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Features available and tasks you can perform in single or multi-user mode in QuickBooks Desktop

by Intuit Updated 2 weeks ago

Single-user mode limits access to your company file to one person at a time. With more than one user license, you can switch to multi-user mode where you can log in at a company file in different computers at the same time. To learn about the tasks that can be performed in single or multi-user mode, see the tables below.

Company file operations

Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Create local backupYesYes
Set up/activate online backupYesYes
Create portable company fileYesNo
Convert company fileYesYes
Repair file and network problemsYesYes
Stop hosting multi-user accessYesYes
Disable QuickBooks ManagerNoYes
Verify dataYesYes*
Rebuild dataYesNo
Condense data (US only)YesNo
Update Web ServicesYesYes
Copy company file for QuickBooks OnlineYesNo

*You can run Verify Data utility in Multi-user mode but others will be prevented from doing work.

Managing lists

Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Chart of AccountsYesYes/No*
Items listYesYes/No*
Other Names listYesYes
Customer and Supplier Type listYesYes
Price Levels/Price RulesYesYes
To DoYesYes
Add/edit multiple list entriesYesYes

*While you can add, edit and remove list data, merging is NOT possible in multi-user mode.

Importing/exporting data

Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Import Excel filesYesYes
Advanced importYesNo
Import IIFYesYes*
Import WebConnect filesYesYes
Import timer activitiesYesNo
Import general journal entriesYesYes
Export lists to IIF filesYesNo
Export addresses to text fileYesYes
Export timer listsYesNo

*You can import IIF files in QuickBooks Pro/Premier/Enterprise 2019 and newer.

Business process/workflow

Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Custom reportingYesYes
Set closing dateYesNo
Set up budgetYesYes
Set up forecastYesYes
Cash flow projectorYesYes
Use Business Plan toolYesYes
Manage fixed assets (US only)YesNo
Enter vehicle mileageYesYes
Prepare letters with envelopesYesYes
Enter customer transactionsYesYes
Enter statement chargesYesYes
Create statementsYesYes
Assess finance chargesYesNo*
Enter timeYesYes
Income trackerYesYes
Lead CentreYesYes
Change Item priceYesYes
Supplier centreYesYes
Enter supplier transactionsYesYes
1099 Wizard (US only)YesNo
1099 Report (US only)YesYes
Create Checks/chequesYesYes
Order Checks/chequesYesYes
Set up bank feedsYesYes
Change bank feeds mode (US only)YesNo
Reports centreYesYes
Memorized reportsYesYes
Scheduled reportsYesNo
Commented reportsYesYes
Advanced reporting (US only)NoYes
Process multiple reportsYesYes
QuickBooks Statement WriterYesYes
Combined reportsYesYes

*First time setup of finance charges is not possible in Multi-user mode.

Accountant-related tasks

Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Create Accountant's CopyYesNo
Save Accountant's CopyYesNo
Send Accountant's Copy to accountantsYesNo
Send company file, create portable fileYesNo
Accounting toolsYesYes
Batch delete/void transactionsYesNo
Batch enter transactionsYesYes

Employee and payroll activities

Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Employee CentreYesYes
Payroll setup (Manual payroll)YesNo
Pay with direct deposit (US only)YesYes


Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Desktop viewYesYes/No*
Finance chargeYesYes/No*
Integrated applicationsYesYes/No*
Items and inventoryYesYes/No*
Jobs and estimatesYesYes/No*
Multiple currenciesYesYes/No*
Payroll and expensesYesYes/No*
Reports and graphsYesYes/No*
Sales and customersYesYes/No*
Sales taxYesYes/No*
Send formsYesYes/No*
Service connectionYesYes/No*
Tax: 1099 (US only)YesYes/No*
Time and expensesYesYes/No*

*When you are in Multi-user mode, you can make changes on the My Preferences tab but NOT on the Company Preferences.

Print/email tasks

Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Printer setupYesYes
Print formsYesYes
Send formsYesYes
Shipping label (US only)YesYes


Tasks/FeaturesSingle-user modeMulti-user mode
Synchronize contactsYesYes
Set up QuickBooks ODBCYesYes
Use RegisterYesYes
Use CalculatorYesYes
Customize FavouritesYesYes
Bulk enter company business detailsYesYes
Alerts ManagerYesYes
QuickBooks MessengerYesYes

To switch between modes, go to the QuickBooks File menu, then select Switch to Single-user Mode/Switch to Multi-user Mode.

Note: Functions like Payroll and Bank Feeds have a lock out system in multi-user mode which stops other users from using the same function at the same time.

For details, go to QuickBooks and press F1 on your keyboard to open the Help window. In the Search field, type single-user or multi-user. Choose an article from the list under Answers in Help section.

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