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Joe Woodard’s

New and Enhanced


Features in QuickBooks 2008
A QuickBooks Resource for
Accounting Professionals

Copyright © 2007 by Creative Financial Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Version 1.3A

NOTICE: DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY

This is a preliminary release of the publication. While every effort has been made for accuracy and
completeness, not all publishing processes of quality control have been completed. Pricing reflects
pricing at the time of writing.

Neither Creative Financial Software nor Intuit warrants or guarantees the accuracy of any statement or
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Table of Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................................ 3
About the Author ....................................................................................................................... 4
The QuickBooks 2008 Product Line ........................................................................................ 5
QuickBooks Simple Start 2008 ...................................................................................................................5
Overview ...............................................................................................................................................5
Pricing ...................................................................................................................................................5
QuickBooks Pro 2008 .................................................................................................................................6
Overview ...............................................................................................................................................6
Pricing ...................................................................................................................................................6
QuickBooks Premier: Industry-Specific.......................................................................................................7
Overview ...............................................................................................................................................7
Pricing (Changes for Version 2008 Apply) ............................................................................................7
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: Industry-Specific ...................................................................................8
Overview ...............................................................................................................................................8
Pricing (Changes for Version 8.0 Apply) ...............................................................................................9
New and Enhanced Features of QuickBooks 2008 ................................................................ 10
QuickBooks Simple Start ............................................................................................................................10
Payroll Now is in Simple Start ...............................................................................................................10
Excel Import is Now in Simple Start ......................................................................................................11
Same Customer/Vendor List Limits as QuickBooks Pro in Free Simple Start .......................................12
QuickBooks Pro and Above ........................................................................................................................12
Remote Access – Enhancements and Pricing Changes & Now in Pro .................................................12
Improvements to the Sample Product-Based Company........................................................................14
Improved Integration with Microsoft Outlook .........................................................................................15
Time Tracker .........................................................................................................................................16
QuickBooks Customer Credit Card Protection ......................................................................................17
QuickBooks Web Connector .................................................................................................................19
User Interface Changes ........................................................................................................................19
QuickBooks Premier and Above .................................................................................................................21
Time and Billing Enhancements............................................................................................................21
Accountant’s Copy Enhancements – Accountant Edition......................................................................24
QuickBooks Remote Access – Accountant Edition ...............................................................................25
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 8.0..........................................................................................................28
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).........................................................................................................28
Linux Support ........................................................................................................................................29
Inventory Enhancements.......................................................................................................................29
QuickBooks Online Payroll ...................................................................................................... 31
Changes to the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program ................................................................ 32
Advanced Certification ................................................................................................................................32
Program Benefits ........................................................................................................................................32
Promotion of ProAdvisors within QuickBooks .......................................................................................32
Train Your Clients Center......................................................................................................................33
Software, Services and A-la-Carte Options.................................................................................................34
The $100 Payroll Option Is Now an Automatic Renewal .......................................................................34
No 30 Day Limit to Purchase a-la-carte Options ...................................................................................34
Point of Sale License for Certified POS Advisors..................................................................................34
Pricing Changes..........................................................................................................................................35
Features Still on Joe’s Wish List ............................................................................................. 35

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Introduction
Each year Intuit releases a new version of the QuickBooks product line: Simple Start, Pro,
Premier (in several industry-specific editions) and Enterprise Solutions (in several industry-
specific editions). Each year we QuickBooks consultants look forward to the new version
of QuickBooks with great expectation – looking to see what items we can drop from our
QuickBooks “wish lists.”
As with the previous version, one emphasis this year is on Inventory – an area where
QuickBooks performs well but certainly has room to grow. Intuit surmised (accurately in
my opinion) that users of Enterprise Solutions represent the greatest need for advanced
inventory controls. I know there are exceptions, but this is the norm. As a result, Intuit
targeted the inventory “enhancements” to users of QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. I
place the word “enhancements” in quotation marks because Intuit did not enhance the
inventory capabilities of QuickBooks. Instead, Intuit partnered with a third party developer
called Velocity Inventory and is leaning on the capabilities of Velocity Inventory’s add on
product to enhance QuickBooks’ inventory features. This is a bitter-sweet development.
On the negative side Intuit enhanced QuickBooks’ inventory capabilities in a way that
increases accounting software costs for QuickBooks users (i.e., you must pay for Velocity
Inventory). On the positive side, Velocity Inventory is very easy to use and to implement,
and Enterprise Solutions users receive a 33% discount on the third party product. See
page 29 for more information about Velocity Inventory including pricing and a list of
inventory features.
Another significant step is a price increase – something Intuit has not done in quite a while
(unless you count the changes in packaging last year that caused Pro 5 user customers to
pay more). This article includes specific pricing information for your reference.
All in all it is the accounting professional who receives the most by upgrading to 2008 –
because of the expanded capabilities of the Accountant’s Copy detailed on page 24. The
enhancements to QuickBooks Remote Access are also significant, but subscribers to
Remote Access do not need to upgrade to QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition 2008
to benefit from these enhancements. You can simply upgrade your subscription directly
through WebEx.

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About the Author
Joe Woodard is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and
Trainer with over 10 years of experience supporting clients who use
QuickBooks Financial Software. Since Joe began teaching
QuickBooks 7 years ago, he has taught over 17,000 QuickBooks users
and Accounting Professionals (e.g. QuickBooks ProAdvisors, CPAs,
Enrolled Agents and Bookkeepers) across the country.
Joe currently works with Intuit (the developers of QuickBooks), The
Sleeter Group (a prestigious and highly reputable national QuickBooks
publishing house and training provider), and Atlanta-area CPA firms to
present advanced QuickBooks instruction. Joe also provides web-based training on
QuickBooks to end users and accounting professionals through his company Creative
Financial Software.
Joe Woodard has earned a unique relationship with Intuit as a trainer, consultant and
author. Joe is a published columnist with a regularly monthly column in the Intuit
ProConnection Newsletter. Joe also publishes articles periodically for Intuit’s QuickBooks
ProAdvisor Newsletter. Joe provides advisory services to Intuit regarding product
development, project management, accountant training, and Intuit's relationships with
accounting professionals. In 2002, Joe co-authored two Intuit-endorsed training
curriculums focused on QuickBooks consulting: The Sleeter Group’s QuickBooks
Technology Workshop, and The Sleeter Group’s Practice Management and Marketing
Seminar. In 2002, Joe also co-developed The Sleeter Group’s Successful QuickBooks
Consulting System, a QuickBooks-centered practice management and marketing tool for
accounting professionals. Joe is a major contributor to The Sleeter Group's QuickBooks
Consultant's Reference Guide and The Sleeter Group's QuickBooks Complete Textbook.
In 2006, Joe wrote 25% of a training program for accounting professionals offered by
Intuit. This training program was a requirement for QuickBooks consultants to earn an
Advanced QuickBooks Certification designation from Intuit. (The structure of that
certification has since changed.) Joe also presented live training for Intuit in several
locations across the country as part of this advanced certification program.
Very soon Joe will publish two books for QuickBooks consultants and other accounting
professionals: Joe Woodard’s Top 100 QuickBooks Tips, Tricks and Workarounds and
QuickBooks at Tax Time: A Troubleshooting, Trial Balance Adjustment and Financial
Reporting Guide for the Accounting Professional. Both books are scheduled for release
during 2007.
Joe has built two successful accounting software consulting practices: the first in New
Orleans, Louisiana and the second in Atlanta, Georgia – Creative Financial Software
(CFS). In addition to consulting with small businesses, CFS provides advisory services to
CPA firms and other QuickBooks ProAdvisors across the country, helping them to better
service their clients who use QuickBooks.
Recently, The CPA Technology Advisor magazine recognized Joe Woodard as one of the
40 most influential accounting technology consultants under the age of 40 in the country.
www.cfsatlanta.com

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The QuickBooks 2008 Product Line
The QuickBooks product line has not changed significantly for version 2008. However,
there is some difference in the way Intuit packages certain products and some difference
in pricing.
Note: QuickBooks Online Edition is outside the scope of this material. Intuit does not add new
features to QuickBooks Online Edition once each year as they do with QuickBooks desktop
products. Instead, QuickBooks adds new features and enhancements throughout the year and
users enjoy automatic upgrades to the next version. Users do not need to make any additional
purchase or install any new software as QuickBooks desktop users must do. Over the past 12
months Intuit expanded QuickBooks Online to include full payroll processing, including direct
deposit capabilities. For more information about recent developments with QuickBooks Online
Edition go to www.quickbooksonline.com.

