Managing Director Movemybooks
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QuickBooks 2010 Upgrade Needs You!

8th Jun 2010
Managing Director Movemybooks
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Let me firstly say that, in the past, I have been a real fan of QuickBooks.  When I started Pearson & Associates in 1995, I recommended QuickBooks to any clients who would listen.  I have never liked Sage Line 50, it was QuickBooks all the way for me.

Then things changed.  Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks, seemed to lose their way in the early noughties.  With a commercial need to release upgrades regularly, to keep the revenues coming in, but with a product was functionally complete already, they had to resort to adding peripheral features, almost gimmicks, that most users didn’t really want or need.  QuickBooks 2008 was particularly badly received – especially as it left users of multi-currency completely in the lurch.

Times have changed and, since 2008, I have been an advocate for online accounting software – Xero in particular.  So I was interested to see what progress, if any, had been made by Intuit with the release of QuickBooks 2010.  As before, I was disappointed.  There are the usual minor tweaks but no exciting new features.  No vision.  However, what really caught my eye was the Upgrader’s Guide.

We are now used to a world where most of the software and services we use are delivered online.  The providers deal with upgrades for us, they deal with data conversions without us even knowing, new features just appear.  Now read this extract from page 1 of the QuickBooks 2010 Upgrader’s Guide (I have added the emphasis):

  • Installation takes about 15 minutes. Upgrading your company file depends on the size, but most take 1-2 hours.
  • You’ll need to perform some extra steps after you upgrade. Set a few hours aside for this.
  • We suggest you perform the upgrade outside of work hours, either at the weekend or at the end of your work day.

My reaction was “What!  Are you serious?”

Thanks a bunch Intuit.  I pay you my money (again), for an upgrade that offers little in the way of real innovation, and then I have to give you 5 or 6 hours?  Oh, and you want me to give up my personal or family time out of normal work hours into the bargain?  Unbelievable.

The Upgrader’s Guide then goes on to ask me to make some quite technical choices about the location of the QuickBooks data file, whether installation will be best done on a server or individual computers plus other decisions need to be made about user access and rights.  These decisions add to the chore of the upgrade process and many of them would not even need asking in a web-based delivery model.

To be fair to Intuit, it seems like the time-consuming tasks only apply to users upgrading from the 2006 or earlier versions.  However, given that anyone using multi-currency was unable to move to 2008 when it was released and, because of horror stories about the upgrade process to 2008, many users have hung on to their 2006 copies waiting for this 2010 version, there are going to be many, many people facing the prospect of spending a whole Saturday or Sunday working for Intuit.

Maybe Intuit are embarrassed about this but they are stuck with legacy software, written nearly 20 years ago, which they struggle to innovate on whilst being compelled to release new product to generate income.

Far from being a fight-back, QuickBooks 2010 is another nail in the coffin of the old school vendors.  Sage absolutely included.


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Replies (3)

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
08th Jun 2010 16:11

Thanks for the input

Thanks Adrian - you checked in just as I was investigating the same subject. I'll borrow some comments from the blog and add them to the thread in the QuickBooks discussion group, but perhaps you'd like to come on over and present your own thoughts...

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By carnmores
09th Jun 2010 16:18

this is cobblers

Intuit is moving to an online solution - in USA and Canada it has substantial online revenues - you seem to be inferring that its stuck in the dark ages , it isnt  - it has problems like any software house but you have completely over egged it

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Adrian Pearson
By Adrian Pearson
09th Jun 2010 17:45

To be absolutely clear ..

@carnmores - If by "you" in your comment you are referring to me, I am not saying that Intuit is "stuck in the Dark Ages".  What I am saying is that until they can invest the time and money in a complete bottom-up rewrite of QuickBooks, Intuit are going to continue to have upgrade routines that are burdensome to their customers.

Yes, Intuit has QuickBooks online in the US (and are rumoured to be working on a UK version) but, that being a SaaS product, upgrades are automatically taken care of for users.  That's my point.

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