Error: Unable to connect to QuickBooks or a QuickBooks company file

When Zed Axis attempts to connect to QuickBooks desktop or a QuickBooks company file you get an error message of "Unable to connect to QuickBooks" or "Please connect to a QuickBooks company file" 

(If you are trying to connect to QuickBooks Online click here, QuickBooks Point of Sale here, or Reckon Accounts click here

Please follow these steps to troubleshoot this issue:

Step One: Checking your QuickBooks setup

  1. Ensure that you have QuickBooks installed, the latest QuickBooks updates have been applied, your company file open, and you log into QuickBooks as the Administrator or with Admin permissions.
  2. When promoted by QuickBooks give Axis permission to access the QuickBooks company file.
  3. If QuickBooks is running as Administrator or elevated mode (windows shield on the desktop icon) the please run Axis as Administrator too.
  4. Check that you meet the minimum systems requirements to use Zed Axis System Requirements.
  5. If you are using Microsoft Vista, 7 or 8, please ensure that you have User Account Control  (UAC) set to On or Always Notify. (if changing UAC you will need to reboot Windows for the change to take affect). However if you are using a 64bit version of Windows and you receive an unable to connect message you should turn UAC off, reboot and then try a connection.
  6. End any crashed instances of QuickBooks (qbw32.exe), by using the Windows Task Manager
  7. Ensure you have only one QuickBooks company file open.
  8. If you have previously connected to QuickBooks and now are unable to, remove the old connection from the QuickBooks go to Edit > Preferences > Integrated Application list and then retry to establish a new connection.

Step Two: Refresh your QuickBooks interface files

When Zed Axis attempts to connect to QuickBooks but is unable to establish a connection, it may be caused by a corrupt or unsupported QuickBooks interface, to refresh the interface follow the steps below:

  1. Back up and safely store your QuickBooks company file
  2. Search for the file Reboot.bat (found in C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks) and run that file As Administrator (mouse over file and right click to select As Administrator) 
  3. Reboot your PC and try to connect.

Troubleshooting specific QuickBooks Error messages:

Error: QuickBooks already has a company file open. If you want to open another company file, close this one first.

Zed Axis can only connect to one company file at a time.  If you have more than one company file open then you will need to close those you do not want to connect to and try again.  If you do not appear to have more than one company file open it could be that there is another instance of QuickBooks open or crashed in the background. Try the following steps:

  1. Close Zed Axis and QuickBooks
  2. Use the Windows Task Manager to close all QuickBooks processes
  3. Make sure that you have not got the Keep QuickBooks running for quick startups option checked in the QuickBooks Preferences > Company settings,
  4. Reboot you physical machine and restart QuickBooks and Zed Axis and try and connect again

Error: If the QuickBooks company data file is not open, a call to the "BeginSession" method must include the name of the data file.

When attempting to connect a second copy of QuickBooks is opened and the above error message is displayed.  Please check the QuickBooks preferences ,Edit > Preferences > General > My Preferences and make sure that the option to Keep QuickBooks running for quick startups is not selected

Troubleshooting Specific QuickBooks Error codes:

0x80040404 - indicates that the version of QuickBooks currently running does not support 3rd party applications connecting to it, please confirm that you meet the Zed Axis System Requirements
0x80040409 - indicates that the version of QuickBooks currently running cannot work with the provided data file
0x8004040A - indicates that the data file already open is different from the requested one. 
 0x80040154 & 0x800401f3- indicates a permission error to access QuickBooks via an application
 0x8004041c & 0x800401f3 - If you are running 64bit windows then please try with UAC switched off
qbXML components have not been installed - please follow these instructions provided by Intuit.

Other possible causes:

Permissions on the folder that contains your QuickBooks company file
In some instances the folder that holds your QuickBooks company file may not have sufficient permission.  Please ensure it has Full Access, right click on the folder and select Properties > Security and select Full control

Running the QuickBooks application as Administrator
If you have run QuickBooks with elevated permissions (ie with the shield) then Axis will not be able to connect to QuickBooks,  please close QuickBooks and run at a non elevated mode and try and connect.

Running multiple releases of QuickBooks on one machine
If you are running multiple releases of QuickBooks on the same machine ie (2008 & 2009, or Canada and UK) then you may have installed an older version after the latest release, if you have you will need to follow the instructions on this article to resolve this issue.

Older versions of QuickBooks 
If you are using an older version of QuickBooks, then you may not be able to connect to QuickBooks.  To correct this issue follow these steps (Intuit Support have an alternative approach listed in here):

  1. Login to QuickBooks and your company file as Administrator in single user mode
  2. Select the company preferences Edit > Preferences > Integrated Applications > Company Preferences
  3. For each application listed we are going to uncheck the ability to login automatically:
    1. Highlight the application and click the Properties tab
    2. Un-check the box which says "Allow this application to login automatically".
  4. Restart QuickBooks and reset the login automatically mode and a user with sufficient permissions
  5. Login again as Administrator in single user mode
  6. Select the company preferences Edit > Preferences > Integrated Applications > Company Preferences
  7. For each application listed:
    1. Highlight the application and click the Properties tab
    2. Check the box which says "Allow this application to login automatically" and select a user with admin permissions
  8. Restart QuickBooks.


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I followed all the steps listed here just short of uninstalling, although I did do a Repair. None of it worked. But I opened another acct that I have on QB and it worked. Frustrating. So I reopened the acct I wanted to work on and narrowed my dates down to just one month, instead of 2, and it worked. I might have been over taxing the program to have too many transactions to export, so you may want to add that to your possible solutions. Sharlee
Sharlee Maher (February 28, 2014 at 12:47 AM)
I had the same issue, once the export crosses a certain date it stops exporting...
Arriel Mabale (September 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM)

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