QuickBooks Simple Start 2008

Overview
QuickBooks Simple Start is the most basic of all the QuickBooks products. As implied by
its name, Intuit designed Simple Start for small businesses that are currently using no
accounting application of any kind. These businesses fall into three broad categories.
Those who:
• Use a public accounting firm or bookkeeping service.
• Use pen and paper to record financial information.
• Use Quicken, Microsoft Money or other financial products designed for individuals
(i.e. checkbook programs).
• Do not maintain complete financial records (or any financial records) and who rely
on their tax preparers to use source documents to determine their financial position
and performance at the end of the year (i.e. shoebox clients).
The intent of Simple Start is three-fold:
• To introduce small businesses to the world of accounting technology in the hope
that they will not only master the basics, but also purchase more sophisticated
editions of QuickBooks (e.g. Pro or Premier).
• To help small businesses to maintain very detailed financial information throughout
the year.
• To streamline the accounting professional’s year end responsibilities (e.g. yearly
financial statement presentation and/or the company’s income tax return).

Pricing
Intuit is currently offering Simple Start for free. This free offer is different from the free offer
by Intuit early in 2007. The previous free promotional offer was for a single license of
Simple Start that allowed you to process an unlimited number of banking transactions
(provided you don’t enter a payee), but limited the user to a very short list of customers

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and vendors. Now, the free license of Simple Start includes the same list capacities as
those available in QuickBooks Pro and Premier.
There is no guarantee Intuit will continue to offer this product for free. The retail price of
Simple Start at the time Intuit began the free offer was $99.00.
Note: All pricing in this document refers to the online price at www.quickbooks.com. If you are a
member of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program your standard discounts apply, and you may be
able to find the products at certain retail locations for less than the price listed on the QuickBooks
website.

QuickBooks Pro 2008

Overview
QuickBooks Pro 2008 is the cornerstone of the QuickBooks product line. Intuit designed
QuickBooks Pro to provide small businesses a multi-faceted accounting product (i.e.,
multiple modules) in a single “box,” for example: inventory management, time tracking,
financial reporting, payroll processing, check printing, payables, receivables, bank
reconciliation, etc.) The target market for QuickBooks Pro is the small business that wants
a complete financial solution that is affordable and easy to use (and to implement). Pro
users usually need one of the four primary features not available in Simple Start: accounts
payable, multi-user access, inventory tracking and report customization. (Payroll is now
available in Simple Start. See page 10 for more information.) The typical QuickBooks Pro
user has between $50,000 and $400,000 in annual sales and does not need advanced
inventory controls or sales orders (two of the most significant features that are in Premier
but not Pro).

Pricing
This section lists the pricing for QuickBooks Pro to emphasize a packaging change Intuit
introduced with version 2007. Beginning with version 2007, you can no longer purchase a
5 user bundle of QuickBooks Pro. Instead, QuickBooks offers a 3 user bundle at a
discounted price. We included this pricing chart in this article because many of your clients
who use QuickBooks 2006 will upgrade to 2008 this year, and they need to be aware of a
possible increase in the cost of Pro.

QuickBooks Pro 2008 Single User $199.95


QuickBooks Pro 2008 Two Users $399.90
QuickBooks Pro 2008 Three Users $549.95 (Bundle)
QuickBooks Pro 2008 Four Users $749.90 (3 Bundle + 1 Single)
QuickBooks Pro 2008 Five Users $949.85 (3 Bundle + 2 Single)

With QuickBooks 2006 and prior, Intuit used to offer a single license price and a discounted
five user bundle for $749.95. The previous pricing would have been:

QuickBooks Pro 2006 Single User $199.95 (Same as versions 2007-2008)


QuickBooks Pro 2006 Two Users $399.90 (Same as versions 2007-2008)
QuickBooks Pro 2006 Three Users $599.85 (About $50 more than versions 2007-2008)
QuickBooks Pro 2006 Four Users $749.95 (Bundle - Same as versions 2007-2008*)
QuickBooks Pro 2006 Five Users $749.95 (Bundle - $199.90 less than versions 2007-2008)

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*With version 2006 and prior, users who needed 4 users purchased the 5 user bundle because it
was $50 less than purchasing 4 licenses separately.
So, for clients who are considering upgrading from QuickBooks Pro 2006 (and prior) to
QuickBooks Pro 2008, you should know that the upgrade will cost them the same if they
need 1, 2 or 4 licenses. The upgrade will save them money if they need 3 licenses.
However, if they need 5 licenses they will experience a price increase of about $200 due
to the change in packaging. This packaging change is frustrating for our clients who use 5
licenses of Pro. However, Intuit’s internal research determined that the mass of Pro
customers use 3 or fewer licenses. The repackaging is designed to make the bundle
discount available to the largest number of Pro users.

QuickBooks Premier: Industry-Specific


Overview
Customized editions of QuickBooks Premier are available for the following industries:
• Construction (Contractor Edition)
• Retailers (Retail Edition)
• Non Profit Organizations (Non Profit Edition)
• Wholesalers and Light Manufacturers (Manufacturing and Wholesale Edition)
• Professional Service Firms (Professional Service Edition)
• Accounting Professionals (Accountant Edition)
QuickBooks Premier has all of the features of QuickBooks Pro plus: sales orders, unit of
measure conversions for products and services, bills of material for the assembly of
inventory products, change orders, cost to complete reporting, industry-specific reports,
industry-specific form templates, and industry-specific help menu content. There are other
features unique to Premier, but these are among the most significant.
The typical QuickBooks Premier user is a small business with between $400,000 and
$1,000,000 in annual sales. The small businesses that fit into one of the Premier Industry-
Specific models certainly receive the greatest benefit from using Premier. However, any
business that needs Sales Orders, multiple billing rates for employees and more robust
inventory controls would benefit from the use of Premier.
Tip: Consider purchasing the Accountant Edition for clients who are not represented by one of the
industry-specific editions of Premier. The Accountant Edition includes all of the features of the other
industry-specific editions plus some features that are only in the Accountant Edition like fixed asset
depreciation and a fully integrated financial report customization tool.

Pricing (Changes for Version 2008 Apply)


This section lists the price of QuickBooks Premier with a breakdown by number of users.
Intuit changed the packaging of Premier beginning with version 2008. As with QuickBooks
Pro, Intuit now offers a bundled, discounted price when purchasing 3 licenses of Premier.
The 5 license bundle is no longer available. The effective increase in cost for users who
need 5 licenses mirrors that in Pro – except with Premier the price increase for 5 licenses
is much higher.

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QuickBooks Premier 2008 Single User $449.95 (Same Price)
QuickBooks Premier 2008 Two Users $899.90 (Same Price)
QuickBooks Premier 2008 Three Users $1,199.95 (Bundle - $149.90 Discount Applies)
QuickBooks Premier 2008 Four Users $1,649.90 (3 Bundled + 1 Single)
QuickBooks Premier 2008 Five Users $2,099.85 (3 Bundled + 2 Single)

With QuickBooks 2007 and prior, Intuit offered a single license price and a discounted five
license bundle for $1,499.95. The previous pricing would have been:

QuickBooks Premier 2007 Single User $449.95 (Same as version 2008)


QuickBooks Premier 2007 Two Users $899.90 (Same as version 2008)
QuickBooks Premier 2007 Three Users $1,349.85 (About $150 more than version 2008)
QuickBooks Premier 2007 Four Users $1,499.95 (About $150 less than version 2008*)
QuickBooks Premier 2007 Five Users $1,499.95 (Bundle - $599.90 less than version 2008)

*With version 2006 and prior, users who needed 4 users purchased the 5 user bundle because it
was $300 less than purchasing 4 licenses separately.
So, for clients who are considering upgrading from QuickBooks Premier 2007 (and prior)
to QuickBooks Premier 2008, you should know that the upgrade will cost them the same
for 1 and 2 licenses. The upgrade will save them money for 3 licenses. The upgrade will
increase the cost by $150.00 if they purchase 4 licenses, and the upgrade will increase the
cost by $600.00 if they purchase 5 licenses. Though this is frustrating for our clients who
use 5 licenses of Premier, Intuit’s internal research determined that most Premier
customers use 3 or fewer licenses. The repackaging is designed to put the bundle
discount within this range.
Note: If your clients need 5 licenses of Premier they should consider purchasing Enterprise
Solutions instead. The price for a 5 user license of Enterprise Solutions is $3,000 – just $900 more
than 5 licenses of Premier. The client will benefit from the increase in performance and the features
unique to Enterprise Solutions. However, the most compelling reason is the long term reduction in
price. The annual Enterprise Solutions support plan costs $750 per year. (The first year is included
in the initial purchase price.) The support plan includes unlimited technical support from Intuit and
automatic upgrades to new versions. The client would have to stay on each version of Premier for 3
years to match that annual cost, and they would not benefit from the unlimited technical support.

