QuickBooks Mac backup extension

Round tripping is a term used for the process of sending a QuickBooks for Mac file to an accountant with QuickBooks for Windows. Due to the difference in the type of database that each program uses, there is not an Accountant's Copy feature available in QuickBooks for Mac. As a result, round tripping is sometimes necessary in order for an accountant to make changes to a Mac client's company file.

Starting in QuickBooks for Mac, this is the basic flow:

  1. Client saves a Back Up to QuickBooks for Windows.
  2. Backup file is transferred to the accountant, preferably using a secure transfer method.
  3. The accountant makes changes as needed and uses Copy Company File for QuickBooks Mac, which is then transferred back to the client.
  4. The client restores the back up into QuickBooks for Mac.

Detailed steps are included below, including recommended steps that should be completed in QuickBooks for Mac prior to the transfer.


While QuickBooks for Windows can create a backup for QuickBooks for Mac and vice versa, there are some restrictions:

  1. Be sure your QuickBooks for Mac and your accountant's QuickBooks for Windows are the same year and the latest release for that year. For example if you have QuickBooks for Mac 2015, be sure your accountant is using QuickBooks for Windows 2015. If you use different years, you may have issues updating your file to later versions or round tripping in the future.
  2. CRITICAL: Once you have made the backup for Windows, do not upgrade QuickBooks for Mac either to a newer year, e.g., QBM 2015 to QBM 2016, or to a newer release, e.g., R4 to R5.
  3. You must have the administrator password to complete the roundtrip process.
  4. While the accountant has your file, do not enter data into your Macintosh file. Otherwise, you will have to reenter the data when you receive your file back.
  5. Because QuickBooks for Mac does not have internal payroll, we suggest that you do not process payroll in the QuickBooks for Windows version of the file. The subscription information, payroll settings and payroll data that you enter will be lost when the file is converted back to QuickBooks for Mac. If payroll is to be used in Windows, you will need to enter the service key into company file manually in the QuickBooks for Windows version. If e-filing and/or e-paying taxes and forms, you need complete the e-file setup in the Payroll Setup.
  6. You cannot roundtrip to QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (QBES) because QBES cannot produce a QuickBooks for Mac backup.
  7. Users may be prompted to change password when converting a .qbb file created using QuickBooks Desktop for Mac. If the user or accountant changes the password to meet the QuickBooks Desktop for windows password requirements, they should use the new password created by the accountant to convert the file back to QuickBooks Desktop for Mac.

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