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?

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470 thoughts on “How to Restrict User Access in QuickBooks

  1. We have a bookkeeper and would like the bookkeeper to download banking transactions but not know the user name and password for the bank. Is it possible to restrict viewing access but still allow transactions to be downloaded?

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. I am trying to set up some restrictions on templates (Invoice, Sales Order, Purchase Order). We have specific templates set up and employees are continually changing them to suit their personal preferences (we are working with a third party software which makes additional calculations in these templates that QBE won’t do, so the templates can’t change, but employees can’t seem to understand that). Is there a way to “lock down” these templates so they can be used, but not edited?

    Reply
  3. I would like to ask a two part question;

    1) when you are invoicing an item in quickbooks and you don’t have sufficient quantity
    a message pops up however this message can be cancelled and the invoice printed
    is there anyway that this message can’t be cancelled and quickbooks only bill when it
    have inventory.

    2) In quickbooks if i restrict a customer to only do invoices, estimates and purchase
    orders. Will they be able to create customer, items etc.

    Reply
    • Hi Lorenzo,

      1. Only with Enterprise 15 can you specify to disallow negative inventory. In other editions and version, you can’t prevent it.
      2. In Pro, Premier, and Accountant, you can only turn on or off Sales/Receivables access as a whole. In Enterprise, you can fine tune the access much more closely.

      Thanks for your questions.

      Reply
  4. Hi,
    I want to restrict user from “Delete” but i am unable to do so. When i apply the setting in QuickBooks Enterprise 2015 edition, by un-checking the option of “Delete”, the same function is not working properly and the user delete the transaction even i didn’t allow him/her. Please i need your help.

    Reply
    • Hello Suleman,

      If you set up a role for your user, and select “Partial” access for the kinds of transactions you are concerned about, and uncheck “Delete”, it should disallow deleting. I just confirmed it on some sample data for Invoices in Enterprise 15.

      Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  5. Hello,

    Can I lock access to all or part of the chart of accounts for users? I have locked some users from Employees & Payroll and sensitive reporting, but can they still access salary info through the chart of accounts?

    Reply
    • Hi Greg,

      What kind of salary info. do you mean? They’ll be able to see salary accounts, but no dollar amounts, and they won’t be able to drill down into any salary accounts…

      Reply
  6. i am willing to buy Quickbook online plus (5 user plus accountant) software
    Please clear me on following…
    1. can i restrict to each user on chart of account, like 1 user will not use 2nd user head of account.?
    2. can i restrict users to entry level only..?
    3. can accountant made any changes on users entry..?
    4. its full cloud based software or partially, like i have users in different cities / countries, will it works or not..?
    5. can i allow user to see selected reports…?
    6. can i allow 1 user with full access like viewing of all reports.

    your prompt and comprehensive response will be highly appreciated.

    Reply
  7. Hi! We have restricted a user from Payroll and Employees but his login can still view the HR info of all employees and the attachments in their Payroll. What am I missing?

    Reply
  8. We have upgraded to Enterprise/ Mfg 2015. Have 17 users. Some have the same permissions in certain departments. Is there way that at the end of the day, I can track which user made an entry …. so I can track errors?

    Reply
  9. We are using quickbooks premier 2015 Desktop edition 5 user. When I restrict users on editing or deleting stuffs, it effects the entire editing facility. Is there a way that I can allow to receive bill on an item receipt ?

    Thanks
    Farook K chalarath

    Reply
    • Hi Farook,

      I’m not sure what you’re asking exactly. You can restrict editing or deleting by area in QuickBooks, so you can restrict those activities for Accounts Payable or Inventory transactions. Please clarify if that’s not what you mean.

      Reply
  10. Hi. Im currently using Quickbooks Enterprise. Would like to ask for help on how to disable/should not be changed the sales price of a certain item. I already created users and assigned the features they could only access.

    For example:

    User1 is only capable of creating invoices and not authorized to change the sales price. How to do it? Thank you.

    Reply
      • Hi Shannon. I have a problem with Quickbooks Enterprise insofar as this restriction is concerned. I have created a very basic user, with only access to invoicing, and specifically do not give Permission)to change or overrride prices, which are preset (through the Pricelevels. How is it possible that the user can still change the price, of a customer, at the time of invoicing?

        Reply
    • Dave,

      You can give access to check and credit cards, but disallow access to payroll. So yes. But if you have Pro or Premier, a user would still be able to open the Employee Center. If you use Enterprise, you can shut out the Payroll Center. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  11. Thanks, when I said credit card receipts I was referring to revenue we took in over the counter. So, when customers pay us with credit cards etc, the receptionist gets a day end print out in order to compare that with those receipts.
    That is great
    But I don’t want receptionist to have access to payroll.
    Its an old Pro version.

