Software Review: Quickbooks Premiere 2007
By CO Staff @canadaone | December 31, 2006
Existing Quickbooks users will see that on the surface little has changed with Quickbooks 2007. There are essentially three groups of accounting software users: existing users who may consider upgrading, new users looking to move their books to an accounting software platform and users who may be looking to switch from a competing program.
Quickbooks has always provided a clear, easy-to-use program for small business owners. New users will find that the simple interview wizard makes it pretty easy to set-up your business in Quickbooks. When you select Create a New Company you are taken to an EasyStep Interview that prompts you to enter the information needed to get started. If you are not at all comfortable with this process you would be well advised to hire a Quickbooks Advisor to help you get started. When you actually start using the program you will find a suite of tutorials that explain how to use the most common aspects of the program.
An important consideration when selecting an accounting software package is the preference of your bookkeeper and/or accountant. With services being provided at an hourly cost, it it wise to select a program that your support staff uses on a regular basis to ensure that you don't find yourself paying them to learn how to use your accounting software program. In fact, this is one of the best reasons to use a program like Quickbooks rather than creating your own spreadsheet system; as your company grows the cost of the software will be much less than the extra processing costs required to complete your year-end and file your taxes.
What's New for Existing UsersExisting users who are thinking of upgrading will find that some things are improved from the previous version, but overall this is the same program you are accustomed to. In addition to Simply Start, Pro, Premier and Enterprise, Inuit has also added an online version that is available by subscription only. The online version costs $19.95 a month for the standard edition and $39.95 for the Plus version.
Payroll continues to be an add-on service for all versions, ranging from $13 per month for the basic version to $59 per month for assisted payroll. The payroll module for the Online editions is included in Online Edition Plus, and can be added to the standard Online Edition for an additional $14.95 per month.
While the list of new features promotes improved tools for customizing invoices, estimates and forms, we found the changes in this area to be a disappointment. One annoying aspect of the program is that if you give your company file a new name, for example by adding the date to the end of the file, all of the logos and graphics in the invoices are lost in the renamed version. The layout designer does have new tools, but the program is still quite crude compared to professional graphics programs.
An interesting addition is the integration with Google Desktop, which can help you quickly locate information in your file, as well as Google's advertising tools. Unfortunately we somehow turned off the "home page" that is mentioned in the online explanation of how to use Google's advertising tools. A search for Google in the Help section did not bring up any results and we could not find a link to the tools in the menu system, so we were not able to test this new feature.
A copy of Quickbooks Customer Manager (QBCM) came bundled with our review copy of Quickbooks Premier 2007. While it is a stand alone program, QBCM can be synchronized with both Microsoft Outlook and Quickbooks. The Intuit FAQs indicate that it can handle roughly 15,000 contacts. Intuit is offering the program as a free trial from its website.