How to Create an Accountant's Copy of Data Files in QuickBooks 2011 - dummies

How to Create an Accountant’s Copy of Data Files in QuickBooks 2011

By Stephen L. Nelson

QuickBooks makes it easier for accountants to work with client data files. You can have the client use the Accountant’s Copy feature in QuickBooks and simply e-mail or snail-mail you a copy of the QuickBooks data file. You can then review this accountant’s copy of the data file, make whatever fixes or changes are appropriate, and then send the changes to be made back to the client. The client can then easily import these changes into his existing QuickBooks file and go off on his merry way. Pretty neat, right?

Your client creates the accountant’s copy of the QuickBooks data file by using his version of QuickBooks and the real data file. Fortunately, the process is very straightforward. Here’s what your client needs to do:

  1. Choose File→Accountant’s Copy→Client Activities→Save File.

    QuickBooks first displays a message asking the client whether he wants either

    • An accountants copy of the file.

    • A portable or backup copy of the file.

    You can also create an accountant’s copy by choosing File→Create Copy and then choosing the Accountant’s Copy button.

    A portable file is a real, live copy of the QuickBooks data file that’s been slightly scrunched in size so it’s easier to move around (such as by e-mailing the file as an attachment). A backup file is a backup, second copy of the QuickBooks file you create (usually) so you have a copy of the QuickBooks data file in case something bad happens to the original QuickBooks data file.

  2. Select Accountant’s Copy and then click Next to continue.


  3. Specify a dividing date.

    Transactions falling before this date can be edited only inside the accountant’s copy. Transactions falling after this data can be edited inside both the accountant’s copy and the client’s copy.

  4. Click Next to continue.

    Another message appears, telling the client that QuickBooks must close all the windows to create an accountant’s copy. QuickBooks may also tell the client to insert a disk.

  5. Click OK and insert the disk (if necessary).

    QuickBooks displays the Save Accountant’s Copy dialog box.


  6. Name the accountant’s copy and select where it should be saved.

    The client needs to remember where the accountant’s copy of the file gets saved. This file is given to the accountant — via e-mail, snail-mail, or saved onto a disk — in order for the accountant to be able to use it.

  7. Click Save.

    The client then has to get this data file to you.

    Your e-mail provider may limit the size of attachments (including QuickBooks files) that you can send or receive via e-mail. If the size fouls things up, you can upload the QuickBooks file to the Intuit Web site by selecting File→Accountant’s Copy→Client Activities→Send to Accountant. Intuit then sends you a message with a clickable link that you can use to grab the file.

Obviously, it may not actually be your client who takes these steps; you may have to do the dirty work. In either case, however, that’s how the process works. Note, however, that the real time savings for the accountant and the cost savings to the client occur when you can get the client to choose the command and work with the dialog box. You can then charge billable time for actually working with QuickBooks data rather than fiddling with the file.