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: Industry-Specific

Overview
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions is the flag ship of the QuickBooks product line and
contains (as you might expect) the most robust feature set. QuickBooks Enterprise
Solutions is available in the same industry-specific editions as QuickBooks Premier.
Note: QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: Accountant Edition is available in a single user license
package only. Though you could theoretically purchase up to 20 of these individual licenses of
Accountant Edition, it would be cost prohibitive to do so. The price of a single user QuickBooks
Enterprise Solutions: Accountant Edition license is $849.00.
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions includes all of the features of QuickBooks Premier plus:
• Very Specific User Access Settings

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• Up to 20 Simultaneous Users
• Support for Larger QuickBooks Files
• Increased Performance (especially when working with larger data files)
• Human Resource Tools*
• ODBC to extract data from the QuickBooks file using SQL queries*
• Unlimited List Capacities (tested by Intuit up to 100,000)
• More Multi-User Capabilities (e.g. inventory adjustments and list deletions)
• And More
*You can use these Intuit services with QuickBooks Pro and Premier, but additional fees apply.
You can learn more about Intuit’s Employee Resource Tool (Employee Organizer) at
www.quickbooks.com and you can learn more about ODBC at www.qodbc.com.
The typical QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions user is a small business with between one
and 10 million dollars in annual sales, though the 10 million dollar ceiling is extremely
relative.
When working with QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions users and prospective users, you
must ask the key question: “Is this client too big or too complicated to use QuickBooks
Enterprise Solutions?”
The key determinant for the small business is not the number of transactions or the
amount of annual sales, though these issues do play a role. Instead, it is the product’s
capabilities that determine whether or not the client can use QuickBooks Enterprise
Solutions effectively. QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions will not meet 100% of the business’
needs (in many situations). When this happens you should consider:
• If the needs that fall outside of Enterprise Solutions’ capabilities are critical to the
operation of the company
• If the client can use a product that integrates with QuickBooks to get the additional
features they need.
If you can make QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions work for your client, you have certainly
acted in the client’s best interest. By staying within the QuickBooks product family, the
client can maintain the continuity of historical information, avoid a costly software
implementation and continue using a solution with which the client’s employees are
familiar. Some cost and training needs may result if you use an integrated application, but
these hurdles are much smaller than the client would experience if they abandon
QuickBooks altogether.
Note: For a list of products that integrate with QuickBooks visit www.marketplace.intuit.com.

Pricing (Changes for Version 8.0 Apply)


The price of QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions increased this year for all products except
the 5 user bundle.
5 Users $3,000 (Same as previous versions)
10 Users $5,000 ($500 more than previous versions)
15 Users $7,000 ($1,000 more than previous versions)
20 Users $9,000 ($1,500 more than previous versions)

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Note: The pricing above is for the initial purchase of QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions. If
you pay for an annual Enterprise Solutions support plan (included in the pricing above for
the first year), QuickBooks will send you new versions of Enterprise Solutions as they are
available – no additional cost. The annual fee for the support plans is currently less than
30% of the software prices above – though pricing for these plans could change at any
time.
5 Users $ 750
10 Users $1,200
15 Users $1,600
20 Users $2,000
Note: QuickBooks ProAdvisors now receive a 10% discount on QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.
QuickBooks ProAdvisors previously received a 20% discount on the product. Beginning with
version 8.0 there are no Enterprise Solutions discounts available through the QuickBooks Affiliate
Program.
Tip: If you want to sell QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions at a higher margin than 10%, apply for
membership in the Solution Provider Program. You can learn more about this program at
www.accountant.intuit.com. (The program is available to Certified ProAdvisors only and in most
cases you must show a history of selling QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions as a ProAdvisor before
you can join. Membership within each local market is limited.)

New and Enhanced Features of QuickBooks 2008


The following section on the new features of QuickBooks 2008 is segmented by
QuickBooks edition. Assume that higher editions contain all of the new features of the
lower editions unless noted otherwise. For example, if there is new feature in QuickBooks
Pro 2008 assume that feature is also available in Premier 2008 and Enterprise Solutions
8.0.

QuickBooks Simple Start


New features in QuickBooks Simple Start include:

Payroll Now is in Simple Start


QuickBooks Simple Start 2008 now includes the same payroll features that are available in
QuickBooks Pro. Your clients can subscribe to Basic Payroll, Standard Payroll, Enhanced
Payroll or Assisted Payroll just as if they were using QuickBooks Pro. However, there are
areas of QuickBooks payroll like job costing employee wages and segregating payroll
expenses by class that are not available in Simple Start because Simple Start doesn’t
support those features. Since there are no timesheets in QuickBooks Simple Start you
cannot track employee time in Simple Start for import into paychecks.
Joe’s Comments: There is no doubt that adding payroll capabilities to Simple Start is a significant
enhancement to that product. This is especially clear when you consider that SimpleStart doesn’t
have some of the most basic functions like Classes. As an outside observer I can draw four
conclusions regarding Intuit’s motivations:
1) The free edition of Office Accounting does not include payroll and Intuit is going on the
aggressive to offer payroll in its free product. This is a move that Microsoft cannot currently match
because they don’t have payroll capabilities in any edition of Office Accounting at this point.
2) The revenue generated by payroll subscriptions and merchant services on this otherwise free
product will offset some of the loss of revenues normally generated by the price of Simple Start. It is
appropriate for Intuit to act in their own interests when their customers receive a benefit as a result.

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I credit them for creative revenue generation with this new payroll offering and with merchant
services. I’m also excited that there is an incredible payroll application is available for any of my
smaller clients who made need it for as low as $99 (Basic Payroll) and no more than $299
(Enhanced Payroll). This revenue model is often categorized as the razor blade strategy. Gillette
and other companies that manufacture razor blade cartridges are more than happy to give you the
razor for free (or for a very low cost) so you can purchase their cartridges for as long as you own
the razor. Over a lifetime as you continue to use razors from that company you will spend a
tremendous amount of money with the company. Here, Intuit gives the small business owner the
software but charges as much as $299 each and every year for payroll processing and over $100
per year plus transaction fees for Intuit Merchant Services. Intuit wins and the user wins. The
accounting professionals also win. If clients are able to maintain current and accurate payroll data
using a program that is much easier to manage, accounting professionals will enjoy a more efficient
year end process. Win, win and win.
3) Simple Start users provided feedback to Intuit that is driving their decision to include payroll.
4) There is a strategic advantage for Intuit. If small businesses choose Simple Start when the
company’s accounting needs are very simple, the Simple Start users will almost certainly choose
QuickBooks Pro/Premier as their companies grow and need more complexity. So, the Simple Start
user may not spend any money on the software now, but Intuit significantly increases the chances
that the company will eventually purchase other QuickBooks products over time.
It is possible that one or even all four of these factors played a role in Intuit’s decision. When I first
saw that payroll is now available in Simple Start I found myself doubting the practicality. Do small
business owners with employees make good candidates for Simple Start? At first I thought no, but
then I thought about all of the small businesses with employees that are using Quicken, Microsoft
Money, paper (though this is getting rarer) or a shoebox to manage their finances. These
businesses represent the Simple Start target market and they have employees. It seems to fit – or
at least a temporary one as the company moves up channel to Pro. That being said, I think Simple
Start users who are enrolled in a payroll service will have a high percentage of QuickBooks Pro
conversions. I bet you Intuit is banking on the same.

Excel Import is Now in Simple Start


Intuit added an Excel import utility to QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise Solutions
beginning with version 2004. This tool allows you to import accounts, items, customers
and vendors. Unlike the IIF imports (still supported by QuickBooks Pro and above) you do
not need to use special column headers in Excel for QuickBooks to know which field to
use. Instead, you use the Excel import utility to map the existing column headers (or the
first line of data if there are no column headers) directly to the corresponding QuickBooks
fields.

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Joe’s Comments: The ability to import data into Simple Start is appropriate. Before Intuit added
the Excel import tool there was no way within the Simple Start program to import list information. I
can see where this would have been a deterrent for small business owners who were doing their
own data file setup, and the ability for the business owner to easily setup the data file is a strong
emphasis in Intuit’s marketing strategy for Simple Start. So, I believe this is a significant
enhancement. That being said, many Simple Start users do turn to the accounting professional for
assistance and the accounting professional can use Pro or Premier to import as much information
as necessary before turning the file over to the client. This would be the preferred method if you are
setting up Simple Start for the client because you can transfer lists other than the four allowed by
the Excel Import tool and you can use IIF exports to transfer QuickBooks configurations from
another QuickBooks data file into your Simple Start client’s file.

