Set up Office Accounting for multiple users

Available in Microsoft Office Accounting Professional 2008 only.

If your company network is set up as a Microsoft Windows workgroup or domain, you can configure Microsoft Office Accounting Professional so that multiple users can access your company database from their own computers. This can be especially handy if people with different roles, such as salespeople, your office manager, and your boss, all need to use the same company database for different purposes.

Note: If your organization has outgrown SQL Express, which is included with Office Accounting, you can use Office Accounting with the full version of Microsoft SQL Server. For more information, see Installing and Configuring Office Accounting for Use with Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 and SQL Server 2005.

About this article

This article walks you through the process of setting up Office Accounting for multiple users. For best results, follow the procedures in this article in the order in which they're listed.

Although a Windows workgroup is considered a peer-to-peer configuration, for the purposes of this article, the computer on which the company database is installed is called the server. The other computers in the workgroup are called clients.

In this article

Before you begin

Set up the server

Add Windows user accounts to the server

Set up Office Accounting for multiuser access

Put the multiuser .sbc file in a shared folder

Test multiuser access

Troubleshooting

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Before you begin

Before you set up Office Accounting for multiple users, ensure that your Windows workgroup or domain is working correctly and that Office Accounting is installed on the server computer and on the computer of each user who will be accessing the company database.

Ensure that your network is working correctly

You can test your network by making sure that you can share a document, such as a Microsoft Office Word file, among the computers in the network. For information about setting up a network, see Windows Help.

Install Office Accounting on each client computer

Because the multiuser feature is available only with Microsoft Office Accounting Professional, you must purchase a Microsoft Office Accounting Professional license for each client computer from which you plan to access the company database. If some client computers in your network are running Microsoft Office Accounting Express, you can upgrade to Microsoft Office Accounting Professional by purchasing a license through the Upgrade Today page in the program. (In the Navigation Pane, click Upgrade Today.)

If you will be accessing only the remote company database from a client computer and not setting up additional company databases on the client, you can reduce the amount of memory that the program uses by not installing the SQL Express database component when you install Office Accounting.

  1. In the Office Accounting Setup Wizard, when you are prompted to choose installation settings, click Customize, and then click Next.

  2. When you are prompted to choose components to install, click Advanced.

  3. In the Advanced Setup Settings dialog box, select Don't install or use local instance. (Client only), and then click OK.

    Advanced Setup Settings dialog box

  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the wizard and install Office Accounting.

If you decide later that you want to install SQL Express, uninstall Office Accounting and then reinstall it using the default installation settings.

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Set up the server

If your server is running the Windows Vista operating system, you can skip this section and go directly to Add Windows user accounts to the server.

If your server is running Windows XP, you'll need to take one or two extra steps: You'll need to turn off simple file sharing and, if you have a workgroup, turn off fast user switching.

Turn off simple file sharing on Windows XP

  1. On the server, double-click any folder to open it.

  2. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.

  3. In the Advanced settings section, scroll to the bottom of the list, clear the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) check box, and then click OK.

    Disable simple file sharing

Turn off fast user switching on Windows XP

(Workgroup only.)

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel, and then double-click User Accounts.

  2. Click Change the way users log on or off, clear the Use fast user switching check box, and then click Apply Options.

    Change the way users log on

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Add Windows user accounts to the server

If your network is set up as a Windows domain, you can skip this section and go directly to Set up Office Accounting for multiuser access.

If your network is set up as a Windows workgroup, your next step is to add the Windows user accounts of the clients to the Windows account list on the server.

Important: Windows user accounts that you add to the server must be password protected and must not contain spaces, for example, bobd instead of bob d. The Windows password that you use on the server must be identical to the password that is used on the client. When a user changes his or her password on a client, that user cannot access the company database until the password is also changed on the server. For information about password protecting a Windows user account, see Windows Help.

To add user accounts to the server:

  1. On the server, on the Start menu, click Control Panel, and then double-click User Accounts.

    User accounts icon

  2. Click Create a new account.

  3. Type the name of a Windows user, and then click Next.

  4. Under Pick an account type, select the type of account that you want to assign to the user, and then click Create Account.

    Important: If you add the account as a computer administrator on the server, that user will have system-wide privileges on the server and will automatically be assigned the Owner role in Office Accounting. A member of the Owner role can access all data in your company database. For security, we recommend that you assign users to the group or role with the least privilege that is appropriate for the user. The Windows account type on the server does not have to match the Windows account type on the client.

  5. Click the account that you just created, and then click Change the password.

  6. Type the password for the Windows user account that you just added, confirm the password, and then click Change Password.

    Important: The password for the Windows user account on the server must match the password for the Windows user account on the client. If a user changes his or her password on the client, you must update the password on the server.

