Sometimes we just forget things. Or we write it down and then misplace the piece of paper! That happens with passwords sometimes.

Or one trusted person knew the password, and then leaves or is fired…and can’t or won’t share the password with you afterwards.

If that happens to you with your QuickBooks company password, don’t fret. The problem is solvable. There are two ways to tackle it:

1. If you are using QuickBooks 2011 or later, you can reset it within QuickBooks itself. At the log in screen, click the link next to the password prompt that says “I forgot my password”.

If you had set up a challenge question, it will ask you that, and if you remember the answer, you’re back in business. If not, click “I forgot my answer”.

You’ll then see this screen.

quickbooks password recovery screen

QuickBooks makes you confirm that the file’s password is going to be released to the authorized party on record. An email will be sent to that address with a temporary code. (See below if that email address is now unavailable to you.)

You enter that code at the prompt, and then you’ll be able to enter a new password for the file.

Having done that, it takes you back to the original log in screen. You can enter the new password and you’re in like Flynn.

2. Download the QuickBooks Automated Password Reset Tool. This is a free, downloadable tool to reset your password. You have to provide the same kind of information as per the method above, to confirm that you are authorized to reset the password:

* QuickBooks license number
* First and last name
* Email address of record
* Business phone number of record
* Zip code

You’ll then be able to download and run the utility to reset the password.

Fortunately, Intuit provides this even for unsupported (old) versions of QuickBooks. It’s only available for Windows versions, however. It doesn’t work on Mac versions or, of course, online editions of QuickBooks.

What if your QuickBooks installation is associated with an email address you no longer have access to, like an ex-employee’s personal email? You can jump through some hoops to update your e-mail address here. And then use one of the methods above to reset the password.

Have you used one of these methods before? How did it work out for you?

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Short answer: Yes. Here’s what people have said after having sent corrupted QuickBooks files to us.

Sent them a file from a company that called and needed help on their QuickBooks file. Read a lot of forums and reviews and found you people. On Saturday at noon I uploaded this file.  At 2:00 pm I was downloading the fixed file. Nothing was lost and the upgrade to the new version was good.  Thanks!” — John Horsley, Computer Medik

File is much faster and stable now! Thanks!” — Shawn Spears, CFO Network

I’m more than delighted after I tested my database and knew it was back to normal. Our accounting department is very happy with the outcome and performance of the file.” — JC Marin, Trusteecorps

Fantastic!  Thank you so much for the quick turn-around.  Well worth the money for the peace of mind seeing my data again!!!” — Jill St.Aubin King, Monarch Gardens LLC

Thank you for your help on this! You guys did a great job.  Everything looks perfect.  I wish I would have used your service first.  I will definitely recommend you to others.” — Brett Jensen, CDFA

Of course, the best course of action when a file gets corrupted is to restore yesterday’s backup and move forward. But sometimes good backups aren’t available, or the problem doesn’t become immediately known. In that case, data repair services can be handy.

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What if you need fewer licenses of QuickBooks than you used to?

One Enterprise 11 user had this scenario. She tells her story:

“AccountingUsers saved the day! After over a decade of dedicated QuickBooks use, I started my own business from home. I no longer needed the Enterprise version I had been using at my previous company.

But there was no way to “downgrade” to a fewer licensed version. Unacceptable! Thank goodness I found AccountingUsers’ services to make the necessary edits to my company file. Highly recommend this!”

— Sara Carter, The GKW Company, Inc.

So the solution we had for Sara was to convert her Enterprise file to QuickBooks Premier format. Then she was able to just purchase and use the number of Premier licenses she needed…and save the difference in annual upgrade and support fees over continuing to maintain lots of Enterprise licenses.

This situation might also help a business who outsources some of their accounting operations and doesn’t need as many users and licenses of QuickBooks as before.

