QuickBooks 2010 Overview

| September 18, 2009 | 8 Comments

Hot on the heals of my “preview” article yesterday, here is additional information on QuickBooks 2010. This information has been released to ProAdvisors but it hasn’t yet hit the Intuit end-user oriented web sites. I’ll have more details in the coming weeks, with screen shots and more details, when Intuit releases the product.

QuickBooks 2010 contains a number of new features, as well as some improvements of existing features. The following is a quick list of SOME of the new and improved features (please note that this is not a list of bug fixes).

Document Management

When you create an invoice do you have a customer PO? Would you like to be able to see that document when you go back to look at the invoice? Use a Document Management System to “attach” documents to transactions in QuickBooks. Please note that this is expected to be an added fee service that you subscribe to (fees haven’t been announced at this time).

There are a number of these kinds of programs that work with QuickBooks, but this is the first one that Intuit is providing (well, not the first, they had one a year ago but withdrew it from the market very quickly). To use the Intuit version you must have QuickBooks 2010. This will compete with products like PaperSave Plus (reviewed here) and SmartVault (which I reviewed here).

There are some very interesting features here, but also a few things that I think need to be improved on. Note that this will store your documents offline (like SmartVault), rather than on your computer like (PaperSave Plus). (See the review of this feature)

Rapid List Entry

This is a method of entering a large number of records to certain lists in QuickBooks. You have a spreadsheet-like form that lets you enter information directly, rather than one “edit” window at a time. This can replace Excel imports in many cases. Initially this will support customers, vendors, service items, inventory parts and non-inventory parts. It has superior data entry and error checking features when compared to the Excel imports we’ve been using for years. (see the review of this feature)

Improved Condense/Archive

Intuit says that they have improved it, but I’m not convinced that this works well enough to be recommended. I still prefer to use the Data Transfer Utility and other tools by Karl Irvin. All I can say at this point is that this feature DOES need a lot of improvement…

Forms Customization

In prior versions of QuickBooks if you wanted a uniform appearance across your printed forms you would have to create one standard form and them make copies of it to all other kinds of forms, and then do extensive modification. With this release you have a “design” feature that lets you set standard backgrounds, fonts, colors and other features, which are applied to all of your forms. And if you change the design, the change applies to all forms.

Improved Company Snapshot

The Company Snapshot was introduced in the 2009 release. It had great promise, and some very useful features, but it was very limited. In the 2010 release this is expanded. You can choose the features that you want to display from a selection of 12 options. You can rearrange the screen. You can print the entire snapshot or an individual chart. This feature has been greatly improved – let’s hope they expand it further! (see the review of this feature)

Favorites Menu

Similar to what you have in your web browser, you have a menu option that you can customize by adding items from a predefined list. This list includes reports, lists, transaction windows and more. If there are reports or features that you want to access quickly, add it to your Favorites Menu.

Check Signatures

You can set up a graphic file of your signature to be printed automatically on checks and paychecks. I’m not convinced that this is a good idea for many businesses, but there are people who have asked for this. You will find this in the printer setup function in the file menu.

Report Center

The Report Center has been overhauled to provide a number of interesting changes. You can build a “favorites” list, you can see a list of recently viewed reports, you can search for reports by key words, and you have a report previewer that gives you a better picture of what the report includes.

App Center

Another “center” icon added to the icon bar – another venue for advertising. However, this may be useful (and not annoying, as it only promotes things if you click on it). This takes you to the Intuit Workplace App Center, which will list a number of add-on products that you can subscribe to. These are Internet based add-on programs that use a new programming interface that Intuit is developing.

Windows 7

I believe that this will be the only version of QuickBooks that will officially be supported on Windows 7, although many people have run older versions on that operating system with success.

More to Come

I will have additional articles on these features in the near future, when QuickBooks releases the actual product. Stay tuned!

The big question is going to be, should you upgrade to this new release? My typical answer to this every year is that you go ahead and purchase the upgrade, but that you probably should wait awhile before actually moving your business over to the 2010 program. That is,  unless you have a compelling need for some of these features. You can install it on the same computer with an older version (if you install it to a separate folder) and spend some time getting used to the new features before you make the switch with your production company data.

Intuit always has a number of bug fixes that come out quickly on the heels of a new major release.  Rather than rushing in and finding that there are problems, wait a couple of months until we see how it works. There will be a large number of people installing the new release, let them be the ones to find the problems.  This year their beta test program seemed to be more thorough and broad than in the past.  However, that isn’t the same as having thousands of people running the program in a production environment.

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Category: Program Updates, QuickBooks 2010

About the Author (Author Profile)

Charlie Russell is the founder of CCRSoftware. He’s been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70’s, focusing on inventory and accounting software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Look for Charlie’s articles in the Accountex Report blog, as well as his California Wildflower Hikes blog.

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  1. QuickBooks 2010 Preview : Mayer Consulting Services Ltd. | September 28, 2009
  1. rob says:

    If I buy QB2009 now — does Intuit offer a “free” upgrade window to the latest QB2010?

  2. Tuesday says:

    My question is did they fix all the 64 bit bugs? Inuit says yes but did they really? I am on 2008 and didn’t go to 09 cause they still had not addressed all the 64 bit issues with Vista…all computers are heading that way so I hope they got it figured out!

  3. Eva says:

    All these features seem to be in the US version, am I correct?
    The Canadian 2010 is quite different and lacking most, if not all of the above features.

  4. Charlie says:

    Eva, I pretty much focus on the US editions. Typically the Canadian editions seem to always be a year behind the US editions (or more…), although they made some big changes in the past year or so that I thought would take care of that. But looking at the Canadian web site, it looks like they again are about a year behind. That doesn’t mean that you’ll get these things next year, but that is what I would anticipate…

  5. Shirley says:

    I find one thing really annoying. On the customize icon bar, a button for “user license” is on there. Every morning I delete it, yet the next day it is back. I’ve also tried moving it to the bottom of the list, yet it’s right back at the top. I will never use this button and want it gone!

  6. Charlie says:

    Shirley, as you found, no way to get rid of it. With the R5 (R4) update they added the ability to turn off a number of the new advertisements, but not this one. The best I can say is to use the feedback option in the help menu to complain – the more complaints they get, the more likely they are to change this. User feedback is what got that ad change in R5…

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