Fixing QuickBooks Bugs

| January 8, 2018 | 36 Comments

It would be fun to have a comprehensive list of QuickBooks bugs, at least as far as the desktop product. Want to help?

Over the years I’ve tried to build a list like that, on several occasions. I never keep up with that, though, because it tends to be an exercise in frustration. When Intuit releases a new “year” of QuickBooks desktop, they almost never list what bugs they have fixed. I know that they fix some each year, but which ones? If I build a list, then each year I would have to check each one against the new product, and that becomes very tedious. Besides, doesn’t it always seem that Intuit ignores the bugs that affect you the most?

In all fairness, I do understand that one person’s bug is another person’s feature. I learned that in my years as a software developer – if you fix a particular bug then someone is going to complain that you removed something from the program that they were  taking advantage of. Or that the fix you put in place made the program harder to use (even though that was necessary to resolve the bug).

So, why am I asking for your help in building a list of QuickBooks bugs this time around? Well, after my recent article QuickBooks Desktop Is Alive and Well, I was asked by some folks at Intuit if I could give them my list of bugs to fix. Embarrassing! I don’t have a list! Even though I complain about there being bugs in the program.

Please help me list the things in QuickBooks desktop that you consider to be a bug!

  • I want reproducible “bugs”, not complaints about how you think Intuit has treated you poorly for some reason.
  • I’m not looking for a list of features that should be there. That is a different discussion for another time.
  • Let’s also not get into a discussion about Intuit’s “discontinuation” policy, which I happen to dislike, but which isn’t a “bug”

Thanks!

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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. Mike Votaw says:

    QB routinely closes open purchase and sales orders. Appears others have had the issue as well.
    I’ve never figured out exactly how or why it does it though.

  2. Scott Boone says:

    -H2O2 error (which I see on 2015, but according to forums still occurs with 2017), which leads to getting bumped out of multi-user
    -The Maps link on a contact backend-app load-balancer should be monitored; in Feb 2016, maps went offline for over a month, and now intermittent again the past few weeks. Intuit is using a load-balancer into an app server that proxies Google Maps (from what I have been able to glean). Apps apparently fail, but the load-balancer keeps pushing to the failed instance, and then users start getting an intermittent Server Connection Failures.
    -Also, external services (like Maps link) data—in 2015 at least—goes HTTP, not HTTPS!
    -not sure if this is still an issue, but through the years I’ve seen where installers fail to clean up older versions of QuickBooks Run at Login shortcuts which leads to multiple QB.exe running in the background unbeknownst to the user; sometimes presents as QuickBooks opening to a minimized window

    • Charlie says:

      Thanks. QB running in the background won’t be an issue in the future, since the supported versions are all being changed to drop the option to keep it running in the background.

  3. yvonne bryan says:

    VERY OFTEN during “batch entry”, QB stops remembering transactions and I have to go to preferences to click the “remember” button again. This happens in different year programs and it doesn’t make any difference if I am working directly on a client’s computer or if I am using an Accountant’s Copy.

  4. Marie Gibson says:

    One of my most frustrating is when the program “crashes” when reconciling…it started with 2010 version, and they never did get it completely fixed through the years. Every once in a while I’ll be reconciling a bank statement, and the program locks up, and closes.

    • Charlie says:

      Marie, if it is occurring with your one particular QB company file, that sounds like you have a bit of file corruption causing an issue. Hard to say without looking at the file.

  5. Mike Block says:

    Hi Charlie: Thank you very much for this. I believe many QuickBooks Desktop bugs are no problem in the new QuickBooks Online. However, a separate QBO list would be a big help. I cannot contribute to it, as I do not recall a QBO problem, but Intuit should fix any found quickly (as opposed to QuickBooks Desktop fixes). This is part of the reason I disagree that QuickBooks Desktop is Alive and Well. It has been losing many users for some time. There also are now around three times as many QBO users, growing more than 55% a year. The outstanding new QuickBooks Machine Learning is only for QBO. The incredible free QBO Accountant (which non-CPAs can get) should really doom QB Desktop. It is now much faster, easier and more secure. It also has a complete Practice Manager and even runs when you lose your internet connection.

    • Charlie says:

      Good to hear from you, Mike. Certainly, any specific problems in QB desktop won’t be also found in QB Online, because they are two totally unrelated products. However, QB Online has its share of bugs. I’m focusing on the desktop product in this blog, however.

      Yes, the number of users for QB Desktop are declining, but the revenue generated by QB Desktop is actually increasing, and it is significantly higher than what is currently generated by QB Online. Certainly, the future for Intuit is QB Online, but the desktop still has a lot of life. And there is a renewed interest at Intuit in the desktop product, as they realize that it fits a need that QB Online can’t address.

      For my detailed analysis of what I see as the future of the overall QuickBooks product line, see my article here: https://www.accountexnetwork.com/blog/2017/01/intuit-and-the-future-of-quickbooks-2/ I also did a followup on QuickBooks desktop based on the latest financial info, and an interview of the new head of the QB Desktop section, at https://www.accountexnetwork.com/blog/2018/01/quickbooks-desktop-alive-well/

  6. Janet E Perry says:

    I have Quickbooks Pro 2016 and this problem just suddenly cropped up.
    I have tried to download bank statements and I get to where I click on it, it opens the PDF and then Quickbooks crashes. never had the problem before. Also I can do it without issue in my web browser.