RELATED:

“Data Migrated from QB Enterprise to Pro with 100% Accuracy”
What Is the Main Difference Between Enterprise, Premier, Pro?
QuickBooks Comes in Lots of Flavors

When we convert an Enterprise file to Premier or Pro, all the information in the file is retained…transactions, accounts, lists, balances, memorized reports, custom templates, user preferences, payroll details…everything.

Have you ever considered moving from Enterprise to a lower edition?

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You might want to rename your QuickBooks company file for one of several reasons:

* You are making major changes to your file and want to have a copy of your original file handy for reference purposes.

* You are getting your file supercondensed, and want to keep the original, renamed file for historical reporting.

* Your legal name or DBA has changed and you want your file to reflect that.

So how do you change it’s name? It’s pretty easy.

First of all, exit QuickBooks, and have all other QuickBooks users exit the program.

In Windows, open My Computer, or your network drive, or wherever you keep your QuickBooks file. (If you don’t know where it is kept, run QuickBooks and open your company, then press the F2 key. It will tell you where your file is. Then exit QuickBooks.)

Drill down to the folder where your QuickBooks file is located. It might be somewhere like Public Documents /Intuit / QuickBooks / Company Files

You’ll see your company file there. QuickBooks maintains one or two folders that include your file’s name (depending on your QuickBooks version) and a handful of auxiliary files with your file name.

For each of those, right-click on the file and select Rename. Give it the new name you want. Avoid the use of special characters except for hyphens or underscore characters. Rename each folder or file with the new name.

You may have a folder like “Your company name – Images” and “Restored_Your company name_Files”. Rename the “Your company name” part to your new company name.

That does it as far as renaming the file at the Windows level.

RELATED: Help! My Invoice Logo Disappeared!

When you run QuickBooks, rather than opening the company from the first screen, click the QuickBooks menu for File / Open or Restore Company / Open a Company File. Select the NEW company name.

You probably want to change the file’s internal name too, so that no one gets confused about which file is which. So click on at the QuickBooks menu for Company / Company Information…

You can then easily change the internal name of the company to match what its file name is. That way, whenever you open the company and it displays the name at the top of the QuickBooks window, it will show the new name.

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You want to get your QuickBooks file problem remedied, but you can’t do without it; what to do?

We schedule most of our supercondense work, where we cut large QuickBooks file sizes down by 60-80%, on weekends. It’s just what we do.

As client Beth Sampson of MB Seafood Company Inc. put it, “I was happy that there was no interruption or ‘down time’ to business, and that it was able to be done over the weekend.”

RELATED:
Condensing QuickBooks Canadian Files
Interview/Case Study: User with a Big, Slow QuickBooks File
My QuickBooks File is HUGE? What Can I Do?

Typically, the client will finish up their regular work in QuickBooks on a Friday, and then upload a copy of their file securely to us Friday afternoon or evening. We supercondense the file and return it to them later on that same weekend, usually Sunday sometime. So on Monday morning, their team is ready to use a small, clean, stable version of their file that will perform much better than their original one. And no downtime needed.

We know that your use of QuickBooks is a mission-critical aspect of your business operation, so we work on your file when you don’t.

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send a fileLet’s say you need to get a copy of your QuickBooks file to your bookkeeper…or business partner…or CPA. Easy, you say. Just attach it to an email.

Stop!

You should consider a couple of things first.

1. Security. Sending and receiving email is not the most secure thing to do on the internet. If your email account gets hacked, of if your email receipient’s email gets hacked, you don’t want your QuickBooks file sitting out there for the taking. And you don’t want your file to sit out there in someone’s inbox forever either.

It’s more secure to use a file sharing or file sending service. Services like sharefile.com, yousendit.com, sendthisfile.com, and others have secure means of sending files. Most of these services allow you put an ‘expiration date’ on the file you send, so it will automatically go offline after a week or two. That’s a good thing.

Or, if you have a cloud-based drive you can share, like IDrive, you can securely upload a backup of your file and give access to someone else.

