Qbb, Qbm, Qbx, or Qbw - What's the Difference?

Got a QuickBooks Mess? Call The QuickBooks Gal!

Welcome to the QuickBooks Minute.
I’m Jayne Miller, the QuickBooks Gal

Do you know the difference between a QuickBooks Back up (.qbb),
QuickBooks Portable file (.qbm),
Accountant's Copy (.qbx) and a QuickBooks Company file (.qbw)?

As a consultant & a bookkeeper, I am often asked what's the difference between these types of files.

Many times a client will bring me their work along with what they think is a backup when, in fact, they have just copied the entire QuickBooks company file.

Of course, I can't restore from that type of file, however I can drag & drop it into the proper directory on my computer in order to process their work.

However, if they had just brought a backup or portable file, then I could have restored and worked just as easily and they would not risk their company file by copying it....I am always afraid that I might accidentally delete it, so I stay away from that option!

Here's a comparison of these three options:

Backup file:

A file that is compressed to contain everything you need to recreate your company file
in a QuickBooks environment - you must have the same or higher version of QuickBooks
on the computer into which you want to restore the back up.

It is saved with an extension of .qbb and should be used regularly to safeguard your
QuickBooks files against accidental data loss.

Portable File:

A portable company file is a compact version of your company file that contains only financial data an is small enough to be sent by e-mail or saved to portable media, such as a flash drive.

You can use a portable company file when you need to move your company financial data to another computer or send to your accounting professional.

Portable files, unlike backup files, do not contain related files such as letters, logos, images, & templates...only financial data. It also does not contain a transaction log that might be used to restore transaction data should damage to the file or data loss occur.

Accountant's Copy:

An Accountant's Copy is a version of your company file that your accountant can use to make changes while you continue to work in your file.

When the Accountant is finished, you just import the changes into your file.

QBW - Company File:

This is the company file you created when you started using QuickBooks. This is your entire company file. Do not copy, cut & paste or otherwise alter or jeopardize this file. Use regular back up procedures to protect your data and your company information. If your company file becomes corrupted, damaged or lost, you can use a back up to re-create your company file.

That's today's QuickBooks Gal minute.
Please come back for more tips and tricks for QuickBooks users.

I’m Jayne Miller, the QuickBooks Gal. Thanks for listening.
Got a QuickBooks Mess? Call The QuickBooks Gal!

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  1. What if all you had was a backup from 2001 version of QB and the 2005 version of QB which has never had a company file created on it? Would the 2001 version backup be usable to recreate the company files on the 2005 version of QB (Pro)?


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