Intuit Accountants News Central

Can You Drop(box) QuickBooks®?

Article Post Date
May 20th 2013 by J. Carlton Collins

Q: We use a multiuser version of QuickBooks®, and our remote satellite office personnel log in to my computer remotely using LogMeIn to access the system—which means that only one of us can access QuickBooks at the same time. This also means that when others access QuickBooks in this manner, I can’t use my computer to perform other non-QuickBooks-related work until they are done. To resolve this issue, I am wondering if I save our QuickBooks data file in a Dropbox folder and then share that Dropbox folder with the remote satellite office, can all of us then access the QuickBooks data file at the same time?

A: Nice idea, but sharing your QuickBooks data file via Dropbox will not work because the type of technology used by Dropbox would cause technical problems. Dropbox synchronizes copies of your cloud-based files to all of your computers that access Dropbox, so when you open a file from your Dropbox, you are really opening a copy of that file from your local computer, and Dropbox automatically synchronizes any changes you make to the cloud-based master file. This “file-syncing approach” employed by Dropbox provides two benefits, as follows: (1) Because Dropbox files open locally and not across the internet, they open much faster; and (2) this approach allows users to open their Dropbox files even when they don’t have internet access.

If you were to attempt the solution you describe to access a QuickBooks data file simultaneously, both you and the satellite office personnel would in effect be opening and changing separate synchronized copies of your QuickBooks file from your respective local computers. Thereafter, when Dropbox attempts to synchronize those local file changes with the cloud-based master file, it would encounter syncing problems and, as a result, would create multiple QuickBooks data files—one bearing the original file name and others bearing the original file name followed by the phrase “Conflicted Copy.” (Theoretically, you could share your QuickBooks data file via Dropbox as long as you do not access the QuickBooks data file at the same time, but this approach does not solve your simultaneous access problem.)

It is possible to host your QuickBooks data file in the cloud using other hosting solutions that do not employ Dropbox’s type of file-syncing technology. Intuit offers two hosting programs that enable you to host your QuickBooks data file commercially or to self-host. For more information, refer to Intuit’s “QuickBooks Hosting Program FAQ” article or search for QuickBooks hosting to find a provider in your area.

Editor’s Note: We thank the Journal of Accountancy for permission to reprint this article.

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  • About J. Carlton Collins

    J. Carlton Collins Summary of Selected Positions, Awards & Accomplishments: 1. Honored as one of the CPA Industries Top 25 Thought Leaders by CPA Technology Advisor Magazine 2. Author of the monthly Technology Q&A column for the Journal of Accountancy. 3. Recipient of the AICPA’s Lifetime Technical Contribution to the CPA Profession Award. 4. Editor of Accounting Software News since 1998. 5. Chairman of the Southeast Accounting Show - the South’s largest CPA event. 6. Recipient of the Tom Radcliff Outstanding Discussion Leader Award. 7. Named “Top Ten CPA Technologists” by Accounting Technologies Magazine (multiple years). 8. Named “Top 100 Most Influential CPAs ” by Accounting Technologies Magazine (multiple years). 9. Has personally delivered over 2,000 technology lectures around the world. 10. Recipient of the Outstanding Discussion Leader Award from the Georgia Society of CPAs. 11. Lead author for PPC's Guide to Installing Microcomputer Accounting Systems. 12. Has installed accounting systems for more than 200 companies. 13. Chairperson of the AICPA Technology Conference. 14. Recipient of the ACCPAC Partner of the Year Award. 15. Determined by SAP to be one of the country's "Top Ten Most Influential ERP Systems Consultants". 16. Has delivered keynote and session lectures at dozens of accounting software conferences including seven Microsoft Partner Conferences, five Sage Conferences, and multiple conferences for Epicor, Open Systems, Exact Software, Sage ACCPAC ERP, Dynamics.NAV, Dynamics. AX, SouthWare, Axapta . 17. Has provided consulting services to many computer companies (including Compaq, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Novell, Peachtree, Epicor, Sage Software, Exact, ACCPAC, Intuit, Peachtree, Great Plains, and others). 18. Sworn in as a Certified Public Accountant on September 18, 1985. 19. Member of the American Institute of CPAs since 1985. 20. Member of the Georgia Society of CPAs since 1982. 21. Founder of the Atlanta based PC Advisory Group in 1987. J. Carlton Collins is a Certified Public Accountant with experience in technology, tax, auditing, accounting systems, financial reporting, and bond financing. He is an author, lecturer, and technology & accounting systems consultant. He has published numerous books, articles, and web pages. Mr. Collins is the author of the monthly technology Q&A column for the Journal of Accountancy. As a public speaker, Mr. Collins has delivered more than 2,000 lectures in 44 states and 5 countries addressing more than 500,000 business professionals. His lectures include several dozen keynote lectures at national and international conferences. Key awards include: "AICPA Lifetime Achievement Award", "Tom Radcliffe Outstanding Discussion Leader Award", "GSCPA Outstanding Discussion Leader Award", and "Accounting Technologies' Top Ten CPA Technologists Award". As a consultant, Mr. Collins has assisted 275+ large and small companies with the selection and implementation of accounting systems. Mr. Collins has a Bachelors degree in Accounting from the University of Georgia, is a 25+ year member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Georgia Society of CPAs, and is also a licensed realtor. At the University of Georgia, Mr. Collins was elected President of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, was initiated into the BIFTAD Honor Society, served three years in the Judicial Defender/Advocate program, and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity . At Glynn Academy High School, Mr. Collins was Senior Class President, Class Valedictorian (1 of 6), and received a principle nomination to Annapolis Naval Academy. Mr. Collins has been married for 27 years and has two children. He devotes his leisure time to family, travel, tennis, fishing, snow skiing, and riding motorcycles (both dirt and street). Mr. Collins is president of his home owners association, participates in the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful program, and volunteers for Cooperative Ministries food drive. As an auditor Mr. Collins has audited businesses in the areas of health care, construction, distribution, automobile dealerships, insurance, manufacturing, and general business. Mr. Collins' tax experience includes corporate, individual, partnership, fiduciary, and estate tax planning work. In the area of finance, Mr. Collins has prepared (or assisted in preparing) feasibility studies and financial forecasts for nearly 300 projects seeking more than $3 billion in startup capital, including field work for 80 of those projects. Mr. Collins is familiar with bond issues, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and conventional financing matters. In 1992, Mr. Collins contributed and demonstrated more than 500 pages of suggested design improvements to the Microsoft Excel development team - and many of those improvements are found in Excel today. See all of J. Carlton's articles…

    You can also visit J. Carlton's Website

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