Same Customer/Vendor List Limits as QuickBooks Pro in Free


Simple Start
SimpleStart 2007 hit the market as a $99 product (just like previous versions). However,
about 6 months after the release of Simple Start 2007, Intuit created a free edition of
Simple Start available by download. This free version had the same capabilities as the pay
version except for very limited list capacities for customers and vendors. A couple of
months later Intuit began offering the full Simple Start version for free instead.
Joe’s Comments: I believe there are two primary motivations for Intuit here. One of them is stated
in the comments above – the razor strategy. By giving away free copies of Simple Start with the
ability to enroll in payroll services and Intuit Merchant Services, Intuit will generate more revenues
for a select group of SimpleStart users. Also, the free Simple Start is a gateway into the
QuickBooks product line. It doesn’t take long for the typical Simple Start user to begin feeling
Closter phobic – constrained by the simple abilities of the program. Intuit is hoping for mass Simple
Start to Pro conversions. We all benefit from the potential increase in Simple Start users. Perhaps
this free product will reduce the number of clients who use personal financial software or no
software at all. The second primary motivation is direct competition. The free Office Accounting
product did not set such tight limits on the number of customers and vendors and Intuit is smart to
keep the head to head competition going in the battle for the “shoebox” businesses.

QuickBooks Pro and Above


Since QuickBooks Pro is the backbone of the QuickBooks product line, Intuit incorporates
many of the new features into this product. New features available in Pro include:

Remote Access – Enhancements and Pricing Changes & Now in Pro


Available in QuickBooks Pro
In previous versions, Intuit offered QuickBooks Remote Access in QuickBooks Premier
and Enterprise Solutions only. There is also a special subscription available in Premier:
Accountant Edition.
With version 2008, QuickBooks Pro users can subscribe to the same Remote Access
features formerly available in Premier and Enterprise Solutions (Non-Accountant Edition).
Also, Pro users receive a 6 month free subscription to Remote Access. This free
subscription allows remote access for up to 2 remote computers, and you can only access
the QuickBooks application on the remote computers. To access everything on the remote
computer (e.g., the entire desktop) the Pro user can upgrade to a paid subscription at any
time. However, no discounts apply during the first 6 months.
Note: The free 6 month subscription begins when you register QuickBooks 2008, not when you first
use QuickBooks Remote Access. Also, you must register QuickBooks 2008 before 12/31/2008 to
receive the free 6 month subscription.

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Subscription Changes and Price Changes
QuickBooks Remote Access is available in a variety of subscription packages – each with
specific capabilities. The table below covers the features available in each subscription
level and the pricing for each level. There are changes to the features available in the
various subscriptions, and there are changes to the pricing, as shown below.
The pricing table below applies to all editions of QuickBooks, including the specially-
configured Remote Access tool for users of QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition. (See
page 25 for more information on the features specific to QuickBooks Remote Access for
users of the Accountant Edition.)
QuickBooks Only Access $3.95 per month per remote computer
Total Computer Access $7.95 per month per remote computer
10 Computers – QuickBooks Only Access $29.95 per month
10 Computers – Total Computer Access $69.96 per month

Note: If you subscribed to the older version of QuickBooks Remote Access at the highest level
(called Platinum) you paid $29.95 per month. After you upgrade Remote Access, WebEx will
convert your subscription to allow you to access up to 5 remote computers for that monthly price.
You cannot purchase this plan – you can only migrate into the plan as a previous WebEx
subscriber. There is no guarantee WebEx will continue to offer this 5 computer plan in the future.
Note: If you currently subscribe to QuickBooks Remote Access, upgrading to the new version will
remove all existing remote access connections. You will have to setup all remote computers again
after the upgrade.
Note: There is a difference between a Remote Access connection and a “meeting.” Meetings are
available to users of QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition only. See page 25 for more
information. QuickBooks Remote Access allows Accountant Edition users to host an unlimited
number of meetings with clients each month at no additional cost. During meetings you connect to
the client’s computer remotely, but the connection lasts only while the meeting is active. Also,
QuickBooks Remote Access allows an unlimited number of professionals in your office to host
meetings with clients simultaneously. The monthly fee you pay covers all professionals in your firm.
However, regardless of how many professionals you have you can only establish as many remote
access connections as your subscription plan allows.
Performance Enhancements
Remote Access is now faster, though the performance still depends on the speed of the
Internet connection for both the local and remote computers.
Note: The bottleneck in performance is usually the upload speed of the computer you access
remotely. For example, if you use your laptop at home to access QuickBooks on a computer at your
office, the computer at home is sending commands via the Internet connection, but the upload of
the keyboard and mouse commands does not require much bandwidth. The computer at the office
uploads the images in the QuickBooks user interface – images that change every time you open a
new window. The office computer is therefore uploading large amounts of data to the WebEx
servers for you to download onto your laptop at home. If you use QuickBooks Remote Access
often, consider upgrading your Internet service at the office to increase your upload speeds. At a
minimum you should subscribe to a plan with an upload speed of 768 Kbps. Typically (but not
universally), DSL and T1 lines provide faster upload speeds than Cable Model connections.
The increase in performance is the result of a massive hardware and software upgrade
conducted by WebEx – the Internet conferencing company with whom Intuit partners to
provide remote access.

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Note: When you subscribe to QuickBooks Remote Access you become a customer of WebEx – an
independent Intuit partner – and you pay monthly subscription fees to WebEx directly. Once you
use QuickBooks to subscribe to the plan, you can use your plan on any web-enabled PC even if
QuickBooks is not installed on that PC. Think of your QuickBooks program as a “coupon” that
allows you to subscribe to the WebEx desktop sharing solution at a discounted rate, using special
features that WebEx and Intuit designed for QuickBooks users.
Note: There is no doubt the performance for QuickBooks Remote Access is better now than before
the WebEx upgrades. However, this enhanced performance is very new to the market. As a result
there is no way to know how much faster the solution will operate. On the tests I ran I saw a
significant increase in performance. However, I experimented using an Internet connection with 768
Kbps upload speed. See the note above for information about the importance of upload bandwidth.
Note: To use QuickBooks Remote Access with QuickBooks Pro you must upgrade to version 2008.
However, if you use QuickBooks Premier or Enterprise Solutions there is no need to upgrade to
benefit from the Remote Access enhancements. You can convert your subscription to the
enhanced Remote Access immediately. When you log into your account, WebEx should prompt
you to upgrade. If not, contact WebEx customer support. You will have to setup your remote
computers again after the upgrade. The remote computer setup does not transfer to the upgraded
solution.
User Interface Enhancements
The user interface for QuickBooks Remote Access is now completely different – and much
improved. The new UI incorporate “wizards” and tab-based access that is much easier to
follow than the previous layout. See page 25 for screenshots of the new user interface.

Improvements to the Sample Product-Based Company


The sample product-based company file (Rock Castle Construction) is overhauled in
Version 2008 Pro and above. Some significant enhancements include:
• A more realistic Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss with monthly reporting.
• A December 31 Year End. The previous file used a September 30 Year End
• Profit & Loss by Class
• The Profit & Loss by Job Now Ties to the Profit & Loss (There is a small
discrepancy created by discounts taken when paying bills. These bill payment
discounts do not allow you to enter a customer or job.)
• The breakdown of the Profit & Loss by Job shows realistic margins (Income as
compared to Costs) for each and every job.
• The Chart of Accounts in the sample file uses the new sample Chart of Accounts –
an enhancement in QuickBooks 2007. The account numbers are 5 digits and they
tie to the income tax form for Rock Castle – now an S-Corp.
• The corporate structure is now an S-Corp instead of “Form 1040 – Sole
Practitioner.
• Reports are cleaned up so that:
o Undeposited Funds doesn’t carry a balance at year end.
o Opening Balance Equity is closed as of the QuickBooks Start Date
o There is now a clearly defined QuickBooks Start Date.
o The prior year includes a complete set of data – January 1 through
December 31. The current year includes data from January 1 through

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December 15. The file therefore includes almost two complete years of
comparative reports.
o “Today’s” date is 12/15/2011 instead of 12/15/2007.
Note: If you need to use the unmodified Rock Castle Construction file, open the file using
QuickBooks 2007 and backup the file. Then, restore the file using version 2008. Consider that the
“today” date for Rock Castle construction will be 12/15/2007.

Improved Integration with Microsoft Outlook


QuickBooks Pro 2008 and above allows you to send QuickBooks forms like Invoices,
Purchase Orders and Sales Receipts using Outlook or Outlook Express. You can now
email reports using Outlook or Outlook Express as well.
Note: When you choose to email a report as an Acrobat file, QuickBooks creates an email
message in Outlook and Outlook Express with an Acrobat attachment. If you choose to send the
report as an Excel file, QuickBooks does the same, but with an Excel attachment.
The first time you attempt to email a form within QuickBooks you will receive the message
shown below.