    Reply
    • Dave,

      OK, thanks for the clarification. Same thing I said before…you can prevent the receptionist to having access to payroll reports or processing payroll, but they can still open the Employee Center (in Pro).

      Reply
  12. In QB Enterprise ’15, is there anyway to restrict a user to see only certain customers/leads. For example a sales rep would only see accounts coded to him?

    Reply
  13. I have an employee who needs to have access to invoicing. When she has new “classes” to add, it won’t allow her to do this unless I allow her to have access to sensitive accounting …when I give her selective access to sensitive accounting…it also gives her access to our checking account registers….I don’t want her to have that….how can I do this?

    Reply
    • Hi Pam,

      I think that the only way you can fine tune the access in the way you want is to upgrade to Enterprise, and set up a role for her that allows and disallows those particulars. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  14. Shannon-

    We have three users in our office. Does the ADMIN computer need to be logged in in order for the other two users to log in and work?

    Reply
  15. I have bank accounts set up in Chart of Accounts. I allow my bookkeeper access to certain accounts. If I don’t want my bookkeeper to have access to just ONE of the Bank accounts in Chart of accounts at all, is there a password protection to put on it or another way to do this. Thanks,m

    Reply
  16. I need to restrict a user in QB. I already set up his limits including no access to the find feature and payroll. But he can still do a find and put in anyone’s name and get the details for their paycheck. it is frustrating.

    Reply
    • Hi Mary,

      Sounds like you are using Pro or Premier. If you’ve given access to that user to checking, then I don’t think you can restrict what you want in those editions. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  17. Hi, is there any way to restrict user who can only access AP to see payments? As payment of expenses are included there and payroll are included. Thanks.

    Reply
  18. I’ve QB Enterprise 14. 2 office admins take orders for catering
    . Lately I’ve noticed deleting past invoices or modifying. Is there a way to limit access to ONLY creating invoices and printing them
    When the AR check comes in admin would open the invoice to mark it PAID. Do Ihave t gv access to change to mark it paid. I do not want them to change prices and delete after invoice creation.

    Reply
    • Hi Sam,

      You can change the user’s role to allow for transaction entry and printing, but not changing or deleting. So yes, they would be able to enter the customer’s payment without deleting or modifying past invoices (apart from applying the payment to them). Thanks for the question.

      Reply
  19. Hi,
    I have a multi-user QuickBooks Premier 2015. I would like another user to be restricted to certain Vendors and Accounts on the P&L. This person is in charge of A/P, but I want to restrict some A/R accounts. Is this possible?

    Reply
  20. I set the restriction on an employee not be be able to delete anything in Quickbooks Pro 14 but now everything on her desktop is gone, What happened and can I retreive them?

    Reply
    • Hi Vic,

      That sounds stressful. So what do you mean about everything on her desktop is gone? Do you mean the QuickBooks company file? Or she can get into the file but transactions are gone? Or that the home screen is gone? Please provide more details/examples.

      Reply
  21. Is it possible to allow somebody access to general payroll but limit access to specific employees’ payroll?

    Enterprise version.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  22. Is there a way to set user permissions so the standard selling price of a product is restricted? Ideally, I would like to have the ability to keep control of adding any new products and making any adjustments to price levels.

    Reply
  23. Is it possible to set up a user profile to enter payroll data (hours basically) without being able to see hourly rates or salaries? Looking to add someone strictly for data entry for payroll but do not want them to be able to see what others wages are.

    Reply
  24. Is it possible to specify what reports a user has access to? Our store front needs access to some of the sales reports but we don’t want them to see all the reports that include payroll information.

    Reply
    • Hi Bev,

      You can’t prohibit specific reports, but you can limit reporting within modules (e.g. allowing sales reports but not payroll reports). You just uncheck Reporting in the modules that you don’t want to allow. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  25. I want to give our Office Manager full access to QuickBooks Pro but not be able to view payroll or salary info. Does that mean I should also select No for Sensitive Financial Reporting? Seems that if I choose No Access to Payroll and Employees, the user could still view sensitive payroll info on the PnL if given Full Access to Sensitive Financial Reporting.

    Would switching to Enterprise help?

    Reply
    • Ryan,

      You can turn off payroll access, but they will still be able to open the employee center. If you turn off access to financial reporting, they won’t be able to view the P&L. If you upgrade to Enterprise, you can set up “roles” that fine tune the access much more closely. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  26. There are a few sales reps in our company, how can we restrict them to view their customer data only but not their colleague?

