“I’m using an old version of QuickBooks, and my hard drive died today. QuickBooks won’t give me the install codes – they say they don’t support my version anymore, and I have to upgrade. But I don’t want to upgrade! I just want to reinstall my old version.”

I have this conversation with users all the time. And it’s a shame. The solution would have been simple if they had only backed up their license keys and install codes.

This isn’t just about QuickBooks. It’s about any software you use that comes with registration/installation codes and keys.

The simple fix?

1. Make sure that you keep your license keys/codes with your original install CD. Write it on a label and stick it on the jewel case with the install CD. If you downloaded your software, see #2.

2. Create a document that contains your license keys. It could be just a Word or text file. Whenever you install new software, update the file with a new line that has your software’s name and version plus any registration keys or codes.

With QuickBooks 2010, you had to call Intuit directly on the phone to get a ‘verification’ number that was needed to complete the software registration. Make sure you keep that number with your other registration info.

Make sure that your registration information file is either backed up to an online backup service, or is an online document in the first place (like a Google Docs file.)

Why backup your license keys? Because before you know it, your software vendor won’t give them to you anymore. So take ten minutes and do this. Then, when the day comes and you need to reinstall your old software, you won’t need to panic or call anyone. You’ll just grab your keys and go.

Posted in IT.

Are you a…

  • QuickBooks ProAdvisor
  • QuickBooks Advanced Certified ProAdvisor
  • Intuit Marketplace Developer
  • IT consultant

You might qualify to become a QuickbooksUsers.com Referral Partner.

We team up with selected individuals and companies in the U.S. and around the world to offer critical QuickBooks data services to their client bases. It means more billable income for you, and a competitive advantage; extremely few organizations offer the tech services you could be offering.

Join us to refer/resell specialized QuickBooks data services like QuickBooks database repair, supercondensing, and edition downgrades.

One of our international referral partners says this:

“We’re glad to have signed up as your referral partner to offer QuickBooks file repair services to our customer base in Asia. The responses we get from you, so far, have been excellent. The first job assignment was well done. We were able to return the repaired file to the client the next working day, minimizing their down time. We will be promoting your services in our region.”

Partner with us today! Apply online.

We asked our QuickBooks User News subscribers about what frustrated them about QuickBooks. They spoke! There seemed to be a pattern to what was considered painful about using QuickBooks. The biggest issues?

  • Version issues: Forced upgrades, lack of compatibility between versions, upgrade cost
  • Reporting issues: Limitations in ability to customize
  • Performance issues: Too slow to load and run
  • Integration issues: Difficulty with imports
  • Marketing issues: Intuit overzealous to upsell/cross-sell
  • Training & usability issues: Too difficult for some non-accountants to use

The good news is that Intuit is constantly enhancing their product. QuickBooks 2011 is in beta testing now. We’ll let you know what’s new soon. Hopefully some of the ‘pain points’ in QuickBooks will have been addressed.

Is your ‘issue’ on this list?

Is your QuickBooks file too big, sluggish, slow? Did it use to be lean and quick but now has a paunch?

As you use QuickBooks over the years, the transactions build up more and more. For transaction-heavy businesses, this results in large data files that take longer and longer to update in real-time across a network. As a result, it can take QuickBooks many seconds to post a new invoice or run a report.

Archiving data in QuickBooks has two disadvantages:

1. You lose historical reporting ability
2. It often does not really trim down the size of the file, especially if you track inventory in QuickBooks.

The answer? Supercondense your data. We invented this process, and it can result in a 50% or more reduction in your QBW file size, and faster QuickBooks performance on your network.

Instead of removing transactions from your data, we remove the audit trail and do some other housecleaning on the file. None of your transactions, accounts, or balances change. But your data file gets lean and mean.

We can analyze your file for free and let you know how much we can shrink it. No obligation. Contact us today at 1-800-999-9209 to schedule your analysis.

In the June issue of the QuickBooks User News, we surveyed our subscribers about what they liked best about QuickBooks.

Perhaps not surprisingly, ease of use was the thing most people mentioned.

What else did people like?

  1. Exporting data to Excel
  2. Reporting features, report variety and reporting flexibility
  3. User interface and program organization
  4. Available online help resources (including the QuickBooks Forums)

What frustrated people about QuickBooks? Check this blog in a week or so for that post…

Did you notice that blog.quickbooksonline.com stayed up even when quickbooksonline.com and quickbooksonline.intuit.com went down?

I’m talking about those few hours on July 14 when many of Intuit’s websites and online servers were unavailable because of a commercial power failure in San Diego.

I tried several Intuit sites and subsites during the episode, and that blog was the only Intuit site I could access. (I didn’t try Intuit’s non-US sites or tax software sites.)

But blog.quickbooksonline.com never went down, and started posting helpful status updates that morning.

How did the blog manage to stay up and running? Because it’s not on Intuit’s servers. The blog’s DNS resolves to wordpress.com — WordPress’ hosted version of their renowned blogging platform.

If the blog had been self-hosted on one of Intuit’s servers, it too would have been unavailable during those hours. It was a good thing that at least part of QuickBooks Online’s web presence was located somewhere else.

I made this graphic on neoformix.com, and it shows the spike of tweets about QuickBooks on July 14, 2010. The graphic shows the explosion of tweets peaking about 2:30 pm. The volume of tweets was several times that of the day before and the day after. The graphic also shows what other words were most commonly used in those tweets.

Twitter stream for quickbooks on July 14 2010
Twitter stream for 'quickbooks' on July 14 2010

Follow QuickbooksUsers on Twitter

Part of your QuickBooks company data is the TLG file. It’s not something you normally are aware of, but in some situations it can be a very important file.

The transaction log file (TLG for short) is maintained automatically by QuickBooks as part of your data. The file resides in the same folder as your main QBW file, and has the same file name. But it has a .TLG extension. In transaction-intensive businesses, the file can become quite large — 1GB or bigger.

Whenever you post a transaction in your company file, the TLG file is updated. And that is why it is sometimes a very valuable file.

We sometimes talk to people who have lost their current data file — it either got deleted somehow, or is so badly damaged it is unusable and unfixable.

But if they have a good backup — even if it is old — and a good current TLG file, we can take the old backup and bring it to current status by applying the missing transactions we can get out of the TLG file.

It’s one method we use for QuickBooks data repair.

I am working with a customer today who has this exact scenario, so I thought I’d briefly write about it.

p.s. We occasionally hear of users being instructed to delete their TLG file. Don’t ever do that without copying it to a different folder or drive first. You might need it sometime!

We are getting lots of calls today from people having problems accessing QuickBooks Online and other websites and services on Intuit servers.

Intuit tweeted this morning, saying that they had a commercial power failure and are working to restore services.

As of the time of this post, we are seeing the following websites down:

QuickBooks Online
Intuit Merchant Services
Intuit Community

QuickBooks Online put up a status page with updates today.

We are trying to tweet and retweet status updates on our twitter account.