Quickbooks Data Conversions to NetSuite

Note, there is an update to this article.

In the last 20 years of work in business applications, data conversions between financial, customer relationships, and other transactional systems have always represented a fairly risky proposition. In conversations with clients, they typically start with wanting all their data to be converted into their new system.  We discuss the ways we can minimize the scope of data that needs to come over to keep costs and time to implement low. In general, we start with these suggestions:

  1. Only active customers, vendors and inventory related master information.
  2. Historical month end (or quarterly, if possible) general ledger balance information going back the minimum number of years that comparative financial analysis is meaningful.  Usually this is one to two years.
  3. Chart of accounts with minimal changes.¬† Changing the chart though is usually a key opportunity to enhance future reporting and often, this can’t be avoided.¬† However, some systems possess the capacity to change the chart structure while keeping transaction integrity.¬† In these cases, we modify the chart after the data is converted.

Of course, these suggestions may not be realistic and we typically enter into a meaningful conversation about the scope which gets to the root of business concerns.

I am pleased to report, however, that the QuickBooks data conversion to NetSuite makes these conversations almost moot.   We need to remember that NetSuite, originally called NetLedger in the early years, was designed as an accounting program targeted as an upgrade for users who outgrew Quickbooks.  It has been my personal experience, after conversations with hundreds of small business owners, that QuickBooks is the default financial application used for startup and small businesses alike.   Getting off QuickBooks to a more robust platform is something that all ambitious business owners eventually consider when and if their business grows demanding more people, more transaction volume, and more complex business requirements.

In summary,¬† we can say this about NetSuite’s Quickbooks Import Program:

  1. It is priced depending on the size of the Quickbooks file.¬† Generally, a file that is over 500 megabytes becomes, from NetSuite’s perspective, a risky proposition and they may decline the conversion.
  2. A project manager is assigned to the effort based out of the Philippines.  Our experience has been that this people have excellent English skills and they understand the concerns surrounding a  potentially sensitive endeavor.
  3. The process is two part: first to determine if the transfer routines are stable and finally, once you are ready, the final conversion.
  4. Ideally, you want to perform the conversion into a completely fresh instance of NetSuite.  Otherwise, more coordination is required including some risk of lost customizations.
  5. A document is provided that explains the processes that will happen before, during and after the conversions.
  6. Some preparation is required of the QuickBooks file; but all of it is reasonable.  We recommend that you get your Quickbooks clean to the extent that you can close out a month end and reconcile balance sheet items.  This ultimately helps you with the comparison between the transferred data into NetSuite and your QuickBooks file.
  7. The conversion takes approximately 3 to 7 days.   Once the test conversion has been completed, you will be provided with a checklist of things to verify.  This list was of surprisingly high quality.  Normally, we have to develop this for our clients.
  8. Any issues noted should be captured for conversation with the project manager.  For example, we witnessed minor issues with payroll year end data coming over in a state that forced us to setup payroll from scratch.  It was completely reasonable but some of the QuickBooks entries required careful analysis to ensure no overlap during setup.
  9. Once satisfied that reports tie out (balance sheet, agings, income statements, etc.), you will then coordinate the final cutover with the project manager.

In relative terms to other system conversions, the experiences we have had have been low cost and of high quality.   Some things that should be noted about the conversion after you go live:

  1. The first bank reconciliation forces you to take all checks and deposits since inception.  The cleared bits on each transaction from QuickBooks are present but you have to process in a non-standard manner during the first reconciliation.
  2. Master files may need to be modified to allow more robust options for your customers and vendors to gain access to NetSuite.
  3. While the agings for payables and receivables should tie out perfectly, you may experience issues on accounts that have open credit and debit memos.  Although they may come up and surprise you, during your subsequent payment and receipt processing, you will apply these together as they should net properly out to zero.
  4. For professional service organizations who charge time to clients, timesheet records may appear to require approval for entries that have already been billed.    This is understandable because QuickBooks does not have an approval process.  To resolve this concern, you may be required to create a mass update query to change the bits to prevent the records from being billed twice.
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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to set up a conversation.

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| Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Category: CRM, ERP, NetSuite, Reporting, Technical | 8 Comments


  1. Posted April 21, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Tell me more. What is your experience?

  2. Posted July 13, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    What about converting from NetSuite to Quickbooks?

  3. Posted July 13, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Hello John,

    Are you trying to go from NetSuite to QuickBooks as a full migration process or as a day-to-day integration? The standard way to get data out of NetSuite is through CSV export. However, there are other ways to get the data out. To my knowledge, there is not a mechanism to directly get data out of NetSuite and then push it seamlessly to QuickBooks. I suspect there is little demand for such a tool. Most customers are seeking NetSuite’s power and are moving away from QuickBooks as they grow.

  4. Samir Kathman
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    We are seeing more customers move away from NetSuite to QuickBooks basically due to the expense involved. The NetSuite API can be used to push data into QuickBooks because the API maintains links between transactions that the CSV export does not.

  5. Posted August 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi Samir,

    Seems funny about customers moving from NetSuite to Quickbooks. It seems the other way around. I can’t imagine a small company starting with NetSuite and then downgrading to Quickbooks. But I can see it from the investment perspective. But why would they have signed up in the first place.

    Is there a typical revenue / size factor you can say about those clients that have downgraded? I believe that NetSuite starts to really make sense for companies with 20 or more employees and over $10M USD in annual revenue. Thoughts?


  6. Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the Post Marty. In recent years, I have heard of a tool that NetSuite uses internally for the Import of Quickbooks to NetSuite. I was wondering if that tool is in a bundle somewhere or if it’s maybe in a module and how much it would cost?

    Actually, if you can get me the name of the module or the bundle, I will get my Account Rep to check the prices for me.



  7. Posted December 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    This service to convert Quickbooks to NetSuite used to be available. I believe it has not been offered since 2009. We take our clients through this migration all the time.


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