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QuickBooks Accountant's Copy

The Accountant’s Copy allows your accountant to work in a previous period while allowing you to work in the current period.  The accountant’s changes can then be imported back into your company file.  Several methods of sending an accountant’s copy of your file to your accountant are available, including secure upload via our web portal. However, using Intuit’s Accountant’s Copy Transfer Service in QuickBooks is one of the easiest, most convenient methods to transfer your company file to your accountant as well as your accountant transferring the Change File back to you for import. You must be using one of the three most recent versions of QuickBooks to use the Transfer Service; if your version is older, you'll need to use the method to manually create and upload the file (explained below).

Before you begin to create an accountant’s copy, discuss a dividing date with your accountant.  The dividing date defines the period your accountant will work in.  When you have sent the Accountant’s Copy through the QuickBooks File Transfer Service, your accountant will receive an email letting him or her know the file is ready to download.  Once your accountant has completed working with your file, he or she will create a change file for you to import back into your company file. You will receive an email from Intuit/QuickBooks that says your accountant has sent changes for you to import.

Sending an Accountant’s Copy via the transfer service is an easy and convenient way to provide your accountant with your company file.  For more detailed instructions on creating and sending your file, and importing your accountant’s changes, please see instructions below or call us.

To send your file to your accountant using the Accountant’s Copy File Transfer Service:

1. Go to the File menu, click Send Company File > Accountant’s Copy > Send to Accountant. Then click Next.

2. Choose a dividing date. Discuss this with your accountant if you are not sure which date to use, however it is usually the period end date for the period the accountant will be working on.

3. Enter your accountant’s email address, your name, and your email address. Choose a password to protect the Accountant’s Copy.

Your accountant will need this password and your regular QuickBooks password to access your accountant’s copy. Please convey these passwords to your accountant in a separate email or by telephone.

4. You can send an optional note to your accountant but do not include your password in this note.

5. Click Send.


To download the changes in the accountant’s change file directly:

1. You’ll get an email from Intuit notifying that Accountant’s changes are available.

2. Open your company file.

3. Choose File > Send Company File > Accountant’s Copy > Import Accountant’s Changes from Web.

4. A window will open showing a listing of the changes your accountant made.

5. It is recommended that you print a copy of these changes.

6. After reviewing the changes, click Incorporate Accountant’s Changes.

7. Creating backups will be required before, during or after importing.


To manually create an Accountant’s Copy for delivery via secure upload:

1. Choose File > Send Company File > Accountants Copy > Save File. Confirm and click Next.

2. Choose a dividing date (as explained above). Click Next.

3. Change the suggested location for the file and the file name (optional) to a desired location on your local drive. The file must have a .qbx extension.

4. Click Save. Take note of the location of the saved file if you have not changed it in step three.

5. Go to, fill in each of the fields on the page, drag the .qbx file to the indicated spot on the page, and click the Upload button.

Once the accountant has completed work on your file, they should give you a change file that will have a .qby extension. This file should be imported into your company file.


To manually Import the Accountant’s Change File:

1. If you are receiving the change file via email from your accountant, download the attachment and save the file in a convenient location on your computer such as your desktop.

2. Open your company file.

3. Choose File > Send Company File > Accountant’s Copy >  Import Accountant’s Changes from File.

4. Locate the accountant’s change file (.qby) and click open.

5. Review and print the accountant’s change report.

6. Click Incorporate Accountant’s Changes.

A backup will be required as part of the process.


Limitations of Using Accountant’s Copy

There are some limitations to what you can do while your accountant has your accountant’s copy.

  • You can only work on transactions after the dividing date.
  • You can add new accounts, but not new subaccounts to existing accounts.
  • You cannot edit, merge or make existing accounts inactive.
  • You can edit or make inactive any new accounts you created while your accountant has your accountant’s copy.
  • You can edit, sort, and make list items inactive, but you cannot delete or merge them.
  • You can reconcile your accounts while your accountant has an accountant’s copy, but with certain possible consequences.
    • Reconciliations with transactions that were all dated in the current period (after the dividing date) are saved.
    • Reconciliations with any transactions that were dated on or before the dividing date will be undone when you import the accountant’s changes.
    • If your accountant has reconciled or undone a reconciliation in your accountant’s copy, any reconciliations you have done will be undone when you import your accountant’s changes.


Limitations to what your accountant can do using an accountant’s copy.

  • The accountant’s copy prevents your accountant from making any changes that conflict with your work based on the dividing date.
  • The accountant cannot add, edit, or void any paychecks, timesheet data, assisted payroll data or direct deposit data.
  • The accountant can process payroll tax forms in the accountant’s copy, however the accountant’s change file will not include detail of what forms the accountant processed or printed.


Removing The Restrictions (Canceling an Accountant’s Copy)

On rare occasions, it may be necessary to cancel the accountant’s copy.  Please discuss this with your accountant prior to removing the accountant copy restrictions.  Once you decide to remove the restrictions, you cannot import your accountant’s changes and they must be entered by hand.

To cancel the Accountant’s Changes:

  • Choose File > Send Company File > Accountant’s Copy > Remove Restrictions.
  • Click Yes, I want to remove the Accountant’s Copy Restrictions.
  • Click OK.