QB Tax Advisor Accounting

QB Tax Advisor

Adding an extra layer of protection through two-factor authentication (2FA) is a vital best practice for securing access to your QuickBooks financial data. Both QuickBooks Online and Desktop support integrating 2FA to require dual verification when logging in.

Overview of 2FA for QuickBooks

Here are the key steps to enable two-factor authentication for QuickBooks:

  • Understand how 2FA provides an additional login safeguard
  • Enable 2FA at the account or user level in QuickBooks
  • Choose an authentication method like app or SMS
  • Install a 2FA app like Authy on devices
  • Enter verification codes from 2FA app or text when logging in
  • Save 2FA backup codes in a secure location
  • Educate QuickBooks users on the new 2FA process
  • Consider pros and cons of 2FA tools like hardware tokens
  • Get help from an accounting firm like QB Tax Advisor if needed

Adding 2FA bolsters QuickBooks security and helps meet compliance demands for financial data protection.

Understanding 2FA Protection

With two-factor authentication, accessing QuickBooks requires two forms of identity verification:

  • Knowledge – Providing the password (what you know)
  • Possession – Supplying a verification code from your smartphone or token (what you have)

2FA prevents access with a stolen password alone. This safeguards QuickBooks if credentials are compromised.

Enabling 2FA in QuickBooks

To activate 2FA for enhanced account security:

QuickBooks Online

  • In QBO account settings, select Set up two-step verification
  • Choose text message or authentication app method
  • Follow prompts to configure the authentication method

QuickBooks Desktop

  • Download a compatible third party 2FA app like Duo
  • Link the 2FA app with your QuickBooks login details
  • The app generates verification codes to grant access

QuickBooks currently does not natively support integrated 2FA directly, so third party tools are required for Desktop versions.

Selecting Authentication Method

When turning on 2FA, choose your preferred verification method:

  • Authentication apps like Google Authenticator or Authy are convenient, fast, and work offline. But if you lose your smartphone, you may lose access.
  • Text messages work universally but are dependent on cellular signals. Some find entering codes tedious.
  • Hardware tokens are robust but involve an added device to carry. Tokens generate random codes without phones.

Evaluate the pros and cons of each approach to select the optimal 2FA method for your QuickBooks access needs and users.

Installing a 2FA App

If using an authenticator app for 2FA:

  • Download the app like Authy or Google Authenticator on all devices you use to access QuickBooks.
  • When activating 2FA, scan the QR code provided in QuickBooks using the app’s scanner to link your account.
  • The app generates a random 6-digit verification code that refreshes every 30 seconds.

Link the 2FA app to your QuickBooks account by scanning the QR code just once during setup.

Entering Verification Codes

Once 2FA is active, accessing QuickBooks requires:

  • Entering your standard QuickBooks username and password
  • When prompted, opening your 2FA app or text messages to obtain the current 6-digit verification code
  • Input the fresh code within 60 seconds to complete the login

Codes expire quickly, so have your smartphone or token available whenever signing into QuickBooks.

Saving Backup Verification Codes

When enabling 2FA, QuickBooks provides a set of 10 single-use backup codes:

  • Save these backup codes in a secure place like a password manager
  • If you ever lose your primary 2FA device, you can use the backup codes to login
  • Each code can only be used once for temporary access to reconfigure your 2FA method

Treat backup codes with the same care as passwords – anyone with a code can access your account.

Training QuickBooks Users on 2FA

Educate all staff that access your QuickBooks account about how the new 2FA login process works:

  • Ensure users install authentication apps on mobile devices or can access text messages
  • Provide clear instructions on obtaining verification codes
  • Let users practice inputting codes until the flow feels natural

Smooth user experiences minimize frustration when 2FA is rolled out. Prepare them for added login steps.

Additional 2FA Tools and Tokens

Beyond mobile apps and SMS, larger organizations may consider:

  • YubiKeys – Physical USB security keys users insert to generate codes
  • Duo Push – Automatically approve trusted devices with the Duo app
  • RADIUS Servers – Network-level system for managing remote access

Weigh the costs and complexity of more advanced tools against your specific security needs.

Getting 2FA Help from Your Accountant

If you need assistance setting up and configuring two-factor authentication for your QuickBooks login, your accounting firm like QB Tax Advisors can help:

  • They can provide guidance on selecting the best 2FA option
  • Assist with technical setup like linking QuickBooks accounts
  • Deliver staff training for smooth adoption
  • Recommend additional controls like single sign-on (SSO)
  • Audit 2FA practices to identify potential security gaps

Leverage your accountant’s expertise for optimal 2FA integration with QuickBooks.


Adding an extra verification step via two-factor authentication is one of the most vital actions businesses can take to protect QuickBooks accounts from unauthorized access. With a few simple steps, authentication apps, text messages or hardware tokens provide inexpensive but robust QuickBooks login security. 2FA means passwords alone can’t compromise your financial data.

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