Intuit has put new multiuser capacity restrictions on the 2011 versions of QuickBooks Pro and Premier editions.

QuickBooks Pro 2011 can now have up to three simultaneous users.

QuickBooks Premier 2011 can now accomodate up to 5 simultaneous users.

Previous versions of Pro and Premier allowed as many simultaneous users as there were installed product licenses, and you could purchase/add as many as you wanted. (Performance would suffer, though, if there were too many simultaneous users. Perhaps that is why the multiuser capacity is now limited??)

QuickBooks Enterprise Edition 2011 can accomodate up to 30 simultaneous users.

Here is a product comparison table on Intuit’s website, including the multiuser capacity information.

This new multiuser limitation may mean that some users will have to upgrade editions of QuickBooks if they want to stay current with the latest software and still allow their staff the same access to QuickBooks.

QuickBooks data files will automatically upgrade to higher editions when they are first opened in the higher edition. QuickBooks data files cannot be opened in lower editions unless they are edition downgraded.

What do you think about the capacity change? Will it affect the edition you use?

(Thanks to Lisa Peterson for the heads up on this via LinkedIn)

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Have you ever tried to open an existing company file in QuickBooks and been confused? You see multiple copies of your file and don’t know which is the right one?

Or worse, you realize that your data has a “hole” in it, representing a month or more of data entry? You know you entered July’s entries, but suddenly they are just gone!?

The problem here could be that you have more than one version of your data on your computer or network, and have somehow jumped the track from one to the other. In the process, you left some of your data entry work behind.

This is difficult to correct after the fact. But it is not so hard to prevent it from happening in the first place. The key is to only have one working copy of your company file on your computer or server.

Note: If you run QuickBooks on a network and have different users accessing the company file, that company file should be in just one place. If you have copies scattered across the various network hard drives, that’s a recipe for disaster.

There are two ways to work the problem, depending on how confident you are that you are currently using the right copy.

If you are sure you are using the right copy, and want to prevent future problems…

Open your existing company file in QuickBooks. Press F2 and note the location and name of your file.

While the file is still open in QuickBooks, open My Computer or your server drive (if you run QuickBooks across a network.)

Search for this: *.qbw

You will see all your QuickBooks company files.

Your current company file will have the most current date and will be in the location you observed on the F2 screen.

You may see copies or duplicates of the same data. Delete (or rename) the copies of your file that are not the current one.

If you have copies of the data that you do want to keep (e.g. a pre-upgrade version, an end-of-year copy, etc.) then of course do not delete them. Just make sure that the company file name is unique and clear, so it could never be confused with your current working file.

If you don’t know which one is the right copy…

Don’t delete anything! Exit QuickBooks. Do the search as described above.

Look for the copy of your company file that has the biggest file size.

Unless your data has been supercondensed or recreated, the biggest file is generally the most current, because it has more transactions in it than older copies. Make a note of the name and location of the file (drive and folder path).

Don’t delete the other copies. Rather, rename them to something else (e.g. mycompany-probablyold-1.qbw, mycompany-probablyold-2.qbw, etc.)

Then open QuickBooks. Open existing company, and navigate to the location of the current company file (if it’s not already looking in the right place by default.) Open the file. Press F2 and look at the summary of information. Look right? Run some transaction reports and make sure that recent entries are there. If so, you’re good to go. If not, then you will have to meticulously examine other files or restore current backups. This is sometimes dangerous ground; get help if you need it.

When people call us for QuickBooks data recovery services, this sometimes comes up. We can repair damaged files, but we can’t put Humpty Dumpty together again if the wrong file has been used for a few months and data is “missing”. Better to avoid the situation in the first place.

Thanks to Laura Dion, one of our forum moderators, for addressing this question on the QuickBooks Forums.

Any other tips for preventing confusion about QuickBooks data files?

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I love my smartphone because when I’m not behind my desk, I can still do almost everything associated with my job.

