Many of you readers are already going strong with QuickBooks 2014. But a lot of folks are using earlier versions and have postponed upgrading for a variety of reasons:

* Waiting until potential bugs are worked out of the new version.
* Waiting until your older version is no longer supported
* Waiting until a new version gives you something you really need

Here we are in March 2014. Is now a good time to upgrade to version 2014?

RELATED: QuickBooks 2014 Screenshots

* QuickBooks 2014 is currently in its fourth release (R4). Lots of bugs have been fixed, and stability has certainly increased since R1.

Most QuickBooks 2014 users don’t have any significant problems with their version.

As far as data errors related to version 2014, we seem to observe a proportionally higher incidence of inventory related errors, encrypted data errors (problems with social security numbers, vendor tax IDs, bank account numbers, and customer credit cards), and user data errors (difficulties when adding, changing, or deleting users, or their passwords, or their permissions).

RELATED: What to Do When You Can’t Add or Change Users
Problems with Customer Credit Cards in Enterprise 13

These problems were also present in version 2013, but seem (in our anecdotal experience) a little more common in the 2014 version. Please note, however, that these errors are not typical of the experience of most version 2014 users.

RELATED: Is It Possible for a Corrupted QuickBooks File to Be Recovered?

* Sunset issues. Version 2011 will probably be sunsetted — officially become an unsupported version — this May. At least, that is what has happened in previous Mays: support for the version 3 years back is discontinued.

So if you are using QuickBooks 2011, now would be a very good time to consider upgrading to QuickBooks 2014. (Although you could upgrade to version 2012 or 2013…you don’t have to necessarily upgrade to the latest version.)

RELATED: QuickBooks 2010 About to Depart into the Sunset
              The User Who Sailed Around the Sunset (Policy)

* Features. New features in version 2014 have been well documented by others.

Are you getting ready to take the plunge into QuickBooks 2014? What are your thoughts about it?

Here are some of the better reviews of the recently released QuickBooks 2014.

QuickBooks 2014 Has Arrived! Here is What to Expect – The Sleeter Group

Email Improvements – This has been an area where I’ve felt that Intuit hasn’t kept up with the times. Support and integration with email is just not very good. This year there are a number of changes in this area. Is it enough?

The Customer Center now has a tab for Sent Email, where you can see a history (of sorts) of the emails that you have sent to a client from within QuickBooks. You now have the ability to send a customer payment receipt via email.

(Note: Charlie Russell has posted a number of detailed blog entries at the Sleeter website above that analyze various aspects of QuickBooks 2014)

RELATED: QuickBooks 2014 Screenshots

QuickBooks 2014 Client Collaborator – Intuitive Accountant

Users of the the Accountant versions of QuickBooks 2014 can initiate what might seem like an ‘instant message’ to their client directly from inside QuickBooks.  While using a copy of your client’s data (either an Accountant’s Copy or a Back-up), should you have a question concerning a transaction, you can open the Collaborator and simply ask a question about the transaction.  

(Note: William Murphy has posted a number of detailed blog entries at the site above that analyze various aspects of QuickBooks 2014)

QuickBooks 2014 – Payroll Center Enhancements – Sunburst Software Solutions

In QuickBooks 2014 the Payroll Center underwent a complete overhaul – which was badly needed in my opinion – and the outcome is both well-designed and useful, at least in my opinion.

For years, we’ve lived with a cramped Payroll Center, that was so full of “stuff” that it was often difficult for users to figure out what the heck they were supposed to do in it or how in the heck they were supposed to even use it.

 Bank Feeds in QuickBooks 2014 – Presti & Naegele

Bank Feeds is the new Online Banking feature in QuickBooks 2014. Compared to the 2013, the visual aspects of the online banking feature has been changed significantly, providing more room to work in and using color to highlight different transactions and features.

What’s New in QuickBooks Enterprise 2014? – Scott Gregory

Remember these key points as you consider an upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise 2014/14.0

Currently on an active Full Service and Support Plan with Intuit? You will automatically receive a copy of QuickBooks Enterprise 2014 at no additional cost.Watch your e-mail – Intuit will be sending you notices about the upgrade.

