Your QuickBooks company file is gold. Make sure you know how to back it up and restore it properly.
You may not think of your QuickBooks company file as being portable. It lives safely on the hard drive of your desktop and/or laptop computer. You wouldn’t want it to be anywhere else, right?
However, the most common reason businesses move these critical files is because they’ve purchased a new computer or they may also want to share their data. QuickBooks allows you to create a backup file that you can save to a USB drive or CD, or to another folder on your company’s network. Once it’s available at its destination computer (where a copy of QuickBooks has already been installed), you (or another recipient) will be able to restore it.
Note: These instructions were created using QuickBooks 2018. If you don’t see what’s being described here in your version, contact us.
Making a Backup Company File
You shouldn’t wait until you have to move a QuickBooks company file before backing it up. This is something you should be doing regularly.
Before you start, make sure your copy of QuickBooks is updated, which shouldn’t be a problem if you’re set up with automatic updates. If you’re not, and you’ve ignored those messages about updates that appear when you open QuickBooks, we can help you launch a manual update and configure QuickBooks to automatically update.
With QuickBooks in Single-User Mode, open the File menu and hover over Back Up Company. Select Create Local Backup. You’ll see this window:
You can save your QuickBooks backup copy locally or online.
Intuit offers a service called Intuit Data Protect ($99.95 annually) that allows you to back up your company file online (we can help you explore this if you’re interested). Let’s assume here, though, that you have a USB drive plugged into your computer and are ready for your backup.
Click the button next to Local backup, then the Options button. In the window that opens, you’ll select your destination location and answer a few questions about your backup. One of these gives you the option to get a reminder to back up your file every x times you close QuickBooks, should you choose to do manual backups.
Click OK to return to the Create Backup window, then click Next. The following screen gives you the option to save your file and/or schedule future (automatic) backups. If you choose to simply save it now, check that button and click Next to verify the destination location and file name.
Note: Before you save your backup file, give it a name that is different from your regular company file. Write down the exact file name and its location.
Click Save. A small window will open displaying your progress, and you’ll get a confirmation message when the file has been saved with a .qbb extension. You can now take the removable storage device to the destination computer, where QuickBooks should already be installed.
Warning: If you want to schedule automatic backups by clicking on one of the two options in the Create Backup window, please consult with us first. Automated processes in QuickBooks can save time and effort, but when you’re dealing with your irreplaceable company file, you must get it right.
Restoring a Backup File
Once that’s done, open the File menu and select Open or Restore Company on the destination computer. This window will appear:
QuickBooks displays this window when you select File | Open or Restore Company.
Click the button in front of Restore a backup copy. Click Next and select Local backup. Then click Next again. Click the down arrow next to the Look in field and click on the location of your backup file to display its contents. Browse until you find the file (it should end in .qbb), then highlight it by clicking on it. Click Open.
QuickBooks displays a window that asks where you want to restore your file. You’ll click Next to find it in the Save Company File as window. The Save in field should point to your main QuickBooks directory (like QuickBooks 2018) and the File name field should show the correct file name.
When everything looks correct, click Save. QuickBooks will convert your .qbb file to the standard QuickBooks file type, .qbw, and open it.
Care Is Needed
Losing your QuickBooks data, as you know, would be absolutely disastrous. But there may be occasions when you’ll need to open a backup copy of your company file on a different computer. We would be happy to walk you through this the first time you do it; in fact, we highly recommend it. As always, we’re available to work with you on any QuickBooks issues you’re experiencing – or to get you up and running for the first time. Call us at (801) 877-6861 for the help you need today!
How to Restore Backup Files In QuickBooks
Your backup file contains your company data up to the date the backup was made. Make sure you restore the most recent file.
Follow these steps to restore a local backup from a CD, USB flash drive, local hard drive, network folder, or other media. If you backed up your company file using the service provided by QuickBooks Online Backup, you must restore it through that same service.
Restrictions: Because your backup copy is in a compressed file format, you must use the restore wizard to bring the data back into QuickBooks. Do not use the Copy command from Windows.
Please perform the below mentioned steps to restore the backup files:
- If your backup file is not on your hard disk or in a network folder, insert the CD, USB flash drive, or other storage device in the appropriate drive.
- In QuickBooks, go to the File menu and click Open or Restore Company to open the restore wizard.
- Click Restore a backup copy (.qbb) and then click Next.
- Click Local backup and then click Next. The Open Backup Copy window opens.
- If needed, click the Look in drop-down arrow and navigate to the location where you saved the backup file, which has a .qbb file extension (for example, mycompanyname.qbb).
- Select the backup file and click Open.
- Click Next.
- If needed, click the Save in drop-down arrow and navigate to the location where you want to restore the backup file.
- Select the backup file, click Save, and respond to any messages QuickBooks may display.
