QuickBooks 2012 is coming out this month, is it a good update? The short answer is “yes”, but with my usual cautionary statement of “wait until it matures a bit”. I don’t recommend that you use the “R1” release of QuickBooks in any year – the R1 release is almost like a second stage “beta release” as it is pushed out to a lot of users. Although Intuit tests the first release a lot, it is hard to get it into EVERY kind of installation configuration that there is. Often we see that some problem that was overlooked in beta testing is found in the R1 release.
What are the best new features? Here’s my short list of features that I like in Quickbooks 2012. For a more detailed list go to QuickBooks and Beyond, where I am publishing a series of articles that will go into all of the major new features. Note that some of these features may be found only in the Accountant versions, or in QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.
- Inventory Center: I like the emphasis on inventory in the new product, and the Inventory Center brings together many aspects of inventory control into one convenient place.
- CRM-Like Features: QuickBooks isn’t a CRM product, but if you are a small business and you don’t have the time to put into installing a good CRM product, there are some features here that can help. Global To-Do List, Lead Center and Calendar are nice features in this area.
- Reporting Improvements: Do you work with QuickBooks reports in Excel, to get them formatted the way you like? There are some great Excel improvements. Also, they’ve added a way to more easily exchange report templates with other users (“Contributed Reports”).
- Condense/Period Copy: Major improvement here in the condense feature, although you’ll need the Accountant versions to get the full power. Lots to like here.
- Doc Center: Big changes here – local storage is free AND the end of the online storage of documents feature (by QuickBooks itself) has started…
- Enterprise Inventory Improvements: Some of these are only available if you purchase the additional Advanced Inventory option. MANY changes here, some that you have to study carefully before jumping in, some that are just baby steps towards some kinds of functionality. Enhanced Inventory Receiving solves the age-old QuickBooks problem of item receipts by separating them from bills. Automatic Price Markup will be popular. FIFO Costing, Lot Number Tracking and Serial Number Tracking are good starts to solving important problems, but only if you pay extra for the feature.
There are many more improvements than this, but these are the major ones that have caught my attention the most. Again, a more detailed list is available in my other blog, along with articles that go in depth on many of the new features.
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.