message and it will tell you the list type and the missing name. To correct these errors, you will need to transfer the missing list name and the list name that was initially rejected. In this example you would need to make additional transfer passes and transfer the vendor type “Residential” and the vendor “Cal Telephone”.

You can correct the problem, noted in the example above, several different ways. The easiest way is probably to transfer all the existing Vendor Types (normally a short list of names) in one transfer pass and use the new “Choose Items” button on the main screen to export and transfer just the rejected vendor in a second transfer pass. Since you can’t create duplicate List names, you don’t have to use the various filter criteria to limit the Vendor Type transfer to just the missing Vendor Type (Residential). You could also transfer all the Vendors again in the second transfer pass but using the new “Choose Items” button will save time, particularly if you have a lot of vendors.

After you have successfully transferred all the names in a particular list type (say customer, vendor, vendor type etc.), uncheck that list type on the “Select Type Data” screen (row 2) so that you don’t transfer all the names in that list type again when correcting other list types. Transferring the names again won’t cause a problem but it will take up time and make the “Import Status Report” longer than it needs to be.

When transferring accounts, you will get an error if an account Number is already in the destination company and the account Name for this account number is different from the account name in the source company. There are two ways you can correct this error. You edit the account number in the either company and erase it or change it to an account number that is not in either company. You can usually do this by adding a suffix, such as 9, to the existing account number.

You can also correct this problem by clicking Preferences in the utility and setting the preference to include account numbers with account transfers to “No”. Note that excluding account numbers doesn’t affect future transfers because all transaction transfers are made using account names instead of account numbers.

After the account number or preference is changed, transfer accounts again.

d) Make a backup of the destination company after all the lists have been successfully transferred.
e) Transfer transactions other than Receive Payment, Deposit and Bill Payment Checks (don’t transfer the Lists again). (This is referred to as Pass 2). If the “Export Status Report” is over 150 to 200 pages long, we recommend that you use the date ranges to transfer a smaller quantity of data. You might transfer 3 or 6 months of data at one time instead of a whole years worth of data.
f) Identify all rejected transactions, if any, using the “Import Status Report” (View Import Report button on row 6) or the “Import Status Report – Rejected Items” report (click Reports>”Import Status Report – Rejected Items” to see this report). Review the error messages and correct any underlying problems causing the transactions not to transfer. The most frequent cause of rejects at this point is missing List Names. To correct for missing List names, go to the “Select Type of Data” screen and clear all check marks and check the List box for the List type(s) that need to be transferred (customer, vendor, account etc). Transfer either all of the names in the selected list type or use the “Additional Criteria” screen to filter the transfer to just the missing List Names.

After successfully transferring any missing List Names, transfer just the rejected transactions in an additional transfer pass or passes. Use the “Choose Items” button on row 3 of the main screen to export and re-transfer just the transactions that were rejected earlier.

The “Choose Items” screen lists only the Transactions (and Lists) that have been exported but not imported. Items will appear on this screen if they were rejected in a prior transfer pass in the current transfer session or if they have been exported but not transferred. The purpose of the screen is to make to easier to make corrections when some transactions are accepted and some are rejected. From this screen you can choose to re-export only the rejected/un-transferred items and transfer all of them at once instead of using the various filter criteria and being able to transfer only one or a few at a time. You can see a video clip of the new “Choose Items” process by clicking on the following link http://www.q2q.us/DTUChooseItemsFeature.html

As in the past, you can also use the From and To Reference Number fields and other filter criteria available on the “Additional Criteria” screen and the “Select Type of Data” screen to transfer just the transactions that were rejected on the first transfer.

Don’t transfer transactions that were accepted on the first pass because they will be transferred again and duplicated in your destination company without warning (or with a warning if they were transferred in the current transfer session).

If there were a large number of import errors, you may want to restore your destination company backup and import all your transactions again after correcting the cause of the rejects.

Make a backup of the destination company it this point.

g) After all Invoices and Bills have been transferred, transfer Receive Payment Transactions and Bill Payment Checks, if any (this is referred to as Pass 3). Use the “Received Payments Detail” report and the “Bill Payment Checks Detail” report (click Reports>Saved Reports to see these reports) to identify all rejected transfers, if any.

The “Received Payments Detail” report (available from the Reports menu) will show which missing invoice(s) caused the Receive Payment transaction to be rejected. Look for an x in the far right “Err” column on this report. All missing Invoices will need to be transferred using the Ref Number and/or other filters shown on the “Additional Criteria” screen. In addition, the rejected Receive Payment transactions will need to be transferred again. You can use the “Choose Item” button on row 3 of the main screen (as discussed in previous paragraphs) or the filters on the Additional Criteria screen (row 3) to transfer just the rejected Receive Payment transactions.

