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Configuring Your First Quickbooks Desktop Pro Financial Export from Operate
Configuring Your First Quickbooks Desktop Pro Financial Export from Operate

This guide explains the configuration steps you need to go through before conducting your first export to Quickbooks Desktop Pro

Stuart avatar
Written by Stuart
Updated over a week ago


This guide shows you how to prepare Operate and Quickbooks for your first export.

We recommend going through these steps as part of your initial Operate setup, before going live and adding any transactions.

Please keep in mind that this guide focuses on Operate and points you to specific areas you may need to access within Quickbooks. For detailed information on how Quickbooks works, please see their support portal.


  1. The on-page positions of Operate fields indicated here may or may not be the same as yours. This is becasuse Operate Page Layouts are customiseable and your organisation may choose to arrange them differently. Learn more about Page Layouts.

  2. To create lists of any Operate records that need to map to Quickbooks (e.g.: Accounts, Products), please use List Views to which you can add columns to view the fields you need. This ensures you can see and export the required data. To export Operate List Views to CSV, select the listed records you need, then click the Export option at the top. Learn more about Operate List Views.


Quickbooks Desktop Pro, starting with the 2018 update.


Syncing Operate to Quickbooks should be considered from the very beginning of your Operate setup, before you even start using our platform. This is because Quickbooks receives data from specific Operate fields which need to be identical in both platforms. As such, accurate configuration is required for successful subsequent exports.


During your initial setup, please install the Quickbooks Desktop Export from Operate Settings > Integrations > Quickbooks Desktop.

You willnow have the option to Open the integration.

Once the integration is enabled, you are ready to install the dedicated export application, called the Essensys Financial Connector (eFC). This can be done in your Operate Account by following this guide.


Here is a snapshot of how Operate fields map to Quickbooks:

Please keep in mind the terminology overlap which does not refer to the same type of data:

  • Customer Type in Quickbooks receives data from the Location field in Operate, not from the Client Type. The Operate Client Type is being received by Quickbooks as a Class.

  • The Customer Name in Quickbooks corresponds to the Operate Account ID.

  • The Operate Account Name will import to Quickbooks as the Company Name.

  • A Quickbooks Account corresponds to an Operate GL (General Ledger) Code, not to a customer Account Record.

  • The Operate Payment Type corresponds to the Quickbooks Payment Method, not to the Payment Type (which is a non-customiseable dropdown that cateogrises your Payment Methods).


Your Operate financial data exports as follows:

  • Operate Accounts export automatically, if the following is set up according to this guide: Locations, Client Types, Account IDs, Payment Terms and Payment Types. New Accounts will be added and existing ones will be updated from Operate to Quickbooks, during each export.

  • Invoices export based on Accounts and Products. Only Approved Invoices and Credit Notes will export - Drafts will not. Charges and bookings only export if invoiced. Transactions within your Charge Sheets and Batch Sheets, as well as Calendar bookings will first need to be added to an Invoice via Bill Run. All Charge Sheets are directly invoiced during Bill Run. Batch sheets will invoice if completed and approved.

  • Credit Notes export as Quickbooks Credit Memos. Like Invoices, they also export based on Accounts and Products. Only Approved Credit Notes will export - Drafts will not.

  • AR Payments export as Payments as long as your Payment GL Codes are configured and you are exporting to a Quickbooks Account set to the 'Bank' or 'Other Current Asset' Account Type.


Operate Journals do export as Quickbooks General Journal Entiries; however, we do not recommend you use this feature, because of the way Quickbooks is designed to work with Journals. An eplanation article is coming soon, but briefly, you would need to manually edit imported journals and match them to the appropriate Operate transactions. If all of your journals are imported and you still need to edit each one manually, we believe that the cautious approach is to avoid importing them and add them manually one by one, to prevent inaccuracy.

