Ever wondered what the browser landscape is like in the QuickBooks world?

Here is the breakdown for the last 50,000 unique visitors of this blog (presumably QuickBooks users!)

* Internet Explorer: 48.80%

* Firefox: 27.63%

* Chrome: 14.84%

* Safari: 6.86%

* Other: ~1%

This matches up pretty well with the browser use pattern seen in our QuickBooks Forums too. The incidence of Chrome was slightly higher there, coming at the expense of Internet Explorer.

If you run a pretty recent version of QuickBooks, you know about “Live Community” — the connection point between QuickBooks and the Intuit Community. That’s a great support resource.

But it’s not the only resource.

The QuickBooks Forums is the largest independent (non-Intuit) community of QuickBooks users and experts.

There are about 50,000 members, and membership is free. The forum is frequented by QuickBooks experts like retired Intuit senior support rep Joe Williams, as well as several Certified Advanced QuickBooks Pro Advisors, and regular users who have tons of day-to-day experience with QuickBooks.

Check it out! There are subforums for various editions of QuickBooks, and special discussion areas for users in the UK, Australia, and Canada.

The QuickBooks Jobs and the QuickBooks Local Workshops sections help you connect with employment and training opportunities.

See you there!

When you’re online, who’s the guy everybody loves to hate? The spammer, of course.

The QuickBooks Forums, the largest independent online community of QuickBooks users and experts, attracts spammers. Why shouldn’t it? Just *maybe* someone will click their link and buy a hot tub online…

So we actively police our forums for spammers, and we enforce a “one strike, you’re out” policy. Anyone who spams our forums at all has their posts deleted and their account banned. That means they can’t log in to the forums anymore or post anything else.

We believe that because of the way we have our forum registration process set up, there are no longer any “spambots” registering and flooding the forums with irrelevancies. But real human spammers do show up, as they do in every online community.

We have several moderators who act as constables for the community. Thank you Lisa, Laura, Al, and Patsy! We appreciate the work you do! The QuickBooks Forums also enjoys a virtual ‘neighborhood watch’ of members who report spammers. Thanks to all of you too!

If you see a spammy post, click the red and white triangle icon above and to the right of the post. That’s the way to “Report Post” and notify us that we should look at it and possibly remove it.

Do you have a suggestion of how to control spammers in our forums?

If you like to interact with other QuickBooks users and some experts too, come join the QuickBooks Forums.

It’s the largest, most active independent QuickBooks online community out there, with about 45,000 members. That means more interaction and information for you to draw from.

It’s a great venue to ask questions, get and give advice, find FAQs, and connect with other users and pros. It’s an international community, too, which is fun.

There are some rants and raves, but it’s mostly people interacting together to figure out how to solve problems and make QuickBooks work better in their offices.

I’ve enjoyed making connections there with lots of small business people. Considering that its focus is accounting software, it’s a pretty fun and interesting place because of all the people who get involved and the variety of issues they are dealing with.

Oh, and it’s free too.

Join the conversation today!

Joyce Beck, a contributor on the QuickBooks Forums since 2003, just rolled over her 3,000th post. That’s a lot of great advice from one lady!

Joyce is a QuickBooks Pro Advisor in the UK, but is quick to help folks in the US and elsewhere as well. She goes by RobJoy on the forums.

According to her forum profile, she also enjoys music and gardening. I think those hobbies imply some measure of thoughtfulness — and that’s what she consistently demonstrates on the forums.

Thanks, Joyce!

We did a survey in our June eNewsletter and asked our subscribers what online resources they used for business info and connections.

The results:

QuickbooksUsers.com Forums – 44%
Intuit Community – 34%
LinkedIn – 19%
Facebook – 15%
Twitter – 7%
None of the above – 36%

I was a little surprised that Twitter was so low. A little dismayed, too — I like Twitter!

Other online resources mentioned several times were Google, the IRS website, state CPA org websites, and the Wall Street Journal.

Want some good DIY problem-solving for QuickBooks? Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information, and with their new interface there are several new ways to slice and dice the web’s information about QuickBooks.

Let’s say you are interested in exploring what options there are for check printing in QuickBooks:

The list on the left shows how you can subdivide your results.

Shopping for QuickBooks or related accessories? Click the Shopping link on the left.

Want some free video training tools? Click on Video and it will pull up YouTube and other content.

Want to know what’s being said real-time about QuickBooks? Search on QuickBooks and then click Updates and you’ll see the Twitter timeline. You don’t have to have a Twitter account to access it.

One not-so-new, but still valuable Google trick for finding DIY QuickBooks support is using the site: prefix in your search. Use site: at the beginning of your search to concentrate your search in an answer-rich environment. Searching within forums.quickbooksusers.com,  support.quickbooks.intuit.com and community.intuit.com works great.

google-for-quickbooks-solutions

Anybody else have a tip for using Google to find what you need for QuickBooks?

Folks want free support. There’s nothing wrong with wanting free. I want free. Everyone wants free!

But for QuickBooks, I think there are some particular reasons people want and often expect free support:

1. For most users, QuickBooks is pretty inexpensive software, and people want inexpensive (free!) support to go with it.

2. Free is quite attractive to small businesses or nonprofits who are struggling to keep their heads above water in a tough economy.

3. There’s often a do-it-yourself ethos with QuickBooks. I’m going to save money by doing it myself — it’s easy, right?! If you can write a check, you can do your own books with QuickBooks! And when you (almost) do it yourself, it’s supposed to be free.

To be sure, we have a free QuickBooks Forum where tens of thousands of questions and problems have been asked and answered. It’s free, no strings attached.

And Twitter is a place for limited free support. Limited, because it’s difficult to ask and answer questions in just 140 characters.

The Intuit Community is a free support resource.

Otherwise, support doesn’t come free. And there’s a good reason for that…the people providing the support have to make a living at what they do. Our forums are amazing because there are a lot of members who volunteer their time to help other people out. I am so impressed with the altruism of our members.

But if you want to talk to someone now to resolve your QuickBooks problem, whether it’s at QuickbooksUsers.com or elsewhere, well, that someone has to make a living. Don’t we all!

How do you feel about paying (or being paid) for software support?