Some things in business improve over time, and others seem stuck.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell tested the first working telephone with the words, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.”

If he had instead said, “Mr. Watson, come here. The answer is found!” then Watson would have replied, “The answer is sound? Yes, I hear it!” And Bell would have said, “No, no! Found! Found! F as in Frank!”

Which is what people still say in 2010 when they talk on the phone. You place an order over the phone. The rep asks you, “Is that F as in Frank?” “No, it’s S as in Sam”. “F” and “S” sounds are hard to differentiate over the phone even today.

You would think that after more than a century and billions of implementations, the telecommunication industry would have figured out how to make us intelligible to one another. But no. Smartphones are amazingly powerful, but how about some clear speech for our business phone calls?

Today there are a few centuries-old business practices/hassles that just might have taken a turn for the better with QuickBooks 2010:

* Filing documents. QuickBooks 2010 has an optional digital document management option. Scan and shred instead of file and store. There are 3rd party solutions for this too. Not only do you save storage space, but the digitized documents (invoices, for example) can be accessed within QuickBooks. That saves a lot of time on the retrieval side later on.

* Going to the bank to make deposits. The online check deposit option lets you scan and upload your checks for deposit instead of having to make a run to the bank. Saves time, gas, hassle. Brilliant!

* Making copies and taking them offsite. I have no idea how bookkeepers 100 years ago would deal with the possibility of the company books being destroyed by fire, etc. Maybe they would periodically make hand copies and take them offsite? Maybe not. In 2010, the online backup service offered by Intuit and 3rd party vendors makes it easy and efficient to safeguard the books in case something goes wrong.

The Intuit Workplace App Center adds even more problem-solving options to QuickBooks 2010.

Do you think QB 2010 makes a significant jump in office productivity? Are there other longstanding business problems you can think of that QuickBooks is addressing now?

What do these classic (’70s!) TV commercials have in common? And what do they have to do with QuickBooks?

Easy! It’s best when the customer decides what they want — and get it.

Sometimes folks using Enterprise decide that it’s a little more than they need.

No problem. We can take your Enterprise file and downgrade it to QuickBooks Pro or Premier. No data lost, no hassle.

Let us know if we can help with that. The customer is always right, right?

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?

Have you ever seen a screen like this?

I hope not!

But if you ever do find yourself unable to open your company, or it fails when you try to do certain operations in QuickBooks, there are three possibilities for recovery:

1. Restore your last good backup. Hopefully you have one that is pretty current.

Just make sure that you copy off your bad version of the data before you restore. Sound strange? Once you restore, your backup will overwrite your current data — that’s a permanent thing. So copy your bad version of the QBW file to a different location before restoring, just to keep all your options open.

If option #1 is unavailable or impractical for you…

2.  Upload your damaged file to QuickbooksUsers.com for repair. We have corrected over 10,000 damaged accounting databases since the 1980s, and our success rate with damaged QuickBooks data files is 95%.

If your QBW file is hopelessly corrupted, or is somehow even missing…

3. Upload your last good backup — even if it’s old — and your current TLG file.  The TLG file is your transaction log file and has the same name as your QBW file, but has a TLG extension. We can take your old backup and your current TLG file and bring your old backup up to date.

Most users never encounter this problem. But if you do, at least you have some options.

Last Friday, QuickBooks Online was offline for about a half day. There was quite a bit of Twitter traffic about it — people were frustrated who needed to access their books and couldn’t.

That is the downside of cloud computing: When there’s a problem with the cloud, everybody gets rained on. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.)

So you might conclude that putting your accounting data in the cloud makes you vulnerable to outages like last Friday’s. And you’d be right about that.

The alternative is desktop software, like QuickBooks Pro, Premier, or Enterprise. When QuickBooks is installed on your server or your computer’s hard drive, it is under YOUR control, and any problems on Intuit’s servers aren’t going to affect you too much.

No, you then have a different set of potential issues to deal with: issues with your own system.

  • Power blips in your office
  • Hard drive crashes on your computer
  • Viruses/worms/malware on your computer
  • Backup failures on your computer
  • Theft/fire/flood affecting your computer
  • Software conflicts between QuickBooks and other software installed on your computer
  • Outdated versions on your computer

There is an extremely good chance that Intuit’s IT department is more sophisticated than yours and is better equipped to prevent these kinds of problems than you are. But if you are running QuickBooks on your own computer(s) and have a good IT plan in place, you might go for years without any problems.

So the bottomline is this: Who do you want to manage the inherent risks associated with business IT?

One final thing.  This isn’t especially a QuickBooks question or even an accounting software question; it is a question that exists for any cloud vs. desktop business app.

What do you think? Do you trust the cloud or your desktop machine more?

This error showed up over the weekend. It is associated with an update that came out in AVG’s anti-virus software. This update, 271.1.1/2832 (AVG v9.0.814) falsely detects QuickBooks as being infected with a virus.

The workaround to the problem is to set up an AVG exception so that the QuickBooks folder is not scanned.

Details are on a QuickBooks KnowledgeBase page here.

If additional help needed — a walkthrough of the process, for example — give us a call at 1-800-999-9209 or click here.