  7. Under Related Tasks, click Create a new account, and then repeat steps 3 through 6 for each Windows user account that you want to add.

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Set up Office Accounting for multiuser access

Now you're ready to set up Office Accounting for multiuser access and add users. This process creates a special multiuser company (.sbc) file that your remote users will access.

You will also assign users Office Accounting roles that determine the components of Office Accounting that they can use and the data that they can see.

To set up Office Accounting for multiuser access:

  1. On the server, open Office Accounting, and then open your company database.

  2. On the File menu, click Multi-user Settings, click Enable, and then click Manage Users.

  3. In the Manage Users dialog box, click Add.

  4. In the Add User dialog box, do the following:

    1. In User name, type one of the user names that you added to the server earlier.

      Tip: If you want to check a Windows user name, click Select User, and in Enter the object name to select, type the name of the Windows user, and then click Check Names. If the user name is correct, it will be underlined.

    2. In Role, select a role for the user. For more information about user roles, see About roles and permissions.

    3. Click OK.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each user that you want to add. When you are finished, click Close, and then click OK to close the Microsoft Office Accounting Multi-user Settings dialog box.

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Put the multiuser .sbc file in a shared folder

The last step is to put the multiuser .sbc file that you just created into a shared folder so that other users can access it from their computers.

To put the .sbc file in a shared folder:

  1. On the server, create a shared folder. For information about creating a shared folder, see Windows Help.

  2. Copy the multiuser .sbc file you just created. The default location of the multiuser .sbc file appears in the Microsoft Office Accounting Multi-user Settings dialog box.

    Multi-user dialog box

  3. Paste the .sbc file into the shared folder.

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Test multiuser access

After you place the file in the shared folder, test multiuser access by making sure that you can open the company database from a client computer in your workgroup.

To test multiuser access:

  1. Log on to a client in the workgroup by using the Windows user name and password that is assigned to that client.

    Important: The passwords on the client and the server must match exactly.

  2. Start Office Accounting.

  3. On the File menu, click Open Company, and then browse to the multiuser .sbc file on the server.

  4. Click the multiuser .sbc file, and then click Open.

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Troubleshooting

If multiuser access does not work, try the following:

Check your workgroup settings

If your workgroup is not functioning properly, check each computer in the workgroup to make sure that it is set up correctly. The workgroup name must be identical on each computer.

Workgroup setting

On a computer running Windows XP

  1. On the Start menu, point to My Computer, right-click, and then click Properties.

  2. Click the Computer Name tab, and then click Change.

  3. In the Member of section, make sure that Workgroup is selected and that the workgroup name is correct.

On a computer running Windows Vista

  1. On the Start menu, point to Computer, right-click, and then click Properties.

  2. In the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings section, click Change settings.

  3. On the Computer Name tab of the the System Properties dialog box, click Change.

  4. In the Member of section, make sure that Workgroup is selected and that the workgroup name is correct.

Make sure that passwords match

If your network consists of a workgroup, the password for each Windows user account on the client must match the password that is set for the user on the server. When a user changes his or her password, that user will not be able to access the company database until the password is also changed on the server.

To change a password on the server:

  1. On the Start menu, click Control Panel, and then double-click User Accounts.

  2. Click the account whose password you want to change, and then click Change the password.

  3. Type a new password for the Windows user account, confirm the password, and then click Change Password.

Check your TCP/IP port settings

Make sure that the TCP/IP port on the server is enabled and set correctly. This setting allows the clients in the workgroup or domain to access the database on the server. When you enable multiuser access in Office Accounting, the program automatically does this for you, so you don't generally need to check it unless multiuser access is not working.

You set the TCP/IP port by using SQL Server Configuration Manager, which is automatically installed when you install Office Accounting. Working with SQL Server Configuration Manager might be unfamiliar to you, but this section walks you through it step-by-step.

To set the TCP/IP port:

  1. On the Start menu, point to All Programs, point to SQL Server 2005, point to Configuration Tools, and then click SQL Server Configuration Manager.

    SQL Server Configuration Manager menu item

  2. Expand the folder SQL Server 2005 Network Configuration, and then click Protocols for MSSMLBIZ.

    Protocols node

  3. In the right pane, under Protocol Name, right-click TCP/IP, and then click Enabled.

  4. Right-click TCP/IP, and then click Properties.

  5. Click the IP Addresses tab, scroll down to IPAll, make sure that 5356 is listed (add port 5356 if it is not), and then click OK.

    Set the TCP/IP port

If you made a change, you must restart the MSSMLBIZ service to apply the new settings.

To restart the service:

  1. In SQL Server Configuration Manager, click SQL Server 2005 Services.

  2. In the right pane, right-click SQL Server (MSSMLBIZ), and then click Restart.

    Restart the SQL Server service

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