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QuickBook Desktop Discontinued

What are the viable options now?

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I am devastated to learn this morning that QB desktop is being discontinued and was wondering if anyone had any viable alternatives?

We already use QB Online for several clients but quite frankly I think it's rubbish - the speed of data entry is awful as is the functionality and the bugs are too numerous to mention.  Having only ever used QB I also hate SAGE.

Has anyone got any recommendations for businesses migrating from QB desktop - we have a few clients around the million-turnover mark with high volume transactions in multi-currency with stock too

Thanks

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
20th Oct 2021 13:38

QB 2006 is my favourite accounts software.

So quick and agile, reports come out like a machine gun and beautifully formatted.

I used to had an old desktop I would put on just for the handful of clients still on it but the last one went 2 years ago so its been skipped.

Such a difference to the constant "browser wait time" on cloud.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By SJRUK
20th Oct 2021 14:17

I have a client who still uses this version of Quickbooks!
I have to drag out our slow laptop to upload the data and work from that.
She knows she has to change but ..............

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Replying to SJRUK:
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By fiona_howells
20th Oct 2021 14:34

We still have a client on 2004 - we do upgrade it to 2021 in order to view the data and any adjustments I type into excel for them to key themselves - they show no interest in wanting to upgrade!

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By Leywood
20th Oct 2021 13:45

Can you not just continue to use the desktop version you have? Thought it was a perpetual disc job.

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Replying to Leywood:
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By fiona_howells
20th Oct 2021 14:35

We could continue to use it but it will become unsupported in 18 months time so MTD filing I guess wont work - spreadsheet work arounds an easy solutions but the bigger problem comes if there is a data corruption then we are properly stuffed!

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By AdamMurphy
20th Oct 2021 14:10

It’s a shame, all the cloud products are worse than desktop software.

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
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By fiona_howells
20th Oct 2021 14:36

So pleased its not just me that thinks that! Surely there must be a decent desktop software still out there................

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Replying to fiona_howells:
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By johnt27
20th Oct 2021 16:29

In terms of viable alternatives the future, whether you like it or not, is cloud, in the view of many users and all vendors, so I wouldn't expect many software providers to be clinging onto desktop in the foreseeable future.

So, I'd consider the usual suspects and see where that takes you. Personally I still think Xero is the best cloud product in the space it operates in, but the differences in the market place are wafer thin. If you have clients with more complex needs then Xledger, AccountsIQ etc fit in the next bracket up.

The key thing to bear in mind is that your investment in a cloud product(s) should also consider it's wider ecosystem as most businesses and practices benefit from the efficiency of automation integrated apps bring (assuming they are set up correctly!)

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By Charles_Bennett
20th Oct 2021 15:33

fiona_howells wrote:

We already use QB Online for several clients but quite frankly I think it's rubbish - the speed of data entry is awful as is the functionality and the bugs are too numerous to mention.  Having only ever used QB I also hate SAGE.

That email was one of the worst pieces of (accounting) news I have received in a long time, but one I have also been expecting for quite a while.

You echo my feelings exactly on QBO and Sage and I have regularly expressed them to Intuit when they try to encourage me to move clients over. As well as the marked drop in productivity and functionality I am irritated at the forced reliance on a fast unbroken internet connection just to be able to work or access data.

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Replying to Charles_Bennett:
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By fiona_howells
20th Oct 2021 16:06

I did fear it might be on the cards as it was becoming increasingly difficult to find out anything about QB and always being pushed towards QBO.
Here's hoping a viable alternative appears in the not too distant future!

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Replying to Charles_Bennett:
By Charlie Carne
27th Oct 2021 12:04

Charles_Bennett wrote:

As well as the marked drop in productivity and functionality I am irritated at the forced reliance on a fast unbroken internet connection just to be able to work or access data.

Whilst you do need a reliable internet connection to use any cloud product, it certainly doesn't need to be fast. The amount of data transferred back and forth is very small, so any moderate speed should easily suffice.

I, too, was a great fan of QB Desktop and QB 2006 was a lovely piece of software that I ran for many years on a number of clients, preferring it over later editions of the desktop product. I am, however, interested to hear what are the areas in which you find a lack of functionality in QBO. Other than stock (which is better managed by third party tools that integrate beautifully with QBO), I find QBO is now even better than QB 2006 in almost every function. I do miss the ability to tweak the sales invoice layout to the extent offered in QB 2006, but I can't think of many other areas in whch QBO hasn't caught up and exceeded the desktop version. I would not now go back to desktop.

