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Create an Accountant’s Copy of Your QuickBooks File

Someday, when we’re all working in the cloud, this task won’t be necessary. In the meantime, here’s how to move your QuickBooks company file to your accountant for evaluation – and get it back.

It used to be called “SneakerNet.” In the days before local area networks and, eventually, the internet, companies would use this term to describe how files were exchanged: by walking (in your sneakers) to a co-worker who needed a file and handing him or her a disk.

It’s easier these days. QuickBooks provides tools to help you create a copy of your company file for your accountant, send it and get it back, incorporating any changes that were made.

An Easy Trade

You create an Accountant’s Copy when your accounting professional needs to complete a fiscal period (for setup or regular bookkeeping/payroll, you’d make a portable or backup file). When you use an Accountant’s Copy, you and your accountant can continue to work independently of each other. When he or she is done, it’s easy to incorporate any changes into your existing file.

You can make this exchange manually and email the copy of your file to your accountant, but it’s easier to use Intuit’s own tools – Accountant’s Copy File Transfer Service – to automate the process.  Here’s how.

  • Click File | Accountant’s Copy. If you were just going to save a copy, you’d click Save File here. Instead, click Send to Accountant.
  • The window that opens confirms your choice. Click Next. Then this window opens:

The dividing date screen.

  • After conferring with your accountant, you will choose a dividing date. You and your staff can view but not alter any transactions posted prior to it; you can only do bookkeeping tasks after that date. You accountant can only work with data entered before the date. This can be confusing, but a good QuickBooks class will go over it thoroughly.
  • Click Next. In this window, you’ll enter your name and email address and your accountant’s email address. Click Next.
  • Create a password for the file and tell your accountant what it is. Add a note if you’d like and click Send. QuickBooks will close all windows to create the Accountant’s Copy and upload it to the Intuit Accountant’s Copy File Transfer server, where your accountant can retrieve it using the password.
  • While your accountant is working, you’ll see something like this at the top of your QuickBooks screen:

  • When your accountant is done making changes and sends the file back, you’ll receive an email notifying you. Click File | Accountant’s Copy | Import Accountant’s Changes from Web. Do not Remove Restrictions until after you’ve done this.

If the prescribed procedures aren’t followed to the letter, you could compromise your critical company file, so consider enrolling in a QuickBooks training course to master this process. These educational sessions cover Accountant’s Copy steps thoroughly, in addition to many other topics, and could save you from making irreversible mistakes.

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