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How to install QuickBooks Enterprise for the first time

SOLVEDby QuickBooks30Updated February 06, 2024

Learn how to install QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise for the first time.

You should install QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise outside normal business hours to limit interruptions.

Note: If you’re moving your books to QuickBooks Desktop, make sure to

  • Save a backup of your data before you install QuickBooks.
  • Keep a ​​copy of your old accounting system or have printouts of all the info and accounting reports.
  • The IRS requires you to keep records for 10 years.

Step 1: Prep and test your network

Before you get started, check the system requirements for QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. If you need help with your network setup contact an IT professional.

There are 3 ways you can setup workstations and servers on your network. Choose the option that works best for your company.

Note: If you use a Linux server to host your files, check out the Install Linux Database Manager to get more detailed info.

Client-Server network

In this setup you have a central server where you share your company files. You need to install Enterprise on each workstation, or client. Clients access the company file on the server.

Peer-to-Peer network

A peer-to-peer network is similar to a client-server network, with one exception, there isn’t a server. You’ll install the QuickBooks Database Manager and Enterprise on a workstation to share and access the file in QuickBooks. You’ll install Enterprise only on the other workstations to access the company file over the network.

Remote Hosting Services 

Remote hosting can be setup in one of two ways:

  • Local Terminal Server:
    A terminal server is a central server on your local network that your users can access remotely. You’ll install Enterprise and store your company files on this server. Your users connect to the server remotely to run Enterprise and access your files. You don’t need to install Enterprise on workstations.
  • QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise with Hosting:
    Intuit uses Rightworks to power hosted versions of QuickBooks Desktop. For pricing info, check out QuickBooks Desktop With Hosting Pricing. Check out How to host a QuickBooks Desktop company file to get more info.

Your network needs to have a bandwidth of 40 Mbps or higher. Contact your network administrator to learn how to improve your network speed.

To test your network speed:

  1. Find a large data file (150 MB or larger) for testing.
  2. Note the size of your test file in megabytes (MB).
  3. Copy your test file from the shared folder to the computer.
  4. Note the time it takes (in seconds) to copy.
  5. Use this formula to determine your network bandwidth
    File size (in MB) x 8 / copy time
    For example 150 MB x 8 / 25 seconds = 48 MB per second (Mbps)

Check firewall and anti-virus settings

You’ll need to let adjust your firewall and anti-virus settings to install and run QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise. These settings can also impact a multi-user environment.

Step 2: Install QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise on the server

Before you get started, download the latest version of QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise.

Once the download completes, Install QuickBooks QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise on your server.

Note: If you want to use a Linux server, check out Install QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise on a Linux server for more info.

Step 3: Set up your workstations

Next, you’ll need to setup a shared folder and install Enterprise on the workstations. Here's what to do.

  1. Setup a shared folder on your server.
  2. Install Enterprise on all workstations.
  3. Setup multi-user hosting.
    Turn on multi-user mode on the server:
    1. Start QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise on the server.
    2. Go to File, then select Utilities.
    3. Make sure you see Stop Hosting Multi-User Access.
      If you see Host Multi-User Access, you'll need to turn multi-user access on:

Step 4: Set up your company file and import your existing data

You can create a company file from scratch or import data from another software package. Choose the option that works best for your company.

Note: You can work with an authorized ProAdvisor, or QuickBooks Solutions Provider to set up your company file, add users, and fine tune their access.

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise.
  2. Select Create A New Company, or go to File and select New Company.
  3. Select Express Start.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Note: To fine-tune your setup process, select Guided Start. You can ‌turn on the features you need and turn off those you don't.

Note: Double-check your company file to make sure your financial info is moved completely and accurately.

Once your company file is setup, you'll need to scan your file with the QuickBooks Database Manager..

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