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Replying to charliecarne:
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By fiona_howells
28th Oct 2021 16:00

Really? It drives me nuts when you spent ages filtering a report a to see just the transactions you want then you click into one or 2 of those transactions and the internet auto refreshes I assumes and all the filters on the report are lost and you have to start all over again!
The speed of entering transactions is slow because you have to stop using the keyboard and keep clicking the mouse because you can't just hit enter to save things.
Only being able to have one thing open per screen is just annoying and whilst you can get round it by having several tabs open the data doesn't auto refresh in the same way as with desktop

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By PERMON
20th Oct 2021 19:54

I didn’t receive any email . I thought that it was only that Desktop was going to subscription . Is the discontinuance a new announcement today ?

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Replying to PERMON:
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By Charles_Bennett
20th Oct 2021 20:43
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By MRA
21st Oct 2021 09:50

Hello

I share your sentiments completely and I am relieved to know that I am not the only one in this position. Most of my clients are on QB desktop, some having elected to return to it after giving QBO a go and experiencing first hand exactly how frustrating it is.

I called QB yesterday morning to express my disappointment and I am going to log it through my QB feedback. I would urge you to do the same as there is nothing to say they might not revisit the decision (fingers and toes crossed). They are keeping QB desktop in the US and a couple of years ago VT reversed their decision to not support MTD for VAT when the demand proved to be so high.

QB desktop has a unique place in the market and it is clearly still very much in demand. Similar to yourself, I have large clients that need multi user, multi currency, stock, varying price lists etc. QBO is just not geared towards this.

My personal opinion is that all of the cloud based offerings are aimed at a quick press of a button, post your bank statement and don't worry where it goes. If you need to post journals, amend VAT rates, set up multiple price lists etc. it is a real challenge in any of the online systems and this is before you have wasted time waiting for the information to load etc. etc.

I blame MTD for ITSA as it feels like the government is forcing people to use cloud based software and are ignorant of the fact that not only does it not suit every business but some people are still on paper and/or excel! The idea of it taking 6 minutes to file the proposed quarterly returns is ludicrous!

At the moment, my plan is the same as the one that you have suggested. I am going to carry on using QB desktop and use a bridging software to file the MTD for VAT. Provided the software can continue to work and be used, as it did in the old days, that is the only thing that I can see will be missing. Weighing up trying to move all my clients and get QBO into a format to work for each of them versus finding one package to export to and file VAT returns is a no brainer. I will keep considering the options but I am heavily inclined in this direction - do you foresee any other problems?

I do urge you and others to contact QB though. If they know there is a demand for QB desktop and we all shout loud enough they might reconsider, VT did.

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Replying to MRA:
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By Catherine Newman
21st Oct 2021 11:22

I am a Proadviser and haven't seen this. I use Desktop for some clients and QBO for those on it. If you move the desktop clients on to QBO, who pays the subscription. I hated QBO when it first came out but am finding it easier. I have actually found a way of doing it quickly where clients email me photocopies of the bank statements. I call up the email on my PC and input the data on my Macbook Pro-saves paper and printing hassles.

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Replying to MRA:
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By johnlowry
27th Oct 2021 10:49

Regarding other problems, there is the following to consider.
I have followed the thread for some months regarding Intuit's insistence on Internet Explorer being installed in order to open QBD files in relation to Microsoft’s removal of IE from Windows 11 and note that no action appears to have been taken by Intuit to address this issue. (https://quickbooks.intuit.com/learn-support/en-us/other-questions/quickb...). I have been anticipating being unable to upgrade to Win11 or finding after upgrading that I am locked out of QBD files.
I have emailed Intuit at the address below and told them that having used Quickbooks Desktop since March 1996 (a total of 25 years) I am appalled at their announcement that it is to be discontinued for the UK version and urging them to reconsider.
(Remainder of web address above: /quickbooks-requires-internet-explorer/00/623398/page/5).

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By PitiBev
21st Oct 2021 17:29

There aren't enough swear words in my repertoire to communicate just how betrayed and abandoned I feel right now.
I'm SO disappointed with Intuit.

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Bee
By May bee
22nd Oct 2021 11:58

I can echo all the things said above! Your original post Fiona was exactly what I was going to post before I saw this thread!
I feel totally abandoned by Inuit (only got my email today at exactly the same time as my clients). QBO is not a viable alternative; by comparison to desktop it is very poor (lack of features, prone to falling over, slow to use). For what it is worth I called the support line this morning to express my dissatisfaction. They have email me to acknowledge and at the same time provide me with the email address for which to raise a written complaint. I would recommend anyone who care about QuickBooks being discontinued to do the same. If we dont make a very big noise about this they wont realise how significant it is.

