QuickBooks Versions and Support Options for PC and Mac: What You Need to Know

As fall of 2017 approaches, it is important to be reminded of Intuit’s software and support options.  Typically Intuit releases new versions of QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Mac and Enterprise Solutions in the fall of each year.  However last year was the first year that Intuit did not release an updated Mac version (QB for Mac 2016 is the last version available).  Intuit will no longer produce the Mac version and is banking on Mac users to use their QuickBooks Online products instead.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding software versions and support:

1)      Can I still use the Mac version I have?

Yes!  Until your operating system no longer supports the software, the Mac version is fine.  However, if you have been using the Bank Feed option to import bank and credit card activity, that feature will no longer be supported once the three-year window closes.  In other words, if you have Mac 2016 the bank activity download feature will expire in 2019.  This is also true of any other add-on features like payroll and merchant services.

QuickBooks

2)      Do I have to upgrade my QuickBooks PC version each year?

No!  Support from Intuit is available for three concurrent year versions.  Currently, Intuit will answer questions regarding PC versions 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Bank feed, payroll, and merchant service add-ons will work with all these versions.

3)      What if I don’t use Intuit tech support or add-on features?

You may continue to use your QuickBooks PC version as long as the operating system you have supports it.  If your computer crashes and your new PC has an operating system (Windows 10, etc.) that does not support your version of QuickBooks you will be forced to upgrade to a new version.

4)      Can I buy an additional user license for 2015, 2016 or 2017?  Oddly enough, Intuit will let you purchase an additional user license for 2016 and 2017 only.  They do not sell licenses for the oldest of the three concurrent versions.

5)      What is QuickBooks “Pro Plus”?  Intuit’s desire for monthly income has encompassed not only their online software but their PC products as well.  Intuit encourages their sales team to sell “Pro Plus” and “Premier Plus” versions.  These are monthly subscriptions (rental) of the software that include online backups and tech support.  The advantage is you get the latest releases as part of the deal.  The disadvantage is that you do not own the software outright so if you wished to end your monthly “rental”, you would still pay full price for the complete software download.  QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions – Intuit’s mid-range package – is now only sold as a monthly subscription.

6)      What can I do if my office has both Macs and PCs?  If you have both Macs and PCs you have two options.  You can run the PC version on the Mac using a third-party software like “Parallels”.  That way both PCs and Macs can share the same data file.  Or you can consider paying to have your software hosted.  We like Harbour Cloud, but there is also RightNetworks and many local IT solutions.  This eliminates the need to have to buy an expensive server machine to have in-house.  It allows everyone to access the software via the Internet:  the hosted site holds the software and the data.

7)      Can I share my QuickBooks data file with other users? Yes! If you want to access your computer’s entire drive remotely (or have someone else do so), gotomypc.com and logmein.com are great options.  The disadvantage is that the remote user takes over your keyboard so you are left on the sidelines while they are using your computer.  There is also a wonderful program similar to “DropBox” called “QBox” by Coral Tree that shares the QuickBooks data file ONLY leaving you free to do all other tasks on your computer.  Unlike DropBox, the data file is locked correctly when another user is making changes to the data.  When the user leaves QuickBooks, the data is synched with all shared users.  QBox only works on PCs and requires the remote user to have the same version of QuickBooks installed locally on their computer (just like if you were to share a Word or Excel document you would need to own Microsoft products).

Best practice, no matter what version you are using, is to set up usernames and passwords for each user accessing your data file.  This way the audit trail becomes a helpful tool in determining who did what when.  It also allows you to limited access for the different users, keeping sensitive financial information private.

For Quicken or bookkeeping assistance or services, please visit www.dresslersantaus.com or call (203) 951-6214.

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