Sharing Data Between Mac and PC

Today's topic is working with client files when they are using a Mac and you are using QuickBooks for PC.

Quite often I need to get a backup of my client's work to take to my office and then return with changes or new postings.

I generally don’t use the Accountant’s Copy because it can create significant limitations in the client’s file and they usually aren’t very happy with me; I prefer to take a backup to my office and work on their file when they can stay out of QuickBooks while I am working.

This podcast will discuss the process using QuickBooks 2006 for Mac. It’s easy to go back and forth between Mac and PC if you follow a few simple instructions. When you do, a report will be generated in a PDF format that offers simple instructions for the process and provides a list of data that won’t be converted, unsupported reports in QuickBooks for Mac, and unsupported Report Filters that won’t convert from Mac to PC when you restore the work to your PC.
There are some things that won’t convert from Mac to Windows.

I recently did a lot of work in a file that needed 3 bank accounts reconciled from mid-2006 to current. I reconciled 2006 (all 3 accounts) for the client, then returned a back up so he could work in the file until my next visit. I didn’t realize the Bank Reconciliations would not “stick” as they do in the PC version. I had to go back to reconcile each month again in order to go forward. Fortunately, the data I entered remained. Additionally, the transactions I cleared the week before remained cleared.

However, I did have to begin in June 2006 and re-do the reconciliation process month by month in order to a) create a previous reconciliation history and b) recreate the chronological process inside the bank reconciliation. By this I mean, that when I opened the bank reconciliation for the payroll account for example, the beginning balance was zero and the current day was my statement date. All historical reports were gone and since I am doing a lot of work in this client’s file, it is very important to me to have that data available.

This isn’t the only conversion issue, but for me it is the biggest. I noticed that when I create a customized tool bar for the tasks I access the most, the view doesn’t convert from PC to Mac and therefore when I got a new backup the next week, my customizations weren’t there. Here’s a brief recap of the data, reports, and report filters that don’t convert from MAC to PC:


• Payroll & payroll item lists (if you use Intuit payroll – Mac uses PayCycle)
• Online banking transactions that you haven’t accepted into the register
• Other online services data may be affected
• Some customized forms and templates
• Integration with third party applications
• Budgets, transactions types, assembly items may convert as non-inventory items
• Most user customization – columns, ship to addresses, price levels, etc

There are other data that may not convert; the PDF document generated at the time of conversion offers a more complete list than I can remember, but this give you an idea of what you may not be able to access in the PC file once you restore a MAC backup.


• Pending builds
• Sales tax revenue summary
• Reconciliation Discrepancy
• Previous Bank Reconciliations
• Mileage Reports
• Payroll and workers comp reports
• Fixed Asset Listing
• Several Sales and Job related reports
• Estimates by Job

Again, there are many more that I haven’t needed or don’t remember. Refer to the PDF when you convert. You may want to review it before you elect to work in the PC file.


• Name email
• Posting Status
• Template
• Voided
• Workers Comp Code
• Paid Through
• Sales Tax Code
• More – refer to PDF

Sharing data Mac to Windows

If you can’t open the MAC file, you may have to go back to get another back up and make sure you save it as a .qbb file before you can open it on your PC.

If you get error messages when restoring the MAC file to PC, you may have to go back to the MAC and run Verify Data from the Utilities menu…the file could have some problems and need a little attention before you can proceed.

Back up Data in Mac to take to PC

1. Run Verify Data from the Utilities Menu (see previous).
2. Back up Mac data; be sure to save the file as a .qbb file

Restore Data from Mac to PC

2. Select the file and then RESTORE
3. You will be asked if you wish to update the file to the new version – type
YES , then OK

Backing up Data in PC to take to MAC

1. In Windows, select FILE>Utilities>Copy Company File for QB Mac to save
a .qbb backup file (you will notice that QuickBooks inserts “MAC” in the file name being saved
2. Save to Flash Drive, CD, Zip Disk

Restoring data to the Mac from PC

1. Insert backup media
3. Select the .qbb file and click OPEN
4. Enter the company name and select SAVE
5. Once you have completed this task you will be shown a window where you can select OK to complete the process or you can click on the SHOW FILE IN FINDER button to see the location of the restored file

Are you backing up your data?

Well, that’s it for now. I appreciate your time and hope you will join us again next time for another in our Quicklet© series. If there are topics you would like me to cover or have questions, send your email to

Don’t forget to visit our website, to learn more about me, the services we offer and our workshops. Remember, if you wish to read or listen to past podcasts, they are available online at

I’m Jayne Miller, The QuickBooks Gal. Thanks for listening.

Jayne Miller is the owner of Custom Business Solutions, a consulting firm in Reno-Tahoe, Nevada that specializes in providing bookkeeping and software support.


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