Having recently converted from Peachtree to QuickBooks, we wanted to add an additional person on QB so that both our accountant, and our CFO could work in QB at the same time. We started out sharing the data file from the CFOs computer, but that bogged things down.
The solution is a “server”…. which runs the QuickBooks Database Manager program. We repurposed an older but reliable HP workstation by installing a fresh copy of Windows 7. Then, we ran the QuickBooks installation program from their support link.
While it looks as if you are installing the full QuickBooks program, an initial screen asks what kind of installation you want:
- Use QuickBooks on this machine, and access a company file stored elsewhere on the network
- Use QuickBooks on this machine and host the company file for others on the network
- Host the company file on this machine, but access it from Quickbooks on other machines
By choosing the hosting option, the installation program will install the QuickBooks Database Manager program only, on your server machine.
Assuming you are not on a domain network, (i.e. your users’ machines are set to be a workgroup) you need to create user accounts on the server machine which match the Windows 7 user accounts that users use to log into their personal workstations. This will allow people to connect to the server machine using their usual account name, without having to enter it a second time.
Set up the data folder
Create a folder on the server machine to hold the QuickBooks company file. Copy the company file into that folder.
This needs to be a shared folder on the network. The QuickBooks file doctor program will turn on folder sharing, and make the folder accessible. Download and run this program on the server.
At this point, you have the company file loaded on the server. Now, run the QuickBooks database manager program. This will ask you for your company folder so it can find the company file.
Note that the database manager runs as a background service, so you can exit the program, and the file will still be available to the network.
Now you can go to each workstation, and access the file over the network. I edited the opening QuickBooks screen to show just the networked copy of the file. The next time the user starts QuickBooks, it should automatically open the file without requiring a Windows network log in. Of course, the QuickBooks log in is still required.