    • Janet,

      You don’t download bank statements in PDF to QuickBooks. Try downloading a .QBO file from your bank’s website and importing it using the File>Utilities>Import>WebConnect command. If you haven’t connected before, choose to connect or link to an existing account.

  7. When exporting a report to an existing excel spreadsheet, if I have to browse to find the existing spreadsheet, it crashes every time. This happens in 2015 & 2016, haven’t tried a later version yet, maybe it was fixed?

    Also, the bank feeds entry screen has been glitchy for years in my opinion. Random weirdness, like not accepting the first letter you type in while adding a vendor on the fly, or jumping to an entry way down the list while copying & pasting in the accounts column.

    • Charlie says:

      I don’t see the Excel issue on my installations of 2015 and 2016. You might try doing a “repair” (via control panel) of your Microsoft Office installation, to see if that has any effect.

  8. Howard Katz says:

    I’ve got a beauty. It has to do with multicurrency. Let’s say you have a vendor (who sells you products) based in Europe. Of course, their price will be in Euros – not CAD$ (for me) or US$ (for you). However, QuickBooks is of two minds as to whether the cost you put in the Item (let’s assume it’s an inventory item for now, but it doesn’t matter) is your cost in Euros or in your native currency. If you open a purchase order, and put the items in BEFORE selecting the vendor, and that vendor happens to use Euros as their currency, it will keep the amounts the same; in other words, it treats the costs from the item list as Euros. However, if you select the vendor first, THEN add the items, it treats the costs as being in your native currency (CAD$ for me) and converts the costs to Euros based on the conversion rate! This is clearly a bug.
    If you happen to list a favourite vendor for an item (and that vendor happens to use Euros as its native currency), then the “false conversion” happens as soon as you enter the item into the PO (this happens for Bills as well, by the way).
    If you happen to be a company (like at least 2 of my clients) where over 90% of their purchases are from Europe, this becomes a real PITA. You don’t want to put in the local currency equivalent to the Euro price, since that changes daily. You WANT to enter the Euro price in the item list – and have QuickBooks respect that.

    How it should work
    ==================
    When an item is sourced from a foreign country (as evidenced by the “Preferred Vendor” field for the item), QuickBooks should respect that the costs entered in the item list are in the currency of the vendor.
    If a PO or Bill is entered, and the Vendor is in a foreign currency, QuickBooks should either assume that the item costs are in that foreign currency, or ASK the user: are the costs listed in the item list for the items you are entering in your native currency, or in the currency of the vendor?”

    FYI, I reviewed this issue at length with Intuit here in Canada; it is a repeatable behaviour, and an unwanted one therefore a genuine bug!

  9. I talk to a few people every week who run into this: They run Rebuild Data, and it somehow disconnects payments from invoices or vendor bills. The affected vendor bills and/or customer invoices then get reopened, and GL and customer/vendor balances get all messed up.

    In these situations, the data becomes unrepairable by IDS or us or anyone else (as far as I know). I tell people they have to restore their last pre-rebuilt backup, which is usually a painful experience.

    The pre-rebuilt data has data corruption also — it fails Verify — but it is usually repairable. But not by the Rebuild Data command! Running Rebuild on such files makes it worse. Furthermore, the problems that are caused by the reopened transactions sometimes aren’t immediately obvious, and so users carry on for days or weeks before they notice something is remiss. And then they’re in a pickle.

    In my opinion, this is due to a bug in the Rebuild Data command, and it should be a high priority fix.

    • Charlie says:

      Thanks, Shannon. There are a couple of situations where “Rebuild” creates problems. The real key is finding an easily reproduceable situation, which I’ve found to be difficult, usually.

  10. Mary Byington says:

    When I try to save a tax form from QB Accountant Desktop to DropBox, QB always crashes. It does it in all versions. My work-around has to be to save it to my pdf writer software, then I can save to DropBox. How’s that one for a head-scratcher?

    • Charlie says:

      Mary, is this the desktop product that works with the QuickBooks Online database? Unfortunately, not the focus of this article. Personally, I don’t like DropBox for a number of reasons, but that is besides the point.

  11. Lori says:

    Hi there;

    I want two bugs fixed:

    1). When you set your columns in forms, lists, anything, I want them to REMAIN the way you set them instead of having to close QB on that screen, when you set it. Like Items List. Columns NEVER stay the width I want them

    2). In the lesson, for the Income Tracker, it says to provide a cert level of access to the user. I have done that. I called Cust src to ask why the user still can’t access Income Tracker. Because it is set for full access to the ENTIRE file. ???? That’s completely UNNECESSARY. The Income Tracker should be accessible to a user who does invoicing, IF the Admn wants the user this accesss

    Thanks

    Lori. :).

    • Charlie says:

      Lots of people complain about the forms issue. But, it isn’t consistent, some people don’t have the problem. A head scratcher!

