QB for Mac
You shouldn't be concerned about working with client using QuickBooks for Mac....'round-tripping' data exchange between QB-Mac and QB-Windows.
Practice Considerations – Working with your ‘Mac’ Clients
You have had a successful accounting or advisor practice for years, and always been happy with your Windows based computer and QuickBooks desktop versions; but recently some of your clients are starting to move to the Apple ‘Mac’ platform, and may even now be using QuickBooks for Mac, so how are you going to handle this transition in technology?
Don’t panic, or think you have to buy and learn ‘Mac for QuickBooks’, Intuit insured that there would be a ‘process’ whereby their QuickBooks for Mac users could share their data with their accounting professionals who might be using the windows version of QuickBooks. This process of sharing is affectionately known as ‘round-tripping’. In effect ‘round-tripping’ is the process of creating a ‘windows restorable version’ of QuickBooks for Mac data coupled with the process of creating a ‘Mac restorable version’ of QuickBooks for Windows data. While this process is fairly simple in terms of the ‘how to’, there are a few things to remember.
First, the Mac user and Windows user must always be on the same year-version of QuickBooks. If a Mac user has QuickBooks for Mac 2013, the Windows user must have QuickBooks Pro/Premier/Accountant 2013. Second, the files that are exchanged are ‘full copies’ of the data, they are not like an “Accountant’s Copy” or “Accountant’s Change File” with which you may already be familiar. This means that the Mac user cannot continue to work in their file, if the Windows user will be returning the file with changes. Third, because some features found in certain versions of QuickBooks for Windows do not exist in QuickBooks for Mac, not all data may be displayed between versions. Occasionally some technical glitch can occur during the ‘round-trip’; this is why it is always best to make an additional copy of the files before attempting to restore them.
Receiving a file from your QB-Mac Client
Ask your client to ‘verify’ their data before preparing the back-up copy for you. You should also ask them to send copies of a Profit & Loss report, and Balance Sheet, and to select the option for ‘All’ in the date range of each report. You will use these reports to verify that the file you restore matches your clients’ data.
If your client has prepared their file properly, you should receive a QB-windows back-up of their data; the file extension should be .QBB and really it should not seem any different during the restore process than any other QuickBooks back-up file.
Follow these steps in restoring the file:
- Copy or save the file from the file source (flash drive, email attachment, etc.) to your computer.
- Start the same ‘year-version’ of QuickBooks as your client’s QuickBooks for Mac
- From the Menu Bar, select File; then choose Open or Restore Company…
- QuickBooks opens the Open or Restore Company dialog box, select the option to Restore a Backup Copy, then click Next.
- Navigate to the file’s location, highlight the file, and choose Open.
- QuickBooks displays the Open or Restore Company dialog box, select Next.
- QuickBooks displays the Save Company File as dialog box, navigate to the location where you wish to save the file, and click Save
- After QuickBooks restores your file, a dialog box will be displayed advising that you must Update Company File for New Version
- After a few moments another dialog box will appear, asking you to confirm that you will be opening the file in a newer version of QuickBooks, click Yes.
- QuickBooks will continue updating your data, depending on the size of the file; this could take a few minutes. QuickBooks may display a message telling you that your data has been restored successfully, click OK.
- If the client’s file is password protected QuickBooks will display the typical log-in dialog box for you to enter the User account and password your client provided to you. If the client’s file is not password protected QuickBooks opens the file.
- Run a Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet with the dates set to All. Compare these reports with the identical reports your client prepared on their Mac version prior to sending you the file. If these reports match, you can now work with the file like any other QuickBooks for windows file. If they do not match, verify the file from File menu>>Utilities>>Verify Data. (Note if the Verify fails, you will need to examine the QBWin.log and/or Rebuild the data file; always make a backup prior to running the Rebuild utility.)
Returning a file to your QB-Mac Client
After you have completed your work with the file, you can return a copy of the file to your client; however, this file will not update their file if they have been entering data while you had their file. The copy of the file you send them will ‘replace’ their current file. The same comparative reports should be used to insure data integrity between the two QuickBooks formats.
Steps for transitioning a file from QB-Windows to QB-Mac:
- In QuickBooks for Windows prepare a Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet with the dates set to All and forward those to your client along with the file you are about to make.
- From the Menu Bar, select File; then choose Utilities, and select Copy Company File for QuickBooks Mac
- QuickBooks will display a Save Exported Company file to… dialog box. If you are sending the file via flash drive or email, I recommend you save the file to your Computer’s Desktop; this makes copying the file to flash drive, or attaching it to an email easy. (Note: Do not attempt to save the file directly from QuickBooks to a flash-drive since problems can arise during the read-write process.)
- Now you can send the ‘Mac backup’ version of the file to your Client.
- Your client should prepare a backup of their current file, even if they have done no work since sending you the copy of their file, this is a safety copy in case anything goes wrong during the restoration process.
- Your client should now restore the file using normal QB for Mac procedures.
- QuickBooks for Mac will convert the file for use.
- After opening the file, your client should run a Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet with the dates set to All. They need to compare these reports with the identical reports you prepared prior to sending the file back to them. If these reports match, your client can now return to working with this new file. If they do not match, they should verify the file and if needed rebuild their data.
There really is no reason to consider ending a relationship with a client who has migrated to QB for Mac; you don’t have to be a ‘Mac’ expert, or even use Mac at all, because Intuit has provide a valuable method of exchanging data between QuickBooks for Mac and QuickBooks (windows). In most cases the process is simple and without incident; however, this process is intended as an occasional exchange, it is not designed for daily use, such as someone taking work from one format at work to the other format at home on a nightly basis.