Most users of QuickBooks Enterprise have heard about the changes in Intuit’s licensing model. As of October 6, 2014, new users of Enterprise are required to pay an annual subscription fee to use the software. Depending on the number of licenses you have, and which level of support you want, the cost is in the thousands of dollars every year.

So what are the options for users? A lot of it depends on whether you bought Enterprise before or after October 6.

If you bought Enterprise before October 6, 2014: Keep doing what you’re doing, for as long as you can. Intuit is not forcing pre-October 6 users to use the new pricing model. In fact, the new pricing model is not available to pre-October 6 users at this time.

If you have a support plan with your existing version, you can choose to renew that or not when it comes due. If you don’t have a support plan with your existing version, you can continue that way too.

Prediction: Within three years, all pre-October 6 Enterprise users will have to sign up for the new licensing model in order to get any support at all for their product. Why? Because that would be in line with Intuit’s trend towards prioritizing subscription based revenue streams, as opposed to standalone desktop software sales. And after three years, all existing users of current versions will have to upgrade to a newer, post-October 6 2014 version anyway to get support, as the older versions will have been sunsetted.

If you bought Enterprise on or after October 6, 2014: You’re in the new system, and you can’t choose the old system. What you can choose is the annual subscription level you want. There are three subscription levels to pick from, depending on whether you need payroll (Gold) or payroll plus advanced inventory/pricing capabilities (Platinum), or just a core subscription (Silver).

You cannot opt out of this subscription system. In particular, if you don’t stay current with your annual subscription, your software won’t work anymore. This will not be popular with budget-minded users who like to use their software with minimal or no support for three years, then upgrade to the current version. Under the new protocol, you have to pay every year.

The only other option for companies with 5 or fewer users is to downgrade from Enterprise to Premier or Pro. This is a good option for users for whom Enterprise is overkill anyway. It is not a good option in larger-volume situations.

RELATED: Is It Possible to Convert an Enterprise File to Premier or Pro?
                        “Data Migrated from Enterprise to Pro with 100% Accuracy”

How do you see it? What are you going to do?


12 thoughts on “What Are the Options Now for Enterprise Users?

  1. Hello Shannon.

    Regarding ERP for the mid market, which I believe ES could be considered in, we are entering an inflection point where on premise solutions are getting less popular. Intuit’s move with the new pricing model is as unpopular as unpopular can get with no innovation within. We all know that QB for Desktop is ready to RIP. Intuit is so focused on the QBO parade that it’s not minding the midmarket, and it’s really a shame. It looks like Intuit wants to get rid of desktop users ASAP, repelling everyone. I would like to think that there’s at least someone with enough empowerment at Intuit who could built a competitive strategy for ES, be it through revamp or acquisition of an existing platform.

    What to do? Well, I have no other option than to look for alternatives and wish that Intuit comes out with something that I can fall in love again. QBO is nice, but it’s not my arena.

  2. Hi Marco,

    I think I would agree with what you say, except that I would make a distinction between Enterprise and the other desktop editions. Intuit doesn’t really have a cloud-based offering (yet) that does what Enterprise does. So I think that they have a pretty compelling interest in keeping Enterprise desktop a competitive product within its market. That would explain why almost all of the new capabilities in the 2015 desktop releases are found in only the Enterprise edition.

    Thanks for your comment.

    • Shannon, thanks for your reply.

      Everything has a lifecycle. I just hope Intuit has a transition plan for ES, making it a bit more robust in order to compete in the mid market arena.

      Some facts:

      – Desktop ERP for mid market is getting less popular each day, mostly because the market and software companies have created some illusions around advantages/disadvantages.
      – Cloud ERP’s for the mid market User Interfaces, like Acumatica’s or Open Bravo’s, are still very ugly and non intuitive, you feel like a robot working with them.
      – QB Desktop’s UI is the benchmark, even for QBO. QB Desktop, as of today, is the best UI in the market, this is a fact, whoever says different doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

      Small and Medium businesses have nowadays a more professional approach for their operations, buying in concepts like BPM, BPR, OCM, ERP, HRM, CRM, BI, Internal Controls, etc.; concepts that some years ago were almost exclusive for big companies.

      Change is the word.

  3. From Above:
    The only other option for companies with 5 or fewer users is to downgrade from Enterprise to Premier or Pro. This is a good option for users for whom Enterprise is overkill anyway. It is not a good option in larger-volume situations.

    But doesn’t the change indicate that the Premier and Pro versions will soon follow suit and convert to an annual subscription requirement? I use the 2012 Pro version for our church and will be required to go to 2015 Pro soon. The cost is very close to prohibitive for a small church when it costs $299 for the program “3yr rental” and currently $300 per yr subscription for the tax tables. The tax tables seem to go up by $50 every year and for a Texas church the tables don’t really change during the year. If Pro changes we will be looking at other options. There are some church-specific packages available that even allow the user to maintain the tax tables.

    • Hi Ronald,

      Will Intuit make Pro and Premier users convert to annual subscription? Maybe, who knows? They are making a big (and successful) push now to convert Pro and Premier users to Online. I understand your complaint about having to pay for updates you don’t feel like you need…

      Thanks for your comments.

  4. If you live in Canada, got the email and are looking at going to the cloud, consider this:

    I have repeatedly requested that a Canadian cloud host site be established. To the best of my knowledge Intuit cloud products are ALL hosted in the US and Intuit has not listened. Thus, the IRS, FBI, Homeland Security, etc can ask for access to your CANADIAN data files.

    Canadian residents: stick to the desktop version! Dealing with Canadian tax and police authorities is bad enough. Don’t complicate your life.

  5. I have been providing QuickBooks business bookkeeping services since QB DOS 1.0 came out. I have used every version of QB and I want to strongly reiterate that there is no other business bookkeeping software better than the QB desktop version. If Intuit ever eliminates the desktop version, it will put me out of business and my clients will go crazy having to start with a new bookkeeping software and bookkeeper!!!! It is the easiest to teach to anyone, including complete novices, so PLEASE DO NOT EVER ELIMNATE THE DESKTOP VERSION!!!

  6. I wish they could have a web based solution with all the features of Enterprise solutions. Apply patches and software updates is a pain with this software.

  7. Pingback: Revert QuickBooks Enterprise Files to Lower Versions « QuickBooks and Your Business

  8. Pingback: QuickBooks 2012 Is About to Be Discontinued « QuickBooks and Your Business

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