Joe Williams, of Piedmont, OK, is one of the biggest voices on the QuickBooks Forums. He just posted his 6,000th answer on the forums, and there is a reason why he knows so much about QuickBooks: He was a veteran QuickBooks support rep for Intuit.

Me: Joe, thanks for talking with us today. You have an interesting background, having worked for Intuit — supporting QuickBooks — for quite a few years. What can you tell us about that? What kind of support were you involved with?

Joe: I started in 1990 supporting Turbo Tax for DOS, both the personal 1040 and the business PRO Tax. Then, after tax season, I started supporting QuickBooks DOS 1.0 and 2.0 with the great payroll add on Quick Pay that worked most of the time. I migrated to the Windows version 3.0 of QuickBooks and was part of the first support team for the integrated payroll in version 4.1.

Me: Joe, I suppose you have talked to thousands or tens of thousands of QuickBooks users over the years. What were some of the common problems you saw over and over again?

Joe: The most common problem was “My account disappeared”, caused when “creating a new account”. It was usually caused by clicking Edit instead of New and then changing the account type and name. The most difficult thing was explaining to a CPA that QuickBooks CANNOT make a one sided journal entry, even if it “just a program”.

Me: When your job is helping people, strange things happen from time to time. Do you remember any notably humorous or strange conversations you had with users?

Joe: Two of the most remembered ones:

1. A secretary was handed QuickBooks and told to install it and start using it. She called in tears because she could not get it installed and could not find the PC. The support tech finally got it installed. She had the computer on the desk but it did not have a drive door. On the desk was also a TV and on the floor was some other box.

2. A customer called with a network connection issue and data damage. We got the damage cleared up and the connection fixed. As we were closing the call, there was a loud yell “Oh my G..”.

When asked what happened, he answered, “Well, my partner’s office is across the alley on the 2nd floor. I turned the BNC connector to lock it and the trash truck just came by and the PC flew out the window”.

Me: Wow. Everybody must have been surprised by that one.

Joe, you’ve seen QuickBooks evolve over the years. What trends have you seen? Where do you think QuickBooks is heading as a product?

Joe: I have seen it become more graphics-oriented and organized into the different centers. I will say that I still use the menu bar and control keys to get what I want to see and find.

Me: You’ve posted 6,000 answers on our QuickBooks Forums. That’s an amazing accomplishment and represents a tremendous amount of help for QuickBooks users. Thank you! It’s a pleasure having you in our community. Any final thoughts or words for your fellow forum members?

Joe: 1. Keep up the good work and remember “Use QuickBooks like you would do the books manually.” If you get a notice (bill) and then immediately pay it just use a check.

2. No, Intuit has not created the Kreskin version of QuickBooks yet.

Get free expert QuickBooks help from Joe Williams and others at the QuickBooks Forums.

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