Import a QBO file into Quickbooks Desktop for Windows

This tutorial shows all the steps for QBO import into Quickbooks Desktop for Windows.

This example is for the Quickbooks Desktop Windows version. Before importing any file (IIF file, QBO file, QBJ file) into Quickbooks, make sure to backup your Quickbooks company data file. You can quickly roll back to the previous state if you realize later that something was importing in the wrong way.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 1: main menu Quickbooks Desktop 2019

To backup your Quickbooks data, click 'File' - 'Back Up Company' - 'Create Local Backup'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 2: file, back up company in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Then select 'Local backup' and click 'Next'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 3: local backup in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Select 'Save it now' and click the 'Next' button.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 4: save it now, backup in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Confirm file name. You can change it, just keep the file extension as .QBB. Then click the 'Save' button.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 5: save backup copy in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Done! Quickbooks has saved a backup of the company file to the Documents folder. Click 'OK'. Now we can import a QBO file.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 6: saved backup in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

You could have a QBO file downloaded from your Online Banking, then you just import it. Or you could create that file with a utility like a ProperSoft converter. For example, you have a CSV file, and you use CSV2QBO or Bank2QBO to convert it to QBO file. Or you have a PDF file, downloaded from your Bank or Credit Card and you use PDF2QBO or Bank2QBO to create a QBO file from the PDF file. Or with the ProperConvert app, which converts from more formats and converts to more formats.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 7: accounts payable in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Before importing, make sure that the Bank or Credit Card account is disconnected from Online Services. Click 'Lists' - 'Charts of Accounts' for the account you want to import into.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 8: Charts of Accounts in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Make sure, that the account you need to import into doesn’t have the yellow strike icon. If you have the icon, it means that the account is connected to Online Services. You need to disconnect first to import a QBO file.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 9: yellow strike icon in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

To disconnect, right-click - 'Edit Account'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 10: Edit Account in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Then click on 'Bank Feed Settings' and select 'Deactivate All Online Services'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 11: Deactivate All Online Services in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Click 'Save & Close' and 'OK'. Check there is no yellow icon after the change. After disconnecting the account from Online Services, you can import a QBO file. You do not have to disconnect all accounts from Online Services, just the account you need to import your data into.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 12: Disabled Online Services in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Let's import a QBO file. In this example, we have already a QBO file at the beginning of this tutorial. Click 'File' - 'Utilities' - 'Import' - 'Web Connect Files'. QBO files are Web Connect Files.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 13: file, utilities, import in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Then you select your QBO file. It shows only QBO files, listed here. There are no other files in the Downloads Folder. Click the 'Open' button.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 14: select QBO file in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

This greeting form shows you a Bank label, which is converted from INTU.BID value in your QBO file.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 15: greeting form in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Let's take a look at the INTU.BID in the text editor Notepad. Open Downloads folder, select a QBO file - right-click - 'Open with' - 'Notepad'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 16: open QBO file in Notepad

In our case, we have INTU.BID number - 3000. So, the QBO files are the text files. You can review them, before importing. Just take a look at them, that they are created correctly. INTU.BID value is for your bank and it is allowed. 3000 is 'Wells Fargo'. When you use ProperSoft converter you can get that list, numbers for each bank, and you'll see they are allowed or not.


There is also a Bank ID. It should be digits only.


There is also an Account Type. It is matching what you are going to import. So if you have a Checking account, you'll see only Checking accounts listed, if you have Credit Card, you'll see only Credit Card accounts listed.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 19: Account Type in Notepad

Account ID has to be digits only number. It could be any number, but it is a good idea to use the actual account number, that you have for that account. Because if you are importing for multiple accounts, then you must use different Account ID's for different QBO files. Let's say if you need to convert for two accounts and you have five files: three for one account and two for another. So, for those three files, you have to use one Account ID and for those other two files, you have to use another Account ID, the same for those two. So, that's why, when you are starting using different numbers, to avoid confusion, it is easier just to use the account number. So you have a specific account number for that account, just use it. If you are starting converting or using another account, just use that another account number.


