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Importing financial data from QuickBooks Desktop

To import data from a QuickBooks Desktop file (.qbw), you will need to download and install the Fathom Desktop Connector. After installation, you will be able to upload data from your QuickBooks files into Fathom.

The Fathom Desktop Connector will work with any recent version of QuickBooks Desktop from the US, United Kingdom and Canada. We support versions from the current year and the three years prior. This includes Pro, Premier (all editions), Simple Start & Enterprise Solutions. In cases where we do not integrate directly, we suggest using Excel to import your data.

❗ Note: If your QuickBooks Desktop files are hosted or in a server environment, please see our article on Using the Fathom Desktop Connector in a hosted or server environment.


Installing the Fathom Desktop Connector

To install the Connector and import financial data from QuickBooks Desktop:

  1. From the Fathom ‘My Companies’ page, select the green ‘Add’ button in the upper right corner.

  2. Choose ‘Company’

  3. Then, select ‘QuickBooks’

  4. In the following screen, under the heading 'QuickBooks Desktop' click 'Launch the Fathom Desktop Connector'.

  5. Open the Fathom Desktop Connector to launch it.

    Note: We recommend that the Desktop Connector be housed on the same drive and preferably in the same folder as the QuickBooks file. To check the location of the QuickBooks file, you can open the file in QuickBooks and use the 'F2' key or 'Ctrl +1' to reveal the exact location of the file.


  6. The Desktop Connector will ask you to enter your Fathom credentials.

  7. Once you’ve entered your Fathom credentials, select the Fathom organization you want to import the QuickBooks files into if you have access to multiple Fathom organizations.

  8. You’re now ready to import your QuickBooks Desktop files into Fathom.

⚠️ Error Alert: Is the Fathom Desktop Connector not launching? Please see our Desktop Connector issues article.


Connecting Fathom to your QuickBooks Desktop file

After launching the Desktop Connector, follow these steps to import your company data into Fathom:

  1. Start QuickBooks and open your company file.

    Note: We recommend the QuickBooks file (.qbw) be housed in the same location as the Desktop Connector. To check the location of the QuickBooks file, you can open the file in QuickBooks and use the 'F2' key or 'Ctrl +1' to reveal the exact location of the file.


  2. Login as the 'Administrator'.

    💡 Pro Tip: To connect Fathom to the company file initially, you must be the Administrator user. There is only one administrator per QuickBooks Desktop file. You can set up the Desktop Connector to allow ‘accountant’ level users to perform subsequent updates of the file. For more on this, please see our FAQ below.


  3. Ensure that there are no other company files open and that all dialog boxes in QuickBooks are closed.

  4. Within the Fathom Desktop Connector, click '+ Add Files' to select your QuickBooks file. This should be the same file you opened in QuickBooks.

  5. QuickBooks will ask you to grant permission to the Desktop Connector. Return to the QuickBooks program and grant permission before proceeding.

  6. Choose 'Yes, always; allow access even if QuickBooks is not running' in order to make it easier to connect next time.

  7. Return to the Desktop Connector. If you have classes in your QuickBooks file, you’ll be asked to select which classes you wish to import into Fathom. You can choose to import classes during the initial import process or add them to existing companies. Once you’ve selected your classes, click ‘Confirm Selection’.

  8. You should see your QuickBooks files listed in the Fathom Desktop Connector. Select ‘Upload to Fathom’.

Fathom will then securely extract the data from your QuickBooks Desktop file, along with your selected classes, if applicable. Depending on the file size and internet connection speeds, this may take several minutes.

After the file is uploaded to Fathom, you’ll be prompted with a message to take you to your ‘My Companies’ page in Fathom. You should see the company listed on the ‘My Companies’ page where you’ll be able to access the settings, analysis, reports, and forecasting tools.

⚠️ Error Alert: Trying to connect your QuickBooks Desktop company to Fathom and receiving an error? Please see our QuickBooks Desktop connection issues article.


What if I am the accountant and not the administrator on the company file?

The administrator is the only user who can make the initial connection, but they can set the connection up so that other users are allowed to perform subsequent connections.

For this approach to work, the owner of the file will need to be comfortable creating a new user and performing an initial connection to the Fathom Desktop Connector in their environment. Alternatively you could ask them to briefly change the Administrator password and send you the file so that you can facilitate this process for them.

The steps for the 'Administrator' to follow are:

  1. Log in to the company file as administrator

  2. Create a new user with the ‘Accountant’ role (if you don’t have one already).

  3. While logged in as the Administrator and with the company file open, go through the normal process to import using the Fathom Desktop Connector.

  4. When selecting the access permissions make sure you select to access the company file using the new ‘Accountant’ user.


Updating your QuickBooks Desktop Company in Fathom

To update your financials from QuickBooks Desktop, you’ll need to use the Fathom Desktop Connector to re-import the QuickBooks Desktop file.

  1. Open your company file in QuickBooks Desktop.

  2. Ensure that there are no other company files open and that all dialog boxes in QuickBooks are closed.

  3. Open the Fathom Desktop Connector on your machine. If you need to re-download the Fathom Desktop Connector, you can do so by going to ‘Step 1 - Update Data’ of the company’s Settings. Select the grey ‘Update from QuickBooks Desktop’ button and you’ll be taken to a page where you can re-download the Connector.

  4. If necessary, log back into the Connector.

  5. Select the ‘+ Add Files’ button and choose the QuickBooks Desktop file for the company.

  6. You should see your QuickBooks files listed in the Fathom Desktop Connector. Select ‘Upload to Fathom’.


Next steps

Congratulations on connecting your QuickBooks Desktop company to Fathom! Finish setting up your company for analysis, reporting, and forecasting by choosing from one of the next steps below:

What you want to do:

Next step in setup process:

Did you miss out on importing your classes with your company? You can still do so.

Want to import a budget for your company?

Happy with the above and ready to begin setting up your Company Profile?

💡Pro Tip: If you want to consolidate several companies in Fathom, we recommend importing and completing the setup process for each company before creating a consolidated group.


Additional knowledge & common questions:

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