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Replying to May bee:
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By MRA
22nd Oct 2021 13:32

Hello May bee,
I also called yesterday so that my feelings/comments could be logged and fed up the chain to the people that make these decisions. From the response that I received it seems like they have already been inundated with complaints so I wholeheartedly agree with you that we need to make our voices heard to let them know how unhappy people are with this and how great the demand for QB desktop still is. I told the advisor that I spoke with about this thread and he shared the link in his message. Would you mind sharing the email address that you found as I couldn't find one? Thanks

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Replying to MRA:
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By Maybee2
25th Oct 2021 08:20

Hi MRA, email address shown in post below.

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Replying to May bee:
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By fiona_howells
22nd Oct 2021 21:56

Yes what email address were you given - lets see if we can spread it everywhere so that as many people as possible can get in touch with them. I am so pleased to know i am not alone and not being a stick in the mud by not wanted to put people into the cloud - it's not the best solution for everyone and I've looked at there dont appear to be any viable alternatives and to learn they are keeping the US version must mean there is a market. Thank you!

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Replying to fiona_howells:
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By Maybee2
25th Oct 2021 08:21

Hi Fiona, email address shown in post below.

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By pamindic
22nd Oct 2021 12:14

Terrible news there. 20 odd years of using this software through thick and thin (and Intuit knows there's been some thin). The announcement and the wrankles from unfixed/unimproved functionality are I think going to turn me elsewhere. My initial thoughts on trialing Xero is that it might be the alternative. We run 4 sets of accounts, and anyone with multiples is now going to be paying as far as I can make out a multiple monthly fee, as opposed to one right now for Desktop.

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By ian metcalfe
22nd Oct 2021 17:42

This has come as a shock !
I use QB desktop in clients with sales between £20m and £30m , 60+ employees and 5 accounts users....either on client servers or using Amazon cloud as host. It continues to do an amazing job for the cost.
Over the years I have been persuaded several times by QB to trial QBO - it is years behind desktop for this size of enterprise and when I showed it to client staff their comments are unprintable - its seen as software for self employed plumbers.
So now we have to find and trial new software , and build in a 3 to 6 month project to be up and ready within 14 months.
Hence any recommendations for suitable vendors for this size and scale of business would be welcome.

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Replying to ian metcalfe:
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By MRA
23rd Oct 2021 10:50

Hi Ian,
I also currently use VT software and as such, for my smaller more straightforward clients (about half) I am looking to move them on to that.
For the larger, more complicated clients i.e. multi million pound turnover, stock, multi user and extensive price lists I am at a loss. I have had a quick look and there honestly doesn't seem to be any viable alternatives; highlighting the need for QB desktop to remain in the UK market.
As noted by many of the comments above, for a variety of reasons, on-line software simply does not suit or meet the needs for a large number of clients.
Your point regards moving clients is extremely important as it is huge exercise to move information to a new system, train clients etc. etc.
I personally would be very happy to pay for QB desktop either on a monthly basis or, as I suggested to them when I called, a one-off fee to buy the licence outright in order to be able to continue to use it and then use a bridging software as noted above.
Let's just hope they re-consider but lets all keep persuading them to do so.

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Replying to ian metcalfe:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
27th Oct 2021 21:38

In a previous life I installed Netsuite. Probably too expensive but maybe worth a look.

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By Maybee2
25th Oct 2021 08:17

The email address I was advised to use to give feedback was [email protected]
Please can everyone make as much noise about this as possible!

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By Maybee2
25th Oct 2021 08:26

I see that in the software review section on this site it says the following for QBD:
What Intuit QuickBooks says
QuickBooks Desktop helped Intuit to become the world’s number one supplier of accounting software, but in today’s competitive world software developers need to adapt to fast-moving market changes.

Intuit recognises that not every business or accountant is ready for the cloud, and if their goal is to grow and support clients on desktop software, we will continue to support them. Our business is not based on push people onto a particular offering. We want to make our cloud offering as appealing as we can make, to encourage them, but ultimately the software decision they make should be based on what’s great for their business.

Intuit QuickBooks if firmly committed to delivering the best possible experience for Making Tax Digital, and our desktop products are an integral part of that process.

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By legerman
25th Oct 2021 14:35

I expected them to do this 3 or 4 years ago, I'm surprised they continued it as long as they have. Only real alternative now is VT + for the smaller businesses, which doesn't help the larger £££million turnover ones.

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By hilaryedwards
27th Oct 2021 10:31

I'm totally confused by the responses I've had from QB about this. Their webchat person said I wouldn't be able to access QBD at all after 31/1/23, their desktop support person said I would be able to as long as I kept paying my subscription until then and someone else at QB on messenger said I wouldn't be able to access it. Does anyone have any idea? QB certainly don't seem to!

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By GDavidson
27th Oct 2021 11:04

Sage people must be dumbfounded that no-one has mentioned them as an alternative. Maybe they could take the hint.

