Can You Download Quickbooks On A Mac

The most common way we receive QuickBooks data from clients is via QuickBooks backup files (or .QBB files), so we’ve provided some short, simple instructions for how to send us this type of file. And if you’re interested, at the bottom of the page you can also dig into the details of why .QBB files are by far the most common type of file we work with (as opposed to .QBW or .QBA files).

I have QuickBooks installed on my Mac and on Windows. It works just like Windows or you can actually run it as an app on your Mac without booting the Windows desktop. It’s your choice. It works perfectly, just like on a PC. So, if you want to be a Mac user, and you should IMHO, don’t let QuickBooks or Quicken keep you from making the switch. Select the version you want to download – QuickBooks Mac Desktop 2019. Already Downloaded? Get the latest updates. Release: Release 8(R8).

Note: If you use QuickBooks Online, click here for instructions on how to send us your data. The instructions below only apply to desktop versions of QuickBooks.

Creating a QuickBooks Backup File

Creating a .QBB File in QuickBooks for Windows

Mac users who want to (or have to) use Intuit’s QuickBooks have plenty of choices—we can run the Mac, Windows, or Web app version. One of those options probably pops out as an obvious choice, but. Typically, we ask that clients send us an 'Accountant's Copy' of their QuickBooks data. However, Mac OSX users need to follow a slightly different process. The following walkthrough is done in QuickBooks Pro 6. The process will be similar for all recent QuickBooks versions but some of the wording may be slightly different.

  1. Open your QuickBooks company file
  2. In the upper-left corner of the program window, choose File → Back Up Company → Create Local Backup.
  3. In the new window, make sure the radio button next to Local backup is selected, then click Next. If a new window appears called Backup Options, click Browse, and choose a location to save your backup file to that you’ll remember. Click OK.
  4. In the next window, make sure the radio button next to Save it now is selected, then click Next. Save the file.

You have now created a .QBB file you can send to your accountant.

Creating a .QBB File in QuickBooks for Mac

  1. Open your QuickBooks company file
  2. In the upper-left corner of the program window, choose File → Back Up to QuickBooks for Windows. Choose the name of your company file and click Save.
  3. In the Apply Password window, enter a password for the file if you wish to have one. We’ll need this password to open your file later.
  4. If you want to see the location of the file you’ve just saved, click the Show File in Finder button in the last window.

You have now created a .QBB file you can send to your accountant.

Sending Us the Backup File

Our favorite way to receive QuickBooks backup files is in-person delivery at our office on a flash drive or CD-ROM. Our next-best alternative is to receive documents using our encrypted file-sharing service, ShareFile. If you need help figuring out how to use ShareFile, we have a page to provide help here. Note that we will also need the administrator password for the .QBB file to restore it on our end.

Why We Generally Use QuickBooks Backup Files

We use QuickBooks backup files most frequently because backup files can work between different versions of QuickBooks. This is true both for versions of QuickBooks from different years and versions of QuickBooks designed for Mac versus Windows. A more detailed explanation of this reasoning follows below.

Understanding How QuickBooks Updates

It’s important to understand that there are two different ways to “update” QuickBooks; this will provide context for why your accountant may often have such trouble getting your files to open on his or her computer.

One type of updating is when you download updates for your particular version of QuickBooks (often for things like bug fixes and security updates). These are the updates that are free after you’ve purchased the product. You download them from within the QuickBooks program, and they are often called things like “R2” or “R17.”

The other type of updating QuickBooks is purchasing the latest version of the QuickBooks software from Intuit. Intuit releases a new version of QuickBooks each year, often with a few new bells and whistles. And their idea is that business owners should purchase a new QuickBooks product every year.

This second type of updating often doesn’t make much sense financially for business owners, so many just don’t do it (which is completely fine, as long as Intuit still supports the software). The only negative result of not buying a new product every year tends to be the annoyance of trying to get your file to work for your accountant at tax time, since Intuit hasn’t made sure that QuickBooks files from different versions of the program are compatible with each other.

So for example, if you have QuickBooks 2017, your accountant has QuickBooks 2019, and you try to send your accountant a copy of your company file (the one with the .QBW extension), your accountant may not be able to open the file because your version of QuickBooks may be too old compared to his or hers.

Understanding QuickBooks File Types

If you understand the different types of files the QuickBooks program creates, you can make sure your accountant won’t have trouble using your QuickBooks file. Pay special attention to the differences between the file extensions for different types of files. Often the extension at the end of the file’s name will be the only clue to let you know if your accountant can even use your QuickBooks data in its current form.

QuickBooks Company File

Quickbooks Online Download

This is a regular, vanilla QuickBooks file. When you open QuickBooks and record your day-to-day transactions, you’re making changes to this type of QuickBooks file. It has the extension .QBW, meaning that if your business is called ABC Company, your QuickBooks company file might be called something like ABC_Company.qbw. If you have the latest version of QuickBooks (QuickBooks 2019 as of this writing) and you are a Windows user, sending us the .QBW file is an OK way to send us your data (though if you are in this situation, sending us an Accountant’s Copy is a bit better, see below).


