Single-User vs Multi-User Mode in Quickbooks: What’s the Difference?

Quickbooks offers two different hosting modes: single-user and multi-user. As you may have guessed, single-user mode is designed for a single user, whereas multi-user mode is designed for multiple users. If you’re planning to use Intuit’s popular accounting software, you’ll need to determine which mode is right for your business’s needs. Some businesses require single-user mode. Others require multi-user mode. To learn more about the nuances between these two modes, keep reading.

The Basics of Single-User and Multi-User Modes

Single-user and multi-user are the two main types of modes offered in Quickbooks Desktop. These mode types refer to the way in which you — or someone else who works at or for your business — accesses your company file. Single-user mode means that only one user will be able to access your company file. Multi-user mode, conversely, means multiple users will be able to access your company file.

Portable Company Files

If you’re hoping to create one or more portable company files, you’ll need to enable multi-user mode in your Quickbooks account. Portable company files is a feature that’s exclusive to multi-user mode. You can’t create portable company files in single-user mode. Rather, you’ll have to switch to multi-user mode.

Disable Quickbooks Manager

In addition to creating portable company files, multi-user mode also allows you to disable Quickbooks Manager. Quickbooks Manager, of course, is a server feature that allows you to share your company file with other computers. When enabled, you can use this feature to send your company file to other computers on your business’s network. You can disable Quickbooks Manager in multi-user mode.

Manual Payroll

Manual payroll, on the other hand, is only available in single-user mode. If you want to use manual payroll, you’ll need to configure your Quickbooks account to single-user mode. Multi-user mode supports direct deposit payroll — a form of automated payroll — but it doesn’t support manual payroll.

How to Change Between Single-User and Multi-User Mode

Now that you know the differences between them, you might be wondering how to switch between single-user and multi-user mode in Quickbooks. In Quickbooks Desktop, you can change between these two mode types by accessing the “File” menu. From the “File” menu, you should see an option for “Switch to Single-User Mode” or “Switch to Multi-User Mode.” Selecting one of these options will change the mode type.

Did this tutorial work for you? Let us know in the comments section below!

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