When you click the “Close” button, QuickBooks opens your default email client (if the email
client is Outlook or Outlook Express) and completes an email as shown below.
Note: You do not need to download or install any additional utilities or applications to use this tool.

The benefits to this new email method are:

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• No need to log into Intuit Business Services to send the email. The email process
will be much faster each and every time you email and there is no setup involved
the first time you attempt to send a form.
• You can track sent invoices in the “Sent” folder within Outlook or Outlook Express.
• You can attach additional documents to the email before you send, like a
Statement of the Customer’s account or supporting documentation for the invoice,
like a timesheet or signed estimate provided by the customer.
• You can add flags to the email if you want to change the priority level for the
recipient.
• You can add more than once Cc and/or Bcc address.

Time Tracker
What is Time Tracker?
Time Tracker is an online timesheet entry utility that allows billable timekeepers to enter
time by logging into a secure website. The timekeeper does not need to have access to
QuickBooks in order to use Time Tracker and you don’t need to purchase a license of
QuickBooks for each billable timekeeper. Instead you pay a monthly subscription fee of
$10.00/month (formerly $7.00/month) to setup the timekeeper’s account in the Time
Tracker website. (Bulk user discounts apply. See the pricing chart below.)
After users log into Time Tracker they can enter time and run a limited set of reports on
the time data. Once the time keeper has entered all time entries for the week, he/she
submits the timesheet – making the time available for download into QuickBooks. The time
downloads directly into the QuickBooks timesheets, allowing users to review the time
entries in QuickBooks and edit the time detail before using the time to create invoices.
Note: There are some limitations to consider. To enter time for an employee or billable contractor,
that employee or contractor must have a separate Time Tracker account with a separate login
name and password. This makes the tool difficult to use in a construction environment where the
crew foreman may enter time for all of the members of the crew because the foreman would have
to log in and out of each crew member’s Time Tracker account to enter time for the day or week.
Also, Time Tracker does not allow you to assign time entries to a class. You have to assign the
class in QuickBooks after you download the time. This is not a critical problem if you use one class
per professional (e.g. to track the professional’s name or the professional’s location – office 1 vs.
office 2). Another limitation is the ability to enter no more than 20 lines on each week’s timesheet. If
the timekeepers perform more than 20 unique services each week they will have to send additional
timesheet information through an email (e.g. an Excel spreadsheet) and you will have to enter that
information into QuickBooks to supplement the downloaded time detail. The final critical limitation is
the ability to download in increments of no less than 1 week. If you need updated time information
daily (e.g. for daily billing), the tool doesn’t work well for you. If you bill by the week or month, the
weekly downloads are not an issue.
Pricing Changes
Time Tracker pricing provides discounts as you add more timekeepers to your
subscription. This new pricing model allows companies with numerous timekeepers like
construction companies and larger professional service firms to use Time Tracker without
incur prohibitive costs. The monthly pricing is as follows (discounts compared to the
$7.00/user pricing of Time Tracker for QuickBooks 2007:
• 1 User $10.00 ($3.00/user price increase)
• 2 Users $20.00 ($3.00/user price increase)

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• 3 Users $25.00 ($1.34/user price increase)
• 4 Users $25.00 ($ .75/user price decrease)
• 5 Users $25.00 ($2.00/user price decrease)
• 6 Users $50.00 ($1.34/user price increase)
• 7 Users $50.00 ($ .15/user price increase)
• 8 Users $50.00 ($ .75/user price decrease)
• 9 Users $50.00 ($1.44/user price decrease)
• 10 Users $50.00 ($2.00/user price decrease)
• 11-20 Users $75.00 (Price decrease ranges from $.18 to $3.25 per user)
• 21-50 Users $100.00 (Price decrease ranges from $2.23 to $5.00 per user)
• 51-100 Users $150.00 (Price decrease ranges from $4.05 to $5.50 per user)
At the highest user level (100 users), the cost of Time Tracker per user is only $1.50. The
cost for 100 users under the previous pricing model of $7.00/user would have been
$700.00.
Enhancements to Time Tracker
• Time Tracker allows you to create time reports online by date, by time keeper and
by Customer:Job. Intuit added this reporting enhancement to Time Tracker a few
months ago – so this is technically not a QuickBooks 2008 enhancement.
• Time Tracker allows you to create appointments in your Outlook calendar, mark
them billable and then upload them into Time Tracker.

QuickBooks Customer Credit Card Protection


If you process credit cards using Intuit Merchant Services or if you store credit card
information in the Payment tab of the Customer Setup window, you need to comply with
security standards governed by the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security
Standard). Failure to do so could result in severe fines if the credit card information should
fall into the wrong hands.
The QuickBooks Customer Credit Card Protection feature requires the QuickBooks Admin
user to enter a complex QuickBooks password that is at least 7 characters and includes at
least one upper-case letter. To comply with PCI DSS, QuickBooks will prompt you to
change the password every 90 days.
When you select the Company drop-down menu and then select Customer Credit Card
Protection, QuickBooks displays the window shown below. When you setup the more
complex password, you also enter a challenge question and answer.

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When you open QuickBooks, the login window shows an additional button allowing you to
quickly reset the password. Only the Admin user can use the Reset Password button.

When you click the Reset Password button, QuickBooks display the window shown below.
You must provide the answer to your challenge question to proceed.

When you enter the correct answer and click “OK,” QuickBooks removes the Admin
password and challenge question and displays the window shown below.

When you click “Close,” QuickBooks displays the Change QuickBooks Password window
so you can enter a new, complex password and a new challenge question.

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When you enter a new password and challenge question and click “OK,” QuickBooks logs
you into the file as the Administrator.
Note: You can setup complex passwords for additional users with access to credit card information.
However, you cannot use the QuickBooks Customer Credit Card Protection Feature for these
customers. Instead, the Administrator can either reset each user’s password for them or can set an
office policy requiring users to change their passwords every 90 days – to comply with PCI DSS.

QuickBooks Web Connector


QuickBooks Web Connector allows web services on the Internet to communicate with
QuickBooks. The technology used for this communication (or integration) is the same as
that provided to members of the Intuit Developer Network – called the SDK. However, the
integration between the web service and QuickBooks is a little different than the
integration between a desktop application and QuickBooks. When you integrate
QuickBooks with a third-party application developed by a member of the Intuit Developer
Network, the third-party application integrates directly with QuickBooks.
However, for a web service using QuickBooks Web Connector, the web connector is the
integrated application, not the web service. The web connector acts as a proxy for the web
service. The web service has to go through the web connector for any access of
QuickBooks.
Note: You can also use Web Connector with QuickBooks Point of Sale.

User Interface Changes


There are several windows in QuickBooks Pro that are different from QuickBooks 2007,
including:
• The help menu. When you open QuickBooks Help, the Help window shows in a
column to the right of the QuickBooks application. This is the standard placement
of the Help menu in Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel. The new
placement allows you to read the help menu content while you continue to work in
the program.

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• QuickBooks Coach – for the Home Page. The QuickBooks Coach provides
guidance related to the Home Page. For example, in the window below the user
turned on the QuickBooks Coach and selected coaching on the Estimates Icon bar
on the Home Page. The Coach provided a description of the Estimate form and a
possible use of the form (e.g. to bid on a customer project) and then shows the
workflow that beings with the Estimate and ends with receiving a payment from the
customer.

• Open an Accountant’s Copy using the same window you use to open a file,
restore a backup or open a portable company file.

• Program Installation – Single User and Multi User Options. Intuit modified the
installation windows for QuickBooks Pro and Premier. The window for Enterprise
Solutions is the same as previous QuickBooks versions. First, you choose to install
QuickBooks for “One User” or for “More than one user.” If you select “More than
one user” the wizard prompts you to install either the entire QuickBooks Program
or only the Database Server.

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Note: QuickBooks 2007 introduced the Database Management Server – a utility that allows you to
network QuickBooks files on the server without installing QuickBooks on the server. The Database
Management Server also increases the stability and performance during multi-user access to the
data file. However, the installation wizard confused many users (and consultants). As a result, the
user/consultant installed the Database Management Server on each workstation in addition to the
server – decreasing QuickBooks multi-user performance significantly. This new wording should
help the less experienced users/consultants to install QuickBooks correctly in a multi-user
environment.
• Company Preference - Location Change. The option to “Track Reimbursed
Expenses as Income” is now in the Time & Expenses” Company Preferences –
formally called, “Time Tracking.” In QuickBooks 2007 and earlier this
reimbursement preference was in the Sales & Customers Company Preferences.