The data in your current QuickBooks file will upgrade to QuickBooks 2014 seamlessly. You should not have any worries about that as you evaluate the purchase of QuickBooks 2014.

RELATED: How QuickBooks 2014 Installs and Registers

 Are you going to be getting QuickBooks 2014? What is driving your decision?

Intuit has streamlined some of the process of installing and registering QuickBooks 2014. The more streamlined and simple the better, as far as I’m concerned.

I downloaded and installed both QuickBooks 2014 Accountant (Premier) and QuickBooks Enterprise Accountant Edition 14. They both installed and went through the installation and registration processes in identical fashion. I would assume that the QuickBooks Pro 2014 version does the same.

When you install QuickBooks 2014, you start by entering your QuickBooks license number and product number. You’ve got to get that entered correctly before it begins unpacking itself onto your hard drive.

Once it does start installing in earnest, it begins the registration process while the installation proceeds. Here’s what you’ll see at one point in the process:

quickbooks 2014 installation
Register while installing

You enter three short screens of information, and that will be enough to complete the install and open QuickBooks 2014.

Now at this point, your copy of QuickBooks is still officially ‘unregistered’. If you click “My Company” in the navigation pane, you’ll see that (in big red letters!)

I don’t know why that is; you would think that the registration process that took place during installation would be sufficient. But it’s not. You’ve got 30 days to register your installation.

RELATED: Review – The QuickBooks Registration Process

When you click the link in QuickBooks to register your copy, it will bring up a window asking for your phone number and zip code. That has got to agree with the phone number and zip code in your Intuit account profile. Enter it and you’re in like Flynn. You don’t have to wade through any promo screens, or call an 800 number or anything unpleasant like that to complete your registration.

The registration process is not quite as streamlined as I think it could be, but it’s not bad. Have you installed and registered QuickBooks 2014 yet? What was your experience like?

There are a number of great reviews of QuickBooks 2014 already out there.

But for you visually-oriented folks, here are some screenshots that will help you get a quick fix on what the new version looks/feels like. Click on any of the screenshots below to get a larger image view.

RELATED: QuickBooks 2014 Menus
QuickBooks 2013 Screenshots

Let’s start out with the QuickBooks 2014 home page. Here’s what it looks like for a sample company. All screenshots are taken with R1 of QuickBooks Accountant 2014 (Premier edition).

QuickBooks 2014 Home Screen


Note the different color scheme and navigation pane compared to the 2013 version.

RELATED: How to Make QuickBooks 2013 Look More Like Old QuickBooks Versions

QuickBooks 2014 Customer Center Screenshot

quickbooks 2014 customer center screenshot
Customer Center

Note the new “Sent Email” tab. That’s helpful to see the past trail of emails (emailed invoices, sales receipts, etc.) that you have sent to your customer.

Something else new on the Customer Center is the “Income Tracker”. When you click on it, you see this.

QuickBooks 2014 Income Tracker Screenshot

quickbooks 2014 income tracker screenshot
Income Tracker

This is a great dashboard-style tool that allows you to get both high level and detailed information about your accounts receivable. You can filter the kind of information given on this screen.

The transaction entry screens in 2014 sport the same look and feel of the 2013 version, with the “Office-style” ribbon at the top of the screen. Here’s what an invoice entry screen looks like.

QuickBooks 2014 Create Invoice Screenshot

quickbooks 2014 create invoice screenshot
Create Invoice screen

Not too different from the 2013 version invoice entry screen.

If you have the QuickBooks 2014 Accountant edition, here’s what the Accountant Center looks like.

QuickBooks 2014 Accountant Center Screenshot

quickbooks 2014 accountant center screenshot
Accountant Center

The batch entry feature is new.

There are, of course, many other screens in QuickBooks 2014, but this gives you an idea of some of the most important screens.

Now that you’ve seen what the QuickBooks 2014 screens looks like, you might also check out the QuickBooks 2014 Menus

Here are all of the menus found in QuickBooks 2014 Accountant (Premier). Click on any of them to enlarge. With this version/edition, you even get to customize your own Favorites Menu (see below to see how you create it). And although not technically a menu item, there is a reminder widget out to the right… Continue reading