If you choose to provide us your QuickBooks data as a .QBW file, we will generally need to know a password to the file to use your data (often your administrator password).

QuickBooks Accountant’s Copy File

Quickbooks Desktop Pro 2020 Mac

This is a special type of file Intuit has created for sharing your QuickBooks data with your accountant. It has one of two extensions, either .QBX or .QBA. If you have the latest version of QuickBooks (again, QuickBooks 2019 as of this writing) or a year older and you are a Windows user, sending us this type of file is a good way to send us your data.

There are two main benefits to you if you provide us with your data this way instead of in a .QBW or .QBB file. First, you can set a password just for your accountant to use this file, which is nice if for any reason you don’t feel comfortable providing your accountant with your administrator password. And second, QuickBooks has some features specific to this type of file that help facilitate any changes your accountant might need to make to your data, including a “dividing date” feature that helps ensure you and your accountant don’t make conflicting changes to your QuickBooks data while your accountant is working with the file.

The big caveat, on the other hand, is that this system doesn’t work if you don’t buy a new QuickBooks product every year, and it doesn’t work if you use QuickBooks for Mac. This is why we don’t often use .QBA files, even though their intended purpose is specifically for clients to share their data with us; it’s just not very common for a client’s version of QuickBooks to be compatible with our own.

QuickBooks Backup File

Unlike any other type of QuickBooks file, backup files tend to function as the lingua franca of QuickBooks. What we mean by this is that if you the client create a backup file using your version of QuickBooks (maybe it’s QuickBooks 2017), we can restore that backup file using the version of QuickBooks we have on our system (as of this writing we use QuickBooks 2019). Note that if you use QuickBooks for Mac, then this is the only way you can provide us with a copy of your QuickBooks file, because our office uses Windows.

If you choose to provide us your QuickBooks data as a .QBB file, we will need to know the administrator password to the file to restore your data in our system using our version of QuickBooks.

Whether you’re a personal finance manager or a small business, you can manage your accounting and financial goals with QuickBook Premium for Windows on your Mac.

QuickBooks Pro for Windows 10 on Mac with Parallels Desktop

Whether you’re a personal finance manager or a small business, you can manage your accounting and financial goals with QuickBook Premium for Windows on your Mac.

Mac® devices help businesses solve problems in creative ways. The powerful Apple® hardware and intuitive platforms create a seamless opportunity for the ongoing growth of Apple devices in enterprise environments. More and more businesses are beginning to use Mac computers in their day-to-day operations instead of Windows PCs, due to macOS® being stable and robust. Most of these businesses (especially small businesses) also use QuickBooks™ Premier to manage their accounting and inventory. Users who are considering QuickBooks can narrow down which version is best for them with this helpful article from SLC bookkeeping: Is QuickBooks Right For Me?

Can You Install Quickbooks On A Mac

Unfortunately, QuickBooks for Mac doesn’t have some of the functionality users may need to properly manage their accounting and operations. QuickBooks Pro, QuickBooks Premier, and QuickBooks Enterprise all require a Microsoft Windows operating system in order to run the software. However, don’t fret! Small businesses who use Mac computers and need any of those versions of QuickBooks have options with Parallels Desktop® for Mac.

John Pedlar is the CEO of Excelavue; he utilizes his Mac to run QuickBooks Premier on his Mac with Parallels Desktop. This CEO saves money and precious time by running a virtual machine to avoid having to purchase multiple computers for his employees.

QuickBooks Premium for Microsoft Windows running on Mac with Parallels Desktop

“When we launched our company in March 2014, we decided on using QuickBooks Premier Edition for Windows as the mainstay for Excelavue’s accounting, stock, quote and invoice generation,” said Pedlar. “Our company utilizes Mac computers for their simplicity of use, reliability of hardware, and applications. I found out about Parallels Desktop for Mac several years ago when I had a MacBook Pro and needed to run Windows in order to stream live events that I was filming at different venues around the world. My requirement was to be able to run Windows programs and Mac apps side by side rather than having to reboot each time in order to swap from macOS to Windows or vice versa. Using Parallels Desktop was a breeze after laboriously having to re-boot each time I needed to swap operating systems.”

Being able to go between Windows and OS X applications seamlessly is a major benefit. Cutting and pasting information (i.e. copying a client’s address from QuickBooks Premier for Windows and pasting it into a shipping website on macOS Safari) is a great time save! Pedler adds, “If it had not been for Parallels Desktop, I would have had to purchase two computers for each employee in order to accomplish the tasks required to run Excelavue Inc. For a small company starting out, that would have been a major outlay.”

Established in 2014, Excelavue Inc supplies sound equipment and technology to schools, school boards, corporate environments, and places of worship across Ontario and Newfoundland. Additionally, Excelavue is the Ontario distributor for Lightspeed (a classroom sound equipment manufacturer based out of Portland, Oregon) and for Chiayo (a manufacturer of larger portable sound systems based in Taiwan).

Quickbooks For Mac Desktop 2019

If you’re looking to run QuickBooks for Windows on Mac without rebooting, we encourage you to download a FREE 14-day trial of Parallels Desktop for Mac and get started today.