QuickBooks 2013 Document Management

SmartVault first began providing a solution that allowed QuickBooks users to attach documents to entries in QuickBooks and securely store, access, and manage these documents 24×7 online in the cloud in 2009. SmartVault currently supports attachment and online document storage for QuickBooks 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and QuickBooks Online.

Note: SmartVault does not test compatibility with every module offered by Intuit for QuickBooks. However, we don’t foresee compatibility issues with modules in supported versions (see above).

In QuickBooks 2013, similar to Intuit’s approach in 2012, Intuit provides for only local attachment and storage of documents.

This page provides the following information for users who would like to learn more about SmartVault and the Intuit approach to managing documents attached to QuickBooks entries in QuickBooks 2013:

Note: You may remember that in QuickBooks 2010 and 2011, Intuit offered the ability to attach documents to QuickBooks transactions and store those documents online as an optional feature.

However, the Intuit approach to QuickBooks document management changes from year to year, and with QuickBooks 2012, Intuit announced that it will not continue to offer the ability to attach and store documents online. Intuit also begin sunsetting its online document storage capabilities offered in earlier versions of QuickBooks.

If you are interested in attaching and online document storage in QuickBooks 2012 and 2013, you must use a product like SmartVault. Also, if you are still using the online attachment capability available in QuickBooks 2010 and 2011, since this capability is being sunset, remember that you will lose this capability when you upgrade to a new version of QuickBooks.

Online Document Storage in QuickBooks 2013

Local storage of documents is available free in QuickBooks 2013, and anyone who purchases QuickBooks gets this feature as a part of QuickBooks.

Online document storage in an Intuit-provided document management system is not available in QuickBooks 2013. For QuickBooks 2010 and 2011 users, online document storage will likely continue for a set amount of time, but you will eventually have to move away from this.

Challenges with the QuickBooks 2013 Document Management Approach

Free local storage of attached documents is available in QuickBooks 2013. However, carefully consider the benefits and tradeoffs of storing documents attached to QuickBooks entries locally.

If you think you want to store documents you attach to QuickBooks entries locally, ensure you consider the following issues before you store your documents locally using QuickBooks:

24×7 Accessibility

Documents stored locally in the Doc Center provided in QuickBooks 2013 are accessible only when you are logged on to the actual physical computer where QuickBooks is installed. Local storage of your attached documents means that you cannot quickly and easily go online anytime from any computer with simply a web browser or a SmartPhone to quickly view and share documents attached to QuickBooks entries.

Instead, if you are out of the office and need to view or share a document attached to QuickBooks and stored locally in the Doc Center in QuickBooks 2013, you must first ensure that the computer you are using as well as the computer you are trying to connect both have a third-party application that supports remote connections installed on them. Some examples of these types of applications include LogMeIn, or Virtual Private Network (VPN) software from companies like Cisco or CheckPoint.


Documents stored locally in QuickBooks 2013 are stored “in the clear” in a folder, so anyone can see and access them. As a result, do not use this feature to store documents that have sensitive information in them such as social security numbers, drivers license numbers, or credit card numbers.


Documents stored locally are not included in a QuickBooks company file backup, so make sure you make your own backup of the folder.

Viewing Documents When QuickBooks Company Files Are Transferred

If a QuickBooks company file is transferred between users on different computers, such as between an office manager at a business and an accountant, or between bookkeepers, other users will not be able to view the attachments.

SmartVault Compatibility with QuickBooks 2013 and Known Issues

SmartVault has provided online document storage for QuickBooks since 2009, and SmartVault currently provides support for QuickBooks 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Intuit released QuickBooks 2013 to its Gold software development partners on September 17th, 2012, and the SmartVault quality engineering team has completed its initial round of compatibility testing for QuickBooks 2013.

During testing, the SmartVault quality engineering team identified a handful of known issues related to the display of the SmartVault Toolbar in QuickBooks 2013. These issues are due to differences between the way QuickBooks 2013 works compared with previous versions of QuickBooks. Several issues found during our testing have been fixed with the latest release of the SmartVault Desktop software. For more information, see October 2012 SmartVault service update – QuickBooks 2013 Support (

Known issues include the following item:

  • QuickBooks 2013 has a new “What’s New” user interface component that partially covers SmartVault Toolbar.

The new “What’s New” user interface component now available in QuickBooks 2013 displays on top of part of the SmartVault Toolbar. However, the SmartVault Toolbar still works correctly even with this overlay. To work around this issue, turn off the “What’s New” component and then turn it back on later if needed using the QuickBooks Help > What’s New menu option.

If you have already upgraded to QuickBooks 2013 and you encounter any issues using SmartVault with QuickBooks 2013 in addition the known issues already listed in this section, please email the Support Team. The SmartVault Support team will review your issue and work with you and the SmartVault development team as needed to address your issue.

Additional Information and Articles Related to QuickBooks 2013 Document Management

Charlie Russell, founder of CCR Software and a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor who participates extensively in the QuickBooks Community user forums, provides some additional information and opinions about QuickBooks 2012 document management in his QuickBooks 2012 Document Management Is Changing Again! blog entry, available on the Sleeter Group blog.

QuickBooksGarage.com also provides some additional information about the changes to QuickBooks attached document functionality throughout the last few years in their blog entry What Are the Changes To QuickBooks Attached Documents For 2012?, available on the QuickBooksGarage.com web site.

You can also read about the changes from an Intuit FAQ and an Intuit Support page.