We would rather recommend to make sure that they do not export, by assigning all your Operate Journals to the 'Accounts Receivable' Payment GL Code and ignoring the following error that the export will show against Journals: "There was an error when saving a General Journal Transaction. Quickbooks error message: A/R detail line must have customer." This error only occurs when a Journal is not posted to the correct Quickbooks Account and shows that the transaction has not been passed to Quickbooks.


Therefore, the guide below does not apply to Journal transactions.

To manually add them to Quickbooks, please create an Operate Report that lists your Journal Transactions and use it as a data source.


The Quickbooks Accounts you choose to send Operate Transactions to will need to be appropriate for the type of transaction you send to it. Quickbooks therefore accepts different transaction types within different account types.

The table below shows you what type of Operate transactions can be exported to which Quickbooks Account Type.

In brief:

  • You can export anything to 'Bank' and 'Other Current Asset' Account Types.

  • Payments can only go to 'Bank' and 'Other Current Asset' Account Types, regardless of whether they are added manually or come in via a Portal purchase.

  • Invoices and Credit Notes can be exported to any Quickbooks Account Type.


  1. The content of the fields mentioned above in the Operate vs. Quickbooks section will need to be identical in both applications. Please pay attention to spaces and spelling; and use copy/paste if you need to. If any field does not match exactly, it will cause export failures.

  2. Please keep in mind that an export from within Operate will overwrite Quickbooks. As long as you want to use this export, accounts, payments, invoices and credit notes should not be managed in Quickbooks, but in Operate, from where they will be exported to Quickbooks on a monthly basis.

  3. There is; however, an exception to the above: If you export an Operate transaction to a specific Quickbooks Account, you update the Account Type, then re-export the same Operate transaction > Quickbooks will duplicate it. This can occur if you realize that an Account Type is wrong after you have already exported from Operate.


  1. Some monthly manual maintenance is required: E.g.: if you add new products to Operate, you will need to add them to Quickbooks as well.

  2. Quickbooks limits the character length of certain fields - you can read more about this here. We recommend that you set up internal best practices and make your team are aware of this aspect, to avoid export failures. In general, shorter product names, GL code names or References (in your AR, on invoices or product records) are recommended.

  3. Quickbooks maps the Customer Name to the Account ID in Operate. However, the Account ID usually does not contain an easily identifiable customer name. At the moment we are not able to change this due to other Operate features that depend on Account IDs. To see the full customer name in Quickbooks, you need to click on it. Here is what your customer center may look like:


Let's go through the configuration, step by step. Please note that you will need to create a series of items within Quickbooks, to match data fields from within Operate. If you are already using these item types in Quickbooks for other purposes, adding new ones should not affect your existing setup. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know.



Make sure your organization has at least one Location fully configured.

  • Go to Space > Locations.

  • Open the Location you want to configure.

  • Copy the Site Name field - ensure you do not copy extra spaces.


Add your Operate Locations as Customer Types.

  • Go to Lists > Customer & Vendor Profile Lists > Customer Type List.

  • For each of your Operate Locations add a new Customer Type.

  • Paste the Site Name field from Operate into the Customer Type field in Quickbooks.



Make sure that you have configured your Client Types and that you have assigned them to a Location. Next:

  • Go to Settings > General > Organisations > Client Types.

  • Go through each Client Type individually and copy their exact Client Type Name to add to Quickbooks.


Add all of your Operate Client Types as Quickbooke Classes.

  • Go to Lists > Class List.

  • Add a new class for each Operate Client Type.

  • Enter the exact Client Type Name field content from your Operate Client Type into the Quickbooks Class Name field.


Your customer base should be created within Operate before configuring this export. Your list of Accounts will be available under Member > Accounts. More about Accounts in Operate.

The export will automatically add new Operate Accounts into Quickbooks as long as the rest of the setup is correct.

Account IDs and Existing Quickbooks Customers

Each customer Account record should be assigned an Account ID. You can either configure custom IDs as explained here or allow Operate to autogenerate them by going to System > Operate Settings > Member Settings and enabling Auto Generate Accounts ID. These IDs are required for subsequent data imports to customer accounts that already exist in Quickbooks at the time of the export.

