How to Link Client’s QBO Books to Firm’s QBOA Account

Written by Randy Johnston

Note: This Guide is designed to be used by client-facing personnel in a firm to help their clients “invite” the firm to be associated with their books. If your firm needs help setting up the firm’s QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) realm (account), Sleeter Group can help you solve QuickBooks Online Accountant problems, or otherwise deal with almost any problem situation inside Intuit.

Randy Johnston is a top rated technology speaker and will be presenting at Accountex 2016 (formerly SleeterCon). Randy will cover hosting—both public and private—in the session, Risks and Rewards of Hosted, On-Premises, and Hybrid Solutions.

Benefits of the client’s QuickBooks Online books being associated with the firm’s QuickBooks Online Accountant account include the following:

  • The firm gets a tool for communicating back and forth with their client through QuickBooks Online Accountant.
  • The firm can use the QuickBooks Online Accountant tools to clean up the client’s bookkeeping with the built-in functionality of QuickBooks Online Accountant.
  • Adjusting entries can be made (e.g., tax adjustments) and data can be exported in tax reports for use in your chosen tax application.
  • The firm can see a summary of key statistics for all of their QuickBooks Online, Intuit Tax Online, and QuickBooks Online Payroll clients, including:
    • Last time books closed
    • Last time bank statement reconciled
    • How many transactions are currently unaccepted in the client’s QuickBooks Online file
    • How many open requests you have for the clients
    • The last time the client logged into QuickBooks Online

We assume the following here:

  1. Your firm has an existing client who is already using QuickBooks Online, and that client’s books are not associated with your firm’s QuickBooks Online Accountant account.
  2. Your firm already has a QuickBooks Online Accountant master/realm account, which is linked to an e-mail account or alias that controls this master account. Intuit recommends something like “[email protected]” where “yourfirm.com” is your firm’s Internet domain. This admin account can centrally control which of your staff have access to your client’s books in QuickBooks Online. You can also revoke all access to all of your client books in a single place if a person leaves your firm for any reason. There’s a separate document that details how to set the QuickBooks Online Accountant account up using Intuit’s best practices for this process.
  3. Your client ALREADY has their books in QuickBooks Online, and those books are not accessible to this QuickBooks Online Accountant master/realm account. (There’s a separate guide on how to set up your firm’s realm in QuickBooks Online Accountant.)
  4. This guide is NOT for use when you are creating/setting up a new company in QuickBooks Online or when you are moving an existing desktop client to QuickBooks Online. There is a separate process that you can do through your QuickBooks Online Accountant account to create those accounts from within QuickBooks Online Accountant, where you automatically have access to them without having to log into the client’s books and perform the steps listed here.

 QuickBooks Online Accountant

 QuickBooks Online Accountant

Note: Make sure to use your work e-mail account for the administrative account for the firm. If you use a staff person’s personal account, and if that person ends their employment with the firm, the clients would still be associated with that PERSONAL e-mail address, and thus the granted access would go with them. DO NOT use GMAIL, AOL, YAHOO, HOTMAIL, or other personal e-mail addresses with your QuickBooks Online Accountant account—it’s a bad idea on multiple levels.

Manage Users

QBOA Accountant's email address

QBOA Accept Invitation

  1. Once the client’s invitation has been accepted, the firm’s QuickBooks Online Accountant administrator can grant access to the firm personnel who need access to the client’s books through the QuickBooks Online Accountant control panel. (There is a separate document from Intuit that explains how to assign access rights to each staff person.)

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About the author

Randy Johnston

Randolph P. (Randy) Johnston, MCS has been a top rated speaker in the technology industry for over 30 years. He was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in 2011. He was selected as a Top 25 Thought Leader in Accounting from 2011-2013. His influence throughout the accounting industry is highlighted once again this year by being a recipient of the 2013 Accounting Today Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting award for the tenth consecutive year. Among his many other awards he holds the honor of being one of nine technology stars in the U.S. by Accounting Technology Magazine. Randy writes a monthly column for The CPA Practice Advisor, articles for the Journal of Accountancy, and creates articles for both accounting and technology publications, as well as being the author of numerous books. He has started and owns multiple businesses including K2 Enterprises in Hammond, Louisiana and Network Management Group, Inc. (NMGI) in Hutchinson, Kansas. In 2010, NMGI announced their national support of CPA firms. His wife and four children enjoy many experiences together including theatre, music, travel, golf, skiing, snorkeling and model trains.

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