can you use USB drives to run QuickBooksThere are lots of different kinds of storage devices out there. Which ones are suitable for running QuickBooks desktop editions?

Basically, you want to be accessing your data on a local or network internal hard drive or on an internal solid-state drive.

You DON’T want to try to run QuickBooks using data located on…

  • Flash/thumb/USB drives
  • External hard drives
  • CD or DVD disks
  • Online drives (except for those used by hosted QuickBooks providers)
  • Your smartphone (ha!)
  • 3.5″ floppies (haha!)

The read/write speeds associated with these other kinds of media are not fast enough for QuickBooks to reliably do its thing. They are fine for holding  backups of your data, of course. But that’s a different thing from opening and using your data there.

What about RAID drives? Intuit says that QuickBooks will run on them, but doesn’t recommend doing so because of performance effects.

QuickBooks users call us for data repair options as a result of using QuickBooks on these non-recommended kinds of media. And if there is a systems problem, even data residing on recommended kinds of drives can be damaged. So it is always a very good idea to have a working backup solution in place.

If you want to tweak the content of your QuickBooks-generated emails, it’s easy to do.

Open your company in QuickBooks and click Edit / Preferences / Send Forms / Company Preferences

You can then change the default email template for a number of forms, and for reports in general.

Let’s say you want to add an invoice number to your emailed invoices’ subject line. Click on Change default for Invoices

You’ll see kind of a template for your emailed invoices.

In the subject line prompt, make sure that <NUM> is there, e.g. “Invoice <NUM> from Rock Castle Construction”

emailed invoice

This is also the place where you can change verbiage in the body of your emailed invoice or add a bcc email address (nice if you want a copy of the invoice to come back to you).

You can use this method to make changes to email templates for these forms in QuickBooks 2012:

* Invoices
* Estimates
* Statements
* Sales Orders
* Sales Receipts
* Credit Memos
* Purchase Orders
* Reports
* Pay Stubs
* Overdue Invoices
* Almost-Due Invoices

Anyone have any other tips on customizing emailable documents in QuickBooks?

QuickBooks 2013 - reviewsI recently posted my wishlist for QuickBooks 2013. Well, the reality is now here; QuickBooks 2013 was announced yesterday. Here are some of the current reviews/analyses of it:

QuickBooks 2013 Announced – Sunburst Software Solutions Inc.:

“According to Intuit, this year, a top request that they heard from customers like you was to make the product easier to use so you could work more efficiently – no additional features, just a better experience.  As Intuit began planning for the release of QuickBooks 2013, they determined that updating the look and feel was a key way to deliver on their objective to make QuickBooks easier to use.”

Intuit: QuickBooks 2013 is Designed for Efficiency – Small Business Computer.com:

“What if business software makers took the same care and attention to the user experience that Apple does?
Intuit offers a glimpse at the polished interfaces and the hyper-efficient workflows that the future holds for small business software users with today’s launch of QuickBooks 2013. And according to Pamela Bailey, experience design leader for QuickBooks, the makeover is more than pixel deep.”

Small Businesses Get Smart With QuickBooks 2013 – PYMNTS.com:

“A reimagined and improved design helps small businesses complete financial tasks faster than ever so they can spend more time building their businesses. QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2013 deliver all existing QuickBooks features, plus new enhancements requested by users, in a clean and simple experience that’s optimized for efficiency, and that makes adding functionality, such as third-party applications, as easy as one click.”

Small Businesses Work Smarter with a QuickBooks Designed for Efficiency – Intuit Small Business Blog:

“Today, Intuit unveiled QuickBooks 2013, the latest version of QuickBooks desktop software for Windows. Our millions of small business customers will be delighted to experience a completely reimagined and improved design that will help them work smarter by saving time managing their finances.”

QuickBooks Gets a Major Redesign – PCWorld:

“Intuit’s annual refresh of QuickBooks this time around is less about steak than sizzle. The QuickBooks 2013 family doesn’t offer much in the way of new functionality, but it definitely looks a lot different than its predecessors.”

Small Businesses Find More Time With QuickBooks 2013 (Canadian) – Intuit Canada Limited:

“With the new QuickBooks® 2013, Canada’s number one selling financial management software,2 these entrepreneurs have a new resource to help them run and grow their small businesses.  From smart new features to a sleek new look and feel, the 2013 version of QuickBooks® from Intuit Canada is the easiest, most efficient QuickBooks ever.”

Intuit Debuts QuickBooks for Mac 2013 – Macworld:

“Intuit has unveiled QuickBooks for Mac 2013, the newest version of its small-business accounting software package. According to Intuit representatives, the new features in QuickBooks 2013 are designed to help users get started quickly, to organize records more effectively, and to simplify common tasks.”

Look out Freshbooks, QuickBooks 2013 for Mac Includes Online Payment Integration – ZDNet:

“QuickBooks 2013 for Mac’s new features are designed to help users get started quickly, get records organized, and to help simplify common tasks. For example, the new version allows you to import contacts from Address Book and add items (that you buy or sell often) from a spreadsheet.”

What do you think about QuickBooks 2013? Are you planning on getting a copy?

looking towards 2013I’m cautiously optimistic that when Enterprise 13 comes out, it will fix some of the problems that a number of people are finding in Enterprise Series 12. I’ve talked with a number of clients experiencing…

* Problems in inventory: their file will not verify or rebuild
* Problems in sales orders or estimates: they can’t verify the file or make verified backups
* Corruption in the user list: their file fails rebuild
* Failure when they try to condense their file: condense freezes or gives fatal errors

We can repair the vast majority of these files, but it ain’t easy sometimes. Some of these problematic files are 3GB+ or have a kazillion inventory items and/or lots of corrupt assemblies.

Some of the files that clients are sending us to be supercondensed won’t verify and/or rebuild when they are sent in. We have to repair them first to get them healthy enough to work with.

Seems to me that there shouldn’t be this many files with these kinds of problems. We’ve been in the accounting data consulting business for a long time — since the 80s — and have seen and repaired thousands and thousands of sets of damaged accounting data. But it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a version that has clustered so many data integrity issues, many more than we saw under ES 11 or 10. (Actually, old version 6 had a ton of problems too; that was the first version that used the new underlying database system.)

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a lucky Enterprise 13, and wishing the best for Intuit’s development and testing teams…

Other consultants and QuickBooks advisors, what do you think? Does ES 12′s stability seem about the same to you as prior versions? Or a bit more problematic?