Learn how to use the Accountant's Copy in QuickBooks Desktop.
The Accountant's Copy feature in QuickBooks Desktop allows accountants and clients to work on a company file at the same time. The Accountant's Copy is seamlessly transferred between accountants and clients without the need to email bulky files.
The following sections outline how Accountant's Copy works. It also explains what you can and can't do in an Accountant's Copy.
Rather than saving the Accountant’s Copy file on your computer or thumb drive, the Accountant's Copy feature transfers files between accountants and clients through Intuit servers.
The following process illustrates the Accountant's Copy feature workflow:
The Accountant's Copy uses the Dividing Date to define the fiscal period the accountant can work on. The Dividing Date restricts the transactions the accountant can modify.
Accountants can only modify transactions that fall on or before the dividing date. To prevent conflict or the possibility of overwriting changes, clients can only modify transactions in their working file that fall after the dividing date unless the Accountant’s Copy Restriction is removed.
While your accountant is making changes in the Accountant's Copy you sent, you can work in the .QBW working file to make changes to transactions in the current period, after the dividing date.
You can also make the following types of changes in the QBW file with pending accountant’s changes:
However, while accountant's changes are pending, you can't make the following changes:
It's possible to reconcile your accounts with a pending Accountant's Copy. However, your reconciliation may be rolled back if you clear transactions dated on or before the dividing date, or if your accountant reconciles the Accountant's Copy and undoes your reconciliation.
Verify with your accountant whether they plan to reconcile the Accountant’s Copy before you reconcile your accounts in your working file.
Reconciliations performed in an Accountant's Copy are limited to 800 transactions. If the number of transactions reconciled is more than 800, the reconciliation won't import into the client file.
When you receive an Accountant's Copy from your client, QuickBooks Desktop prevents you from editing information or transactions that may conflict with your client's work. It also prevents your client from editing information before the Dividing Date to avoid conflict with any changes you make.
When working in an Accountant's Copy (the .QBA working file), you may encounter disabled or sometimes highlighted areas in a client's file:
There are also some specific limitations of the type of changes you can make.
The following sections provide details about the specific changes you can and cannot make in an Accountant's Copy.
When working with Lists, you can make the following changes in an Accountant's Copy:
You cannot make the following changes:
When working on transactions, you can make the following changes in an Accountant's Copy:
You cannot make the following changes:
When working on payroll-related items, you are generally restricted from making changes in the Accountant's Copy. Although you can still process payroll tax forms. (For more information, see Processing payroll or payroll forms in an Accountant's Copy)
You can't make the following payroll-related changes in an Accountant's Copy:
When working in an Accountant's Copy, you can make the following changes:
You cannot make the following changes in an Accountant's Copy:
Additionally, you cannot send the following changes back to the client:
Ideally, the client and accountant using the Accountant's Copy feature should use the same version or year of QuickBooks Desktop.
However, you can still work on the Accountant’s Copy using a different version as long as the gap between the versions is just one year, and the accountant has the more recent version.
When you open an Accountant's Copy in a newer version of QuickBooks Desktop, the file needs to be upgraded. Any changes you make can be incorporated if they were made using a compatible version.
If an accountant makes changes using features that are not available in the client's version of QuickBooks Desktop, the changes are not imported to the client's file.
By default, the Automated Password Reset Tool displays working company files (with the file extension .QBW).
For the detailed steps to use the tool, see Automated Password Reset Tool
To reset the password for an Accountant's Copy (.QBA) file, after you select your version:
This article is part of a series about Accountant's Copy in QuickBooks. To learn more about this feature, check the following articles: