Simultaneous Multi-User QuickBooks 2012 Access
QuickBooks 2012 allows your multiple users to have simultaneous or serial access, depending upon your business needs. For example, if a small business has only an administrative assistant and the owner accessing a QuickBooks data file, one copy of QuickBooks running on a single personal computer may be all that is required.
However, QuickBooks does allow for simultaneous use of the QuickBooks data file by multiple users. After you’ve set up the multiple users, however, you can install the QuickBooks program on other personal computers and then — assuming that these personal computers all connect to a Windows network — use those other copies of QuickBooks to access the QuickBooks data file stored on the first or principal computer.
To use QuickBooks in an environment of simultaneous use by multiple users, you also need to tell QuickBooks that this simultaneous use is okay. To do this, choose the File→Switch to Multi-User Mode command. If you later want to turn off this Multi-User Mode, you choose the File→Switch to Single User Mode command.
QuickBooks supports simultaneous use by multiple users through a technology called record locking, which locks all the records that you’re working with, but not the entire QuickBooks data file. For example, if you want to work with company A and some other user wants to work with company B, that’s okay. QuickBooks allows that.
What you and the other user can’t do, however, is work on the same company (company A or B) at the same time. This would mean that you’re working with the same customer record.
You can’t install the same copy of QuickBooks on multiple machines and legally have a multiple-user QuickBooks system. You must purchase a copy of QuickBooks for each machine on which QuickBooks is installed.
Note, however, that Intuit does sell some multiple-user versions of QuickBooks where you actually buy five licenses in one box of QuickBooks. (The Enterprise version of QuickBooks supports multiple-user networks with up to 30 simultaneous users, while the other versions of QuickBooks support multiple-user networks with up to 5 simultaneous users.)
A common setting in which you may want to have several QuickBooks users is for sales representatives in your firm who prepare invoices or prepare bids for customers. In this case, you may want to have each salesperson set up on QuickBooks. Note, however, that these sales people should only have the capability to create an invoice or perhaps create and print an invoice estimate.