QuickBooks 2011 – Should I Upgrade?

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QuickBooks 2011 – Should I Upgrade?

With the new year comes a new version of QuickBooks and you might be asking yourself some of the following questions: “Do I have to upgrade?”, “What is new in QuickBooks 2011?” and “How much is upgrading going to cost me?”

Below I have answered these common questions in hopes of making your decision process easier this year.

Do I have to upgrade my QuickBooks software?

QuickBooks only supports the last 3 years of software that it has released. So for example, next year they will only support versions, 2011, 2010, and 2009. Therefore, if you currently have version 2008 or earlier it is probably time to upgrade. Technically, you do not have to upgrade to the newer version, but QuickBooks will no longer release updates for your version, and they will not help you if you call in to technical support with a problem. It has been my experience that if you don’t upgrade now you will eventually be forced to.

What are the new features in QuickBooks 2011?

QuickBooks 2011 has many new features. I have outlined the highlights below.

  • New  Built-in-Reports

o   Average Days to Pay
o   Sales by Ship to Address

  • Batch Invoicing

o   Invoice Multiple Clients the same invoice.

  • QuickBooks Search

o   More broad than the “Find” feature
o   Especially useful when user does not have the full information but
can recall  key pieces of information.

  • Improved Customer Snapshot

o   Addition of  Customer Tab

§  Shows Recent Invoices, Sales History, Recent Payments, and
Best Selling Items
§  Customer Overview displays # of years they have been a
customer, Average days to pay, Open Balance, and Credit Limit

  • History on Transactions

o   Appears to right of Estimates, Invoices, Sales Receipts, Purchase
Order, Bill, or Receiving Inventory.
o   Has three sections

§  Summary – Shows phone and contact information
§  Recent Transactions – w/ a link to the Quick Report
§  Notes

  • Instant Startup

o   Allows you to open QuickBooks significantly faster than in the past

  • Collections Center

o   Improve Collections and Managing accounts receivable

  • Web-email integration

o   QuickBooks now lets you use Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and other web
email services to send invoices and estimates. In prior years you
could only use Outlook.

All of the above features are available in all versions of QuickBooks (Pro, Premier, and Enterprise Solutions). Below is the one main new feature that is only available in QuickBooks Premier and Enterprise Solutions.

  • Balance Sheet by Class

o   Produce Balance Sheets for different funds, departments, divisions,
or other classes.
o   Must input transactions in a very specific way for this report to
calculate correctly.

The two main new features only available in QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions are:

  • Multi-Location Inventory

o   Allows users to track inventory in more than one inventory site,
location, or warehouse.

  • Multi – Instance

o   Have two QuickBooks files open at once! (cannot have same
company opened twice)
o   Be able to copy and paste information from one file to another
o   There are some restrictions but the only one that I saw that seems
important is that you cannot process payroll in the secondary file.

I will mention for those of you that would be interested in the Multi-Instance feature that it is also available in the QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition for 2011, which is the same price as any of the industry specific QuickBooks Premier editions. The QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition also lets you toggle to any of the industry Premier editions and the Pro Edition. I would highly recommend the Accountant Edition to anyone who is looking at purchasing the Premier version.

How much will upgrading to QuickBooks 2011 cost?

I have done the research and this is what I have found.

  • Purchase directly from QuickBooks w/ Pro Advisor Discount:

o   Pro  =  $172.46
o   Premier = $279.97
o   Plus tax and a minimum of $3.95 shipping and handling.

  • Purchase through Costco Online:

o   Pro = $179.99
o   Premier = $279.99
o   Plus tax (includes shipping and handling)

After searching many other online retailers these prices are the best I could find. In my opinion you can probably purchase QuickBooks cheaper by purchasing it at your local Costco Warehouse. I also know that last year Costco offered a $25-35 coupon on the software early in the year.

I hope this has answered many of your questions about QuickBooks 2011. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 509-665-6600.  I am a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor for versions 2006-2011.

Jerra A.  Kramer, CPA

Accountant, QuickBooks ProAdvisor

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