If QuickBooks finds a company file with the same name in the folder you specified, QuickBooks asks whether want to replace the existing file. If you click Replace, QuickBooks erases the existing file and replaces it with the file you’re restoring. If you’re not certain you want the existing file erased, click Cancel and give the file you’re restoring a different name.
The company file is converted to a regular company file, with a .qbw extension (or a .qba extension if the backup was made from an Accountant’s Copy). The company file and all of its related files are stored in this location.
How to Create a Company File in QuickBooks Using Express Start
To get started using QuickBooks, you must first create a company file. Setting up your company file correctly is crucial to the overall efficiency of the QuickBooks software. Before you begin, you may want to verify your setup information with your CPA or with a QuickBooks Pro Advisor. There are three ways to create a new company file using QuickBooks. We recommended that you use the Express Start wizard to guide you step-by-step through the setup process.This feature works the same in versions 2011–2016 of QuickBooks.
The Express Start takes only a few minutes to complete, and it is recommended that you avoid skipping questions during the process. To set up your company file using the Express Start wizard:
- From the QuickBooks menu, select File > New Company.
- In the QuickBooks Setup dialog box, click Express Start.
- Enter name, industry, type, and tax ID information for your company. Click Continue.
- Enter the legal name of your business and general contact information. Click Preview Your Settings.
- In the Preview Your Company Settings dialog box, select the Chart of Accounts tab.
- The list box on the Chart of Accounts tab shows accounts that are common for your industry. The accounts indicated by a checkmark are those that QuickBooks proposes to include in your chart of accounts. To finish setting up your chart of accounts, review the list of accounts, adding and removing accounts as appropriate.
- To add an account, click on it to place a checkmark next to the account name.
- To remove an account, click on it to remove the checkmark.
- When you finish your account list, select the Company File Location tab.
- QuickBooks suggests a default location for your company file. To save the file in a different location, click Change Location, browse to the new location, and click OK.
- Click OK to close the dialog box.
- Back in the contact screen, click Create Company File.
- After the company file is created, the following screen displays:
To add company data manually, perform one or more of the following tasks:
- Add customers, vendors, and/or employees.
- In the Add the people you do business with section, click Add.
- Select Paste from Excel or enter manually and click Continue.
- In the data entry table, select the contact type (customer, vendor, employee) and fill in available contact information. (Only the Name field is required.)
- Repeat the last step for all of the contacts you want to enter.
- When finished, click Continue.
- To enter opening balances for customers and vendors, click Enter opening balances.
- The cells in the Customers and Vendors tables are editable. Click on the cells you need to change and type the appropriate values.
- When finished, click Continue.
- Click Continue to add your contacts and return to the Add Info page.
- Add your products and services.
- In the Add the products and services you sell section, click Add.
- Select the type of items to add (service or non-inventory part) and click Continue.
- The cells in the tables are editable. Fill in details for your services or products.
- When you finish, click Continue.
- Click Continue to save your products or services.
- If you need to enter items for another category, click Add More in the Add the products and services you sell section and repeat the previous steps.
- Add bank account information.
- In the Add your bank accounts section, click Add.
- The cells in the table are editable. Fill in details about your bank accounts. The Account Name field is required.
- When finished, click Continue.
QuickBooks File Sharing Solutions
Qbox can be used to share QuickBooks Company files (QBW file) with several users such as accountants, bookkeepers and clients. Files can be accessed on any Windows Desktop, Laptop or Tablet computers. QuickBooks desktop software accesses the file from the Qbox folder local to each user’s computer. One of the users can work on the Company file after acquiring “file lock”. Other users can simultaneously view the file, but they will not be able to lock the file until changes made by the first user are synced to their computers. This simple to use locking and syncing mechanism helps all users collaborate efficiently with multiple users, and prevent conflicted copies or corrupted data files.
To share Company files, a Qbox user can create a folder and share it with other users. These folders are created on each user’s computer after they setup their Qbox accounts and install Qbox client. One of the users can copy QuickBooks company files into a folder, which will then be synced to the folders on the computers of the other users. When a user opens the Company file using QuickBooks, Qbox locks the file for the user, after which he or she can work on the Company financials. Other users can open the file on their computers simultaneously, but they cannot lock the file. When the user with file lock logs off or exits QuickBooks, Qbox will sync the changes and update the Company file in the folder of the other users. The file lock is released automatically so another user can lock and work on the file. Qbox locks and syncs both the QBW file and the TLG file together to ensure that the correct version of TLG file is available to any user backing up the Company file in QuickBooks, as recommended by Intuit.
Transactions from online services like bank, credit cards, and other applications can be downloaded after the Company file is opened in QuickBooks and locked. These transactions will also be accessible to other users after the file is closed and synced by Qbox.
