Intuit is in a process of reinforcing existing security features designed to help protect QuickBooks Desktop customers’ sensitive information. As part of that effort, Intuit recently implemented an update for all supported versions of QuickBooks Desktop software to address a security vulnerability which included updated password controls to verify that the person attempting to access an account was authorized. That update had no impact on QuickBooks Desktop for Mac or QuickBooks Online.
Intuit has also begun making another security update to the QuickBooks Desktop's Accountant Copy File Transfer (ACFT) Service, requiring Intuit to temporarily take the ACFT service off-line. Intuit has reported that the work to the ACFT Service is expected to be complete by May 20, 2016. When the ACFT Service comes back On-line:
- Users will need to be on the latest update of QuickBooks Desktop to be able to use the service. This means being on the latest update of: 2014 (R11), 2015 (R9), 2016 (R5).
- For users on 2014 (R11), 2015 (R9) or 2016 (R5), any files uploaded before the maintenance period will be available to both the users and their Accountant.
- Customers on unsupported versions of QuickBooks Desktop will not be able to send or receive Accountant’s copy files, or access previously uploaded files. This includes QuickBooks Desktop 2013 customers and earlier.
Intuit is reminding users that, "While the ACFT service is undergoing maintenance, if you need to send QBX, QBY files, please ensure that you use secure ways of exchanging these files." Intuit recommends one of the two following methods for sharing such files:
- Share your files via email or a cloud-based file hosting service (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). In order to do this securely, you first need to encrypt your file and protect it with a password before attaching it to the email or uploading it. There are multiple free and commercial solutions (e.g., WinZip) that will encrypt a file for you. Once you encrypt your files, you should communicate the password over the phone or via text to the recipient.
- Share your files via physical media (flash drive, CD).