Introduction

In QuickBooks Desktop (QBD), a “company file” is the primary local file that stores all financial data for a specific company. While most QBD users have only one company file, some users, such as accounting firms managing finances for multiple clients, work with several company files on a single computer. This guide will walk you through connecting Conductor to multiple company files on a single computer, as well as best practices and performance considerations.

Connecting Conductor to multiple company files on a single computer

To connect Conductor to multiple company files on one computer, follow the quickstart guide for each company file, as each requires its own connection and authentication.

  1. Create a Conductor EndUser for each company file.
  2. Complete the authentication flow for each EndUser while the corresponding company file is open in QBD.

Once complete, each company file will have a separate connection in the QuickBooks Web Connector, resembling the state shown below:

QuickBooks Web Connector with multiple Conductor
connections

QuickBooks Web Connector with multiple Conductor connections for separate company files.

Important requirement

For Conductor to communicate with multiple Web Connector connections on a single computer, QuickBooks Desktop must be kept open without any company file loaded at all times. This allows the Web Connector to open the correct company file when it receives a request from Conductor.

This requirement is due to the Web Connector’s limitations when working with multiple company files on a single computer:

  1. It can only communicate with one company file at a time.
  2. It can only communicate with the company file actively open in QBD.
  3. It cannot switch between company files if QBD already has a different company file open (to avoid interrupting an active user).

Despite these limitations, the Web Connector can open a specified company file if no company file is actively open, fulfill the request, and close the company file without fully terminating QBD. Therefore, for the Web Connector to support fulfilling requests from Conductor for multiple company files on the same computer, QBD must always be open without any company file loaded, as shown below:

QuickBooks Desktop without any company file
loaded

QuickBooks Desktop must always be open without any company file loaded, as shown here, to receive requests for any company file on the computer.

To close a company file in QBD and reach the state shown above, go to the “File” menu and select “Close Company”.

Performance considerations

  • Increased request time: The requirement for QBD to remain open without a company file loaded adds 20-30 seconds to each request due to the time QBD takes to load a company file. However, when you send numerous Conductor requests for the same company file (i.e., EndUser) in quick succession, the Web Connector will resolve the sequence rapidly because Conductor tricks it into keeping the company file open between these requests.

  • Serial processing: The Web Connector can only process requests for one company file at a time because it can only communicate with QBD when one company file is loaded. Nevertheless, Conductor manages your requests in a queue, ensuring that the Web Connector processes them serially, opening and closing the appropriate company file for each request.

Best practices

  • Use a dedicated virtual machine (optional): Many users managing multiple company files on a single computer set up an always-on virtual machine dedicated to fulfilling Conductor requests. This dedicated instance allows QBD to remain open without a company file loaded, ready to receive requests and open the correct company file. This setup is preferable to sharing a personal computer used for other tasks, where the Web Connector cannot fulfill requests if the wrong company file is open.

  • Add QuickBooks Desktop to Windows startup: Adding QuickBooks Desktop to the computer’s startup programs ensures QBD is always open and ready to receive requests whenever you restart the computer. The Web Connector already automatically starts in the background when the computer boots up and can open QBD if it receives a request from Conductor while QBD is closed; however, doing so will delay the request because QBD takes a while to launch.