Quickbooks Support, Setup, and maintenance

Quickbooks Support

Need a great a bookkeeping service that can provide Quickbooks support?  Great!!  We got one!  Call us.   However, this post is related to the IT setup, not the actual bookkeeping.   Psss… A little secret.  We actually use Zoho Books for our business needs.  Anyway, I’m slowly building this Quickbooks support blog post for the people that love Quickbooks or hate it but don’t have a choice in bookkeeping software.  They ultimately need help with Quickbooks Support, setup, and maintenance of a somewhat cumbersome product.  Maybe it’s not so much the need to understand deployment but understanding the basic Quickbooks support lingo.   Yeah, we got that here too.  I’m pretty proud of the valuable content we have rounded up on the topic.  The Quickbooks setup is not that difficult but there’s a lot of bad information out there.  Here’s the break down after picking my engineers brains and some my own sleuthing…

Where do I grab the Quickbooks software?

Local Desktop Quickbooks Software:  https://camps.intuit.com
Intuit Quickbooks Online Software:  https://qbo.intuit.com

Costco?  Did they buy from a retail store and the software/product key on the shelf?

Do I need to update every year?

Nope but someone that you work with may have already done so and you must be on the same version or worlds collide and life gets ugly.

Quickbooks Local Desktop Deployment

Quickbooks contains three methods for storing and running your company files.

Quickbooks Support

 

 

Single User Setup – “I’ll be using Quicbooks on this computer”

Company files are typically stored in the public profile and have the file extension of .QBW.  This is different than the Quickbooks backup file that should be ran at least once a week.  I’m not sure the reasoning behind this but basically the default location for windows Vista/7/8/10 is:

C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files

Whereas a typical user, ie Bob; Bob looks for critical data in these two locations

C:\Users\Bob\Documents
C:\Users\Bob\Desktop

The .QBB is the one you throw on the thumb drive, the DropBox, send securely to your accountant, and is treasured like your world will implode if you don’t have it because this scenario really does happen.  I can’t emphasize the process of backing up enough.  Please backup all the time to several locations and to a variety of mediums.

More Than One User

As a business network grows from 1 to 5, 10 or 20 users, or 50 to 100, applications that once reside on the local computer and its critical data now need to be separated and placed on a centralized location called a file server for the option to share and data backup.  We break down a couple deployment methods.  They all involve mapped drive network locations.

These network locations also known as “shares” are made available to each workstation with users that have permissions to them.   The share names vary and depend on workflow for each organization.

I Can’t Afford a Server – Peer to Peer Hosting Method

Not to worry.   Intuit Quickbooks Support refers to this as the “common setup” or technically speaking, the Peer to Peer Hosting Method because small budget organizations need a work around solution when there’s no server involved.  The Quickbooks application resides on the hosting computer AKA desktop computer.  The database server manager is installed here too.  You must enable here the Quickbooks for Multi user setup mode.  This is the only location that will need Multi-User Setup.  You must enable it under “File” once the Quickbooks and the Database Server Manager is running.

quickbooks support

 

Quickbooks Database Server Manager Installation and Administrator Access Quickbooks Support Steps

The Quickbooks Database Server Manager or Database Manager is a component of the Quickbooks installation CD that manages the file if you have a dedicated host machine or a computer.  That machine can be a simple workstation or server but a network needs to be created for the Quickbooks file for a multi-user mode.

Step 1

Find the machine to run the database manager, close all application, and run the Intuit Quickbooks installer all the way through until you get prompted for express and custom installations.  In this guide we will select custom.  Select “I’ll be using Quickbooks on this computer, AND I’ll be storing our company file here so it can be share over the network”

Step 2

Open the Database Manager.   It can be under programs, Quickbooks.   Click the “scan folders “ tab and “add folder” button to select the location (try looking under the default location) of your company file or it will scan for you.  Please note:  Other users won’t be able to open the company file remotely if you don’t select the file.  Click scan and close when it completes the scan.

Step 3

Make sure you enabled the share and open up your Windows firewall for accessibility.  Go into Quickbooks, select file, utilities, and “host multi-user access” on the computer you want to use for administrator access.  Then click “company” and “setup users and passwords”.   The designated administrator access machine must manage the backups

Step 4 (Setup Quickbooks clients on other machines)

Select open company file once users are setup and browse to the network location of where your Quickbooks share is located.  Make sure a unique user name is created for Quickbooks access.  It will not open without another user name.

 

quickbooks support

 

I Can Afford A Server – Alternate Host Method

Step 1

Find the server to run the database manager, close all application, and run the Intuit Quickbooks installer all the way through until you get prompted for express and custom installations.  In this guide we will select custom.  Select “install database server only”  when the option becomes available during the Quickbooks installation.

Step 2

Open the Database Manager.   It can be under programs, Quickbooks.   Click the “scan folders “ tab and “add folder” button to select the location (try looking under the default location) of your company file or it will scan for you.  Please note:  Other users won’t be able to open the company file remotely if you don’t select the file.  Click scan and close when it completes the scan.

Step 3

Make sure you enabled the share and open up your Windows firewall for accessibility.   Do not enable “host multi-user access” anywhere.    Then click “company” and “setup users and passwords”.   The designated administrator access machine must manage the backups

Step 4 (Setup Quickbooks clients on other machines)

Select open company file once users are setup and browse to the network location of where your Quickbooks share is located.  Make sure a unique user name is created for Quickbooks access.  It will not open without another user name.

Administrator Access Machine

To access company files, the QuickBooks database system user must be logged in to Windows with Administrator privileges.  This is the machine with Database Server Manager on it.

quickbooks support

To set Administrator privileges:

  1. Close QuickBooks.
  2. Click the Windows Start button and choose Control Panel.
  3. Open User Accounts.
    • Windows 7: Click Manage User Accounts
  4. Double-click the QBDataServiceUserXX for your version of QuickBooks:
    • QuickBooks 2015: QBDataServiceUser25
    • QuickBooks 2014: QBDataServiceUser24
    • QuickBooks 2013: QBDataServiceUser23
    • QuickBooks 2012: QBDataServiceUser22
    • QuickBooks 2011: QBDataServiceUser21
    • QuickBooks 2010: QBDataServiceUser20
    • QuickBooks 2009: QBDataServiceUser19
    • QuickBooks 2008: QBDataServiceUser18
    • QuickBooks 2007: QBDataServiceUser17
  1. Click the Group Membership tab.
  2. Select Other and click the drop-down arrow to select Administrators.
  3. Click OK.

Setup the Quickbooks User Accounts

Use the account with administrative access to setup the users within Quickbooks.  Do not check the option below the password.quickbooks support

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Backup

This is left for the administrative access machine designated in Quickbooks and the user that contains admin rights.   This ensures the organization the backup file exists on the file server if fire, theft, or computer failure occurs with the host computer.  Please make sure you have regularly scheduled backups to the cloud of the file server if you do proceed with this solution or at the very least have a thumb drive backup.  No amount of solid expertise from Quickbooks support can rescue you from a situation where you working file is lost and you don’t have a recent backup.

Pro Tip – Many small businesses have the backup file going directly to their dropbox account.  While I’m not the biggest fan of DropBox.  This solution is better than nothing

F2 gives you product information…  licenses and users.

 

Quickbooks Support Summary

Learning the Quickbooks support terminology is a key component to understanding and therefore getting what you need done.   When problems arise, use Quickbooks Desktop File Doctor or simply call us to rescue you from your situation.

 

 

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