Check any transactions, that it is obviously an expense transaction, check that it has a minus, that it is a negative amount. So if it something expense, like Office Supply, Home Depot, Shell Purchase, it must be negative. If it is negative, then the QBO file was created correctly. And deposits must be positive. If you see it in the opposite way, even if that file was downloaded from your bank, then it means, that it was created incorrectly. Even for banks, like Checking Account or Credit Card, if it is an expense, it must be negative.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 21: expense transaction in Notepad

Let's return to selecting a Bank Account. In our case, we have 'Financial Institution' - Wells Fargo Bank (3000). You can have any name here, even if you are importing, let's say, for Capital One. You could have here Wells Fargo. It's fine because the Bank Label is no an important Label. The Account type is more important, you must match what you importing for. You are importing for Bank Account, then it has to be Checking or Savings. The Account number is important to check because if you are importing for this or that account, that you used incorrectly, you specified for the QBO file correctly. You may never use the option 'Create a new Quickbooks account' because you can not move transactions from one account to another in Quickbooks, as in Quicken. Unless you really creating a new account, then you would use this option to create a new account and import transactions there. But mostly you created that account before when you set up Quickbooks. So 99%, that you will select 'Use an existing Quickbooks account' option. And you will see here only accounts matching this Account Type. So if it is a Checking Bank account, then you would see only Checking accounts. In this example, we will use the 'Checking Wells Fargo Bank' account. Select the Bank Account and click the 'Continue' button.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 22: use an existing account in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

You can ignore this message, it doesn't mean anything.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 23: ignore message in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Now your Web Connect data has been successfully read into Quickbooks. Click the 'OK' button. So, the first part is done.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 24: data imported in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

The account we import into got back yellow strike icon. It happens when you import a QBO file. It means that linking is done to that Account ID, Account Type, INTU.BID value. So what happens if you import the second QBO file with the same Account ID, same INTU.BID value, same Account Type, Quickbooks will not ask you to select an account and will import directly into this account. If you need to import the QBO file with another Account ID, but into that account for whatever reason, you have to disconnect it first. You have to edit the account, click on 'Bank Feed Settings' and select 'Deactivate All Online Services', click 'Save & Close', 'OK'. And then continue with that QBO file.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 25: yellow strike back in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

In the second part, you have to review transactions. Click 'Banking' - 'Bank Feeds' - 'Bank Feeds Center'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 26: bank feeds center in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

'Wells Fargo Bank' Label - ignore it if you are importing for another Bank name. Pay attention to the Account ID. 'Checking at Wells Fargo Bank' (or 'Capital One', or 'Credit Card', or 'Visa') is the name of your actual account in Quickbooks.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 27: ignore wells fargo label in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

We have four transactions. Click on 'Transaction List' to review transactions.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 28: transaction list in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

You see, that 'Payee' is empty, but it is not empty on the actual QBO file.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 29: payee column in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

And 'Downloaded as' column is a Payee from the QBO file.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 30: downloaded as column in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

You have to match each transaction to Vendor Record. For example, figure out 'No payee' (what it is?) - select 'Home Depot'. Then you have to select an expense/income account.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 31: match payee in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

It is a good idea before converting to go 'Vendor' - 'Vendor Center'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 32: vendor center in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

And for each Vendor assign the default expense account.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 33: assign default expense account in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Right-click - 'Edit Vendor'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 34: edit Vendor in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Then go to 'Account Settings' and tell which expense account to prefill when you enter bills for this Vendor. Let's select 'Office Supplies'. Click 'OK'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 35: Account Settings in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

So, we have the 'Office Supplies' account prefilled. You can still change it, but if it is your regular Vendor and it is already classified, categorized, then you would have by yourself extra-clicking, because you already assigned it, as Vendor Record.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 36: match Account in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Then you continue doing it with all of them or some of them, actually checking what you want to add to the register. Only check once you select 'Add/Approve'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 37: add, approve batch in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

If you see some transaction, that does not belong, or wrong, or you do not want to import it, mark it and select 'Ignore'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 38: ignore batch in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

So, you have to get all transactions out of here. Let's add the first one, for example. Click 'Yes'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 39: past transaction in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

It offers you to create a renaming rule, so for next time, when you import this, it will be automatically selected 'Home Depot' for 'No payee'. For something, like 'Home Depot' 1, 2, 3, it is a good idea to create the following rules. For something, like 'No payee' is not a good idea to create a renaming rule. So, you can uncheck it, because 'No payee' could mean anything you have to find actual payee, so you don't want it to be automatically for the next QBO import. Then click 'OK'.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 40: rule creation in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Now, this transaction is gone and it is in the register for that account.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 41: transactions in register in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

Click 'Lists' - 'Chart of Accounts' - 'Checking at Wells Fargo Bank' and you'll see that transaction here. So this way you can continue matching transactions. And then it will be done. This is how you import and then match your QBO file.

IMPORTQBOQUICKBOOKSWIN Step 42: check transactions in register in Quickbooks Desktop 2019

See this tutorial as a video:

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