2. Efficiency. Attaching large files to emails is not very efficient; email wasn’t designed to carry heavy data loads. If the file you attach to your email is bigger than, say, 10MB, it may fail to send at all, or may not be receivable on the other side.

Even if you create a portable copy of your data — which would be perhaps only 20% the size of your regular QBW file — most company’s files are still going to be too big to reliably send by email.

Keep it secure, and keep it efficient when you transfer someone your QuickBooks data.

How about you? What’s the best method you’ve found to send someone a QuickBooks file?

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There’s always a little excitement when you install your new version of QuickBooks. You’re eager to see what the new interface looks like, and check out some of the new reports and features. So if your data won’t upgrade, eagerness can turn into frustration.

Let’s back up a step. Normally, QuickBooks is designed to automatically convert your file to the new version simply by opening the file. Let’s say that you have been running QuickBooks Premier 2012 and you now install QuickBooks Premier 2013. Your data will automatically be updated to 2013 format just by opening your company data in the new version. The software will make you create a backup and tell you that your data will be irretrievably converted to 2013 format (you can’t go back). With your approval, QuickBooks converts your file to version 2013, and you’re good to go. That is the normal user experience.

But what if that doesn’t work?

RELATED: Case Study/Interview: QuickBooks Won’t Verify or Rebuild

Sometimes QuickBooks doesn’t encounter problems with a company file until it tries to upgrade it to a newer version. Some kinds of data problems don’t get exposed until all the information in the file has to be touched, which is what happens when you upgrade your file. If there is just one bad record buried down in the file, it can throw a wrench in the file upgrade process.

Only a small percentage of upgrading users encounter this. If it does happen to you, your file can be repaired and upgraded in almost all instances, and overnight turnaround is available. Here’s a comment from someone who experienced this:

We had a client with a corrupted QuickBooks file that wouldn’t upgrade to QuickBooks 2012 and had some other issues. We uploaded the file and a few days later had a working file. This is a great service when (not if) there are problems with QuickBooks data files.” — Scott Scharf, Catching Clouds LLC

Have you ever had any difficulty upgrading your file to a newer version? Tell your story.

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looking towards 2013I’m cautiously optimistic that when Enterprise 13 comes out, it will fix some of the problems that a number of people are finding in Enterprise Series 12. I’ve talked with a number of clients experiencing…

* Problems in inventory: their file will not verify or rebuild
* Problems in sales orders or estimates: they can’t verify the file or make verified backups
* Corruption in the user list: their file fails rebuild
* Failure when they try to condense their file: condense freezes or gives fatal errors

We can repair the vast majority of these files, but it ain’t easy sometimes. Some of these problematic files are 3GB+ or have a kazillion inventory items and/or lots of corrupt assemblies.

Some of the files that clients are sending us to be supercondensed won’t verify and/or rebuild when they are sent in. We have to repair them first to get them healthy enough to work with.

Seems to me that there shouldn’t be this many files with these kinds of problems. We’ve been in the accounting data consulting business for a long time — since the 80s — and have seen and repaired thousands and thousands of sets of damaged accounting data. But it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a version that has clustered so many data integrity issues, many more than we saw under ES 11 or 10. (Actually, old version 6 had a ton of problems too; that was the first version that used the new underlying database system.)

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a lucky Enterprise 13, and wishing the best for Intuit’s development and testing teams…

Other consultants and QuickBooks advisors, what do you think? Does ES 12’s stability seem about the same to you as prior versions? Or a bit more problematic?

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We spoke with Colleen Cravener of Cervis, Inc. about a recent data corruption problem she had with her QuickBooks file and how it was resolved.

AccountingUsers: Colleen, can you tell us a little about your company, and your role there?

Colleen: Cervis Inc. manufactures industrial radio remote controls for the mining industry, overhead crane industry and mobile industry. I am the Information System Specialist at Cervis.

AccountingUsers: What edition of QuickBooks do you use? And what does your office use QuickBooks for?

