To import an accountant’s work prepared in an Accountant’s Copy import file (.QBY), the first step is to receive and save the .QBY file on your computer. Given the small size of most .QBY files, this file is normally transmitted via email.
For background, use of an Accountant’s Copy in QuickBooks is an easy way for a client company to transfer data to a third-party (such as an accountant), have the accountant make changes and return just those changes, and incorporate them with the company file subject to the client’s review. In an article on our blog, we’ve described how a company can easily transfer an Accountant’s Copy export file (.QBX) to us using Intuit’s secure servers. This file could also be delivered via other methods, such as delivery on a flash drive or other physical media. In separate articles, we’ve reviewed how an accountant works with client data received from an Accountant’s Copy and returns that data to a client.
Working with an Accountant’s Copy is essentially a 5 step process:
- client sends an Accountant’s Copy export file (.QBX) to an accountant or third party
- accountant or third party works with the data
- an accountant or third party returns completed work to the client
- client imports changes made by accountant or third party
- resolving problems if the client import fails
Throughout this article, we’ll refer to different file types with similar names. The function of each of these files is very specific. For more information, see our article describing the different file types in QuickBooks.
Here’s a sample message with an Accountant’s Copy import file (.QBY) attached. In Outlook, right click on the attachment, and choose Save As… in the drop down menu. Specify a location, and save the file. Write down the location you specify so you can quickly locate the file when you return to QuickBooks. The exact steps to save an email attachment may vary slightly in your own email client.
Once you’ve saved the file, return to QuickBooks. Click the File->Accountant’s Copy->Import Accountant’s Changes… menu selection. This menu selection will only be available if you have an outstanding Accountant’s Copy.
You’ll see the Incorporate Accountant’s Changes window. Note that these changes are not yet incorporated – you’ll have a chance to review them first.
In this window, you can:
- read the note from your accountant regarding changes made
- review a list of those changes
- print or save a PDF report of those changes
- incorporate those changes into your company file
In this example, we recorded a single change in the .QBA file created from the client’s data, a journal entry. Changes initially appear as single line items, and you can expand (+) or collapse (-) the detail that appears below a transaction by clicking the appropriate indicator to the left of the transaction. If your accountant has recorded more than a few transactions, you can also click the Expand All and Collapse All buttons to perform those tasks on all of the transactions in the .QBY file. At this point, the changes are described as not yet incorporated into your company file. We’ve attached a sample report in PDF format showing the output at this stage.
After completing your review, click the Incorporate Accountant’s Changes button. You’ll see a message that QuickBooks needs to close all windows. Click Ok.
Before incorporating the changes, as a precaution QuickBooks forces you to perform a backup. To proceed and backup your data, click Ok.
QuickBooks will prompt you to specify a file location and name to save the backup file. When the backup is successfully completed, click Ok. QuickBooks will proceed to incorporate the changes recorded in the .QBY file.
When the changes have been incorporated, you’ll see a window reflecting the successful result.
It’s strongly recommended that you click Print or Save as PDF to document the changes made. If you click the Close button before producing a report of the changes, you’ll be cautioned to produce a report first. Click Cancel to return to the previous window to print or save a report. If you ignore the caution and click Ok, you’ll lose any chance to produce a report of the changes that were just incorporated.
To document your work, click either the Print or Save as PDF button. At this point, the changes recorded in in the Accountant’s Copy have been sucessfully incorporated into your company file. We’ve attached a sample of the PDF produced by QuickBooks after this step.