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.

QuickBooks for Mac 2013 New Features

In my prior blog post regarding QuickBooks for Mac I expressed disappointment with the bank reconciliation function.  With QuickBooks for Mac version 2013 Intuit has brought the Mac version up to the level of the Desktop version in bank reconciliation features!

In QuickBooks for Mac 2013 the bank reconciliation area has been improved to include some features the Desktop version has enjoyed for years such as:

  • The Statement Date field is now located at the beginning of the reconciliation process.
  • A keyword search has been added to find transactions in the Reconcile Window.
  • A prior reconciliation can be undone.
  • Within the Reconcile Window line items can be sorted by any column: Check #, Payee, Date, or Amount.
  • Transactions dated after the statement end date can be hidden.
  • Minor reconciliation discrepancies – when you choose to complete the reconciliation and not search for the missing $.08 –will be posted to Reconciliation Discrepancies and not Opening Balance Equity.
  • Finally, “Round Tripping” with QuickBooks for Windows files no longer wipes out the cleared status of transactions forcing you to re-reconcile your statements when the file is returned to QuickBooks for Mac.

Welcome Mac users to the 21st century!

Return to the Dressler Santaus web site.

QuickBooks Products: QuickBooks for Mac

In this posting I will discuss the features of QuickBooks for Mac.

apple

The most important thing to know about QuickBooks for Mac is that you cannot use it for the same data file as QuickBooks for Windows.  In other words, if you have both PCs and Macs on a network, or a PC at work and a Mac at home, they cannot share use of the same data file – the file is not interchangeable between platforms.

Although you cannot share the same file, you can use QuickBooks for PC on a Mac by running QB in a “Parallels” environment (Parallels is a software for Mac that allows you to run your Mac as a PC).  In this set up, PCs and Macs can share use of a Windows QuickBooks file.

The Mac data file can also be sent as a Windows file to your CPA for his/her use, but it cannot be sent back to re-import into the Mac version.  You can convert a QuickBooks for Mac file to a QuickBooks for Windows version if you wish to change platforms permanently.

Most of the basic accounting features are the same between the Windows and Mac versions of QuickBooks.   QuickBooks for Mac allows you to do the following:

  • Multi-user functionality:  allows up to five users at a time (you must purchase licenses for additional users)
  • User profiles and permissions
  • Redesigned report customization
  • Mileage tracking by job and billable status
  • Register sorting
  • Export reports to spreadsheets
  • iChat integration to communicate between co-workers
  • Improved Layout Designer for form customization
  • Additional templates for ready-to-use forms
  • Web access:  Sync Manager allows web applications you choose to exchange information with QuickBooks
  • Progress Invoicing

Just from personal experience, the Mac version has less functionality and preferences than the Windows version.  For instance, in the bank reconciliation screen in the Windows version, you enter the statement ending date and can hide the transactions that are dated after that ending date, you can sort the transactions by date or amount or check #, and you can save the statement ending date when you need to leave the screen and come back later.  None of these options is available in QuickBooks for Mac.

QuickBooks for Mac does not integrate with QuickBooks Point-of-Sale software.

Return to www.dresslersantaus.com