QuickBooks Premier and Above


Time and Billing Enhancements
The new option to create invoices from a list of time and expenses allows any company
that creates invoices from billable time, expenses, items or mileage to streamline the
invoicing process. You can work from a list of clients with billable data and have
QuickBooks create the invoice automatically – all directly from a single dashboard showing
a list of all customers/clients with billable entries.

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You first turn the feature on in the Time & Expenses Company Preferences.

With the feature turned you, QuickBooks adds a new menu selection in the Customers
drop-down menu called “Invoice for Time & Expenses.”

When you select “Invoice for Time & Expenses” in the Customer drop-down menu,
QuickBooks displays the window shown below:

You can enter the date range for the time and expenses you want to invoice. By default
the window will select everything through “today.” (For the sample data file “today” is
12/15/2011.) The window also shows a list of all customers with unbilled time and
expenses in that date range.
This window provides three significant advantages over previous versions:
1. The ability to view unbilled time in dollars, not just hours.
2. The ability to view all unbilled activities (time, expenses, items and mileage) on a
single window with a total.

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3. The ability to quickly identify customers with the largest amount of billable activities
– to prioritize the billing process (e.g. if you don’t have time to bill all customers and
want to create the largest invoices first). You can sort each column in ascending or
descending order.
You can create only one invoice at a time. So, highlight the customer for whom you want
to create an invoice and then click “Create Invoice.” Alternatively you can double-click
anywhere on the line for the customer.
In the window above “Bowden Boutiques: Koll Center, Middlefield” is the selected client.
When you click “Create Invoice” QuickBooks creates the invoice shown below:

Note the following about the auto-created invoice:


• The order of the lines on the invoice first shows all time entries, sorted by date.
Then, billable items (including mileage if the mileage entry is linked to an item) –
also sorted by date. Billable expenses are at the bottom and are always combined
together into a reimbursable expenses group – if there are two or more billable
expenses on the invoice.
• The invoice uses the class assigned to the billable entry on the lines of the invoice.
If there is no class, QuickBooks leaves the class field blank. The class at the top of
the invoice is always left blank.
• QuickBooks uses the time and billing options you last select on the Billable
Time/Costs window. You should set these options first before you begin the billing
process.

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• If there are more than two billable expenses, QuickBooks creates a reimbursable
group. If there is only one billable expense entry, QuickBooks shows the expense
on a single line – always at the bottom of the invoice.
Note: You can sort the list by Customer:Job to locate the customer faster. You can also sort by any
of the other columns to group the customer by those who do and do not have billable time,
reimbursable expenses, etc. If you sort by time you can prioritize the billing for customers with the
most billable time.
Note: You can hide or display a column by right-clicking any column header and selecting columns
from the list.
Note: If you select the checkbox at the bottom of the window to “select specific billables for this
Customer:Job,” QuickBooks opens the Create Invoice window when you double-click the
customer’s line and display the Billable Time/Costs window for you to create the Invoice. This
method is exactly the same as if you opened the Invoice window and selected the customer name –
the traditional QuickBooks billing procedure. The benefit of using this window is limited to 1) sorting
the customers and 2) showing a list filtered for only those customers with billable entries.
Joe’s Comment: This time and billing enhancement is a solid step in the right direction for
QuickBooks. I think that some professional service companies will benefit from the feature. That
said, I think most of the professional service companies will use this window only to show a list of
clients with billable time and costs – perhaps taking advantage of the ability to sort the list. The
ability to see how much billable time is available for each client is a huge benefit. However, I don’t
think many will allow QuickBooks to automatically create the invoice using the default layout
described in the bullets above – unless the professional is billing for time only without any
reimbursable items, mileage and expenses. For this tool to be truly effective for most professional
service firms, QuickBooks will need to allow the user to have more control over the format of the
auto-created invoice. Also, the feature will be much more effective if the user can massage the
billable entries (e.g. write up/down billable time, modify time notes and the memos in expense
transactions, etc). The last real need is the ability to create a batch of numerous invoices at a single
click of the mouse – using the highly customized default layout and the massaged billable entries. I
don’t want to sound too negative though. This feature is the first Time and Billing enhancement in
years (other than Time Tracker), and I’m excited that the time and billing feature in QuickBooks is
getting some much needed attention. I hope this new feature and the ability to integrate the Outlook
calendar with Time Tracker are a foretaste of what is to come in future versions.

Accountant’s Copy Enhancements – Accountant Edition


Intuit enhanced the Accountant’s Copy significantly with the release of QuickBooks
Premier: Accountant Edition 2007. Beginning with version 2007 you can add, edit, void
and delete almost any type of transaction in QuickBooks (payroll transactions are not on
the list) – as long as the transaction is dated on or before the dividing date. The client
establishes the dividing date when creating the Accountant’s Copy. Typically the dividing
date is the last day of the fiscal year, but if you support the client with adjustments monthly
or quarterly the dividing date could be the last day of the month or quarter.
There are numerous other enhancements to the Accountant’s Copy introduced in version
2007 as well, but these enhancements are outside the scope of this article. For more
information on the 2007 enhancements you can read “New Features of QuickBooks 2007”
at www.cfsatlanta.com. (Click the Publications tab.)
There are four significant enhancements to the Accountant’s Copy for version 2008:
• When you reconcile accounts using the Accountant’s Copy, the reconciled status
of the transactions transfers to the client’s computer when the client imports your
changes.

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• Clients have a single-click option to encrypt and upload the Accountant’s Copy to
QuickBase (a secure Intuit online database). You then receive an email from the
client (via QuickBase) allowing you to download the file to your computer.
Accountant’s Copies are typically 10-15% the size of the data file (.QBW), but even
with that level of file compression the Accountant’s Copy may be larger than 10 MB
– the typical attachment size limit imposed by Internet Service Providers. Clients
may prefer to use this data transfer option even if the Accountant’s Copy is small
enough for an email attachment because of the data encryption and additional data
security provided by QuickBase.
• You can merge accounts.
• You can open Accountant’s Copies created in version 2007, work on them and
export your changes to the client using QuickBooks Premier: 2008. There is no
need to switch between QuickBooks 2007 and QuickBooks 2008 when working
with clients on these two versions of QuickBooks.
Note: This change is especially significant for accounting professionals who did not purchase
Premier: Accountant Edition. Beginning with version 2007, you can only open and modify an
Accountant’s Copy if you use QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition. Now, the accounting
professional can purchase Accountant Edition version 2008 to support their clients on both version
2007 and 2008.
Joe’s Comment: I think the 2007 and 2008 enhancements to the Accountant’s Copy represent one
of Intuit’s most significant improvements for the accounting professional. The only remaining
weaknesses right now are access to payroll transactions and the inability for the client to reconcile
accounts while the Accountant’s Copy exists. If you want to nit-pick you could complain about
remaining inabilities like modifying preferences (e.g. setting a Closing Date). I’m addressing
significant limitations, and in my opinion those are now narrowed down to the two mentioned above.

QuickBooks Remote Access – Accountant Edition


The Remote Access enhancements available in QuickBooks Pro and above are even
more significant for users of QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition. The QuickBooks
Remote Access feature available in Premier Accountant Edition allows you to:
1. Setup a web meeting with the client where the connection to the client’s computer
is temporary – accessible only during the web meeting. The accounting
professional has access to the client’s computer during the interactive meeting
only. While in this web meeting you can choose to display your screen to the client
or to view and control the client’s screen using your computer.
2. To setup a permanent remote access connection that allows the accounting
professional to connect the client’s computer even if the client is not in the office.

Use this tab to setup a


meeting with a
Use this tab to setup a temporary connection
permanent connection to a client’s computer to
to a remote computer. enhance your remote
engagement or meeting
with the client.

25
QuickBooks Remote Access - Enhancements
Faster performance As with other editions of QuickBooks the Remote Access feature for
the Accountant Edition is much faster than the previous version.
Display a Video Image from Your Web Cam Your clients can now see your image while
you control their computers. This feature is especially useful when you are using the tool
to train your clients. When you are not demonstrating a feature in QuickBooks you can
restore this window (normally minimized) to make your conversation with the client more
personable.

Change View (Remote Access Sessions) You can now change the view when
connecting to the remote computer. This is significant because the remote computer may
have a resolution different from the local computer you are using. Though you can setup
Remote Access sessions to automatically adjust for the difference in screen resolution,
that option may not always produce the results you intend. Having the ability to zoom in
and out while viewing the remote computer ensures you will always have the best possible
screen image to work with. If you notice on the window below, you can also downgrade
the color from High Color to 256 Colors to increase the speed of the connection. The
decreased color setting reduces the amount of information transferred from the remote
computer to the local computer.

