How to Sync QuickBooks Files Between Two Computers
By Ken Burnside
Synchronizing Quickbook files between two computers makes it possible for employees to collaborate on one unified accounting report. For synchronization to work, there needs to be only one set of Quickbooks company files on the network, and you may need to merge existing company files together. It will, as of early 2013, require uninstalling and reinstalling Quickbooks on all affected machines.
Merge Company Files (Optional)
Download and install the Data Transfer Utility from Intuit Marketplace (link in Resources). This utility should be installed on the computer hosting the final company data file. This computer will be the "primary computer" for future instructions.
Copy any secondary company data files to the primary computer. You can transfer the file over your company's network, or, in a pinch, move it via a USB flash drive or CD-ROM.
Start QuickBooks on the primary computer. Click on "File" and then select "Open or Restore Company," and then "Open a Company." Navigate to the location of the company file from the secondary computer.
Start the Data Transfer Utility. You will be keeping both Quickbooks and the Disk Transfer Utility open, and will be switching between windows. Click the "Open Source Company" button in the "Export Data From Source Company" pane. Then click "Yes, Always; Allow Access Even if Quickbooks is Not Running" and check the option that allows the application to access personal data. Click "Continue," "Yes" and "Done" in Quickbooks to complete the merge.
Click the "Close" button in the "Currently Connected To" field within the Data Transfer Utility, then click the "File" menu and select "Close Company" in QuickBooks.
Click "File," "Open or Restore Company," and then select "Open a Company" in QuickBooks. Select the company file originally used on the primary computer.
Click the "Open Destination Company" button from the "Import Data Into Destination Company" section of the Disk Transfer Utility. Click "Yes, Always; Allow Access Even if QuickBooks is Not Running" and check the option to allow the application to access personal data. Click "Continue," "Yes" and "Done" in QuickBooks.
Click the "Close" button for the "Currently Connected To" field in the Data Transfer Utility. Switch to Quickbooks, and close the company file by Clicking the "File" menu and selecting "Close Company." This tells Quickbooks you're done modifying the file.
Click the "Change" button in the "Select Type of Data" field in the Data Transfer Utility, then select which subsets of data you want to migrate to the primary computer. Click the "Import Data" button in the Data Transfer Utility when you're satisfied with the results. This synchronizes the data between both company files. When this process is done, and you're certain you have all the data imported that you want, delete the secondary source file from the primary computer.
Database Server Setup
Copy the Quickbooks installer file into both the primary and secondary computers. You may need to copy it over your local network, or put the installer disk into both machines if you're still using optical drives. An installer window will come up. Click "Yes to All" and then click "Next." Agree to the license terms and then click "Next" to begin the installer.
Choose "Use Quickbooks on this computer," then select the option for "Store Company file for Network Sharing" for the primary computer.
Enter your license and product number on the primary computer when the installer asks. Click "Install." Once the installer has run, click "File," select "Utilities" and then "Host Multi-User Access."
Switch to the "Scan Folders" tab, then click "Add Folder" and "Scan" to scan the primary computer for the QuickBooks company file. Click "Close" once you have verified the company file has been found.
Click the "Company" menu, on the primary computer. Set up users by clicking "Set Up Users and Passwords" and "Set Up Users" in QuickBooks. Click "Add User" and assign a username and password. Set the access options for the secondary computer and click "Next."
Select the options for changing or deleting transaction permissions, based on who will be accessing them from which computer, and what makes sense for your business. Click "Next" and "Finish."
Move to the secondary computer and click "File," "Open or Restore Company" and "Open a Company" in QuickBooks. Browse to the network location of the primary company file. Select the file and then log in with the username and password that you just created on the primary computer.
The default location for your company file in Windows is Documents\Public Documents\Intuit\Quickbooks\Company Files. If you're in Windows 8, use the "Search" charm in the right hand Charm bar and type "File Explorer" to bring up the conventional Windows "nested file folders" view, and navigate to the appropriate directory.
Information in this article applies to QuickBooks 2013 Pro or Enterprise. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
- Intuit QuickBooks: Install Quickbooks Pro or Premier 2013
- Intuit QuickBooks: Install the QuickBooks Database Server
- Intuit QuickBooks: Change a QuickBooks Installation Type
- Intuit QuickBooks: Merging or Combining QuickBooks Company Files
- QuickBooks: Recommended (Default) Location to Store Company Files
Ken Burnside has been writing freelance since 1990, contributing to publications as diverse as "Pyramid" and "Training & Simulations Journal." A Microsoft MVP in Excel, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alaska. He won the Origins Award for Attack Vector: Tactical, a board game about space combat.