The accountant’s copy is a special file ending in .qba. This is the working copy that the accountant uses to post entries prior to a set cut-off date. The full version of the QuickBooks file is the .QBW and when an accountant’s copy exists, you can only enter transactions after the set cut-off date. So what if you decide that you don’t want to import the accountant’s changes? You have the ability to remove the restriction, but beware this cannot be undone. At the same rate the accountant can also convert the accountant’s copy into a full .QBW. I will show how to do both here starting with converting the accountant’s copy into a QuickBooks Working file – .QBW. It is actually really simple and can be shown in one screen shot. You simple click File–>UtilitiesàConvert Accountant’s Copy to Company File/QBW:
To cancel the accountant’s changes on the original QBW (Client copy) simply click FileàAccountant’s CopyàClient ActivitiesàRemove Restriction
Once this is done you will not be able to import the accountant’s changes. It is not a bad idea to create a special backup prior to doing this, so that if you need to you can restore a copy with the accountant’s changes still pending. This way you can get back the ability to import the accountant’s changes should you decide you need/want to after all.
Remote bookkeeping is going to become more and more prevalent for small businesses for a few basic reasons. First, it is efficient for the bookkeepers. This means we can charge less because we can go from one client to the next with no travel increasing our billable hours. This is good. Second, it is convenient for the client because you don’t have to make space for a physical human being. Depending on the setup option you choose, you might have to reserve a computer while we are logged in, however if the computer that hosts the QuickBooks file is is used during the day, we can have a bookkeeper log in during the evening hours when no one is there. This means less interruption during normal business hours. Because of the portability of QuickBooks we can also log in and upload a copy of QuickBooks to ourselves. This will mean 5 minutes that someone has to stop working on that computer while we do this. Then when we are finished we can log in after hours and download the updated copy of QuickBooks to your computer. Of course during this time no changes can be made by anyone at your office to QuickBooks. I have one client that I work this way with (actually through a VPN, no computer needed) and it works beautifully. I can even pay his bills by setting the checks “To Be Printed”. When the QuickBooks Company File is back on his server I e-mail him to let him know, and he just opens up his QuickBooks as if it never left his server. Then he prints the batch of checks and signs them. This is convenient for him and I, and it is really efficient while still allowing for him to review all checks before they are sent.
I mentioned “portability of QuickBooks files”. The reality is that with services like yousendit and other FTP site options it is easily to seamlessly transfer your file without interruption on your part. If the file is particularly large, then we simply save a QuickBooks Portable Company file before we upload. None of this really matters to you as the business owner, all you care about is that we will get your file, work on it and put it back without you even feeling it!
So how do we get your information in order to work on your books remotely? There are a few ways to do this. The BEST way is when the client is comfortable and trusts us with the login info for their bank & credit card accounts. It is possible to give us read only access with most banks so that all we could ever do is download the information into QuickBooks and categorize the transactions. The other way is you send us the PDF’s and we enter them manually. It really doesn’t matter to us. In some cases we will set up a private blog site – you can easily upload documents as well as post notes for us as far as things you need us to follow up on. Yes of course you could e-mail that too, but the blog gives us nice platform to track the progress on things while e-mails get filed and forgotten!
So how do we log in to your computer?
The best way is that we set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your server where the QuickBooks file is hosted. This enables us to get to your file without you even needing to interrupt anyone at any computer there. The other way is that we set up one of our gotomypc accounts on your computer. Finally you can set up your own gotomypc (or other remote access) and give us the information we need to log in to your computer. If we provide the gotomypc account there is an annual charge of $150 (about half of what it costs to have your own) and you can use it all you like to get access to your files and of course your own QuickBooks file. As long as you are a client the account is yours to use.
Setting up the VPN will of course require about 3 hours of time with our IT department at $150/hour, once this is done, however you have permanent remote access set up and it doesn’t cost another dime. Oh and yes – we can do this remotely!
In the process we will also be working with you to go as much paperless as possible – scanning bills and other documents in order to make them available to us for input. This is better (more efficient) for you and of course better for the environment – and we like that!
What About Security?
Of course we do everything in our power to protect your information. Everything we see is confidential and treated as such. Our service agreement provides for a bi-lateral NDA (we give you information about our company that we do not want disclosed to the general public as well). The VPN’s are all very secure as is gotomypc.
You can read more about remote bookkeeping services in our main website:
Please feel free to post your questions in the form of comments here.
