Do you want your A/P clerk having access to your payroll records? Or your billing clerk having access to your profit and loss statements? Maybe so, but maybe not.

If not, then you can configure your QuickBooks company so that each user has access only to the information they need.

Set this up through the top menu: Company / Set Up Users and Passwords / Set Up Users. Click Add User or Edit User, depending on whether they are already existing users. Then you’ll see this screen:

Click on “Selected areas of QuickBooks” to begin the process of specifying authorized functions for that user.

The first screen that appears gives you control over the user’s access to Sales and Accounts Receivable functions:

You see that control can be broken down between data entry, transaction printing, and reporting. Select the functions that your user needs access to. You can also click (or not) on the checkbox giving the user access to customer credit card numbers.

This level of control in QuickBooks is great — it introduces accounting controls to your use of the software, and potentially reduces the risk of fraud and error.

You can set up controls for these areas in QuickBooks:

* Sales and A/R
* Purchases and A/P
* Checking and Credit Cards
* Inventory
* Time Tracking
* Payroll and Employees
* Sensitive Accounting Activities (like journal entries and online banking)
* Sensitive Financial Reporting

Finally, you can control the ability to change or delete transactions:


This is an important accounting control. If you open this capability to a user, they will be able to delete or change previously entered transactions. Limiting this capability to only staff that truly need it could help lower the possibility of bookkeeping crime in your office, because it makes it harder for users to cover their tracks if they are making entries they don’t want others to see.

Also, you can prevent users from making changes to the books after the close date. Your accountant will really like it if you restrict that.

There are news stories coming out all the time about embezzlement and fraud taking place in offices where QuickBooks or other accounting software is used. Want to lower the chance of it happening to you? Just limit your employees’ access in QuickBooks to the functions they need to do their jobs.

Do you have any tips or advice on using access restrictions in QuickBooks?

90 thoughts on “How to Restrict User Access in QuickBooks

  1. Capstone,

    You can set up more flexible access roles in the Enterprise edition. But if you are using Pro or Premier, you can only set up a user so that they can or can’t access sales and customer data in general. The only restriction you can place on it beyond that is to optionally prevent them from being able to change or delete transactions after the fact.

    Reply
  2. QB Pro 2010. If I grant a user access to A/P so that they can look and create reports of vendor pricing, they can also pay bills which in essence grants permission to view the checkbook? Thus, they can scroll through and see paychecks. Yes?

    Reply
  3. Hi Shannon,
    I am trying to change user permissions for an employee so that they cannot see payroll however I cant seem to do this. I have locked them out of the payroll system but they can still go to the Employee Center; click transactions; pay cheques and be able to view what others are being paid. They cant run payroll reports or anything like that. They can also see what people are being paid through the cheque register. Is there anyway of stopping this?
    Appreciate your help :)

    Reply
  4. Hi Jenna,

    You say “cheque” rather than “check”, so I think you are using an edition other than QuickBooks US? I don’t know what your edition’s payroll permissions are exactly, but I would think that it would work like the US edition in that you can control whether a user can create transactions like cheques, or access the cheque register (a “sensitive accounting operation” permission). But maybe your edition is different in that respect?

    In the US edition, yes, you can go into the Employee Center even if you don’t have payroll permissions, which seems incorrect to me. But you can’t see paycheck detail.

    Thanks for the question.

    Reply
  5. Hello,

    Can you restrict QB access to certain users by class? We have 6 different classes setup in QB and want to restrict access by class for our regional managers. Is this something that can be done?

    Thanks,
    Brad

    Reply
  6. one of my employee cant see the credit card numbers under the customer payment info, she can see the exp only and the box where the credit card number should be shows just blank, even-thought she has full access. While some others of my employees who has full access to quick books does not have that problem. We used quick books enterprise 2012. I had rebuild the data, uninstall and re-install the software on her pc, virus clean up, and nothing works. Even if she uses another pc she still have the same problem. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    thank you

    Jaime

    Reply
  7. Jaime,

    That situation means that her user information in the QuickBooks file is corrupted. It should be repairable. Please see the Data Repair link under the Services tab at the top of this blog.

    Thanks for the question.

    Reply
  8. Hello,

    Is there a way to have someone do the book keeping but not view account numbers (Credit Card, Checking)? I want this person to be able to download transactions ( I will setup it up will in admin mode), then they will download transactions from my bank and credit card and move the transaction into the right account. I just dont want them to see the sensitive information regarding the account (account numbers)

    Thank you!

    Reply
  9. Hi Eric,

    In Pro and Premier editions, you can edit a user’s permissions, advance to the Sales and Accounts Receivable window, and then uncheck “view complete customer credit card numbers”. That will block the view of credit card numbers to that user.

