QuickBooks News:

It’s that time of the year again where a new version of QuickBooks is released.

Here are a few tips for users that will be upgrading from versions 2008 and older:

Ensure you have made a backup of your existing data before you proceed with the NEW QuickBooks installation, either to your desktop or a NEW folder created directly on your C drive. If you are going to install QuickBooks on a new computer, be sure to copy the backup from your existing computer to a memory stick or disc.

Before making the decision to upgrade your data, ensure your current VAT period has been closed off. If your data file is big or you have been running your company financials in one company file for a few years, we recommend you start a new company file with take on balances in the NEW version of QuickBooks. You will still be able to upgrade your existing data for historical purposes. Once you have upgraded your data be sure to see that the Trial Balance, Ageing summary reports and Chart of Accounts have pulled through correctly.

Prepare your file prior to upgrade:

QB 2006 and older – ensure there are no duplicate currencies in the currency list as this will prevent the file from upgrading. Be sure to delete duplicate Currencies (QuickBooks won’t delete a currency if there are transactions linked to it).

Tip: Tick ‘Include Inactive’ box when looking for duplicates.

QB 2008, 2010, 2012 or 2013 – Invalid characters in the Company CK field may prevent file from upgrading. Be sure to remove the CK number in your existing version of QuickBooks before upgrading.

VAT Setup for Upgrade files

You need not modify or Setup VAT if you are upgrading from QB 2012, 2013 or 2014 and were already using the VAT201 return


You were using the VAT100 return in QB 2010, 2012, 2013 or 2014 and don’t want to cross over to VAT201

However, if you are upgrading from QB 2008 or older, you will then have to setup your VAT.

This entails VAT adjustments and possible journals.

In the following example a customer was using VAT100 in QB 2010, 2012, 2013 or 2014 and would like to starting using VAT201

We recommend seeing the current VAT period through using VAT100 and crossing over to VAT201 at the start of the next VAT period. (This will prevent having to ‘refresh’ transactions with new VAT codes down the line).

STEP 1: Ensure a backup is done before proceeding

STEP 2: Locate the VAT Menu and click on Manage VAT

STEP 3: Because you’re currently using VAT100 and would like to change to VAT201 you’ll click on Change VAT Setup


STEP 4: In the VAT Setup Wizard, select the option ‘Set up VAT for an additional country that QuickBooks supports’

STEP 5: Click on Finish

STEP 6: In the Create Taxes window, select South Africa

STEP 7: Click on OK

The Setup VAT Wizard would’ve done the following:

  • Created Supplier SARS (Receiver of Revenue)
  • Created VAT codes: C (Capital), SSA (Standard Sales & Purchases), ESA (Exempted Sales & Purchases), SI (Standard Import Purchases),  ZSA (Zero Rated Sales & Purchases)
  • Created VAT Control (SA) Other Current Liability Account


STEP 8: Assign VAT Codes.

The next step would be to instruct QuickBooks which VAT codes to use for Customers, suppliers, Items and Accounts (As you’ll have 2 sets now – original VAT codes and new VAT codes).

Under the Manage VAT click on Assign VAT Codes.

vat setup QuickBooks online accounting

STEP 9: Click on Bulk Change



STEP 10: Backup – You’ll be prompted to do a backup

– if you have not already, then please do so – alternatively click No to skip.

Backup company QuickBooks online accounting


STEP 11: The objective is to assign a new VAT code replacing the former in the process.

(This will not affect historic transactions – it will update lists only)

In the following example we’re replacing the old VAT code S with the new VAT code SSA

We’re instructing QB to make this change for Items, Customers, Suppliers and Accounts.


Click Next to make changes

online bulk assignment

STEP 12: Change confirmation. Click Next to proceed.

code bulk assignment QuickBooks online accounting

STEP 13: QuickBooks will update selected lists

– once completed a summary report will be displayed.

Click on OK when done.



STEP 14: Be sure to make Inactive the old VAT codes under Lists> VAT Code Lists.

(As using those in new transactions will post VAT to the old VAT control account and not VAT Control (SA))

For this reason you may want to plan the switching over from VAT100 to VAT201 and the assigning of New VAT Codes to the beginning of a new VAT period.


By Justin Holmes and Tiziana Smit (QuickBooks Tech Team)