QuickBooks permissions let you permit — or restrict — your users’ activities in QuickBooks. If you have more than a couple of employees’ who use QuickBooks, you probably take advantage of this feature.

When I posted “How to Restrict User Access in QuickBooks” a few years ago, it elicited scores of questions and comments. My thanks go out to all those commenters. Here’s a summary of those comments and answers:

What is possible to restrict in QuickBooks (partial list):

You can restrict…

  • Access by module (Sales, Payroll, etc.)
  • Reporting
  • Ability to change or delete existing transactions
  • Access to especially sensitive information like bank accounts, customer credit cards
  • Access to financial reports

What is impossible to restrict in QuickBooks (any edition):

You cannot restrict…

  • Name-based access (e.g. you can’t allow transaction entry or reporting for some customers / jobs / employees / vendors / sales reps, while restricting others)
  • Changing other users’ entries, but allowing you to change your own entries
  • Access to only selected reports (as opposed to whole categories of reports)
  • Access based on payroll group, weekly vs. bi-weekly, for example
  • Date-based access (e.g. running reports or viewing transactions only data before or after a certain date)
  • Account-type access (e.g. able to view P&L accounts but not BS accounts)
  • Viewing of the item list
  • Access to bank accounts without access to paychecks
  • Field-level access, e.g. disallowing a sales rep from changing the sales rep field, or disallowing access to inventory cost while retaining access to QOH
  • Allowing the entry or reconciliation of some bank accounts or credit cards, but not others
  • Entering a transaction without being able to see the previous entries also

There are many examples of restrictions that are possible in Enterprise edition but not in Pro or Premier editions. Here are a few differences that came out of the comments.

What is possible to restrict in Enterprise, but impossible to restrict in Pro or Premier:

  • Preventing the viewing the Employee Center’s list of employees
  • Allowing access to estimates without also giving access to other sales/receivables functions
  • Allowing access to payments without also giving access to invoicing
  • Allowing creation of purchase orders but no other A/P entries
  • Creating classes
  • View-only mode for non-financial reports, without also giving the ability to enter transactions (e.g. you can’t keep access to A/R reports without also giving access to A/R transactions)

Which of the “impossibilities” listed above do you think Intuit should definitely address in a future version?

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40 thoughts on “User Permissions: What Is Possible, Impossible to Restrict

  1. I have all the permissions the administrator can give me. I can print bill payment vouchers for check payments, but not for vendors paid by credit card. Any ideas? Thanks.

  2. QuickBooks Enterprise version comes with flexibility to define user access. You can assign view only access with print access however in Pro and Premier you can either assign create access or no access. Full access/Partial access or no access.

  3. My assistant was able to create and memorize an A/P report. But she could not go back into that same A/P report. It said she needs “Sensitive Financial Reporting” permission. I do not want her to have that full permission because with it she could see the bank accounts and P&L etc. I feel she should be able to create, memorize, access, update and print everything to do with A/P. Is there a way for my assistant to do this that I am not aware of? Does the 2016 version allow this? Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Lorri,

      The discussion above is only for the desktop editions of QuickBooks. I don’t have a listing of what permissions can be allowed/disallowed for QuickBooks Online. Thanks for the question.

    • Reshma,

      In Enterprise, there is an access control specifically for Purchase Orders. So you should be able to turn off access to all other A/P functions except for that. This level of restriction is not possible in Pro or Premier. Thanks for your question.

  4. @Tucker I am using QB PoS and I operate a salon where I have defined the stylists as customers (but they login as users and post to customer ‘on Account’ in QB) so that at end of day they give the team leader their daily collections. The team leader thereafter reconciles the ‘On Account’ balances with the cash received from each customer/stylist/user.
    The system restrictions however are not sufficient enough to prevent:
    1) a user/stylist from clicking the ‘Cash’ button and entering a cash sale yet it needs to be validated by the team leader first.
    2) a user from mapping/selecting any customers of their choice
    Is there a way to restrict this.

