QuickBooks 2008 discontinued, unsupported, sunsetServices supporting QuickBooks Pro and Premier 2008, and Enterprise 8, were discontinued on May 31. It is Intuit’s policy to only support the current and prior two versions of their accounting products, and the end of May has been their cut off point for the last few years.

What is affected?

QuickBooks Payroll Services
For Assisted, Basic, Standard, and Enhanced Payroll, QuickBooks will no longer automatically calculate correct payroll taxes or provide payroll forms. Assisted Payroll will no longer send your payroll data.

Credit Card Processing
Merchant Service customers will no longer be able to process credit card transactions through QuickBooks, or download credit card transactions into QuickBooks if you use a terminal. Automatic credit card service will be discontinued.

Bill Pay
You will get an error and not be able to connect to your financial institution to pay bills.

Online Banking
You will get an error when trying to send online payments, download transactions, or conduct online transfers.

QuickBooks Email
You can no longer use the QuickBooks Email service to email sales receipts, purchase orders, etc. directly from QuickBooks. You CAN continue to email documents and reports out of QuickBooks by using Outlook, Outlook Express, or Windows Mail accounts, or by printing to PDF files and attaching those to emails outside of QuickBooks.

It would seem that the general pattern here is that QuickBooks 2008 will no longer be able to interface with much of anything in the outside world (through the internet).

If you are using QuickBooks 2008 with services that are now unavailable, the obvious, fast solution is to get a more current, supported version. Buying it new from Amazon seems to often be less expensive than getting an upgrade. The software is downloadable, so you don’t have to wait for delivery of a CD.

It is usually a painless experience to upgrade your company file from an older version to a newer version. You just open the company under the new version. But if your QuickBooks 2008 file will not verify, it won’t upgrade either, and the file may need to be repaired first, before it can be upgraded.

As far as I know, no company that makes accounting software supports old versions forever. It would be too expensive and would take technical resources away from development teams trying to make the product better for the future.

My company, AccountingUsers, Inc., will still continue to support QuickBooks 2008 and Enterprise 8 as far as troubleshooting data issues goes.

But for keeping Intuit services connected with QuickBooks 2008, the sun has already gone down.

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I’ve talked to a lot of QuickBooks users who have told me their QuickBooks file is too big.

According to several Pro and Premier end users, they were told by different support resources that you should upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise Edition if your company file size exceeds 150MB.

Whoa, hold on pardner!

Although Enterprise is designed to handle larger database sizes, it’s also several times more expensive than Pro or Premier, both for initial purchase and for annual upgrades. And the support plans cost much more.

I’m not sure where this perceived 150MB limit came from. The underlying database QuickBooks uses has not changed much since the 2006 version; the technical capacity of the database hasn’t changed recently. And most QuickBooks Pro and Premier users we talk to have file sizes of over 150MB.

Nonetheless, there is a point at which your file size gets too big and you notice slowdowns in QuickBooks. Or QuickBooks starts to crash. Whether that point is at 150MB, 300MB or 700MB…you tell me! Is QuickBooks working great for you, or are you starting to experience problems?

If your QBW file is getting too big to perform well, you do have options other than upgrading to Enterprise:

1. Condense/Cleanup your file. There is a built-in utility in QuickBooks that will reduce the file size to some extent. In many (most?) cases, however, the file size change resulting from this method is relatively small, or the command crashes or freezes.

2. Supercondense your file. This process removes old, closed transactions from your file. Optionally, old unused customers and/or items can be removed too. File sizes are typically reduced by 50-80%.

CASE STUDY/INTERVIEW: User with a Big, Slow QuickBooks File

The goal of these methods is to save money by avoiding software upgrades, but at the same time making QuickBooks perform better and with more stability.

By the way, you can check on the size of your company data file by pressing the F2 key in QuickBooks when you have your company open.

How big is your QuickBooks company file? Are you noticing any performance issues?

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QuickBooks 2011 was released about a month ago, and there have been some great articles written since then highlighting specific features in the new version. Here are some of the best of them, by feature:

Attached Documents (Document Management)

Average Days to Pay

Balance Sheet by Class

Batch Invoicing

Closing Date Lock Changes

Collections Center

Customer Snapshop Feature

File Manager

Inventory Adjustment

Miscellaneous Smaller Changes

Multiple Instances

Multiuser (5) Capability (Mac version)

Multiuser Limit

On-Screen History

PDF Printing

Purchase Order Reporting

Quick Start Center Feature

Reporting Enhancements

Search

Ship-To Address

Webmail Support

Overview of Changes

Another Overview of Changes

Overview of Changes for MAC version

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QuickBooks Pro 2011QuickBooks 2011 is now shipping. Here are some of the new features for this version:

