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Level 3

External accountant

I am a new quickbooks desktop pro.  I just sign up a new client and have been added myself as an external accountant.  How do I access the new client quickbooks desktop?  I have downloaded quickbooks desktop on my computer.  I am a Mac user and my client uses Windows.  So I added Parallels (window program) to my computer.  I need help finding the new client desktop.


Thank you!  Deanna

6 Comments 6
QuickBooks Team

External accountant

Thank you for choosing QuickBooks when running your business, @AngelBK.


I can share some insights about your Parallel concern.


There are available applications you can use to integrate QuickBooks Pro and Mac, one of which is Parallel. Since this is a third-party application, you need to contact their customer service hotline to ask for assistance.


They're the best people to answer your inquiry specific about their product and finding your client's desktop data.


You can add a comment below if there's anything else you need. Just click the "Reply" button, and I'll assist your further about QuickBooks. Wishing you and your business continued success!

Level 15

External accountant

You have to have a client copy to open it locally, either a back up, a portable file or an accountants copy the client creates and provides you with

Level 15

External accountant



Here's what you asked, regarding QB Desktop:


You use Word. That is a program you and I both have on our computers. I create a Letter = the data file. I send you my letter, which you copy to your computer and use Word to work on it. While you are updating the letter, I cannot also be working in my copy of that letter.


Finally you return that letter to me, and I replace my letter with yours, since yours is the updated letter. Now I have the Updated letter, too. You cannot work in your copy of the letter, if I need to work in that letter. I would send you a New Updated copy of the letter, and I stop working in my copy of the letter while you are working on the updated copy I sent you.


Now, change the word "letter" which is the Data file; instead, that is QB Company Data file, the .qbw file. They Make a backup and send you a backup, which you Restore and use. While you do that, they cannot Also keep working, since you are going to make a new backup and send them the file you Updated.


You don't get to their Desktop. You get Their File and you swap updated files back and forth, with QB desktop. The "add myself as external accountant" is a function inside their Data file, which you cannot do unless you Own the Accountant Edition or are a paid Pro Advisor.


I think you might have mixed together QB Online and QB Desktop concepts.


If your client uses Desktop, you don't even need it to Remote Connect to their computer and drive it like a Zombie; but they cannot also be working on that same computer while you drive it like a zombie.


QB Online allows you to "be invited" as the External accountant, so that you don't use your Client's Log in to access their cloud-based data. That isn't the same as how Desktop works at all.

Community Champion

External accountant

Lets get this straight as every time i read your question i can read it differently.

  • You were invited to be an accountant user implies QBO the online versions. To access a client QBO you use your free QBOA online account
  • You downloaded quickbooks onto your mac. This says you bought QuickBooks for mac which only directly opens files from the mac version. Your client uses QuickBooks for PC, you need quickbooks for PC. You also need in addition to parallels or boot camp, a copy of Windows to install on your mac. It does not come with it.

Now once you install Windows and QuickBooks for windows you can follow the steps from qbteachmt to open a company file or backup from your client.


Accountants working on client files usually use deesktop for accountants and work on an a special accountant copy and send back a change file.

Level 1

External accountant

Hello John,


I also was just added to 2021 QuickBooks Desktop Pro as an external accountant. My client added me as an additional user, which he gets 3 under his license. I figured there would be a sign-in similar to QBO as well. Do I need to import the .qbw file as well? or is there a way for me to sign in as the external accountant now?



Fiat Lux - ASIA
Level 15

External accountant


How do you access your client's file? If you are not working at the same premise, your client can setup a simple private cloud solution to let you access their file anytime by internet connection in multiuser mode. It costs $25/month/access. Otherwise, purchase a one time license for QB Desktop US Accountant 2021 or 2022 to assist your client

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