There are many ways you can work with a QuickBooks Expert. You can search for QuickBooks training resources online and of course you can hire us to help you. Once you’ve made that decision (and hopefully you’ve chosen us) we can work with your QuickBooks file in a number of ways.
Most e-mail servers will not allow attachments through if the size exceeds 10MB (megabytes). Some even limit you to 5. Because we are experts in both QuickBooks and Computers in general, we can really help you understand not just your QuickBooks file issues, but also how really work with your QuickBooks file in general. This is especially helpful in the context described here when you have hired a QuickBooks Pro such as myself and you want to be able to work with someone who can help you with QuickBooks and who also understands how to work with the file such that the integrity of your data is protected.
Here are the different QuickBooks File Types:
1) QBW – QuickBooks Working file.
This is the full fledged working copy of your file. This is going to be the largest in size; however as large file transfer services become more prevalent it is more common to send your QuickBooks file without even making a backup. For example on our Home Page http://www.nerdenterprises.com there is a link to a virtual drop box http://dropbox.yousendit.com/SethDavid766754 in which we encourage people to “drop” their QuickBooks file. Even the QuickBooks backup options described below create large files and so these services become helpful and even necessary. Visit http://www.yousendit.com for more info on the service we use.
2) QBM – QuickBooks Portable Company File (I don’t know where the ‘M’ comes from, seems to me it should be QBP)
When you choose to back up your QuickBooks file, the QuickBooks Portable Company File creates the smallest file size. The idea was to give it more transferability. This option takes the longest to create and the longest to restore. Based on what I’ve read from Intuit, it is also supposed to better preserve data integrity during transfer, however I have transferred many files over the years and more recently because of the yousendit service I have been transferring the complete QuickBooks file (QBW) and I have not had any problems yet. Nevertheless the options are there, so I talk about them for your benefit and so that you can decide which option is best for you. If you are very conservative and “worried” – this is the choice for you. My aim is generally at efficiency so in my case, this is not the best choice.
3) QBB – QuickBooks Backup
This is the old fashioned Backup file. I still like to use this one – especially when I transfer QuickBooks files frequently with clients as I often do. This enables me to maintain a history of the client’s QuickBooks file at various stages of my work. Oftentimes the nature of what I am hired to do for example is to completely re-purpose the Chart of Accounts. I will choose the option to append the name of the QuickBooks file with the date and time so that the files stack nicely in a folder that I often name “Old QuickBooks Files.” Usually I find that my frame of reference is in terms of when I did something to the file, so this makes it easy get to the right file.
This enables you to work on your own file while your accountant works on it and the accountant’s changes can be imported. The way this works is that when you create the file, you have to set a dividing date. Let’s say you choose December 31. This will allow your accountant to change anything prior to Dec 31 while you can still enter and pay bills in your QuickBooks file. In the top title bar of the file you will see the words “Accountant’s Changes Pending.” This can work real well in many instances; however I have found it to be a bit buggy – especially where there are a lot of changes. My suggestion when using this is to import the changes frequently. The working copy can be released from the accountant’s changes in the event you do not need to import them. Also the accountant’s copy may be converted to a permanent QuickBooks working file (QBW). This is helpful if you haven’t made many changes, your accountant has, and if you are having trouble importing the changes.
Finally if you are stuck, you can send both files to Intuit (you have to call them) and they can fix this for you.
What about transferring from QuickBooks for MAC to QuickBooks for PC and vice versa?
Yes you can and have been able to do this since QB for Mac version 7, and QB for PC version 2007 (all editions, perhaps except for QuickBooks Simple Start).
It’s in the file menu under Utilities in QuickBooks for PC. In the MAC, I believe the choice is right there in the File menu so save a copy or save a backup copy for windows. Whichever direction you are converting you wind up with the equivalent of the “QBB” file. This of course has to be restored.
When you do round trip conversions, what will happen with your bank and credit card reconciliations initially is that it will look like the reconciliations were “undone.” All that has to be done is to go to reconcile the account, then enter the ending balance of the last statement that was reconciled in QuickBooks. You will see all of the previously “cleared” items come in checked off and your difference will be ’0′. Just click ‘reconcile now’ and you’re done. When you are doing this, it is important to save your reconciliation reports as a PDF each time you reconcile (on the initial reconciliation, not on the round trip conversions). Please don’t waste paper – just save the PDF – you can print it only if/when you need it. Create a folder on your computer called “Bank of xxx reconciliation reports” and save them there. It’s easy and efficient.
More on this here: The Accountant’s Copy
Please feel free to reply to this post with any questions.
Nerd Enterprises, Inc.