Quickbooks Multiple Entity Management

Robert Breedlove's Profile

Can I Have Multiple Companies In QuickbooksI currently manage two company files within Quickbooks Pro 2012 which cannot be open simultaneously. This makes for a frustrating and time consuming user experience. We are now in the process of setting up another entity, and I know more headaches await me should I try and manage three company files in this manner. Any suggestions for a better way to manage multiple entities in a Quickbooks environment?

Editor's Discussion Summary:
  • QuickBooks Enterprise is a common choice for multiple entity management.
  • QB Accountant or QB Professional Bookkeeper versions allow 2 entities to be open at the same time.
  • Consideratins before upgrading to higher levels of QuickBooks
  • If consolidations are required, investigate further before upgrading
  • Some have added a two digit entity code to the account numbers as a work-around
  • Some favor NetSuite, other higher versions of QuickBooks
  • Plus much more below!

Read a little more below and then take a look at this discussion comparing QuickBooks Pro:vs Premier https://www.proformative.com/questions/quickbooks-pro-vs-premier


Member's Profile

Robert, Typically for multiple entities, QuickBooks Enterprise is the choice, but in your case, just needing to open two companies, you might consider the accountant's version of QuickBooks which will allow you to work in two different companies at the same time.

Member's Profile

Robert, take a look at this free report here on Proformative:

"When Is The Right Time To Graduate From QuickBooks?:"

Enjoy.... Sarah

Member's Profile

Hello Robert,
You would need either QB Enterprise, QB Accountant or QB Professional Bookkeeper versions to have 2 entities open at the same time. Enterprise is very similar to the regular QB versions, but can accommodate more transaction volume and has an included fixed assets module. If your accountant is a ProAdvisor, he can get you a 20-30% discount on most of these products.
I hope this helps.

Topic Expert
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Tier One Services, LLC


I am delighted to share with you that in the Premier Accountant Edition, Professional Bookkeeper Edition, and Enterprise Edition, two files may in fact be open at once.

Obviously this necessitates an upgrade, but the headaches would be minimized.

I also experienced this with clients who manage multiple entities, and I myself manage multiple entities.

Other thoughts:
(1) Before you upgrade, check online for the restrictions placed upon a secondary file. For example, payroll functions can only be used in the primary file, not the file that you happened to open second, i.e. the secondary file.

(2) Since you have three companies and not two, consider an upgrade in which two of your files are moved up to QuickBooks 2013 Premier Accountant Edition and one file is retained in QuickBooks Pro 2012. This will enable you to have all three open at once.

(3) If your office environment includes a terminal server, you can have one file open on the terminal server and two files open locally, or vice versa.

All of the above techniques have been effective for me in managing three QB files simultaneously.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any follow-up questions, concerns, or great ideas.


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Hi Jaimie,
Do you know if QB 2014 Premier Non-Profit supports opening two files or only Premier Accountant version?

Many thanks,

Member's Profile

You don't state whether your situation involves consolidations.

I recently had an experience with a QB client needing to set up multiple entities under a single parent. While only QB Enterprise supports consolidation, I was able to do a workaround using classes. This was made rather straightforward as the subsidiaries were simple, uncomplicated affairs. Most of the complicated accounting was done at the parent level.

If you don't need to consolidate entities, I agree with the previous comments. Upgrading to QB Premier/Accountant 2013 should get the job done.

Proformative Advisor
Member's Profile

I successfully managed 6 entities within a single parent company in QB Enterprise (QB Pro would have been just fine) by adding a two digit entity code to the account numbers. This was much easier than having 6 different QB instances. See more at: https://www.proformative.com/questions/consolidating-foreign-entities-using-quickbooks.

Member's Profile

Hi, did you add two digits at the end or at the beginning of the account numbers? Is there any site/resource to explains how this works? I am planning to have three entities under a single parent company. Thank you.

Member's Profile

Question to all - would upgrading to QB's Cloud version help in a multiple company environment? I manage 3 entities in QB's Premier 2011 and also have occasional issues with more than 1 user trying to access one of the companies and then having the other user get blocked out when they try to switch companies. QB's in the cloud seems to have some real benefits but it's clearly more expensive than just housing it on our server. Would going to the cloud also make a multiple company environment more easily managed? I'm just trying to gather up the pro's and con's for moving to the cloud...
Thank you in advance for any advice you all may provide...

Proformative Advisor
Member's Profile

We just migrated from QB Online to NetSuite. I was hired at the time of the migration, but my limited experience with QB Online led me to conclude that I would not use QB Online for anything but a small mom/pop or consulting company given limited features, reporting, and performance. Going to the cloud would solve the problem of multi-user access, however, I'm would test (or review the features) QB Online before making a commitment.

Member's Profile

Hi, I just saw this old post and wonder if your opinion has changed since then.

Also, I am confused because in this post you seem to conclude that QB is not a good solution but in your prior post you relate being successful at managing several entities by using the 2-digit entity trick.
Could you clarify?

Member's Profile

I have successfully used QB Enterprise to manage over 80 different entities with various levels of consolidation.
Depending upon the specific needs of the entities, it can be done two different ways. One is to use classes for entities under a parent so that you have the simplicity of a single GL.
The other way is to maintain separate GLs for each entity. Each entity is set it up using a uniform chart of accounts. For eliminating entries, I created a separate QB file for the eliminating balances. I use the 'Combine reports from multiple entities' feature in QB Enterprise to get a consolidated set of financials at the touch of a button.

Member's Profile

for managing six entities, I understand adding a two-digit entity code to the account numbers. How were you able to get good management reports including P&L by entity?

Member's Profile

Hi Robert,

You should use either Quickbooks Enterprise or Quickbooks accountant or Quickbooks professional, as everyone said enterprise is very similar to the regular QB versions, you can hire any expert of Quickbooks who can manage multiple files at the same time.

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