  • Customer snapshot — instant look at customer volume and payment performance
  • QuickBooks Connect — access your QuickBooks data through your mobile device or the internet (this is an optional, fee-based service)
  • QuickBooks Search — find any customer, account, report, or details with keyword search
  • Customer and Vendor History — details about past transactions for your billings and purchases
  • Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Integration — send invoices, estimates, other QuickBooks documents out of your favorite email service
  • Balance Sheet by Class (Premier edition) — balance sheet reporting by location, department, fund
  • Inventory adjustment enhancements
  • Collections Center — email past due or almost-due customers notifications through your Outlook, Gmail or Hotmail account
  • Multiple companies open simultaneously (QuickBooks Accountant 2011)
  • Batch invoicing for repetitive billing (QuickBooks Accountant 2011)
  • User permissions, 5 concurrent users, iChat support (QuickBooks 2011 Mac version)

Any downsides to the 2011 version? The only major one I’ve heard of is a new limitation in the number of simultaneous users you can have in the Pro and Premier editions. Read about it here.

My favorite blogs for detailed analysis of QuickBooks 2011? Check out

Charlie Russell’s Practical QuickBooks blog
Nancy Smyth’s Sunburst Software blog
Scott Gregory’s Better Bottomline blog

What do you think? Do the new 2011 features look compelling for your business?

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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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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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I remember the day I put on my then-favorite suit — a charcoal pinstripe — and doggone it, it didn’t fit anymore! Oh man! The clothing that used to serve me so well didn’t serve me anymore.

If you are using an edition of QuickBooks that doesn’t seem to fit, don’t worry…there are options.

Moving from desktop editions to QuickBooks Online or hosted

If you find yourself wanting to access your books from different locations on a regular basis, QuickBooks Online Edition may be for you. Likewise if you need to have other people in other locations access them.

Your physical location then doesn’t matter. Your employees, your accountant, and you can access your data from just about anywhere over the internet. There are also certified 3rd party companies that host QB desktop editions on their server, and you can access your data remotely through them.

If you need help setting up or moving your data over, give us a call at 1-800-999-9209.

Moving from Pro/Premier to Enterprise

If you have a rapidly growing business, you may find that you are starting to outgrow Pro/Premier:

* Sluggish performance or instability of QuickBooks on your network
* Rapidly growing data file size
* Explosive growth in numbers of customers or inventory items
* Adding more and more data entry users

Some of these issues can be managed through supercondensing services, but sometimes your business is just growing too rapidly for Pro/Premier to keep up. Lucky you! Enterprise can upgrade your data simply by opening the company (Make sure you backup your data first.)

Moving from Enterprise to Pro/Premier

On the other hand, people sometimes find that Enterprise is really more than they need. The support contracts cost much more for Enterprise than for Pro/Premier, so there is a long-term dollars and cents difference.

Pro/Premier cannot by itself open or convert an Enterprise file. To get your Enterprise data into Pro/Premier, you can export/import your lists and use 3rd party software to bring over many of the transactions.

Or QuickbooksUsers.com can convert your file for you from Enterprise to Pro or Premier and bring over 100% of your accounts and transactions – even payroll transactions.

Moving to Specialty Editions

Did you know that there are industry editions of Premier that are specifically tailored for various types of businesses? Currently there are varieties for Construction, Wholesale/Manufacturing, Nonprofit, Professional Services, Retail, and Accountants.

Data can move between Pro and Premier specialty editions simply by opening the company in the edition you want to use. The only limitation is that you have to use at least as current of a version as you had been using. For example, if you had been using QuickBooks Pro 2009, you could open your data in QuickBooks Premier Contractor 2009 or 2010, but not 2008.

Need to see current prices on current and older (but still supported) editions of QuickBooks? Find them here.

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I got a call last week from someone running accounting software on her Apple IIe computer.

If you don’t know the Apple IIe, it is *not* the latest Mac product. It was, in fact, Apple’s state-of-the-art computer in 1982.

The lady has been using her old accounting software (not QuickBooks) on her old computer for almost 30 years. Without any problems. This week, the original floppy program disks finally wore out and gave up.

Which raises the question: When should you upgrade your accounting software? My (not original) philosophy: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it’s broke, fix it.

One caveat: If the newer version has new capabilities that you are pretty sure will save you a lot of time, money, or hassle, do the upgrade. QuickBooks 2010 has new capabilities that may well fit that description for you.

But I talk to QuickBooks users sometimes that wish they could go back to an earlier, ‘simpler’ version. I heard a lot of that when the QB 2006 version came out. What an outcry! I heard special pining for the old QB 99 version. I guess 1999 was a very good year for QuickBooks.

If you use QuickBooks payroll services and your version gets so old that Intuit doesn’t support it anymore — it’s broke. Fix it. Intuit only supports releases going back three versions.

If you are trying to use an old version of QB on your spankin’ new Win 7 machine, it won’t work. Fix it.

Otherwise, if what you are using now does 90-95% of what you want, I say be happy with what you’ve got.

What do you say?

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