  5. Shannon,

    I’m having an issue with allowing specific users access to add/edit classes. Can you help with this? I don’t see an area in user permissions that would indicate the ability to add/edit classes.

    thanks in advance,
    Marcus Mire

    • Hi Marcus,

      If you are using Enterprise, you can modify a role to allow/disallow adding or editing the class list. If you are using an edition other than Enterprise, that’s not possible. Thanks for your question.

    • Hello Tahir,

      Yes, you can change the user’s permissions to not have access to Sales and Accounts Receivable. If you are using Enterprise, you can restrict it more closely to allow for transaction entry but not customer creating. Thanks for your question.

  6. Is there a way to grant access to create accounts but not access to view financial reports. I’m using the QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions Pro Services Edition. Thanks

  7. We have a couple of different bank accounts that we use to issue checks. Is it possible to restrict a user’s access to only be able to access one of the accounts? For example, I would like to have the user access checking account A, but not checking account B or C.

  8. Is there a version that will allow permission to ONLY view customer balances and transactions, but not to enter or change existing transactions?

    • Hi Jenny,

      In Enterprise, you can enable ‘view’ but disable ‘create’, ‘modify’, and ‘delete’ for A/R transactions. That is not possible in Pro or Premier. Thanks for your question.

  9. In Enterprise, is there a way to limit access by class? For example, allowing a receivables clerk to only see the customers and receivables information for the class that she uses?

  10. Hi John,
    WE are new to QB 2017 🙂 it has been a long time coming. But Finally we are here. I have set permissions up and people can still see payroll options and employee information. Have I done something wrong?

    • I would like to see an answer to this as well. I am having a problem with another employee who is looking at my time sheet and has changed one of my comments

  11. Hi Shannon. I’m using QB Premier. I want my office staff to be able to enter sales orders. That “open sales orders” report is what they use for production (we are a manufacturing facility). But I have to give the user “sensitive financial reports” access. I just want them to be able to run that report without being able to see the banking info and financial documents. Any idea how I can accomplish this?

  12. I have permissions set in Enterprise giving a user access to one bank account; however, if you go to Write Checks, you can change the bank account at the top and the user can now scroll back through checks written in a different bank account. Is there a way to allow users access to write checks from the one account, yet still preventing them from seeing checks written in other accounts?

  13. Is there any way to restrict someone from adding/deleting/changing transactions, but still be able to create and view reports and to see transactions without making changes to them? My boss wants a copy of QB put on his computer, but he doesn’t know how to use it. I want to be sure he doesn’t inadvertently change or enter something in the program. He just wants to be able to run reports. Is this possible?

    • Hi Sharon,

      If you are using Enterprise, then yes, you can restrict like that. But I’m guessing you’re using Pro or Premier, and you can’t directly restrict like that, sorry. Thanks for your question.

  14. Hi Sharon,
    We are using Enterprise and need to restrict all access to only one of our bank accounts. Is that possible? Thanks for your help!

  15. I have a human resource issue I think, but not getting any help from the owner of the company. One of the employees does not like me, and she is looking at my time sheets, and has emailed the entire office about my hours being billable versus non billable. And last week, she actually changed one of my notes and put in an obnoxious comment. Why are other employees allowed to see my time sheet, let alone be able to change anything on it? I am very concerned. I am not staying with the company, but I want to know how this can be prevented in the future.

    • Hi Mel,

      Dang, that’s awful. Sorry to hear that. You didn’t say whether she is the QuickBooks admin, or what kind of user permissions she has been assigned in QuickBooks. Sounds like she has payroll privileges and is using them to your detriment. You could ask the admin to remove payroll privileges for her user account. Thanks for your question.

  16. Is it possible in Enterprise to set up users so that they can’t see pop up reminders? We don’t want most users to see a payable reminders that pop up. Thank you.

  17. We recently suspected a problem with an employee falsifying records in QB. We immediately restricted the employee’s access to QB pending further investigation. The employee has now stolen the computers containing the QB application, company file and backups. What we need to know is where are the user access restrictions recorded? Can he restore a QB backup prior to the imposition of access restrictions and regain his admin rights? If the user access permissions are defined in the application data, can he re-install the application and gain full access that way? We’re running QB2012 Pro.


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