Share QuickBooks multi-user files with remote users
Users in an office working on QuickBooks Company files in multi-user mode, can use Qbox to share the files with remote users. Users in the office can setup Qbox MU and locate the Qbox folder on a server or on one of the user’s computer. Qbox Explorers of all the MU users in the office display the contents of the common Qbox folders. Any one of the MU users in the office can open the file and lock it. The other MU users can then open the same file to work in a multi-user environment. When all the users in the office logout and close the file, Qbox will sync the file to the remote users with whom the folder is shared, and release the lock. A remote user can now acquire the lock and work on the file.
Qbox MU can be setup by an account owner and other users on the local network invited as ‘team members’. It can also be setup by users in an office invited to share the same folders by an account owner. For security reasons, users setting up Qbox MU need to be on the same private email domain. The directory path of the Qbox folder needs to be identical for all the MU users in the office. This can be achieved by locating the folder on a network server or on a mapped drive on one of the user’s computers.
Sync POS transactions to Central office
Retail stores need to update POS financials to QuickBooks and send the Company file to their Central office or accountants daily. Qbox can be setup to achieve this efficiently. Staff members at the retail store can be trained to perform the simple steps required to send financials through Qbox daily, making it a routine and error free operation.
The retail store owner or accountant can create a Qbox folder for each store, and setup the QuickBooks Company file for the store in the folder. The POS system in the store is reconfigured to synchronize financial transactions to the Company file in the Qbox folder. At the end of the day, a staff member in the store can open the QuickBooks Company file in Qbox, acquire file lock, update the end-of-day POS financials, and close the file. Qbox will sync the transactions to the remote users who need to access them on a daily basis. Users in the retail stores can be trained to complete this whole operation in just a few minutes. There is no need for accountants to remote into the store computers, or travel to the store just to get the Company file.
Share QuickBooks Attachments with remote users
Qbox ‘Archive folder’ can be used to store QuickBooks attachments and also share them with other users. QuickBooks keeps attachments in individual folders inside the folder named “Attach”, located in the same directory as the Company file. This folder can be shared or created in Qbox and configured as an Archive folder to sync the attachments created in QuickBooks by any of the users. When a user attaches a document and syncs the Company file, the other users can view the attachments in QuickBooks on their computers. If a user wants access only to the Company file and not the attachments, the user can be removed only from the Attach folder. This feature unique to Qbox Archive folders can help users like CPAs and Bookkeepers, with large number of clients, avoid syncing all the attachments to their desktops while continuing to get access to the main Company files.
Word, Excel, PDF
If you and other users need to work on desktop versions of Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint files from different locations, Qbox can help you sync and share files efficiently. Files can be accessed on any Windows Desktop, Laptop or Tablet computers. Qbox locks the file when opened by a user to protect changes made, and syncs the file automatically when closed, so there is never any conflicted copies or file corruption, even when the files are shared with multiple users. Encrypted data transfers and storage ensures that the files are synced and shared securely, making Qbox a low cost, easy to use, collaboration resource for many types of businesses like legal, insurance, accounting, education , and medical.
A user can create a Sync folder in Qbox and share it with other users. The folder is created on each user’s computer. Anyone of the users can copy Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint files into the folder, which will then be synced to the folder on the computers of other users. When one user opens a file in its application, Qbox locks the file. Another user can open the file simultaneously, but he or she cannot lock the file. When the user with file lock closes the file, Qbox will sync the changes and update the file on the computers of other users, facilitating real time collaboration.
Qbox files can be locked simply while opening in their application and synced just by closing the file, making it easy for technical and non-technical users to learn and adapt to their everyday workflow in just a few minutes. Qbox simple pricing structure allows multiple users to share any number of files in a folder, for one low monthly price.
Qbox can be used to share Microsoft Access database files (ACCDB or MDB) for efficient and simplified collaboration. Users in the main office can setup Qbox MU to access the database from each workstation concurrently in multi-user mode. The folder can be shared with remote users who also need access to the database. The simple to use lock and sync mechanism of Qbox helps main office users and remote users work on the database collaboratively, avoiding conflicted copies or corrupted files.
Users of Microsoft Access database can share their files conveniently with remote users, while setting up Qbox MU to work in multi-user environment in the local office. One of the users can create a Qbox account and invite other users in the local office as team members. These team users can then setup Qbox MU on a network drive. The Access database, either ACCDB or LDB file, can then be copied to the Qbox folder. All the users in the local office will then have access to the file from their Qbox Explorers. The first user to open the database file can lock the file. The other users can then open and work on the same database file in a multi-user environment.
The owner or any of the team members with admin right, can invite remote users to share the folder. Once they setup Qbox, the database files will be synced to their computers. When all the users in the main office logout and close the database file, Qbox will sync the changes made to the remote users, and release the file lock automatically. The remote user can then acquire file lock to work on the Access database on their local computer.