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Protect Your QuickBooks Data by Assigning Access Levels to Employees

You hired the best people you could find to manage your company’s finances. But you’re ultimately responsible for the bottom line. So restrict user access to what’s necessary.

No company manager wants to believe that an employee would ever do anything to intentionally corrupt data or share it with unauthorized persons or – worst case scenario – try to siphon money off of your books.

But it happens. So safeguard your company’s confidential financial information – and that of your valued customers – by setting user permissions for all staff that will be  working with QuickBooks.

Unsure of your QuickBooks knowledge in this and other areas? Take this quiz to see what you know and what you don’t. You may want to sign up for a QuickBooks class to fill in the gaps.

The Right People in the Right Places

If you’re the only company employee using QuickBooks, all you really need to do for user setup is to create a password and make sure you’re designated as the Administrator. Once you start granting access to other staff, though, you’ll need to assign permission levels to them. When they sign in using their own user names and passwords, they’ll be restricted to the areas and functions that you directed.

To get started, go to Company | Set Up Users and Passwords | Set Up Users. The User List dialog box will open, and you should see that you’re logged in as the Administrator.

Click the Add User button. You’ll need to supply a user name and password for each employee who will have access to QuickBooks.

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Better safe than sorry: Restrict QuickBooks access for your employees.

Note: You’ll need to comply with the license agreement you have with Intuit when you add users. Make sure you understand this and have made arrangements before setting up a new user.

Once you’ve entered a user name and password for an employee, click Next. QuickBooks will ask you whether he or she should have access to all areas of QuickBooks (this is generally just the Administrator, but there are exceptions), selected areas, or is an external accountant who needs to see your data files occasionally.

When you choose Selected areas of QuickBooks and click Next, you’ll continue through the step-by-step wizard to more clearly define that individual’s access rights. For Sales and Accounts Receivable, for example, you can authorize your employee to have no access, full access or selective access. In the case of the last option, you can allow him or her to:

  • Create transactions only
  • Create and print transactions, or
  • Create transactions and create reports.

You can also indicate whether the individual should be able to see complete credit card numbers.

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The user access setup wizard takes you through every major functional area of QuickBooks and lets you assign levels to employees.

When you’ve finished there, you’ll progress through the wizard and answer similar questions for that individual’s permissions in Purchases and Accounts Payable, Inventory, Payroll and Employees, Sensitive Accounting Activities, etc. After you’ve gone through all of them, QuickBooks will display a grid summarizing your choices for that user. Click Finish, and you’ll have defined that user’s access rights.

Note: Is your accounting department specialized enough that these breakdowns of permissions aren’t complex and specific enough? Consider taking a QuickBooks tutorial on QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, Intuit’s top-of-the-line accounting software.

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