If you will be working with an existing Quickbooks company file, to which you want to add Operate data, then you will need to ensure that your existing Quickbooks Customers have the Operate Account IO as the Customer Name.


If you need to retrieve a list of all Operate Accounts and their corresponding IDs:

  • Go to Member > Accounts.

  • Make sure your list view contains both your Account Name and Account ID. If you do not see any of these columns, please edit the list view and add them.

  • Select all records and click the Export button.

  • Operate will now generate a .csv file which you can use to add your Account IDs to Quickbooks.


Operate Account IDs correspond to Quickbooks Customer Names. To retrieve and / or edit them:

  • Go to Customers > Customer Center.

  • In the customers list panel, doubleclick the record you want to view/edit.

  • Quickbooks will open your Customer record. where you can edit the Customer Name at the top left of the window.

When conducting your first export, Operate will push new Accounts to Quickbooks, where new customer records will be created. Existing Customers will be updated with any new financial data coming from within Operate - as long as the Account ID is identical to the Customer Name and the rest of the setup is correct.

Importing Opening Balances into Operate

If you are working with existing customers who have a Quickbooks balance, we strongly recommend that you add this balance into Operate, prior to adding any transactions.

The process involves creating a spreadsheet of Account IDs and balances and importing it into Operate. Our support team will assist with this during your initial Operate setup.


It does not matter whether you pay Sales Tax or not - You will still need to create a tax record in both Operate and Quickbooks. Each scenario requires a specific configuration, therefore please choose yours below.

Operate's general Tax setup guide is available here.

Please check your Quickbooks Tax Codes before you begin your setup. The default ones are:

  • 'TAX' for taxable items.

  • 'NON' for non-taxable items.

Quickbooks' character limitation for Tax Codes is 3. Please see Character limitations for fields in QuickBooks for details.

We will be using these as examples; however if you have a different Quickbooks configuration that you want to keep, you will need to pay attention to the Tax Codes that you are using for each Tax Item, because they will need to be identical in Operate. Here is Intuit's guide on how to Set up sales tax in QuickBooks Desktop.


You do not need to enable tax in Quickbooks - you will; however need to do so in Operate and ensure corresponding Sales Tax Codes in both applications.


  • Go to Settings > General > Organisations > Taxes and create a new tax item called 'Non taxable', with the tax code 'NON' and a '0' Tax Rate. Enable the Default Tax Rate option so that when you add new products in the future this is automatically select it.

  • Please make sure that your Product records have a Tax field even if you do not pay tax. You can set your Non-taxable record as default so you will not have to select a tax when adding a product. To add the field, please edit the Page Layouts corresponding to all of your Product Types and make sure the Tax field is added. This can be done in Settings > General > Customize > Products > Page Layouts. Read more here.


  • Go to Lists > Sales Tax Code List and check that there is an existing 'NON' Sales Tax Code, set as Non-Taxable. If you want to use another code, please add it as a new item and ensure the code and description are identical to the ones added to your Operate Tax.


Your Quickbooks tax setup remains the same - all you need to do is configure taxes in Operate and make sure you have each Operate Tax Rate configured identically in Quickbooks, as a Sales Tax Item.


  • Go to Settings > General > Organisations > Taxes and create a new Tax for each Tax Rate that your organisation is using. Be sure to use the appropriate Tax Code - the one added to the corresponding Quickbooks Sales Tax Item.


  • Go to Lists > Items List and ensure that for each Operate Tax there is a corresponding Quickbooks Sales Tax Item with the same Name, Description and Tax Rate.

  • Quickbooks lists Sales Tax Items with most other items, so to make it easier to check, please sort your list and only consider those items of the type: 'Sales Tax Item'. If items are missing, please create them. At the end of this process, all of your Operate Taxes should be contained within the Quickbooks Sales Tax Items List. You can have additional items in Quickbooks (if for any reason you need to), but cannot have them in Operate.