Colleen: QuickBooks Enterprise 2012 – Manufacturing and Wholesale edition. QuickBooks is used for all accounting processes, and until a few weeks ago was used for years 2004 through 2012 for all inventory, build assemblies, and purchasing. We have since taken inventory and purchasing into Misys.

AccountingUsers: Please tell us what led up to you contacting us about your QuickBooks file. What was going on in QuickBooks?

Colleen: We could not get our QuickBooks file to verify or rebuild. Our file had damage/corruption. Cervis wanted to do a condense data and could not because of damage.

AccountingUsers: What was the process like in getting your file repaired…the steps you took to send your file, the scheduling and turnaround, etc.?

Colleen: All I did was call the 1-800 number and Shannon answered a few questions and immediately sent me a confidentiality agreement. Then I went to their website, filled out a form and paid by Paypal. At the end of Cervis’s business day on a Friday, I made a portable QuickBooks file, which took a long time to make because the file was damaged, and uploaded the file through their website. It was VERY easy! And it was about 9pm before AccountingUsers actually received the file. On Sunday I received an email stating the file was finished and I could pickup the file. Also, the file upload and download process is done via a SECURE connection!

AccountingUsers: How did your repaired QuickBooks file work for you when you got it back from us?

Colleen: First thing I noticed was increased performance. We have 20+ concurrent users, this was a HUGE plus. I had questions about our Profit and Loss numbers and Shannon immediately answered via email – his last email being after midnight! It is obvious that at AccountingUsers customer service is #1! And they know the product (QuickBooks).

AccountingUsers: Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

Colleen: I am giving your company an A+ in the recovery of the QuickBooks file, the secure website file transfer and the GREAT customer service (EVEN AFTER THEIR JOB WAS REALLY FINISHED!!) Top notch!

AccountingUsers: Thanks for sharing your story, Colleen!

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pool planningQuickBooks® is a generic bookkeeping and accounting program, designed to be used by every type of business that you can imagine. If it was industry specific, well, it would have the same big price tag! Sure, Intuit makes a “Contractor” version, but even then it’s designed to meet the needs of every type of contractor – from the handyman to the bridge builder.

As a contractor, you know how important it is to have a plan or blueprint in your hands before you go to the construction site and begin work on the project. That way, you know what you are up against. This same principle applies to using QuickBooks Financial Software for your accounting, payroll and job costing needs.

Many QuickBooks users fall for the seductive marketing messages that boast “easy to set up, easy to learn to use” and fall prey to the myth of do-it-yourself accounting.  QuickBooks users aren’t the only ones who fall prey to this myth; so do accounting professionals.  As a matter of fact, recently I was asked by a QuickBooks ProAdvisor “What are the most common mistakes that you see happen when using QuickBooks for a construction business?”

Here is a list of common mistakes that I see:

  1. Outsourcing payroll
  2. Entering job costs using the Expenses and/or Accounts tab
  3. Thinking or believing that every contractor can/should use the exact same Chart of Accounts or Items List
  4. Not setting up Items to track both Expenses and Income
  5. Not using the built-in Estimate function or an estimating program that interfaces with QuickBooks.
  6. Creating a new QuickBooks file for each project/job
  7. Receiving customer payments incorrectly
  8. Not properly applying Vendor Credits to Bills.
  9. Not reconciling Bank or Credit Card accounts
  10. Not using the Ask My Accountant Chart of Accounts item for expenditures that are difficult to categorize.

The biggest mistake that I see is business owners (not just contractors) failing to hire someone who can help them to really learn how to use QuickBooks and utilize all the different functions that are available.

There are a lot of really great blogs and user forums, such as the forums here at the QuickbooksUsers Forums and the Intuit Community forums for getting help for free.  Keep in mind, when you ask a specific question, it’s difficult for the person answering to know whether or not they should be taking the bigger picture into consideration.  When you hire someone who is experienced in using QuickBooks in your industry, they can help you look at the entire plan.

Have a question about using QuickBooks in your commercial/government construction business?  Feel free to contact me.

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