As you prepare your QuickBooks file for your accountant, make sure you don’t have any other changes that need to be made in 2017 before sending your accountant a copy of the file. If you use QuickBooks Online, be sure to communicate when you are done making changes to your accountant.
As you wait for your tax return to be prepared, you want to make sure you don’t make any changes to the past year. A simple solution is to add a closing date and password in QuickBooks.
Desktop: Go to Company, Set Closing Date and click “Set Date/Password”. It is recommended that you set a password for an additional level of security because using a closing date only generates a popup warning whereas a password should require you to evaluate whether the information should be changed.
QuickBooks Online: Click the gear icon, then go to Advanced and under Accounting click the pencil, then check the Close the books box and enter your date. If you click the next drop down you can require a password which again is recommended.
You may be hesitant to enter a closing date and password before your return is prepared since your accountant may provide adjusting journal entries that will need to be posted. These can still be entered after-the-fact, you will simply need to enter your password (if added) when posting them.
Note that if you use a version of QuickBooks Desktop that does not require a password you will not be able to enter a closing password. In that case you should consider adding a password to QuickBooks for added security.
An additional benefit of setting a closing date is that your accountant will be able to more easily identify changes that were made to a closed period. QuickBooks has an “Exceptions to closing date” report available to accountants that will show transactions made after the closing date was entered. This allows your accountant to more easily identify any unintended changes.