By Robert Bates, CPA
Intuit’s QuickBooks is not only a houshold name, but also the subject of college cources. Users at every skill level can understand the many tools and features, good documentation and navigational aids.
The QuickBooks Premier Accounting Edition 2006 will be available soon offering new features to this widely used application. Since no demonstration version was available for review, the sources for the new features described here included a QuickBooks confrence call and a press release.
The 2006 version organizes all important customer, vendor and employee information into a single page for each, titled Customer Center, Vendor Centor and Employee Center. Previously, users had to search for data, such as contact information, in one area and then move to see transactional information, such as unpaid invoices, Now, all related tasks and information is grouped together, making the information easier to find.
A new, simplified home page puts the business tools your clients need in an easy-to-use screen. There’s no more hunting through menus and navigators; everything is in plain sight, organized by category.
The update also delivers new inventory capabilities automating the key tasks of product-based businessws such as manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. For example, Available-to-Promise, a feature previously available only in packages costing thousands of dollars more than QuickBooks, reports the exact amount of inventory on hand, where it is committed, when it is needed and when more will arrive.
QuickBooks streamlines how businesses commit to product delivery dates or borrow inventory tagged for later delivery on less crítical orders.
It’s also easier for accountants using and recommending this software to use it with clients. Typically, accountants receive a client data file and must compare it to the previous version to determine what changed. QuickBooks 2006 simplifies the process with a new “always-on” audit trail and password for monthly closes. This helps so quickly detect client errors and track changes while saving time and improving accuracy.
A new toogle feature simplifies answering clients’ questions and allows you to switch instantly from your view of QuickBooks Accountant Edition to views of other versions of QuickBooks, such as QuickBooks Simple Start and Pro or any of the industry versions like QuickBooks Contractor Edition. When just a click, you can see the screen your client sees. This is especially valuable when supporting clients by telephone.
The application includes all standard modules: GL, AR, AP, PR, inventory, time and billing, job costing, and fixed asset management.
The sales order fulfillment worksheet permits managers to decide to ship partial orders, ship to the customer whose been waiting to longest or complete the most profitable order first.
In addition 30 days of free support for all Accountant Edition users, QuickBooks has an extensive online knowledge base and offers a lineup of support plans–different plans for accountants and customers. Support for accountants not enrolled in a plan is available toll free on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST. Support engineers assist on a per-incident basis, and QuickBooks guarantees speaking to a support representive within 15 minutes or the call is free. The cost for a one-time support call is $50. Accountants certified by Intuit can enroll in the ProAdvisor Program (PAP) allowing them to support QuickBooks users who contact them. PAP members also receive free, unlimited technical support. It’s a program to consider when looking for new clients.
When available, Premier Accountant Edition 2006 is sure to extend the QuickBooks tradition of serving not only the accounting needs of small- and mid-sized businesses, but also of individual clients.
November 2005 For Practitioners….. By Practitioners