QuickBooks Desktop is an accounting software launched in 1992 and it has since been one of the top choices for small businesses.
Currently, QuickBooks Desktop offers four desktop editions: QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Desktop Premier, QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise, and QuickBooks Desktop Accountant. These editions vary in the number of users, prices, and available features.
On the other hand, security features ensure that only authorized and authenticated devices and users gain access to applications and resources. Security features are built into software operating systems, and accounting software like QuickBooks desktop.
You can reset passwords for QuickBooks admin and other users to make your account more secure and safe.
Also Read: QuickBooks general ledger.
Security Features on QuickBooks Desktop
On the QuickBooks Desktop, data can be backed up manually by the user. Better still, the user can set up automatic data backup, allowing the system to handle all backups. Data backup is essential as it helps to prevent data loss. You should consider creating a backup copy of all company files before you either import data, uninstall the software, upgrade to another version or transfer the software to another computer.
Data Backup on QuickBooks Desktop
- Locate the File menu and then select backup data.
- Determine the backup location, either the default location (local hard drive) or alternative location (removable media or network drive).
- Once the location and file name is entered, click on backup, and finally, finish.
Restoring a Backup
- Go to the File menu and select company operations.
- Click on restore from backup in the Start company window and then click Next.
- Choose the location you want to restore from (i.e., your backup location, either default location or an alternative location).
- Once the backup file is found, click on next and then Close.
2. Audit Trail
If multiple users can access your QuickBooks, then this feature is essential. Audit trail is a security feature that allows you to see whoever makes changes to data files. This way, nothing is done without the admin user’s knowledge or the accountant. This feature keeps a record of all activities, including all changes made to specific financial transactions. The audit trail feature cannot be turned off by any user. So, every login detail and activity is documented for your review.
Accessing Audit Trial on QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise
- On the top menu bar, locate reports and click on them.
- Select accounts & taxes and then, click on the audit trail.
- To customize your report, check the report screen and click on customize the report.
- Go to the filter tab and select any transaction type of your choice.
- Select the invoice and then click Ok.
- Finally, you can filter the dates.
3. Closing Date Password
At the end of every financial year, QuickBooks Desktop gives you the option to close your books. This way, users cannot make changes to previous books without the closing date and password. The password can only be removed or edited by the admin user.
Setting a Closing Date and Password in QuickBooks Desktop for Windows
- Go to the company menu, and select a closing date.
- Then, choose the set date/password.
- Fill out the closing date and the closing date password.
- Finally, click on Ok.
4. User Roles
With QuickBooks Desktop (desktop Enterprise), admin users can define and adjust user roles. You can either add/invite QuickBooks users to a specific role or manage the functions accessible by users who do not use QuickBooks but have an Intuit account.
Managing User Roles
The steps below are for adding users who regularly use QuickBooks to a specific role;
- On the company menu, go to users and select users and roles.
- Enter the admin password and then click Ok.
- A user list tab will appear; select New.
- Fill in a user name and password of your choice.
- Available roles will pop up, select the user’s roles and click Add.
- Fill in the user’s email address and click Ok.
- Click Ok again from the confirmation window.
5. Password Security
QuickBooks desktop requires you to use complex passwords for data files that contain sensitive information like credit card numbers and National Insurance number. For more security, the password must be changed every 90 days by the admin user only.
Complex Password Requirement
- Complex passwords must have at least 8-16 characters.
- The password must have at least one upper case character, lower case, and a special character.
- It should have at least one number from 0-9.
- Spaces are not required.
- The password must not contain the username and vice versa.
- An ideal complex password may look like this; AbcDeeF012!_ (a total of 12 characters with at least one uppercase character, lower case character, number, and a special character).
3 Common Security Threats for QuickBooks Accounting and How Cloud Protects
When you think of accounting, you think of QuickBooks.
Catering to over 800M SMB and self-employed users worldwide, QuickBooks is a popular accounting solution preferred by a majority of accountants. Its diverse functionalities are complemented by robust accounting solutions and have entirely revolutionized the accounting industry.
Although QuickBooks’ base features continued to evolve with changing times, traditionally setting it up has its limitations.
When you use QuickBooks by installing it on a local desktop, it may lack the modern security features essential for protecting it against the latest cyberattacks. This makes using QuickBooks quite a risky venture, as it makes your data easily accessible.
However, hosting your QuickBooks on the cloud allows you to mitigate these security threats and keep your data safe.
Let’s look at the various security threats faced by QuickBooks accounting and how the cloud can help in safeguarding it.
Viruses and Malware
Do you still remember that infamous WannaCry malware attack of 2017, which affected thousands of computers worldwide? It impacted 150 countries, causing losses nearing $4 billion.
Viruses and malware are a grave threat to global cyber integrity. Sometimes, there is malware like ransomware that encrypts user data – later extorting money for its recovery, or viruses like Zeus, which hack the targeted bank accounts to carry out illegal transactions. Although various latest antivirus software has been developed to combat their growing emergence, one must be equipped with modern solutions to guard themselves effectively.
And this is where organizations that still employ traditional QuickBooks setup are potentially at significant risk. Most of the firms have terrestrial data systems that are outdated and lack modern solutions. They can be easily targeted by a malware attack, resulting in a tremendous loss of critical data.
However, moving your QuickBooks to the cloud ensures reliable security features for your enterprise and helps guard your data effectively. The cloud is equipped with the latest antivirus/antimalware solutions and is regularly monitored by qualified experts for thwarting any cyberattacks. Moreover, reputed service providers also deploy AI tools for fixing vulnerabilities across the system to protect your data from cyber threats.
Illicit System Access
It is no exaggeration to say that the current world revolves around the Internet. However, this has opened gates for unauthorized access to your data. For instance, doing a simple task such as visiting a website can grant illicit access to your QuickBooks, leaking your private data in the process. Your QuickBooks account can be conveniently accessed without modern solutions via the Internet without your consent.
But when you host QuickBooks on the cloud, it provides a comprehensive solution for all your access worries. To shield your precious data, the hosting provider deploys a reputable firewall and Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS). A firewall actively scans the incoming and outgoing data on a computer connected to the internet. It filters out suspicious IP addresses and blocks illicit access. Similarly, an Intrusion and Detection Prevention System helps alert the network about any hacking attempts.
According to a report, around 77% of data leaks were due to an insider in the past year. From an employee intentionally leaking data to an accidental lapse in security procedure, there are various ways through which data could be illicitly released.
However, most data leaks are for personal gains, with employees playing an active role. This can be quite troublesome for an accounting firm. Accounting firms handle critical financial information like credit card details, personal credentials, and bank statements – failure to protect them can put your client in serious trouble. This can also damage the reputation of your firm and tarnish its public image.
Moving your QuickBooks to the cloud allows you to restrict administrative access and protect your data from illicit employee access. Since everyone accessing QuickBooks on the cloud requires valid authorization, you can limit data visibility accordingly. It allows you to grade your QuickBooks data accessibility as per the role within the organization and keep a check on their activity.
This way, you can avoid what 41% of US companies do, allowing unrestricted access to sensitive data. As all the information hosted on the cloud is stored in distant data servers, even if your local data drives are stolen, crucial data loss is prevented.