Apr 272019
QuickBooks Online Logo

We all want to make sure our accounting (or clients accounting) data is always backed up, and available for restore in the event of data loss, corruption, or damage. Using QuickBooks desktop, this was easy as you could either use Windows Volume Shadow Services along with your backup and disaster recovery infrastructure, or manual/automatic backups inside of the QuickBooks Desktop application itself.

We traditionally saw IT use the former, and accounting staff using the latter.

Many companies have since migrated from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks online, in an effort to utilize simpler multi-user access, access to your books from anywhere, features and functionality that only come with QBO, app integration and more.

I was one of those people running an extremely old version of QuickBooks, and I needed to upgrade. To keep costs low, and take advantage of some app integration that were available, I decided to upgrade to QuickBooks online.

Overall the upgrade went smooth, however I wanted to make sure that I could backup my data now that I’ve fully migrated over, this is where things got complicated…

QuickBooks Online Protection

Looking through QuickBooks online for some type of backup or export feature, I was unable to find one. I decided to do a google search, and came up with a few documents.


The above link explains Intuit’s backup and disaster recovery strategy in simple terms for customers. A screenshot below:

According to this page, Intuit backs up our data everynight, stores it on 2 hard drives every change, and copy all data to a third-party hard drive (assuming to take it off-site).

So we know something is being done for protection… It’s a bit scary that a third-party has a copy of the data, but we probably agreed to this when accepting the EULA. There’s still nothing about how we can backup our data.

QuickBooks Online Backup and Export

Doing some further searching, I came across another article.


Now we’re talking! According to this article, you can use the data export tool to move your QuickBooks Online data and information to another version of QuickBooks. You could use this not only as a means to export the data, but also to have a backup/copy for yourself (for pease of mind).

I started to follow the instructions in this document, however I quickly noticed that some options that should be available, didn’t show up in my QuickBooks Online interface.

It appeared that I was missing the option to “Download Company Data” under “Moving to QuickBooks Desktop”. I could only export Reports and Lists.

I was wondering if something was wrong with my account because it was brand new, or if I had to enable this feature somewhere.

It turns out that if you are a Canadian QuickBooks Online customer, you do not have access to export or backup your file. You can only export Reports and Lists to Excel. The QuickBooks Online company file export feature is only available on the QuickBooks Online USA (American) version.

I was later able to confirm this by finding this post: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/community/Install/Converting-Quickbooks-online-to-desktop/td-p/182689

So as the individual from the QuickBooks Team stated, this feature is unavailable for QuickBooks Canada.

Worst case scenario, if you are moving from QBO (QuickBooks Online) to QuickBooks desktop, you can find the extremely complicated procedure below, but I wouldn’t recommend it to be used as any type of backup:

Hopefully in the future, Intuit will add this functionality to QuickBooks Online Canadian version. Until then, you might be able to try some 3rd party apps, but I haven’t tested or verified any of these.

Comment with your thoughts below!

Apr 242019
QB Error 6123

During an upgrade from an extremely old version of QuickBooks to a newer version of QuickBooks, opening the file to upgrade may fail with the following error message:

Error: -6123,0
We're sorry, but QuickBooks can't open your company file.

This specifically occurred with me when I was upgrading from QuickBooks 2008 to Quickbooks 2019 (trial), so I could then migrate my datafile to QuickBooks Online.

QB Error 6123

The Problem

During most (if not all) upgrades and updates, Intuit makes changes to the datafile format for new features, optimizations, or bug fixes. Sometimes these changes can actually be very drastic and intensive, especially if you have a large datafile. Keep in mind that forms and templates may also require upgrades or changes.

When jumping multiple versions, all of these changes must occur in a single swipe.

To make this problem even worse, I believe that there are major (massive, larger than usual) changes done every few upgrades.


To troubleshoot this problem, I followed all of QuickBooks documentation on the process but didn’t have any luck. I tried:

  • Upgrading the datafile directly
  • Removing it off the network and upgrading directly
  • Creating a backup using the older version, and restoring with the newer version
  • Using the “Restore older version from backup” feature in “Utilities”

All of these had no effect.


I finally came across an article that talked about restoring backups and upgrade issues, and as a last attempt recommended creating a portable file on the old version and restoring it to the new version.

Keep in mind that customization will be lost, such as Invoice formats, templates, and other things.

I went ahead and tried this, and to my surprise it worked. I was able to upgrade from QuickBooks 2008 to QuickBooks 2019, and was then able to export and import the datafile in to QuickBooks online.

My 2008 datafile was ~48MB, and took around an hour to convert (I was actually surprised at first, but realized I was performing 11 versions of upgrades to the file).

As always you should confirm that the data is valid. I compared my chart of accounts, profit and loss statements, and trial balance reports, from the old to the new, and all looked good!

May 082018

Recently a customer of mine who is using an outdated version of Intuit QuickBooks on their Terminal Server (RDS Remote Desktop Services) started to experience an issue when users attempted to log on. QuickBooks would initialize, then prompt the TLS 1.2 warning message, and then completely crash. This would prevent the users from doing any tasks.

In an effort to troubleshoot this, I tried to use different accounts, checked the QBW.ini file for any flags that could dismiss this message, tried Intuit’s “TLS preparedness tool” (which still scares me because I have no idea what system changes it made on the server), etc… All of these attempts had no effect on the issue.

For a temporary workaround, you’ll need to load up QuickBooks on a workstation (not using terminal services). You’ll need to open the datafile, select “Do Not Show this again”, and then close. You’ll need to do this for each datafile. Please note that if you do not receive the prompts on other datafiles, you’ll need to open the datafile with a different Quickbooks username (QB account, not Windows account) in order to get it to prompt.

This issue should only occur on older versions of Quickbooks when using TS/RDS. To officially resolve this issue, I recommend upgrading to a more recent (and in support) version of Quickbooks.