Please consult Quickbooks' Tax related documentation for information on how your taxes will be processed once taxable transactions are imported.


Your Products list should be added to Operate as part of your initial setup. During or right after this process, please ensure that each Product record has a Tax and a Product GL Code assigned. You can find your Products under Space > Products. Learn more.

Essentially, you will need to go through all of your Products in both applications, to ensure that the Product Name, Tax and GL Code correspond to a Quickbooks Item that has the same Name, Tax Code and Account assignments.

Your other Product details (e.g.: Pricing), are not required by the export to be identical. This is becaause you are exporting transactions based on the Product records, not the records themselves. However, we strongly recommend that you ensure your Product details are all the same in both applications to avoid possibly inaccurate bookkeeping.

To check that your Products contain the required fields, please follow these steps:


  • Go to Space > Products, where you will find a list view of all your added Products. If you do not see the 'Product Name', 'Tax' and 'GL Code' columns, please add them by editing the list view (using the pencil icon next to the list selector). If a Product record does not have one of these fields populated or you need to make changes, you can edit by clicking the Pencil icon next to it.


To check your Operate Products against Quickbooks, please go to Lists > Items List and ensure that the specified fields on all your Items match the ones in Operate.

  • The Item Name matches the Operate Product Name.

  • The Tax Code on the Quickbooks item is the same as the one on the Tax you have assigned to your Operate Product. Please see Step 4 for the detailed Tax setup.

  • The Account assigned to the Quickbooks Item is the same as the GL Code added to the corresponding Operate Product.

Below is a colour-coded snapshot of these requirements, along with detailed steps on each element:

Naming Your Products

All you need to do here is to make sure the Name field in Operate is identical to the Quickbooks Item Name/Number field. Please pay attention to extra spaces and keep in mind that Quickbooks' character limitation for item names is 31. See Character limitations for fields in QuickBooks for details.

Assigning Tax

  • To select a Tax you need to have previously created it, as described in Step 4 above. If you do not pay tax, please select your Non-Taxable item, as explained within the same step.

Assigning a GL Code

Operate Product GL Codes are found in Quickbooks' Chart of Accounts. Operate does not list them anywhere, but if you need to retrieve Product GL Code assignments, you can export the Products list - Learn more about Operate List Views.

The Operate GL Code determines which Quickbooks Account receives the revenue obtained from the Product. This can be either a default or custom Quickbooks Account. You will either need to have or create a list of Quickbooks Accounts you want to use as part of your bookkeeping process; and add GL codes in Operate according to this list. You can choose to organise this process however you need to (e.g. you might want different accounts for different product types).

NOTE: You may want to pay specific attention to your retainer products, if you charge deposits, as you may want related revenue to be booked into a particular Quickbooks Account. Read more about adding Operate retainer products.

Please keep Quickbooks as a starting point for creating your Accounts, to ensure that you stay within their 31 character limitation for Account Names.

All you need to do is add the Quickbooks Account Name into the Operate GL Code field on the Product record. You do noit need to add the Account Number; only the name.

Using Subaccounts

If you are using subaccounts in Quickbooks, you can add them to Operate Products in the following format:


For example, if in Quickbooks you have a Catering Account which is a subaccount of a Rooms Account, then your Operate GL Code should look like this:



Both Operate and Quickbooks will require records of the payment terms you use. In Operate, you can assign a Payment Term to each of your customer Accounts; however, you do not need to map the fields assigned to the Account (as a Standard or Rental Payment Term) because the export will update it on its own, every time it is successful.