    Otherwise, I don’t think you can block access to bank account numbers without also blocking access to banking functions in general.

    You might be able to do that with Enterprise — you can set up “roles” and define the permissions much more closely in Enterprise.

    Thanks for the question.

    Reply
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  12. I need to set up the service manager to have access to inventory only, we are using enterprise. I have added him as a user with the correct permission, but how do I sync him with my computer (administrator)

    Reply
    • Hi Rhonda,

      If you set him up as a user with the right permissions, then that info. is in your QB file on your server, and whenever you open that file from your computer as the admin, that data will be there. Unless there’s something about your situation that I’m not understanding, you don’t have to sync anything.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  13. I want to give access to selective accounts for reconciliations to a user. For example, I don’t want the user to have access to bank reconciliation; however, the user should be able to reconcile credit card accounts. How do I do that?

    Reply
  14. Can I restrict a user from seeing prior years in a company? We have a new partner and want him to only have access to this year and not previous years. The only other option I can see is starting a new company and entering the data for this year which will be a nightmare. Thanks for any help.

    Reply
    • Hi Sue,

      You can restrict him from being able to enter or change data from the prior years, or you could restrict him from running financial reports at all. But there’s not a way to allow access to financial reports for this year but not prior ones.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  15. I need to set restriction for a user to be able to view only certain reports under the sales report group. For example, user can only view the “Sales by customer” report but not the “Sales by item” report. Will I be able to do this?

    I couldn’t find this option under the user’s role list. It will only allow me to restrict the whole sales report group , not part of it. The reason being is I don’t want my sales manager to see the COGS of the items we are selling but I want him to monitor the sales of our customers.

    Reply
  16. I have a special issue with the access controls in Quickboooks and was hoping someone had a work-around for my situation. We have outside sales reps that have access in order to create Estimates (quotes) and to review their sales reports. I need to be able to block their access from all other areas, but don’t know how. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Hi Amy,

      If you have the Enterprise edition, you can set up a role for your sales reps that gives them the ability to only access estimates and view sales reports.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  17. Does anyone know if any other user besides Admin or External Accountant can import into Quickbooks. I have a user that needs to import in our sales from our POS system and he is a custom user because they would like to not allow access to payroll (this is the main concern), but would like them to be able to import in the sales information.

    Reply
  18. I am currently using QB Accountant 2012 on the cloud. I want to block a user from the ability to see Payroll (we use paychex). Is there a way to block a specific vendor? And is there a way to block them from entering the Employee Center?

    Thank you

    Reply
  19. I installed QuickBooks Point of Sale to make it possible for an employee to make sales without seeing the sensitive information displayed on my QuickBooks screen. Now that I see that I can Restrict User Access in QuickBooks, I would like to move my items and services back into QuickBooks, and stop using QuickBooks Point of Sale. That way I could run my business using only QuickBooks. How would I do this?

    Reply
  20. Shannon,
    Are you familiar with QB 2011 Pro for Canada? I need to know if there is a way to create a user role that is “view/print” only.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Melynda,

      I don’t have hands-on experience with it myself. When you set up users in your version, do the screens look like the screenshots I posted above? Are you able to specify ‘selective access’ on certain parts of QuickBooks?

      Reply
  21. Can we restrict user from certain sections within estimates? Like we wish to create a user so that user can make estimates but can not edit anything or view actual cost of an item or percentage markup

    Reply
    • Hi Suleman,

      You can, in Enterprise edition of QuickBooks only, create a role that would only allow for the dealing with estimates. You can set it up so that they create new estimates, but not modify existing ones. But if you have items that are priced by markup, then they would see the cost and markup on the estimate.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  22. Is there a way to prevent users from setting up new classes in QuickBooks? I was to restrict the ability to add a class to only one user.

    Reply
    • Mario,

      If you are using Enterprise edition, you can turn set up roles that either allow or disallow creation of new classes. You would create or modify a role and look under Lists and modify permissions for classes there. There is no control of that with Pro or Premier editions.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  23. Hello,

    Is there any way to restrict access to chart of accounts in QuickBooks Pro 2012? I’ve tried to restrict access to financial reporting, but if someone just double click on the account, they can still be able to see all the activity.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Olga,

      For those kinds of users, you can edit their permissions and give no access to Sensitive Financial Reports. They will be still to see a list of accounts, but they won’t be able to run reports on them. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  24. Can I give my purchasing dept access to create and view PO’s only? I don’t want them to have access to any other area except PO’s.I’m using QB Premier 2010 Edition.

    Reply

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