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How to Set Up Quickbooks Online


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Quickbooks is a desktop-based software designed to assist individuals and small businesses with the various aspects of accounting and business money management. Quickbooks can handle accounting issues such as invoicing, bills and expense tracking. Quickbooks Online is the Internet-based extension of the desktop software. Learn how to set up Quickbooks Online to increase the productivity of your accounting software and get more out of your Quickbooks data.

  • Verify that your computer is compatible with Quickbooks Online. You must have a Windows-based PC with 128 megabytes of free memory (Mac computers are not supported currently). You must also have Internet Explorer 6 and Adobe Acrobat 6.0.
  • Understand the three levels of Quickbooks Online. Quickbooks Online has a free edition and a Basic and Plus edition that each charges a monthly fee. All versions allow you to access your Quickbooks accounting data anywhere you have an Internet connection, which removes the access restrictions of the desktop-based small business accounting software. However, the Quickbooks Basic and Quickbooks Plus editions add additional features, including customer service support and services, such as online banking for your small business.
  • Log in to your Quickbooks Online account. If you do not currently have an Intuit account with Quickbooks Online, register for a new one to begin setting up your Quickbooks online service. When registering, choose which edition of Quickbooks Online you wish to register. All are free for the first month, but the Basic and Plus edition charge for subsequent months.
  • Complete the Quickbooks Online Startup Interview. Intuit uses the interview to determine your needs and helps you set up Quickbooks online quickly. Specify if you are a new Quickbooks user or have used Quickbooks before. If the latter, continue to Step 5 in this guide. If you have never used Quickbooks before, skip to Step 6.
  • Import your desktop Quickbooks data into your Quickbooks Online account to pre-populate your accounting fields and sync the two small business financial accounts. If you have never used Quickbooks before, skip to Step 6 of this guide. Follow the on-screen instructions to enter your previous Quickbooks data. The start-up interview will guide you through the process of uploading your old Quickbooks data from your computer hard drive. Once the accounting data is uploaded, Quickbooks Online will edit and modify the financial information of your small business to fit the custom fields of QuickBooks Online.
  • Set up your preferences and Quickbooks Online account by following the on-screen prompts. For example, click “Payroll” and begin entering your payroll data if you wish to set up Quickbooks Online to handle your payroll and employee data.


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