The “Bill Payment Checks Detail” report (available from the Reports menu) will show which missing Bill(s) caused the Bill Payment Check transaction to be rejected. Look for an x in the far right “Err” column on this report. All missing Bills will need to be transferred using the Ref Number range and/or other filters shown on the Additional Criteria screen. In addition, the rejected Bill Payment Check transactions will need to be transferred again. You can use the “Choose Item” button the main screen (as discussed in previous paragraphs) or the filters on the Additional Criteria screen to transfer just the rejected Bill Payment Check transactions.

Some Bill Payment Check transfers may be rejected with the error message of “The transaction object xxx-xxx may only be provided once in this request”. This error occurs when an individual vendor has two or more Bills with the same transaction date and no reference number was entered on the Bills or the same reference number was entered on the Bills. To correct this problem, open the source company in QuickBooks and edit the same date/no reference number Bills being paid by the rejected Bill Payment Check (see the “Bill Payment Checks Detail” report for these Bills) and add a unique reference number to the Bills (you can just use 1, 2, 3 etc). Then edit the same Bills in the destination company and assign the same reference numbers to them that you assigned to them in the source company. After the reference numbers have been assigned to the Bills, transfer the rejected Bill Payment checks using the “Choose Items” screen or the filters on the “Additional Criteria” screen.

h) After all Receive Payment Transactions, if any, have been transferred, transfer Deposit transactions (this is referred to as Pass 4).
i) If any Deposit transfers were rejected, the “Deposits Detail” report (available from the reports menus) will show which Receive Payment, Invoice, or Sales Receipt transaction caused the Deposit transaction to be rejected. Look for an x in the far right “Err” column on this report. Any missing underlying transactions (Receive Payment, Invoice,

or Sales Receipt) will need to be transferred and the rejected Deposit transactions will need to be transferred again.


9. For transfers of relatively small amounts of data, such as a Laptop to Desktop transfer, transfer all Lists and Transactions at once.


10. The Cleared Status flag on bank transactions can’t be transferred so you will need to re- reconcile you bank accounts. This can be done in one reconciliation using the following procedure.

a. Print your last bank reconciliation report from the old file.
b. Open the reconcile screen in the new file, click the Mark All button and then manually uncheck the ones that have not cleared using the reconciliation report from the old file.

11. Payroll and tax liability checks can't be transferred with the Data Transfer Utility. (We have this noted at http://www.q2q.us/dtudatatypes.htm )

You can use our Check Transfer Utility to transfer the prior year payroll checks. Current year payroll checks can’t be transferred and the options are:

a. Manually re-create and/or enter the checks using the QuickBooks year-to-date feature with the option to "affect" accounts or
b. Transfer the checks using the Check Transfer Utility and then use the QuickBooks year-to-date feature to enter the data into the payroll area of QuickBooks. If you do this, select the option to "not affect accounts".
c. Continue writing payroll checks in the old file for the rest of this year. If you do this, you can use our Check Transfer Utility to transfer all previously written payroll checks to the new file. And then you can use the Check Transfer Utility to transfer payroll checks you write the rest of the year from the old file to the new file. The quarterly and year end tax reports would be run from the old file if you do this.

Tax liability checks can be transferred for the entire time period.

See http://www.q2q.us/ctuoverview.htm for information on the Check Transfer Utility.


12. Important Note About Sales Taxes. QuickBooks re-calculates sales tax when sales transactions (invoices, sales receipts, credit memos etc. are imported. The sales taxes are re- calculated using the sales tax rate in the sales tax items in the destination company at the time the transactions are imported. The rate currently in the sales tax items in the destination company may not be the same as the sales tax rate originally used on the sales transactions. For example if an invoice was created with a 6% sales tax rate but the current sales tax rate is 7% for the sales tax item used on the invoice, QuickBooks will incorrectly re-calculate the sales tax at 7%. To workaround this problem, set the tax rate in the destination company at 6%, transfer the transactions for the time period that the 6% rate was in effect. Then change the tax rate in the destination company to 7% and transfer the sales transactions for the time period that this rate was in effect etc.


13. Important Note On Merging QuickBooks Files. When transactions that use items (invoices, bills etc) are imported QuickBooks determines, the accounts to post the transactions to based on the accounts assigned to the items in the destination company. If the source and destination company have the same item but that item is assigned to one account in the source company and to a different account in the destination company, the imported transactions will appear in a different place in the financial statements.

For example consider an invoice for a $1,000 in sales and a discount of $100. If the discount item in the source company is assigned to a cost of goods sold account, the profit and loss statement will show

Sales 1000

Cost of goods sold – discount (100)

If the discount item in the destination company is assigned to the sales account, the profit and loss statement if the destination company will show the following for this invoice.

Sales 900


14. Another point to consider when merging QuickBooks files is that the file being merged into may already have summaries of data from the other file in it. For example if accounts receivable are in one file and everything else is in a second non-AR file, it’s not unusual to see summary sales and collection data posted in the non-AR file. If the AR file is merged into the non-AR file, the summary AR data already in the non-AR file will need to be reversed out after you transfer in the detail.