Our blog

Intuit QuickBooks Best Practices for Multi-User Mode and Company File Corruption

We recently assisted a client whose QuickBooks Enterprise company file was corrupted and sensitive data (credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.) was missing or corrupted. They were using QuickBooks in multi-user mode, and possibly after a QuickBooks update and/or an Admin password change, all the users became unable to access certain data in the company file once they signed in. Concise was able to restore an off-site copy (from Evergreen Backup) of the company file before corruption. Interestingly, after deleting and re-creating all the users within QuickBooks, the missing / corrupted sensitive data was able to be retrieved.


1.  “QuickBooks found a problem with the Customer: Job Credit Card Number field for {Customer Name}.  This field contains sensitive information and must be fixed.”

2.  “QuickBooks found a problem with the Employee Social Security Number Number field for {Employee Name}.  This field contains sensitive information and must be fixed.”

This issue is a common known bug and was most likely caused by a QB update that enforced an encryption policy, which then produced an encryption error that happens after changing the Admin password. Since the password is used as a key to encrypt sensitive data, a change in the password and resulting re-encryption sometimes fails.  This is issue is known by Intuit, but not all of their support representatives are keen on the solution.  This problem results in data loss for some or all of the encrypted data in the file, and there is no way to restore it except to use a backup prior to when this issue occurred.

Best practices for using QuickBooks in Multi-User mode:
1. Open the QuickBooks Application (In other words, do not open the company file from a shortcut to a .QBW data file!)
2. File > Open or Restore Company > Open a company file > Select company file > Open
3. Shutting down: File > Close Company/Logoff (As opposed to using the X in the top right hand corner of the screen)
(Improperly shutting down the company file may result in data loss!)
4. Exit QuickBooks

Important to note:

  • QuickBooks should never be left open overnight or even for long periods of inactivity, as this increases the chances of data corruption.
  • When a company file is being used in muti-user mode, the first person that opens the company file is the most important user (according to Intuit technical support representatives). If that user’s QuickBooks session crashes, a data integrity check must be performed ASAP. Also, if the integrity check fails, it is recommended to restore the most recent version of the company file, minimizing lost entries.

Concise is here to help you in the unfortunate case of a corrupted QuickBooks company file.

by: Daniel Lin