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By BrianL
27th Oct 2021 11:28

I have just sent my email, complaining. Just one voice of many, I hope. I have been a user of QBD since the 1980s. Very disappointed.

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By STCCS
27th Oct 2021 12:25

Try Simply Accounts - desk top but not multi-currency - but can produce invoices in another currency. https://simplyaccounts.net/

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
28th Oct 2021 12:23

This took us by surprise too at AccountingWEB, which seems to indicate a tentative approach to communicating an announcement as big as this .

You've all made some telling points that I will pass on to Intuit, along with a few questions of my own. For example, why might QB Desktop be retained in the US when support is being withdrawn in the UK? And how does this fit into building a truly global accounting brand?

It's very clear that QB Desktop has some useful functionality that fits an important niche in the small/middle-sized business market and that there's an element of digital exclusion going on for customers that choose not to or can't rely on adequate connections to commit to cloud accounting.

But I also note that four out of around 30 people could at least understand or anticipated this decision.

As a commentator, I don't feel it's my role to tell a software company how it should manage its product line. So while AccountingWEB may not* man the barricades to lead the "Save QB Desktop" campaign, we will certainly act as a platform for discussing the merits of QB Desktop and where the company's customer care is falling short.

Thanks for your input so far. I'll publish a news report in the next few days when I've had a chance to hear what Intuit has to say.

*edited afterwards to reinstate the missing not...

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By fiona_howells
28th Oct 2021 16:07

Hopefully everyone is emailing their feedback to Intuit - is anyone getting a reply? I've been away but just sent mine to '[email protected]'
Maybe it could be a weekly job!

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Replying to fiona_howells:
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By hilaryedwards
29th Oct 2021 10:18

I emailed them on Wednesday but no response as yet - hopefully they're inundated with emails!

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Bee
By May bee
29th Oct 2021 11:56

In a community discussion board on Intuit's website there are now totally contradictory responses by Intuit employees as to what is happening from 1st Feb 2023 onwards. 2 say you can still enter transactions, run report and even file MTD VAT returns, 1 says you can only do this if you bought it outright (I didnt think that was even an option) and 1 now says noone can do anything at all and we all need to export the data out completely by this time!!!!! Come on Intuit, this is becoming a joke and a massive worry!

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Replying to May bee:
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By MRA
03rd Nov 2021 09:34

Does anybody know whether there have been any developments or clarity on this?

Other than QuickBooks making a complete U turn (fingers and toes crossed), knowing what is actually happening from 1st February and what is possible with the software, our data etc. is critical to be able to plan and take appropriate action.

Thanks

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By ian metcalfe
03rd Nov 2021 07:54

In the absence of any sort of clarity from QBS about what if anything will remain as possible on QBD after 31-01-2023 and after taking soundings from a number of sources we narrowed down the hunt for alternatives for the £20m ++ clients intitially [ in descending order of cost and complexity ] to Netsuite, Sage Intacct, and Accounts IQ...so we are investigating those along with costs and data migration possibilities.

We currently run QBs on Amazon Web which offers the desktop functionality and work anywhere combinations - but AWS fees makes it a good deal more expensive, so cost comparisons at at the AccountsIQ end aren't as intimidating as much as feared, and potential efficiencies by removing the workarounds we have to adopt with QBD right now actually make it almost approaching cost neutral at the upper end !!

As it is unlikely that ten years of data can be converted in its entirety then preserving in an accessible form in future in the absence of any QB desktop becomes a further issue to confront, although I am unclear as to how QB could switch off a desktop product other than pursuing customers for license rights infringements.

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Replying to ian metcalfe:
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By Hugo Fair
03rd Nov 2021 11:22

"although I am unclear as to how QB could switch off a desktop product other than pursuing customers for license rights infringements" ... which is why software companies are so much keener on the Cloud approach!

They can, simultaneously, take complete control of access to what is actually your (not their) data and then demand that you obtain the 'right' to access it only via a subscription (not one-off) purchase.
Of course if they fail to provide access in the normal course of business, then it will be due to unforeseen circumstances (so not their fault at all).

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
03rd Nov 2021 15:18

Update: I've tried several sources both inside and outside Intuit and have not got much more than what has already been circulated to users. I've summarised what I've got so far here: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tech/accounting-software/quickbooks-desk...

However, I am continuing to push for answers for some of the questions raised and for some more detailed explanations for the move. I'll report back if I get anywhere.

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By fiona_howells
04th Nov 2021 13:30

I have just sent my 2nd weekly feedback email to Intuit - no reply to the first yet........

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By MRA
08th Dec 2021 16:36

Hello,
Does anyone have any updates on this?
Do we know what access, if any, will be available after 31 January 2023?
Need to start planning which clients to move and to where (and that's before the planning required for MTD ITSA!!!).
Thanks in advance
M

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