software life cycleEvery QuickBooks version has a life cycle. Understanding that life cycle might save you some grief.

When a new version is released to the public, that version has already been tested thoroughly by Intuit’s development team. It has also been tested by a group of non-Intuit users — the beta testers. These testers put the new version through its paces with unplanned, real-life tests.

Still, relatively few people have used the new version prior to its official public release. And as you know, QuickBooks is quite complex in its feature sets and functionality.

Therefore, every new release will have bugs. This is true not only of QuickBooks, but of any complex software or app. There are simply too many lines of code being written and changed for it to be otherwise.

RELATED: QuickBooks File Wouldn’t Upgrade…

My first job out of college was as an accounting software tester. The company I was working for was developing general accounting software to be co-branded with IBM on the original PC (yes, this was back in the 80s). IBM already knew a thing or two about software testing protocols, and our company had already published industry-leading accounting software for the Apple computer market (pre-Mac!). So I had a well-planned script to follow when testing pre-released software.

I’m sure Intuit does too. In fact, Intuit’s test process is bound to be better than the test process we used way back when.

Even so, software testing processes are inherently imperfect and incomplete. Coding accounting software is hard. Programmers and testers are human and make mistakes. Real users in the real world will do things with the software that were not anticipated. (Just ask your QuickBooks consultant or accountant about some of the crazy things they’ve seen people do in QuickBooks.)

So, every new version of QuickBooks comes out of the gate with some problems. This is “normal”.

Problems are reported by users to Intuit. And I’m sure that Intuit prioritizes the problems and assigns their programming team to fix them.

Intuit then releases an update to QuickBooks. You download the update and install it, and it fixes problems.

There’s a good chance that there will some new problems in the update that are unique to that update — problems that weren’t there before. Hopefully the update fixes 10 or 20 or 100 problems for every new problem that it creates. Hopefully the new problems aren’t as serious as the ones that were fixed.

But an update isn’t a miracle worker — it probably doesn’t fix all the problems in the previous version. More problems will be reported, and after another month or two or three, another update will be made available to the user base.

After a few go-rounds of this, you usually have an updated version that works pretty darn well.

OK, so what? Well, if you understand that brand new versions are likely to have more bugs in it than older, updated versions, it might make you decide to wait a little bit before jumping on the upgrade bandwagon when a new version comes out.

RELATED: Are QuickBooks Users Upgrading?
How to Get Ready for a QuickBooks Upgrade

You may decide to read some reviews and blogs and forums and see what kind of experience users are having with the new version. If you decide to wait until the new version is updated, you can check these same sources and see what folks are saying about the update.

If the word in the street is favorable, then you’ll feel more comfortable about committing to the new version or update. But if a lot of people are having problems with it, then maybe you’d want to think about waiting until another update comes out and gets good user reviews.

That’s one approach to take, anyway. What’s your policy on installing QuickBooks updates?

The short answer: Yes. Here’s what people say who have had their file converted recently.

We converted from Enterprise to Pro a month ago & the file is working great. I don’t think that the conversion could have been more seamless. Thanks!” — Daniel Moss, Olympus Packaging LLC

I really appreciate how fast and easy you made the transition from Enterprise to Pro for me. Thank You!” — Peter Garza, Scantech Utility Detection Service, Inc.

Thank you very much! Just had our bookkeeper compare the data this morning, and she said everything matches and transferred well as far as she could see. Great job and done in a timely manner!” — Raj Phangureh

There are only two scenarios that prevent a file from being converted from Enterprise to Pro or Premier: 1) If the file has more than 14,500 names in it (press F2 in QuickBooks to see how many names your file has) or 2) If your version of Enterprise is higher/later than the version of Pro or Premier you want to convert to. In other words, we cannot convert an Enterprise 13 file to Pro 2012.

Otherwise, your Enterprise file should be convertible. For details and service ordering information, see this page.

Sometimes we just forget things. Or we write it down and then misplace the piece of paper! That happens with passwords sometimes.

Or one trusted person knew the password, and then leaves or is fired…and can’t or won’t share the password with you afterwards.

If that happens to you with your QuickBooks company password, don’t fret. The problem is solvable. There are two ways to tackle it:

1. If you are using QuickBooks 2011 or later, you can reset it within QuickBooks itself. At the log in screen, click the link next to the password prompt that says “I forgot my password”.

If you had set up a challenge question, it will ask you that, and if you remember the answer, you’re back in business. If not, click “I forgot my answer”.

You’ll then see this screen.

quickbooks password recovery screen

QuickBooks makes you confirm that the file’s password is going to be released to the authorized party on record. An email will be sent to that address with a temporary code. (See below if that email address is now unavailable to you.)

You enter that code at the prompt, and then you’ll be able to enter a new password for the file.

Having done that, it takes you back to the original log in screen. You can enter the new password and you’re in like Flynn.

2. Download the QuickBooks Automated Password Reset Tool. This is a free, downloadable tool to reset your password. You have to provide the same kind of information as per the method above, to confirm that you are authorized to reset the password:

* QuickBooks license number
* First and last name
* Email address of record
* Business phone number of record
* Zip code

You’ll then be able to download and run the utility to reset the password.

Fortunately, Intuit provides this even for unsupported (old) versions of QuickBooks. It’s only available for Windows versions, however. It doesn’t work on Mac versions or, of course, online editions of QuickBooks.

What if your QuickBooks installation is associated with an email address you no longer have access to, like an ex-employee’s personal email? You can jump through some hoops to update your e-mail address here. And then use one of the methods above to reset the password.

Have you used one of these methods before? How did it work out for you?