Intuit has released QuickBooks 2014 R1, which contains a number of new features as well as improvements to existing ones. This article is a short list of the major new features – for a comprehensive list of the changes as well as in-depth drilldowns, see the articles in QuickBooks and Beyond.
All Versions of QuickBooks 2014 for Windows
These changes will be found throughout all of the US desktop versions: Pro, Premier and Enterprise:
User Interface Changes
- The Left Navigation Bar color has been changed to a softer color, which we’ll call “Harmony Blue”.
- There is a new icon cluster in the upper right corner with icons for:
- Reminders and To-Do’s.
- Maintenance alerts.
- Client Collaborator.
- You can customize the View Balances tab in the left navigation bar.
- The ability to copy and paste detail lines in transaction forms.
- Contextual reports: In many transaction windows the Reports tab has been filled out with icons for reports that apply to that transaction.
- Search Auto Suggestions: The Search window has been improved so that it suggests good matches for the term you are entering.
- Company Information is now My Company: We’ve always had a Company Information window under the Company menu – the name has changed to My Company and the window has undergone an overhaul.
- No more “My Apps” in the left navigation bar. Now you will find this in the “Your Apps” section in the new My Company window.
This has been an area where I’ve felt that Intuit hasn’t kept up with the times. Support and integration with email is just not very good. This year there are a number of changes in this area.
- The Customer Center now has a tab for Sent Email, where you can see a history (of sorts) of the emails that you have sent to a client from within QuickBooks.
- You now have the ability to send a customer payment receipt via email.
- The entire send email feature has been overhauled so that you have more control over the message that you send out from QuickBooks, at least for users of Web Mail.
There are several changes here to fine tune the Job Costing feature in QuickBooks, although the most valuable ones are in QuickBooks Enterprise.
In all versions you will see:
- Sales Reps on Jobs: You can specify a sales rep for a job, not just for the customer.
- Job Status Filter: You can filter many reports by job status.
This is one area where cloud accounting products have advanced beyond QuickBooks desktop versions. Bank Feeds is the new Online Banking feature in QuickBooks 2014. Intuit is putting a lot of effort into improving this feature. In summary, Intuit has primarily improved the user interface as well as the “rules” feature.
Compared to the prior release the visual aspects of the online banking feature has been changed significantly, providing more room to work in (fine if you don’t have a small monitor) and using color to highlight different transactions and features.
There are a lot of changes scattered about that will be found in all of the versions – I’ll just summarize them here.
- Income Tracker: This is a great dashboard-like tool that lets you look at open invoices, overdue invoices, unbilled estimates and more. There is a very configurable spreadsheet format list. This replaces the Collection Center.
- Bill Payment Stub: Now the stub will show if the bill is paid entirely with credits.
- Bounced Checks: We had it, we lost it, and now it is back again better than ever! The ability to easily process bounced checks.
- Fit report to x pages HIGH: When you print a report you now have the option to fit it to a number of pages vertically, where before we just had the ability to fit it horizontally.
- Add/Edit Multiple Lists: This feature has a Find function – this year they have fine tuned this by adding a check-box for Search within results which should be helpful if you have long lists to work with.
- In the Billable Time & Costs window in Premier, you now have the ability to sort the records by clicking on a column heading. This was added to Enterprise V13 in the R8 release, but apparently it wasn’t added to Premier until the 2014 release.
- Installation/Product Registration: There are some changes here to the installation process that relates to “registration” that you might not notice. Has to do with logging in to your “user ID” or Intuit online account and finding your product keys.
Intuit continues to add features to QuickBooks Accountant, continuing to make this version a more powerful tool for the accounting professional.
Three changes of note:
- Reclassify Source Account: There is an enhancement to Reclassify Transactions Tool of the Client Data Review that allows you to batch change transactions “written from” the wrong account.
- Batch Enter Transactions: This feature has been expanded to allow the entry of Bills & Bill Credits as well as Invoices & Credit Memos, which are very welcome additions.
- Send Journal Entries to QuickBooks Mac 2014: This extends the Send General Journal Entries feature to allow QuickBooks Accountant to send GJE’s to QuickBooks Mac.
This is a new feature that is available only in the 2014 releases of QuickBooks. In summary, it is a way for accountants to communicate through a QuickBooks service with their clients about issues in their file. For this to work:
- The accountant must be using a current copy of QuickBooks Accountant Plus. This is available, as I mentioned just above, either as a separate subscription OR as a part of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program.
- The client must be using the 2014 version of QuickBooks.
It looks like a VERY interesting feature. You can create “conversations” that are tied to specific transactions in the QuickBooks file, exchanging information between the accounting professional and the client.
Intuit continues to add higher level features in Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise V14, adding to the level of sophistication of the product and making it more useful to inventory related businesses.
- Maximum Stocking Levels: You now can specify a maximum quantity on hand in addition to the reorder point (also referred to as a minimum quantity on hand) in the item list. With Advanced Inventory this can be set by site.
- Improvements for Assemblies: Intuit is ramping up the features for manufacturers with this release, with a number of VERY interesting changes:
- The ability to build nested assemblies.
- A where-used query.
- Assembly Cost and Price Rollups if your component costs change.
- New Job Cost Reports: Enterprise adds two job cost reports – Job WIP Summary and Committed Cost by Jobs.
- More Customization Options for Checks, Bills and Credit Card Charges: You can add columns to the detail sections of these transaction forms. You can add the sales rep and “custom fields”. The values you enter in the transaction can be shown in certain reports.
- Simpler Item Editing: There are now some fields that you can edit for an item in the Inventory Center without clicking the edit button.
- Markup or Margin: Now we have both, when editing inventory parts and assemblies
We’ve had price levels for quite some time now – a way for you to specify a different price for an item than the “base” price listed in the item record. Now Intuit is adding price rules, a feature that you can choose in place of price levels. You can use one or the other, but not both.
This is going to be an added-cost subscription feature only available to Enterprise users called Advanced Pricing, similar to what Intuit has done with Advanced Inventory. I believe that the cost to use this feature will be $399 a year. That is unfortunate – but I guess the good news is that they didn’t roll this into the higher priced Advanced Inventory feature for those who just want this. What’s worse, ProAdvisors won’t get this for free unless they are Enterprise Certified. Wow – that is a change in policy! First time I’ve seen an Enterprise Certification needed to get access to a feature like this.
- Quantity Breaks: You can specify a special price for an item based on the quantity that you sell. This has been a feature that MANY businesses have asked for.
- Complex Price Rules: You can create complex price rules that have:
- Conditions – set multiple criteria that need to be met before a special price is applied.
- Date Ranges – you can set a beginning and/or ending date for a special price.
- Price Overrides – set custom prices for specific items that are exceptions to a rule
- Exclusive Rule – price rules can be set to be exclusive, so that they cannot be combined with other rules.
The Payroll Center has been rearranged, and I like a lot of what they have done. Instead of just the three major blocks of info stacked vertically in one window you now have a separate tab for each area, and this allows them to put a LOT more information in there. More links to reports and functions, more information to show you the status of your payroll process. I have a separate article on this coming up soon.
ProAdvisors started getting access to the product in the second week of September. End users should be able to access the product online starting the last week of September. Look for the product in the mass-market retailers sometime in October.
Please note that this is the R1 release, and I don’t recommend that you rely on this for your essential business functions. I would wait until at least the R3 release, preferably the R4 release or later. In fact, why not wait until January, after you have finished your year-end processing? No need to push your luck with an early, unproven release…
For a comprehensive list of the changes as well as in-depth drilldowns, see the articles in QuickBooks and Beyond.
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.