By now you may have heard that QuickBooks v2011 has been announced. You may be asking – What’s new and should I upgrade?
The answer to should I upgrade is almost always, it depends. Are you running a fairly new version? Is there any new feature that really “wows” you?
Since the details are available in other places, my job is to tell you my favorites and some less obvious information. If you want a list of new features you can checkout the QuickBooks website at http://quickbooks.intuit.com/pro/whats-new/. If you want really detailed analysis of the new features, I strongly recommend Charlie Russell blog “Practical QuickBooks” at http://qbblog.ccrsoftware.info/.
If you are currently running Time Matters or any other program that uses the Amyuni printer driver, or you have had any problems with QuickBooks PDF printing, I recommend you upgrade. With QuickBooks 2011 Intuit has taken a new approach to managing PDF files. The problems with saving PDF files from QuickBooks on both 64-bit and 32-bit systems, and the conflicts previously experienced seem to be fixed.
One gotcha with QuickBooks 2011 is a change in Pro and Premier. Previously you could have up to 5 users with either version. With QuickBooks v2011 Pro is now limited to 3 users. If you need 5 users you have to use QuickBooks Premier. This may lead to extra cost in upgrading if you have been using QuickBooks Pro. However, the extra features available in QuickBooks Premier can be valuable so maybe you should be looking at moving to Premier anyway. If necessary you can run a combination of Pro and Premier. If you decide to purchase QuickBooks Premier I recommend installing the Accountants edition since it gives you access to all the editions and some extra functions that are specific to the Accountants edition.
The consistent theme in the version 2011 release is making it easier to see your company information. With new search tools, the ability to customize your company snapshot, and improvements to customer, vendor and employee centers, v2011 is trying to help you better manage your business.
When you are reading about the new features, be careful to read the descriptions. When I first heard “Batch invoicing” I thought they were introducing the ability to generate invoices for multiple clients at one time, something I have long felt was needed. However, Batch Invoicing here is the ability to automatically create a full set of invoices for customers with the same service. You can create the invoice once and select the customers you want to send it to, rather than choosing the clients and pulling in the services or expenses that are waiting to be billed. For a landscaper that perhaps bills 30 people each week for mowing, this will be very useful, but its not for everyone.
When it comes to customers, invoicing and collections there are some new features that are worth looking at. These include:
- Customer Snapshot – gives you a consolidated view so you can assess at a glance your customer’s purchase history, average days to pay, and outstanding balance and make timely decisions on customer requests. You can also identify your top customers by revenue and payment consistency, and prioritize them accordingly.
- Collections Center – Quickly identify overdue and almost due invoices, and email collection notices
- Access to Customer Balance & Transaction History – See at a glance important details such as your customer’s payment history, estimates, and past orders with vendors right at your fingertips on the same screen, so that you can complete the transaction at one time instead of switching back and forth between screens.
- Email Integration with Webmail – Send invoices and estimates right from your business Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail account as an alternative to using Outlook.