There is a general misperception that it is easier for multiple users to work in QuickBooks® Desktop than QuickBooks Online. Your clients may not be aware of some of the features of QuickBooks that simplify the multi-user experience, save users time and help keep their data secure.
Clients have probably heard about “anytime, anywhere access,” but they may not realize that multiple users can be signed into QuickBooks at the same time. There’s no additional network setup needed, like the multi-user mode in QuickBooks Desktop. Regardless whether they are using a PC or a Mac, or signing in on their phone or tablet using our mobile apps, each user can log in and get to work. Plus, activities performed by one user can be seen by others immediately.
Using QuickBooks Online also eliminates the need to exchange data files back and forth between users. You and your clients will never need to wonder if you are working with the most up-to-date data, and will not have to find complex ways to securely share files. Goodbye time-consuming IT challenges and potential for lost information!
The number of users in QuickBooks Online varies depending on your client’s subscription level:
- Simple Start includes one user.
- Essentials includes up to three users.
- Plus includes up to five users.
- Advanced includes up to 25 users.
There are various types of users to help you and your client control who is able to see and do what in QuickBooks:
Master Admin (all subscription levels): There’s only one master admin and every QuickBooks company has one. This user can see and do everything in QuickBooks. This user type is ideal for the business owner or the person who has the most say in managing business finances. Accountants can be Master Admin, but note that you will take up one of the user seats. No one can delete or change the master admin’s access. If there should be a new master admin, the current one can transfer the role.
Company Admin (Essentials, Plus, Advanced): These users can also see and do everything, except editing or removing the master admin’s access.
Standard User (Essentials, Plus, Advanced): These users can be configured to have different levels of access: All Access, All Access (except payroll), None, Limited to Customers & Sales and/or Vendors & Purchases.
Custom User (Advanced): This option allows you to refine permissions even further than the Standard User. You can choose what these users can access in areas like banking, sales, expenses, and reports.
It’s important to note that there are also user types that are not counted toward the subscription usage limits. Their availability varies by subscription level:
- Accountant Users (All subscription levels): QuickBooks Online Simple Start, Essentials and Plus all offer the option to invite up to two bookkeeping or accounting firms that function as Company Admin users with additional accountant tools. QuickBooks Online Advanced has the option to invite up to three. Each firm manages its own team users within QuickBooks Online Accountant; in addition, access to client companies can be granted and removed from staff as needed.
- Time-Tracking Only Users (Essentials, Plus, and Advanced): You can set up unlimited time-tracking only users. These users have access to a time-tracking only version of QuickBooks to view and enter their own time information. In the settings, you can turn on the option to make time billable to customers and decide if these users see billing rate or not.
- Reports Only Users (Plus and Advanced): You can set up unlimited reports-only users. These users have access to a reports-only version of QuickBooks to view virtually all reports, except payroll reports and those listing the contact information of employees, customers or vendors.
When you or your client sets up a new user, they are invited to the QuickBooks Online company via email and guided through creating their own unique user ID and password (or they may use an existing Intuit ID). We ask the user to add a phone number to use for multi-factor authentication. This helps prevent those without permission from accessing the data, even if they find out someone’s password, by sending a time-sensitive code through text message or email. The Master Admin is also alerted by email when new users are added to the account.
Additionally, QuickBooks’s robust audit log automatically tracks activities performed by users. The audit log can be filtered by user, date range, and a variety of actions in QuickBooks Online. Within a transaction’s history, you can easily see the time-stamp of when the transaction was added, edited or deleted. Edits are highlighted, and you can click compare to view changes over time. This makes it easy to detect any changes to the books.
I hope this helps you sort out multiple user questions from your clients!