Getting Started Guide

Running QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise for the first time? Follow these step-by-step instructions to install the software and get set-up.

Step 1: Prep and test your network


QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise is robust software, and its installation has many variables. To make sure your Enterprise installation goes smoothly, you'll need knowledge of the following:

  • networking
  • file sharing
  • permissions

Who you'll need before starting

Two types of people are needed to assist with the installation and setup of your new software:

install content icon configure

A systems/network administrator who understands networking and file-sharing and has permissions to properly install and configure your Enterprise software.

install content icon setup

A financial professional or office manager who understands the company's financial needs, can set up a company file, knows which users should access the company file, and knows what areas of QuickBooks those users will need to access.

If you don't have those resources in-house, or if you need assistance with the installation, you can choose to work with an authorized ProAdvisor or QuickBooks Solutions Provider. These are Intuit affiliates who are experts in the software.


Back up your previous accounting system

You should back up your financial records from your previous accounting system before installing Enterprise. Note: The IRS requires you to keep this information for 10 years.

You should also keep any software and hardware from your previous accounting system, or have printouts of all the information and accounting reports.


Choose an option for setting up your network

Your network can be set up one of three ways. The following three diagrams illustrate each different network configuration, showing workstations and servers with different installation scenarios. Choose the option that works best for your company.

Central Server Option

The QuickBooks Database Manager is installed on a central server which also stores the company file. Enterprise is installed on each workstation; these workstations acccess the company file over the network.

Central Server Img

Peer-to-Peer Option

One workstation stores the company file. The other workstations access the company file over the network. All workstations have Enterprise installed.

Peer Server Img

Remote Desktop Services Option

The Enterprise application is installed on a powerful central server which also stores the company file. The workstations do not have Enterprise installed. Instead, they access the application, and the company file, on the server using Remote Desktop Services.

Remote Server Img

Optionally, you can store your QuickBooks company file on a Linux server and use Enterprise, running on your Windows desktop client, to access that data. More detailed information about Linux installations of Enterprise is available here.


Test your network bandwidth

Note: Testing network bandwidth is required for a multi-user environment; for a single workstation installation in which no file-sharing is required, testing is not necessary.

To make sure your network connection is fast enough to run Enterprise, perform the following procedure on each computer on which the software will be installed:

  • Choose a large data file for testing.
  • Note the size of your test file in megabytes (MB).
  • Copy your test file from a network location to the computer and not the time it takes (in seconds) to copy.
  • Perform the following calculation to determine the network bandwidth:
    • File size (in MB) x 8 / copy time
    • For example 150 MB x 8 / 25 seconds = 48 MB per second (Mbps)
  • If your bandwidth is 40 Mbps or more, your connection is configured for optimum performance. If it's less than 40Mbps, your connection will be too slow to run Enterprise. Contact your network administrator to learn how to improve your network speed.

Check firewall and AV settings

If firewall software is running while you install QuickBooks, you may be prompted to allow QuickBooks components to have access to the network. These components must be allowed for QuickBooks to operate properly, especially in a multi-user environment.

For more detailed information on how to properly configure your firewall settings for QuickBooks installation, visit the QuickBooks Support Center. Here you can download the QuickBooks Connection Diagnostic Tool or see how to manually configure exceptions and ports needed for your firewall software. If these solutions do not resolve the issue, visit the QuickBooks Community site or contact a technical support agent for additional guidance.

Check system requirements

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Proceed to the Next Step

You've finished preparing for your installation and testing your network, now it's time to move on to Step 2: Install Enterprise