What’s an Accountant’s Copy?

An Accountant’s Copy is a version of your QuickBooks company file your accountant can use to make changes while you continue to work. You continue to work in your company file and, at the same time, your accountant works in the Accountant’s Copy. When your accountant is done, you then import your accountant’s changes back into your company file.


What you should know about Accountant’s Copy

When you create an Accountant’s Copy, you set a dividing date. You work with transactions dated after the dividing date, and your accountant works with transactions dated on or before the dividing date.

Though you can continue to work in your company file after you give your accountant an Accountant’s Copy, you may not be able to do everything you would normally do. Your accountant will work with you to resolve any questions or concerns you may have regarding functional limitations.

If you find using an Accountant’s Copy is not suitable for you, you can remove the restrictions of the Accountant’s Copy. You and your accountant will no longer be able to work independently, so be sure you coordinate with him or her on which of you has the main copy of the company file.


How to create an Accountant’s Copy and securely transfer file to your accountant using a Windows-based PC

* Please note:  Before completing the following steps, QuickBooks must be configured to connect to the internet via your internet connection.  See our separate post titled “QuickBooks Internet Connection Setup Guide” for instructions if you are not sure whether your QuickBooks has been configured properly.  Connectivity setup is only required once.

Using QuickBook’s secure transfer functionality, your Accountant’s Copy file can be automatically sent to your accountant via Intuit’s secure webserver.  Your accountant receives an e-mail with a link that automatically downloads your Accountant’s Copy file. All you need is an Internet connection and your accountant’s e-mail address.  You must have internet access in order to complete this process.

To complete the secure transfer of your Accountant’s Copy:

  • Go to the File menu and click Accountant’s Copy, click Client Activities, and then click Send to Accountant.
  • Confirm you want to send an Accountant’s Copy and click Next.
  • Choose a dividing date. Be sure to coordinate with your accountant before choosing this date.
  • Enter your accountant’s e-mail address and reenter it to confirm it is correct. QuickBooks uses this e-mail address to send your Accountant’s Copy to your accountant.
  • Enter your name so your accountant knows who sent the Accountant’s Copy.
  • Enter your e-mail address. You will receive a confirmation e-mail when the Accountant’s Copy is successfully uploaded to the Intuit server.
  • Choose a password to protect the Accountant’s Copy. Your accountant will use this password to access the Accountant’s Copy.
  • Click Send. Your accountant will receive an e-mail with a link that downloads your Accountant’s Copy.  NOTE:  If you receive an internet connectivity error at this point, please see our separate post titled “QuickBooks Internet Connection Setup Guide” for further instructions.
  • Separately communicate, via e-mail or phone, the Accountant’s Copy password you have chosen.

Once your accountant makes all correcting entries for transactions up to the dividing date, he or she will contact you with instructions on how to re-import the changes back into your working QuickBooks file (see “Importing an Accountant’s Change file containing your accountant’s changes” below).


Importing an Accountant’s Change file containing your accountant’s changes

If you sent your accountant an Accountant’s Copy, your accountant will send you an Accountant’s Change file (.qby) with his or her changes. You can then use this file to automatically import your accountant’s changes into your QuickBooks company file.

If you provided your accountant with an Accountant’s Copy via secure transfer as previously outlined (through Intuit’s webserver), your accountant will return an Accountant’s Changes file through the webserver as well. Once you receive an email that says your accountant has sent changes for you to import, you have 30 days to download the changes.  You must have internet access to complete this process.

To download and import your accountant’s changes:

  • Open the company file from which you created the Accountant’s Copy.
  • Choose File > Accountant’s Copy > Client Activities > Import Accountant’s Changes from Web.

After the Accountant’s Changes file downloads, the change listing opens.  You can review your accountant’s changes, utilizing the

[+] and [-] to expand or collapse each change to see the details. To see or hide details for all the changes, click Expand All or Collapse All. If any of your accountant’s changes conflict with work you’ve done since saving the Accountant’s Copy, a message displays below the change with an explanation of what to do.

(Recommended) Click Print to print a copy of your accountant’s changes, or click Save As PDF to save a PDF file of your changes. This step is recommended so you have a record of your accountant’s changes.

  • After reviewing the changes as instructed above, click Incorporate Accountant’s Changes. Or click Close if you choose not to import the changes. If for any reason you either cannot or choose not to import the changes, you will have to remove the Accountant’s Copy restrictions and enter the changes manually. Be sure to check with your accountant if you encounter issues or decide not to import the changes.
  • Click OK to close the QuickBooks windows.
  • Click OK to back up your company file. In the Save Backup Copy window, choose a location for your backup file and click OK. Click OK again when the backup is complete.
  • You may review the incorporated changes in the Incorporate Accountant’s Changes window. If your accountant made changes that conflict with work you’ve done since saving the Accountant’s Copy, the Incorporate Accountant’s Changes windows displays messages that explain the conflict and what you should do. Also, this is your last opportunity to print a hardcopy of your accountant’s changes.
  • After you’ve reviewed the changes, click Close.

In the event you receive an error message, or notice any conflicts as you review the Accountant’s Changes, please contact us directly for further instructions.


Information above has been adapted from QuickBooks “Help” tutorial