  • Check and reply to business emails quickly
  • Take business calls, forwarded from my main desk phone number
  • Manage user accounts and jobs
  • Admin our QuickBooks user forum
  • Moderate blog comments, and reply to them
  • Tweet, reply, retweet, follow — anything Twitter
  • Follow LinkedIn discussions I’m tracking
  • Gmail chat my family (ok, that’s not a business thing, but is really cool)
  • Listen to Pandora (ditto)

My current phone of choice? Verizon’s Droid Incredible. It has JavaScript and Flash support; there’s really no website I’ve browsed yet that hasn’t worked.

So if I’m on the road or even just checking email in a restaurant parking lot after lunch, I’m just as connected as I would be at my desk. That makes for better business communication, faster responses, and quicker customer service. Rocks.

I think the biggest competitive advantage small businesses can have is faster and more personal responses to opportunities and customers. And that’s a door that smartphones can open. Smartphones make it *much* easier to stay connected to your online network.

How about you? Is a smartphone an important part of your business life?

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Posted in IT.

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!

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Intuit today announced details about the upcoming QuickBooks 2011 version:

  • Will go on sale September 27
  • Includes new batch invoicing feature for repetitive charges
  • Integrates with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail for emailed invoicing
  • Customer snapshot gives quick look at a customer’s history and stats
  • QuickBooks Connect offered as new separately billable service to access some QuickBooks company data through the web or a mobile phone

QuickBooks Accountant Edition 2011 includes the new ability to have multiple companies open at the same time, and the ability to more easily manage multiple versions of clients’ data.

Do any of these new features grab your attention?

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inventory for quickbooks
Without the right tools, inventory management can seem impossible.

There are three important things you need to know about your inventory to be successful in inventory management:

1. How much inventory you have right now. Do you know how many products you have on hand? If not, can you find out how many in a few seconds or would it be a big ordeal to do that? These are important questions because you need to know how much you have in stock before ordering more.

2. How much inventory you need. It’s essential to know which products are selling and how fast they’re selling to decide how many to order. It’s not enough to make an educated guess. Having a detailed list of product sales helps you recognize trends and know when to order more or less to match those trends.

3. Where your products are. So you’ve got a product shipment coming in or going out. Do you know when it’s expected to arrive? It’s important to track orders to make sure the right products end up at the right place at the right time. If something goes wrong, you can immediately follow up to correct the problem.

These are nice lofty goals, but what’s a practical way to attain them? With QuickBooks inventory management software.

QuickBooks is, of course, a great tool for keeping track of finances. When you combine QuickBooks with inventory management software, you can update your inventory system and accounting software at the same time. This makes it easier to know exactly how much inventory you have at any time, when to reorder and where products are, both in your warehouse and in transit.

~ by Robert Lockard, a copywriter for Fishbowl Inventory.

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When my family camped in Yellowstone National Park last month, we were camping in bear country.

Yellowstone grizzly bear
A clover-eating grizzly I photographed on the shore of Lake Yellowstone

Unfortunately, there have been some bad bear incidents in Yellowstone this summer.

A friend of mine let me borrow his bear spray for our trip. Bear spray is like personal-defense pepper spray, except it’s grizzly bear strength. I took the spray and packed it when we were on remote trails.

A warning on the can’s label almost made me laugh: “Don’t intentionally provoke a bear”. I could just visualize some nut feeling confident with his can of bear spray and chasing a bear down in order to confront it, spray it, and earn some kind of moronic bragging rights.

To avoid bear problems, you are supposed to be careful to not leave food out, not to smell like food, not to surprise a bear, not to run away from a bear…the list goes on.

Bear spray is designed to be the last line of defense against bears.

My company provides data repair services for QuickBooks users, and those services could be considered the last line of defense against QuickBooks data problems. But they are not the only defense.

There are lots of things you can do to minimize the chance of having QuickBooks data problems in the first place:

  • Have battery backups on your server, your routers, and all your workstations
  • Have internet security software installed on all your computers
  • Keep Windows up to date on all your computers
  • Keep QuickBooks updated on your system
  • Use the same kind of networking equipment on all your workstations
  • Make regular backups to a location off of your server

If you do these things, you greatly minimize the chance of encountering data problems in QuickBooks in the first place. But we’ll be your bear spray if somehow it ever gets to that point.

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Posted in IT.