Just Purchased QuickBooks?

I often get the question, “I just purchased QuickBooks, so what do I do next?”

1 – Install the software on a test computer, preferably a new computer that meets High Performance System Requirements with a fresh operating system installation.

  • XP Professional SP2, Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate Operating Systems, Win 7 Pro or Ultimate
  • 2.0GHz or faster processor
  • 2GB or more of RAM for XP, 4GB or more of RAM for Vista or Win 7
  • 5GB or more free hard drive space
  • Conflicting software applications must be shutdown and removed from client computers
  • In a multiuser QuickBooks 2007/8 configuration, each computer must have a gigabit network interface, connected to a gigabit switch, using gigabit certified cables and/or data drops

2 – Learn as much as you can about QuickBooks starting with the “Learning Center Tutorials”. Select “View the Tutorial” from “QuickBooks Coach” or “Help” then “Learning Center Tutorials”

3 – Setup a prototype company file to look as close to your company as possible, install add on and third party software

4 – If your requirements include QuickBooks Multi User, review how you want to install your computer systems and network .

5 – Write a step by step plan to deploy QuickBooks in your company. Include not only computer systems and QuickBooks installation, but also who will do what task and the training and transition to go live.

6 – Create and test your production company file on your test computer using a single Company Files folder to contain all of your company files. This might be a good time to get a QuickBooks Pro Advisor involved

7 – Execute your plan to install your production environment, install your computer systems and network, install QuickBooks software, test network access to QuickBooks with each computer using a demo company file

8 – Stop using your current accounting system, transfer data from your old system into your new QuickBooks system using your test computer. Make a copy of your “Company Files Folder” to serve as a temporary backup.

9 – Copy all of the contents of your “Company Files Folder” into the folder that is your production shared company files folder.

10 – Setup all addons and links, storing databases like “QuickBooks Shipping Manager” and “QuickBooks Loan Manager” in your production shared company files folder.

11 – Configure and test an Automated Off Site Backup

12 – Go live and start enjoying QuickBooks

Are You Ready For QuickBooks Multi User?

Visit painlessquickbooks.com to find out.

QuickBooks Database Manager Stops Working

While on the QuickBooks Online Community the other day, I took the opportunity to answer a particularly difficult question concerning QuickBooks Multi User and Microsoft Server 2003 that has plagued systems people for awhile.

QUESTION:

I have the Database Server Manager running on a Windows 2003 server. It seems that when ever I use Remote Desktop to access the server, it causes the Database Manger to stop working. I have to physically go to the server, log into QuickBooks…change it to Single User mode… close out of it… go back in and change it back to Multi-User mode and exit the program. Then I start the Database Server Manager.. have it scan for company files and it’s working again.

Is this a setting I have missed that causes this to stop working?

Has anyone else experienced this issue before?

MY ANSWER:

“Is this a setting I have missed that causes this to stop working?”

You’ve probably not missed anything.

“Has anyone else experienced this issue before?”

I’ve repeatedly had this problem on Server 2003, to the point that I’ve developed a standard workaround.

You will need to configure this from a console session using either a keyboard/mouse/monitor, remote desktop using “%windir%\system32\mstsc.exe /console” or VNC to the console. Then, remember to always manage this server from a console session.

Use the “administrator” user to login to the desktop.

Remove or turn off any firewall software on the server.

Configure the server to automatically logon as the “administrator” user to the desktop using TweakUI or regedit.

Configure the desktop to go to a screensaver and be password protected on resume. This will lock the desktop after the wait time passes, securing your server.

Install a completely updated full version of QuickBooks to the server.

Open the company file then logon as Admin. Set QuickBooks to Host Multi-user access, and then close QuickBooks.

Restart the server, remove the keyboard/mouse, watch the monitor to test the auto logon to the desktop, and then remove the monitor.

Open QuickBooks on a client computer. Confirm that Host Multi-user access is turned off. Confirm that any firewall software is turned off. Then, open the company file to test network access to QuickBooks.

Your QuickBooks environment will stabilize.

If you are concerned about security, locking the desktop will secure the server’s administrator desktop. Remember to disconnect a console RDP session, not log off. Also, firewalls belong on your gateway to the Internet device. Your real-time anti-virus/anti-malware software on your client computers will deal with any security issues that might get past the hardware firewall on your network without having the local client computer’s firewall software turned on.

Are You Ready For QuickBooks Multi User?

Visit painlessquickbooks.com to find out.

Get More From Your New PC

Get Windows 7 when it is released later this year.

For a limited time, receive a 15% discount on Open Software Assurance or Open Value Software Assurance attached to new PCs equipped with Windows Vista Business. This offer will allow you to save on Software Assurance today, while giving you the rights to Windows 7 when it is released.

Attach Software Assurance to a PC purchase (within 180 days) for 15% off and gain the rights to Windows 7 when it is released.

Add Software Assurance to your new PC within 180 days of purchase to receive the discount.

Ask about this offer when you purchase a new pc. Or, contact me before the end of June. This offer expires on July 3. 2009.