Screen Sampling When viewing certain types of data, it is better to use screen sampling
than to view all of the data on the screen. For example, if you are viewing a client as they
work through QuickBooks and the client is scrolling down a detail report, the amount of
information transferred to your computer is overwhelming and can cause your screen to be
out of sync with the remote computer. Screen sampling would transfer images of the
report to you, but not every line of detail as you scroll down the report.

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When viewing the QuickBooks application almost every QuickBooks window is easily
supported by the Standard display. However, if you use QuickBooks Remote Access to
open applications with complex graphics, this mode may be preferable do the Standard
mode.

Multiple Monitor Support If the remote computer uses more than one monitor, WebEx
will display the window shown below that allows you to select which monitor you will
remotely control. You can toggle your control from monitor to monitor, but you can control
only one monitor at a time.

Shared View or Control The previous version of QuickBooks Remote Access did not
allow accounting professionals to show their screens to the client – to the remote
computer. The new version allows you to do either. This dual view and control is especially
helpful when conducting remote training and when conducting software demonstrations.
For example, the client may use QuickBooks Pro and may want a demonstration of
QuickBooks Premier: Contractor Edition before deciding to upgrade to Premier. You can
use QuickBooks Remote Access to display your Premier: Accountant Edition (toggled to
the Contractor Edition) or even allow the client to take control of your computer to
experiment with the program directly.
Screen Annotation When conducting a meeting you can annotate the client’s computer
using a pen, highlighter and other annotation tools shown below. In dual mode, the client
can annotate your computer as well. Screen annotation is a critical feature because you
are unable to point to the screen as you can do during on location training sessions.

Connecting Multiple Computers during the Meeting Multiple attendees can join the
meeting to view your desktop, view one of the other attendee’s desktops, share in chat

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messages, view your video cam, and view screen annotations. This is especially helpful
when you conduct software demonstrations because the client may invite other
professionals to the meeting (e.g. the client’s IT consultants) or multiple employees might
need to view the demo from multiple locations.
Pricing WebEx changed the pricing for remote access. The free 12 month subscription
now includes up to two Remote Access computers as well as unlimited interactive
sessions each month. You can also transfer files to and from your client’s computers using
the free 12 month subscription. However, the free subscription allows you to view and
control only the QuickBooks program on the remote computers.
If you need to setup more than 2 Remote Access connections or if you need to access
more than the QuickBooks program on the remote computer, you can setup additional
computers. See the pricing table on page 13 for the costs involved in expanding your use
of QuickBooks Remote Access.
Note: The cost of using QuickBooks remote access has gone up. Under the old pricing you could
setup 10 Remote Access computers for $29.95 per month and you could access everything on the
remote computers. To access 10 Remote Computers still costs $29.95, but that price is for
QuickBooks-only access. If you want to access all of the applications on the remote computer, a
block of 10 computers costs $69.95.
Joe’s Comment: I know that many accounting professionals will not be happy with this increase in
price, especially since Premier: Accountant Edition costs more than QuickBooks Pro and the
QuickBooks Remote Access pricing is the same for both versions. However, consider that the price
of QuickBooks Remote Access has always been very low (in my opinion), the program is
significantly faster and more powerful than its predecessor, and users of QuickBooks Premier:
Accountant Edition can conduct an unlimited number of web meetings each month with no per-
meeting fees. Also, multiple professionals from your office can use the tool simultaneously – as with
the previous version. You might be tempted to use another program that has most (but not all) of
the QuickBooks Remote Access features if the monthly subscription is less. However, you would
probably have to pay a monthly fee for each professional who uses the tool. The $29.95 per month
or $69.95 per month price allows an unlimited number of professionals in your office to use the tool
simultaneously.

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 8.0


EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 8.0 now includes the following products from
TrueCommerce EDI at no additional charge:
• TrueCommerce Transaction Manager (normally $795) - EDI translation software
that enables you to electronically exchange business documents such as Purchase
Orders and Sales Orders with your vendors and customers in the EDI format
• A Business System Plug-in that enables you to integrate EDI with QuickBooks
Enterprise Solutions 8.0, automating the import and export of business documents
and reducing or eliminating the need to manually type information.
• An Electronic Partner Plug-in for mapping your EDI documents to the specifications
required by your customers and vendors for integration with their EDI system. You
need one Electronic Partner Plug-in for each business with whom you use EDI to
exchange documents. If you use EDI with more than one business, you will have to
purchase additional Electronic Partner Plug-ins for $300 each.
Though the software and plug-ins listed above are included with QuickBooks Enterprise
Solutions 8.0, you still pay TrueCommerce a monthly fee to send documents. You can

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send or receive up to 25 documents each month for $41.95 per month. Sending additional
documents costs .42 per transaction. If you send numerous documents using EDI each
month, TrueCommerce will provide a bulk usage discount.
Go to www.truecommerce.com for more information about TrueCommerce EDI.
Note: You can use TrueCommerce EDI with QuickBooks Pro and Premier and you can use
TrueCommerce with older versions of QuickBooks (2005 and above). However, only QuickBooks
Enterprise Solutions 8.0 includes the software and plug-ins listed above. You have to purchase
these applications and plug-ins if you use QuickBooks Pro or Premier or if you use an older version
of Enterprise Solutions.

Linux Support
Your clients who use Enterprise Solutions can now choose Linux as their database server
operating system. They can store their QuickBooks data on a Linux server and access
their data from QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions on their Windows desktop client.
Note: This enhancement is also available in Enterprise Solutions 7.0 provided you have installed
the necessary updates.

Inventory Enhancements
Enterprise Solutions 8.0 offers the following inventory enhancements:
• Serialized Inventory Tracking
• Bar Code Scanning
• Multi-Location Tracking
• Pick Ticket Enhancements – including the ability to pick based on First In First Out
(FIFO)
As with some other QuickBooks features (like Remote Access), Intuit partnered with a
third party to provide these inventory enhancements. As a result, additional costs apply.
To benefit from these inventory enhancements QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions users
need to subscribe to a QuickBooks add-on application called Velocity Inventory. Intuit
partnered with Velocity Inventory to provide discounted pricing to users of QuickBooks
Enterprise Solutions 8.0.
Velocity Inventory is an online application, so the pricing model for the Velocity Inventory is
subscription-based. Velocity Inventory normally costs $60 per month per user. Users of
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 8.0 pay only $40 per month per user (or 1/3 of the
normal price). When determining the value proposition for your clients, consider the
following:
• QuickBooks users are not necessarily Velocity Inventory users – even if the
user enters transactions that include inventory items. Users who enter Sales
Orders or Purchase Orders usually do not need a subscription. Also, users who
convert Item Receipts to Bills usually do not need a subscription. Even users who
create invoices for shipped products usually do not need a subscription. The
Velocity Inventory users are those who:
o Assign serial numbers to inventory items. This process is usually
performed at the time you receive inventory so usually the QuickBooks user
who enters Item Receipts will need a Velocity Inventory subscription.

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o Scan inventory labels. Though you can use bar code scanning for multiple
functions, you usually use bar code scanners when you are moving
inventory into or out of your warehouse. You can sometimes use bar code
scanners when transferring information from one location to another (e.g.
from one shelf to another or from one warehouse to another). Only the
employees who track this inventory movement will need a subscription to
Velocity Inventory
o Assign locations to inventory. Employees assign locations when
receiving inventory into the warehouse, when transferring inventory within
the warehouse or between warehouses or when removing inventory from
the warehouse. The subscriptions you use for employees who scan
inventory labels will apply to this activity as well (in most situations).
o Print Pick Tickets. Usually the warehouse manager prints pick tickets.
However, no matter which employee prints the pick tickets, you only need a
Velocity Inventory subscription for those employees who work with the pick
tickets.
• Employees can share subscriptions. You do not need to purchase a
subscription for each unique employee. You only need to purchase a subscription
for each simultaneous user of Velocity Inventory.
• You can increase or decrease the number of subscriptions at any time. If you
have seasonal increases in inventory movement, you can add subscriptions to
support these busier months without incurring a year-round expense.
• Velocity Inventory is easy to implement and to use – since it is an add-on
product and all item-level detail remains in QuickBooks. If the user can defer or
eliminate the need for an expensive and complicated inventory application, the
savings on both the software and consulting fees (implementation fees) probably
measures in the tens of thousands of dollars.
• Since the features in Velocity Inventory are designed to increase inventory
controls, you can reduce inventory costs by thousands of dollars each year –
thousands more than you spend on Velocity Inventory subscriptions. (For example,
if you know how much inventory you have on hand in each warehouse – or on
each truck if you stock inventory in your vehicles – you may be able to transfer
inventory between locations rather than ordering new parts from your supplier. This
decrease in shelf life for the inventory parts reduces inventory costs significantly,
especially when working with numerous products or high-cost products.)
To learn more about Velocity Inventory visit their website at www.velocityinventory.com.
Note: You can use Velocity Inventory with QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise
Solutions, but only Enterprise Solutions users benefit from the discounted pricing.
Joe’s Comment: Given the inventory specialization in my practice I am very excited about any
inventory enhancements Intuit provides in new versions. That said, these enhancements are not
really new QuickBooks features. They require the use of a third party product, and they require
additional costs of $480 per year per user. So, I have mixed feelings. I like the Velocity Inventory
program, and I have spent a lot of time recommending it over the past few months – even before
the Intuit partnership. However, I find that even my largest clients – clients who have money to
spend on software – are hesitant to pay $720 per year per user (the price without the Enterprise
Solutions discount). Of course I communicate the overall value proposition (see the bullets above)

