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).
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).
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)
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…
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.