All you need to do to map Payment Terms is to create a record of it in Operate's list of Payment Terms and add a corresponding Item to Quickbooks. Here is what you need in each application:


  • Create a new Payment Term by going to; Settings > General > Customize > Accounts > Standard Fields. Here is where you will find two related fields: Standard PaymentTerm and Rental Payment Term. Choose one and click on it. This will open a page where you can manage a list of terms. Add terms as needed, to make sure this list is contained within your Terms list in Quickbooks. When making changes to the Standard PaymentTerm field, your update will be reflected on the Rental Payment Term too - and vice versa.

  • This Payment Terms List can be used on Account records. If any Payment Term exists in Operate and is assigned to an Account, but is not created within Quickbooks under the same name, then the Account record will not export into Quickbooks.


Make sure all your Payment Terms are added as Terms, as follows:

  • Go to Lists > Customer & Vendor Profile Lists > Terms List.

  • Make sure the Payment Terms you have listed in Operate are found here as well, under an identical name. If you have additional Terms in Quickbooks, they will not affect your export.


Payment Types behave exactly like payment Terms - You can assign them to Accounts in Operate via Standard and Rental Payment Type fields that will update during the export. All you need is to ensure there is a Quickbooks Payment Method record of each Payment Type you use in Operate.

Operate's Payment Types correspond to Quickbooks' Payment Methods.


Create a list of Payment Types by going to Settings > General > Customize > Invoices > Payment Types. Here is a step by step guide.


Go to Lists > Customer & Vendor Lists > Payment Methods and ensure that the list of Payment Types you have in Operate is contained within your Quickbooks Payment Methods List. The names of your items need to be identical. Your list can be longer in Quickbooks, but not in Operate - any Operate Accounts with an assigned Payment Type that is not added to this Quickbooks list will not export.


Payment GL Codes have the same function as Product GL Codes, meaning that they direct a transaction to a specific bookkeeping account, in this case one in your Quickbooks Chart of Accounts.

In Quickbooks, both Product GL Codes and Payment GL Codes are found within your Chart of Accounts.

The difference in Operate is that Product GL Codes are added to your Product records and direct the revenue obtained from those products, while the Payment GL code is configured on your Organisation and is used to direct your Accounts Receivable transactions: Payments, Deposits, Portal Transactions to the appropriate bookkeeping accounts. Each time you add an AR transaction, you need to select a GL Code for it - this determines the Quickbooks Account it is sent to once exported.

Payment GL Codes do not support subaccounts. Therefore, please ensure that the Quickbooks Accounts you choose to send Operate AR Transactions to are not set up as subaccounts within Quickbooks.

As for all of the other elements of this export, the Operate Payment GL Codes will need to be identical to the corresponding Quickbooks Account.

You will need a Payment GL Code for the following Operate transactions:

  • Manually added Payments.

  • Portal Payments

  • Bounced Checks

  • Deposit related transactions.

All of these transactions can be managed via either one or several Payment GL Codes, depending on your business bookkeeping practices.


Payment GL Codes can be created by going to Settings > General > Organisations > Payment GL Codes. Here is where you need to add a GL Code for each Quickbooks Account that you want to send AR transactions to. You do not need to create your entire Chart of Accounts within Operate; just the Accounts you actually use. Note that Operate allows you to add both a Payment GL Name and a Payment GL Code - Please enter the name of your Quickbooks Account in both fields.


If you are using the Operate Member Portal to accept Payments, please keep in mind that Operate hardcodes the Bank GL code for these transactions. This means that all of your Portal payments will come through to your AR already assigned to the Bank GL code.

You will find the Bank GL code already created within Operate - Please do not remove or rename it - this will break the process and you will need our support to restore it.

Here is what a Portal Payment looks like within your Accounts Receivable:


You only need to make sure that no Account you use as a Payment GL Code in Operate is set up as a subaccount and ensure naming is identical in both platforms.

If you choose to create custom Accounts for Operate transactions, please add them to Operate as well, under the same name.

If you do not have an Account called Bank, please add one and assign an Account type that represents an Asset. (e.g.: Accounts Receivable)


Follow the Financial Connector guide to run your first export.

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