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and the argument is compelling. However, the price point chokes them every time nonetheless. So,
I’m very excited about the discount offered to Enterprise Solutions users. The 33% savings over a 5
year period for 4 Velocity Inventory subscriptions is almost $5,000. It is possible my clients using
Pro or Premier will upgrade to a 5 user license of Enterprise Solutions so they can get Velocity
Inventory at the lower price. Their Velocity Inventory savings coupled with the lower annual cost to
upgrade Enterprise vs. Pro/Premier makes the Enterprise choice compelling. Conclusion: This
inventory enhancement is bittersweet. Sweet: my clients need these features, and they can now get
them cheaper than ever before. Bitter: These features are not in QuickBooks and require the use of
an expensive add-on product. Bitter: the add-on product doesn’t provide LIFO or FIFO inventory
valuation - one of the top ten features on my QuickBooks wish list.

QuickBooks Online Payroll


QuickBooks Online Payroll is a new online application that allows you to process payroll,
track and pay payroll liabilities, file payroll forms and create about 20 reports. This
application is not to be confused with QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Online now offers
payroll processing capabilities as well, but this application is separate from QuickBooks
Online and does not have any abilities other than payroll (e.g. no General Ledger,
Accounts Payable/Receivable, Inventory, Financial Reporting, etc.)
What is the purpose of this product? One purpose is the ability to share payroll
responsibilities with the client. For example, the client can pay employees…

…and you as the accounting professional can process payroll liability payments and
payroll forms (e.g. 941, 940, W2, etc.).

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That is only one possibility. QuickBooks Online Payroll is a good solution for any small
business that wants to process payroll but for whatever reasons does not want or need a
complete accounting solution.
The price of QuickBooks Online Payroll is $19.95 per month per EIN.
Go to http://payroll.intuit.com for more information about QuickBooks Online Payroll.
Note: QuickBooks Online Payroll currently allows you to print payroll forms for a limited number of
states.
Note: QuickBooks Online Payroll does not currently integrate with QuickBooks or QuickBooks
Online.

Changes to the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program


QuickBooks made significant modifications to the ProAdvisor Program about a year ago,
including the ability to earn an Advanced Certification designation for qualified Certified
ProAdvisors and the ability to certify in QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.
Changes to the ProAdvisor Program for fall 2007 include:

Advanced Certification
To earn an Advanced Certification designation for version 2007 ProAdvisor Members
needed to:
• Complete the certification requirements for versions 2005, 2006 and 2007
• Attend 4 half-day seminars (2 days) onsite at various locations throughout the U.S.
The seminars covered a variety of intermediate and advanced topics.
• Attend 4 two-hour Webinars. The webinars covered a variety of intermediate and
advanced topics.
Many consultants found the two days of onsite training to be too costly because the
sessions in their local area sold out or Intuit did not provide sessions in their area. Also,
consultants could earn an Advanced Certification status without Intuit evaluating their
experience or knowledge of QuickBooks.
To address these two concerns, Intuit is now dropping all training requirements and is,
instead, developing a very advanced, in depth test. Passing this difficult test and being
certified on the 3 most recent versions of QuickBooks are the only two requirements to
become an Advanced Certified ProAdvisor. Intuit will provide optional webinars designed
to prepare ProAdvisors to take the Advanced Certification test. The test will be available in
January 2008.
Note: If you are already an Advanced Certified ProAdvisor, you do not need to take the test until
two years after you earned your Advanced Certification designation. ProAdvisors who are not
currently Advanced Certified will have to the take the test immediately to earn the Advanced
Certification designation.

Program Benefits
QuickBooks modified or added the following ProAdvisor Program benefits:

Promotion of ProAdvisors within QuickBooks


The online listing of ProAdvisors is one of the key benefits of the program. Intuit has
worked very hard over the past couple of years to increase the number of QuickBooks

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users who traffic this searchable, onsite list of ProAdvisors. This year Intuit will add a
launch point in QuickBooks 2008 that links users to the online list of ProAdvisors. The
launch point is in the Help drop-down menu.

Note: In the late 1990’s the default Icon Bar in QuickBooks had an Icon that read “Find a
ProAdvisor” – or text similar to that. Intuit’s promotion of ProAdvisors within the QuickBooks product
is a tremendous benefit – a return of a much needed marketing benefit for the ProAdvisor.

Train Your Clients Center


The Train Your Clients Center is an online library of downloadable teaching resources.
The resources cover various QuickBooks topics as well as small business fundamentals.
ProAdvisor members can print as many copies of these materials as necessary to provide
one on one or group training sessions for their clients.
The Train Your Clients Center also includes resources for the QuickBooks trainer like a
Seminar Preparation Checklist and marketing templates to promote QuickBooks seminars.
The center also includes PowerPoint presentations on various QuickBooks topics and
even some free, Intuit-provided training opportunities that would benefit your clients.

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Software, Services and A-la-Carte Options
Intuit made the following changes to the optional software and services to supplement
your ProAdvisor Program benefits:

The $100 Payroll Option Is Now an Automatic Renewal


You save $200 on the Enhanced Payroll for Accountants payroll subscription if you bundle
the subscription with your annual ProAdvisor Program membership fee. Previously, you
could not choose to make this bundle a part of your membership auto-renewal. To simplify
the renewal process you can now tell Intuit to automatically bundle the payroll service with
your annual membership fee – no special ordering is required.

No 30 Day Limit to Purchase a-la-carte Options


You can purchase up to 5 licenses from the following list at a significant discount.
1. Additional licenses of QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition
2. Intuit Merchant Services
3. QuickBooks Point of Sale
4. QuickBooks Pro for Mac
Previously you had to purchase these options within 30 days of renewing your annual
ProAdvisor Program membership. This limitation is now removed for all a la carte options
except Intuit Merchant Services.

Point of Sale License for Certified POS Advisors


ProAdvisor members who are certified in versions 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 of QuickBooks Point of
Sale now receive one complimentary not-for-resale copy of Point of Sale. Previously these
Point of Sale advisors had to purchase Point of Sale as one of the 5 a la carte options
listed above.

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Pricing Changes
Intuit made the following pricing changes to the ProAdvisor Program and the a la carte
options:
• QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program Membership Fee – The annual fee (without the
optional payroll subscription) is now $449.00 instead of $399.00. The payroll
subscription is still a $100 add-on.
• Merchant Services – Intuit merchant services is now $69 per year instead of $99
per year.
• Premier: Accountant Edition a-la-carte Copies – a la carte licenses of Premier:
Accountant Edition are now $199/each instead of $99/each.

Features Still on Joe’s Wish List


Each year I get to drop a few entries from my personal QuickBooks wish list. Always fun!
The following are the top ten features still on my list – in priority order.
1. A Second Class List
2. LIFO/FIFO Inventory Valuation
3. Balance Sheet by Class
4. Multi-Currency Conversions
5. A Comprehensive Cash/Accrual Conversion (Not Limited to Accounts Receivable
and Accounts Payable Transactions)
6. Filter Reports Option to Either Include or Exclude Filter Selections. (For example,
filter to exclude expense accounts and filter to include sales items on the same
custom report.) QuickBooks allows you to filter to include filter selections only.
Note: On the Filters tab of the Modify Report window, you can select a list (e.g. accounts, items,
customers, etc), click the top entry, hold your mouse button and scroll down any list to quickly
select all list entries. You can then uncheck the list entries you want to exclude from the report. This
produces a good immediate result. However, you have to modify the report each time you add a
new entry to the filtered list. This causes memorized reports to be unstable, and I usually advise
against my clients using this workaround if they intend to memorize the report for future use.
7. A setting on reports to collapse both the row and the column.
8. Custom Fields that include custom selections (e.g. drop down lists, check boxes,
buttons, etc.)
9. Allow Edits to Non-Posting Transactions Dated on or before the Closing Date – as
a Company Preference
10. An Item Column on Journal Entries

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