    Reply
  27. Hello,

    My company wants to setup a user to only receive inventory and make adjustments, but to not see the dollar amounts associated (for some reason). Is that possible?

    Thanks

    Reply
  28. Hello and Help please! I would like to restrict my employee from changing anything that has to do with the chart of accounts. is there a way to lock the chart down so nothing can be added or deleted except for my me?

    Reply
  29. I have wholesale edition 2014. I cant figure out how to write checks without it showing the ending balance in the write check section. My desk is at an angle that if someone is in the room with me and I’m writing them a check they can see my computer screen and see the checking balance.

    Reply
    • Linda,

      If you are using Enterprise Wholesale Edition 2014, you can turn on access to checks, but leave “View Balance” unchecked. If you are using Premier Wholesale Edition 2014, you can give no access to Sensitive Accounting Activities and Sensitive Financial Reporting and the bank balance will be suppressed from view on the check entry window. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  30. I am about to upgrade our QB 2012 edition. I will be adding an additional user for A/P. Is there a way to restrict the user from seeing the bank balance but still allow him to enter bills and pay bills?

    Reply
  31. Hi,
    I wonder if you could help me.
    I have set credit limits for customers and set that person entering sales can’t override limit by allowing sale.
    I would like her to prepare a quote for customer and authorizing sale would depend on supervisor.
    Question is…Is there a way to allow employee to make quotes over credit limit without being able to make an invoice?
    If not, what method do you suggest.

    Reply
  32. Hi Tucker,

    Your blog is pretty helpful to some extent but unfortunately I cannot seem to restrict my sales team from the following.

    I have tried the inventory restrictions and that worked but I faced another problem.

    The whole purpose for restricting the inventory reports was so my sales team cannot see the source of where and how much the company purchases the inventory for.

    Thus, I restricted all access to inventory; however, I faced the problem of the sales user being able to access the item report and from there they have access to the bills of the purchase.

    This access still shows sensitive information to the sales team. Can you please inform me how I can also limit the sales users from seeing all inventory purchase transactions, such as the bills?

    Your help will be much appreciated.

    Waiting for your prompt reply.

    Thank You

    Reply
    • Moe,

      If you are using Enterprise, you should be able to keep users out of the purchasing part and purchasing reports. But if you’re using Pro or Premier, it’s not designed to restrict it that closely. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  33. Hi Shannon

    I have a problem when I close a period in QBs, one of my employees is not able to input transactions AFTER the period close without entering the password each time.

    Any ideas how I can fix this? We use QuickBooks Premier Edition 2015.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Crystalie,

      There is no confusion as to the date format being used, is there? And does this only affect that one user? Sometimes user data gets corrupted and affects data entry in QuickBooks, but I haven’t heard of this particular manifestation. Even so, if it only affects the one user, you might try creating a new username for that user and see if the problem still occurs. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
      • Hi Shannon

        Thanks so much! It actually was the date format as that employee was the only one with a dd/mm/yy format and no one ever noticed!!

        You rock!!

        Crystalie

        Reply
  34. we just got QB 16 enterprise.

    i have 10 salespeople.
    my questions is:

    1. can i allocate specific clients to specific sales person? how
    2. can i restrict each sales person to be able to see his own clients only & be able to make Estimates & SO’s for his/her customers only ? how
    3. bottom line, i want to restrict salespeople from looking into other salespeople accounts.

    Reply
  35. Hi Shannon.
    I am looking for a solution to restrict user access on unclearing cleared banking transactions. I have restrictions setup for altering a closed period (ex 2015), but when I am done reconciling a bank account I need to leave the prior month for another 30 days for payables purposes, and want to ensure that a reconciled bank account does not get altered in any way. Any solution for this? Thank you. Diane

    Reply
    • Hi Diane,

      You can only set up one date to protect access to past transactions — the closing date. There is no date-driven user access restrictions possible. Sorry no magic bullet. Thanks for the question.

      Reply
    • Hi Cassie,

      If you are running Enterprise, you can enable A/P transaction access, but turn off ‘Create Entries’ for the Vendor Center. If you are running Pro or Premier or Accountant, you can’t separate those permissions. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  36. my assisstant is preparing invoices, so i want to restrict him from modification of these invoices once he finished entering any invoice.

    Reply
    • Hi Mansha,

      You can edit your assistant’s user access and on the “Changing or Deleting Transactions” screen, you can click on “No” for the question about giving the ability to change or delete transactions. Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  37. HI, I have QuickBooks Online Plus and I also downloaded at app on my IPhone. How come I can’t see the Inventory Qty on my app?

    Reply

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