QuickBooks Pro 2010 is an excellent
product and great value.
With the 2010 edition, Intuit presents a host of new
features, tweaks to old features, and the typical ease of use that QuickBooks users have
come to expect.
New features include an online document storage
functionality, electronic check submission for bank deposits, a smart email marketing
tool, and an add-on application store link. Most of these new features are fee-based
services. Intuit tweaked the functionality of lists to allow the import of items directly
from Excel spreadsheets and the customization of company snapshots.
Last but not least, the 2010 edition provides an option for
users to add unmatched transactions from online banking downloads through the check
register, as users could easily accomplish prior to the initial introduction of the
QuickBooks 2009 version.
The user interface for online banking, introduced with
QuickBooks 2009, initially met with a storm of criticism from existing users who greatly
preferred adding unmatched transactions through the check register. Intuit, to its credit,
responded with later releases of QuickBooks 2009 (rev7 and later) that permitted users to
add transactions through the check register.
To me, none of the new features would make me run out to
the store and buy QuickBooks 2010 if I was already using QuickBooks 2009 or 2008. I can,
however, wholeheartedly endorse QuickBooks Pro 2010 for new businesses and businesses
other than manufacturers who are using some other small business accounting software.
I have not yet recommended an upgrade to any of my clients
(mostly mom and pop small businesses) who use QuickBooks 2008 or 2009. Still, I can
foresee a number of instances where upgrading to QuickBooks 2010 could be worthwhile. I
will discuss these instances below in the context of individual features.
The new feature with which I am most impressed is the
ability to make bank deposits electronically"with scanned copies of checks. This
feature is fee-based with a setup fee, a monthly service fee, and a per item fee. This
service, despite the fees, could be worth the money to businesses in time saved at bank
teller windows. An important drawback with this features release is that the banks receipt
of the deposit is not instantaneous; it make take more than 24 hours for the bank to
credit the respective bank account.
The online document storage functionality provides for 100
MB of free storage, which Intuit considers sufficient for most small businesses. After
that it is a fee-based service. Non-QuickBooks documents such as contracts can be attached
to QuickBooks documents such as related invoices.
The new email marketing tool is an online oesmart tool
because it can alert a company that certain clients have made significantly lower
purchases over the last six months. Then, it can email customers to solicit new purchases
while calculating the response it terms of new purchases made. This feature seems to
integrate exceptionally well with QuickBooks company data files. The first 500 emails are
free, after that it, too, is a fee-based service.
In the long haul, the new online application store could be
a boon to Intuit. All of their applications offer a free trial period, after which fees
occur. Intuit gets a share of the revenue while the application developers bear the brunt
of designing and servicing the applications.
QuickBooks continues to be the easiest to use of the top
three small business accounting programs. The initial interview to set up a client takes
20 minutes to half an hour. Invoicing, check writing, and bill paying are relatively
straightforward. oeItems is a concept that virtually all inexperienced bookkeepers do not
use properly. Inventory processing for most businesses is clean and easy to understand,
but may not be the best choice for many manufacturing companies. Payroll is best handled
by outside services (including QuickBooks payroll services).
QuickBooks' ease of use paradoxically leads many people to
make troublesome mistakes in setting up their QuickBooks files. I recommend consulting a
QuickBooks Pro Advisor or experienced QuickBooks bookkeeper for the initial set up, unless
one is well versed in accounting procedures or reading one of the recommended QuickBooks
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