Choose the file type based on how you will use the file.
A backup contains everything you need to re-create your company file and QuickBooks environment, including all of the QuickBooks files (templates, letters, logos, images, and so on) related to your company file. In case of accidental loss or damage, you can use the backup file to restore your company data. Unlike a portable file, a backup file is very large and cannot be emailed. It is not recommended as a means of moving company data, unless you have a new computer and need to move all of your related files as well.
A portable company file is a compact version of your company file, small enough to send by email or save to portable media. Unlike a backup file, a portable file contains only a compressed version of the company file financial data—it does not contain related files such as letters, images, templates, and so on.
With Accountant's Copy you can work on your company file at the same time as your accountant. You continue to work with your company file, while your accountant makes adjustments to a special version of the company file called an Accountant's Copy. Changes made by the accountant can later be imported into your current company file.
Back up company files overview
Portable company files overview
Accountant's Copy overview
Back up a company file synced with Intuit online services