QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is an absolute must for any bookkeeper or accountant providing services to clients that use QuickBooks Desktop Pro or Premier. In addition to an impressive set of tools to review client records, this special QuickBooks for accountants can toggle between Pro, Premier, and industry-specific editions.
QuickBooks Desktop users provide a copy of their QuickBooks file to their accountant by creating an “Accountant’s Copy.” QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is the only software that can import the “accountant’s copy,” so it is imperative that you have it to support your QuickBooks Desktop clients.
Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Accountant Desktop
Accountant Toolbox helps find client errors and make adjustments at year-end
Cannot access the program remotely without third party software
Accountant Copy allows easy file sharing from clients
Only allows one user at a time to access company file
Open client files from previous-year edition of QuickBooks Pro or Premier
More difficult to access client books than QuickBooks Online Accountant
Includes Fixed Asset Manager
Ability to toggle between all QuickBooks desktop editions
Includes QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor membership
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Pricing
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is only available with the purchase of a QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor membership. The Premier membership costs $449 per year and includes QuickBooks Accountant Desktop, which will support your clients that use the desktop versions of Pro, Premier, and any of the industry-specific editions of Premier.
ProAdvisor Premier Software Bundle
$449 per year
Maximum Users Allowed
QuickBooks Desktop Training and Certifications
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Plus
Unlimited Customer Support
Payroll Processing for Accountants
QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll for Accountants Pricing
You can prepare payroll, enter after-the-fact payroll, make tax deposits, and file payroll tax returns for up to 50 clients with one subscription to QuickBooks Enhanced Payroll for Accountants. You’ll pay $615 per year plus $1.75 per direct deposit. This is far less expensive than other options like Intuit Online Payroll for Accountants, which costs between $45 and $14.50 per client per month for 50 clients, plus an additional $1.50 per employee.
Who QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Is Right For
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is the best small business accounting software for bookkeepers and accountants who need robust options like payroll services and the ability to generate reports for specific industries. Businesses that would benefit most from QuickBooks Accountant Desktop include:
- Bookkeepers with clients using QuickBooks Desktop: For less than the cost of a client version of QuickBooks Premier, bookkeepers and accountants get access to valuable features for sharing and troubleshooting client books.
- Bookkeepers that provide on-site assistance: The software lets you log-in through your client’s QuickBooks Desktop program to gain immediate access to the special tools included in your QuickBooks Accountant Desktop subscription.
- Bookkeepers wanting access to industry-specific reports: You can toggle to any industry-specific edition of QuickBooks Premier to provide clients with reports they may not have access to in their version of QuickBooks.
- Bookkeepers that provide payroll services: QuickBooks Accountant Desktop enables you to provide full-service payroll to up to 50 clients for only $615 per year plus $1.75 per direct deposit.
Who Should Choose a Different Accounting Software
It’s tempting for a company to purchase QuickBooks Accountant Desktop for its own use due to the slightly lower price. However, there are several reasons it might not be the right choice for companies other than bookkeeping firms.
- Allows only one user: QuickBooks Accountant Desktop only allows one user at a time to access a company file. This is problematic for companies with multiple accountants in their accounting department.
- Payroll is more expensive: Payroll for a single company can be added to QuickBooks Premier for $450 per year, which is cheaper than the $615 per year charged to users of the accountant version.
- Additional features aren’t useful: The special features in the accountant version allow an accountant to transfer, review, and adjust a client’s accounting records. These features aren’t useful to an in-house bookkeeper and can create confusion.
Alternatives to QuickBooks Accountant Desktop
Bookkeepers supporting clients that use QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise Edition
Bookkeepers supporting clients that use QuickBooks Online
Non-bookkeeping companies looking for desktop software to keep their own books
Non-bookkeeping companies looking for cloud-based software to keep their own books
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop Key Features
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop contains several features that make it easier to transfer and access your clients’ QuickBooks company files:
- Open Pro & Premier files: The program can open your client’s company files from either Desktop Pro or Premier without changing the format of the file.
- Open prior-year files: QuickBooks Desktop can open client files from the immediately preceding year without updating the file. This way, your client can still access the file with their older version of QuickBooks.
- Toggle editions: You can toggle between the following versions of QuickBooks Desktop:
- Open Accountant’s Copy: Clients create an Accountant’s Copy to share their QuickBooks Data. They specify a dividing date, usually the end of the most recent period. Only the client can work on transactions after the dividing date, and only the accountant can work on transactions prior to the dividing date. You can send your changes to the client when your review is complete.
- Access Accountant’s Toolbox on-site: Instead of a client sending their QuickBooks information, you can visit them at their site and activate the Accountant’s Toolbox from within your client’s QuickBooks program using your Intuit username and password.
The Accountant Toolbox included in QuickBooks Accountant Desktop provides great features for reviewing and adjusting clients’ QuickBooks files. The Toolbox enables users to:
- Access the Accountant Center: Your Accountant Center provides quick access to many of the features included in your toolbox.
- Troubleshoot prior account balances: The Toolbox lets users compare the prior-year balances in a client’s QuickBooks file to what they should be based on the actual prior-year numbers that you input. The system will then prepare a proposed adjusting entry that you can accept.
- Bulk reclassify transactions: Instead of making a journal entry when a client repeatedly makes a classification error, you can specify criteria to locate the suspect transactions. You can then select the individual transactions to reclassify and perform the bulk reclassification with one click.
- Prepare a working trial balance: You can view your client’s books as a working trial balance, including a column for workpaper references.
- Bulk write off invoices: Accountant Toolbox lets users specify criteria to generate a list of invoices to review. After reviewing, you can perform a bulk write off by indicating the appropriate invoices and clicking one button.
- Fix incorrectly recorded sales tax: Use this tool to identify and correct instances where your client recorded the payment of sales tax without using the “pay sales tax” feature of the program.
- Fix incorrectly recorded payroll tax: Similar to the sales tax feature, you can find and correct instances of your client recording payroll tax payments without using the “pay payroll tax” feature.
- Merge vendors: If clients accidentally create duplicate vendor accounts, you can merge all their transactions into a single vendor.
- Batch enter transactions: You can input a large number of transactions very quickly using a spreadsheet-like interface. This is much quicker than entering checks or other transactions through the normal screens.
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop vs QuickBooks Online Accountant
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is included with the ProAdvisor Premier membership for $449 per year and is used to support clients that use any of the QuickBooks Desktop Pro, Premier, and industry-specific editions of Premier. See our QuickBooks desktop comparison guide for more information about the desktop programs available to your clients.
QuickBooks Online Accountant is included with the free basic ProAdvisor membership. QuickBooks Online Accountant is necessary to service clients that use any of the QuickBooks Online products, but also includes all the features of QuickBooks Online Plus for keeping your firm’s books.
Bookkeepers and accountants need both QuickBooks Accountant Desktop and QuickBooks Online Accountant if they have some clients that use desktop products and some clients that use online products. Read QuickBooks Online vs Desktop for a complete comparison of the desktop and online products available to your clients.
QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is the accounting software that every bookkeeper and accountant should have to service their QuickBooks Desktop clients. It includes comprehensive tools to import your client’s data file, review the file for errors, and make adjustments.
If you have clients that use QuickBooks Desktop, then you need QuickBooks Accountant Desktop. QuickBooks Accountant Desktop is part of a QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor membership for $449 per year that will provide education and tools to expand your QuickBooks Desktop practice. Visit QuickBooks to start your ProAdvisor membership today.