      Access to the Income Tracker is problematical. The feature allows you to see time and expenses, and receive payments, and general journal entries, and more. That means that the user has to have pretty wide access. Intuit would have to find a way to limit what features are included based on permissions, and that makes it a more complicated issue.

  12. Charlie, super good to have you do this compilation. You already know about this pet peeve of mine for a few years: Inventory Valuation Summary report does not include items marked inactive. It is the only report in QB where “value” does not trump “active/inactive” status. It is a problem when trying to compare between Inventory Asset in GL or Balance Sheet and the (supposed) subsidiary ledger Inventory Valuation Summary report in prior periods, where inventory parts may have been active and have on-hand value on the prior date but are inactive as of today (the day we are running the analysis) and therefore excluded from the Inventory Valuation Summary report.

    • Charlie says:

      Yes, good one, Mario. Add to that the issue of journal entries that affect the inventory asset account not being included, so that the inventory valuation report balance doesn’t match the GL.

  13. Sharon says:

    A problem I’ve noticed for years in many different versions of Quickbook’s is when entering the date to pay liabilities. Let’s say that I have 3 liabilities to pay. I enter the date I want the liability to be paid. It changes on the first two, but never on the third, or last one to be paid. It doesn’t matter how many I need to pay, the last entry for payment NEVER updates with the date that I enter. Anyone else ever notice this? It’s been over 10 years and on every version that I use, from Enterprise to Pro and others.

  14. Barrie Turrall says:

    Using Quickbooks enterprise. I have been looking for a way to get Sales orders show calculated weights for my shipping dept. The Subtotal item feature works great for this but I am having one big issue. After creating a new order, Adding a few items and adding the new “subtotal” item in the last line. The Subtotal line does its job and shows all the calculated weight for all items on the order up until I try to print. As soon as I attempt to print the Subtotal line reverts back to an un totaled number and prints.

    • Charlie says:

      Barrie, I’ve been playing with this. I cannot get it to work that way. If I set up a subtotal, save the sales order, the totals that show on the screen also show on the printed form. Both the sales order as well as pack lists, etc., as long as the column is marked to be printed.

  15. You may consider this a feature, but I consider it a bug.
    When pull a time entry onto invoice or sales receipt, the timekeeper does not show. There’s a field for timekeeper but it has to be filled in manually. That’s just silly!

  16. Michele Andre says:

    Wonderful idea Charlie! I have noticed in the last 2-3 years, several clients experience (cash basis) out of balance Balance Sheet errors. Doesn’t seem to matter which QBDT, Enterprise version or year. I have run rebuild, reviewed reports, troubleshooting to pinpoint possible corrupt transaction, changed report date to future date, etc. The error in inconsistent, one day it’s there, another it’s not. Please add this to the list! thank you again.

  17. Anna Burke says:

    Hi Charlie. Thanks for pursuing this topic. I have several clients that cannot turn off the Billable checkbox feature, even after checking the boxes in Time & Expenses. New transactions are still being marked as billable by default.

  18. Anna Burke4 says:

    One more, when creating entries that post to balance sheet accounts, if there is a customer name in the corresponding field the entries mysteriously become billable even though no checkbox appears on the form.

  19. Earl Kelly says:

    I don’t trust the ABU feature after finding ‘tmp’ files in the backup directory. The fix was to switch to multi-user and back, but it doesn’t always work. I no longer rely on ABU.

    Long time follower here, Charlie. Keep up the good work! e

  20. Earl Kelly says:

    The “saved pdf” feature is not reliable in the forms history of the payroll center.

    Long time follower, Charlie. Keep up the good work! e

  21. sylvia kratins says:

    This is super weird. I enter time sheets for a contractor, and bill the hours out weekly to customers. Every once in a while, the program decides to make hours that I billed last week billable again. I bill thousands of dollars a week in time and if I’m not super cautious, I’ll double bill the hours. It doesn’t always happen, and it’s typically only one employee, and a single client. I’m sure it’s a bug, but why??

  22. Jim Baco says:

    Really need help… Lost job due to this. Anything similar please share!

    Crash when minimize window, a pop up appeared for icon bar asking to try.

    This happen during backup with full verification in the rebuild process. At 50%, I had minimized a full screen RDP session Window where QB and co file are hosted. Resulted in fatal error window with report. As well as corruption from 24 issues to 180K+

    Did not think this was the cause until realized, the backup prior to ver. when restored, had only 24 issues during verification and was able to finish rebuild. Company using this file as working file now.

    Lost my job as incident was blamed on me. Can’t find anything similar…

    • Charlie says:

      I can’t really say much, as you don’t provide many details. Info on what exactly the popup says, info on what “fatal error” and any codes with it. And if you had verification errors, what they were. Doing a rebuild on SOME kinds of verification errors can actually cause more trouble than it solves, particularly if you have an older version of QuickBooks (and you didn’t tell us what version you have, etc.)

      If there are errors in the file then the problems can cascade the longer you leave them unresolved. I can’t fix things that are in that shape via blog comments, and without hands on the file. In any case, I highly recommend using one of the best file repair services (there are a number of bogus ones out there), such as https://quickbooksusers.com/quickbooks-data-repair/

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