QuickBooks Update for Manage Apps and Services–an Unexpected Update

Written by Charlie Russell

When I opened my copy of Premier 2011 recently, an update dialog window popped up that surprised me. I wasn’t expecting an update (I was already running the most current “R#” release).

QuickBooks Update for Manage Apps and Services

Wait a minute, QuickBooks is telling me that there is an update? I’m already up to date? Is this a bogus message like those ones you see when browsing the web that tell you that you have a virus infection and should run a scan?

Well, no, this isn’t a bogus message. It is a valid update. It is just an off cycle update. These happen often, and aren’t announced. There isn’t a good way to detect if one of these updates has occurred, usually. In fact, I can’t think of a time in the past where one of these off cycle updates has actually given me a message like this. Very unusual!

I talked about background or off-cycle updates last year.

I went ahead and performed the steps that the window recommended, and in the last step an error window popped up.

QuickBooks Apps and Services error

Not a great error message, it doesn’t leave me with any action to take to resolve the issue, it doesn’t really explain what is going on clearly. I hate error messages like this.

What is happening is that a number of different updates have come together to change how your QuickBooks desktop product manages your online services. Several updates are involved as I understand it.

  • The 2011 R4 update installed a new online services management program.
  • The 2011 R6 update changed that program so that it could accept off cycle updates, which are updates that Intuit will push out to your QuickBooks desktop without any notification to you (normally), outside of the “R#” update cycle.
  • One of these off-cycle updates modified the online services management program to provide it with a way to look at your services in a particular way.

The first window, the one that talks about there being an update, is the QuickBooks telling you that an off cycle update has occurred and that you need to take some steps to implement it fully. This is odd because I don’t believe there has been an off cycle update that ever opened a message like this. It is disconcerting because we weren’t asked if we want to install the update, and it happens at a time we don’t expect it.

If you click Don’t Exit in the first message, you will not see this message again. Even if you reset the “one time messages”. However, this does not stop the update from occurring. it is there – if you restart your program later and then run Online Services /Manage Apps and Services, the update completes anyways.

The second window, the error message, has to do with how my online services were set up (or not) on this particular installation. You might not see this in your installation. I have an account for Intuit Data Protect. It is a part of my ProAdvisor account, and I have it enabled in my online services account, but I never actually installed it on this computer. This error relates to that in some ways – I have a service set up, but not fully. To be honest, that all is a bit murky because I have many different services that are or are not set up on different company files and computers in my office.

So in my case, it wasn’t really a big error to worry about – but the error message really doesn’t make that clear. This could have been done better.

None of this indicates any big problems. I’m bringing it up because you or a client may run into this, and it can be a bit of a surprise if you aren’t expecting it. I already have had two clients call me who had the first message, and they were concerned. I hate it when they call me with an update notice that I don’t know anything about.

I also am not happy with the way this was presented. I think it is poorly thought out from the end user’s perspective.

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About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been the managing editor and primary writer for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. Charlie can be reached at [email protected]

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


    • Thanks, Murph.

      I’m curious as to how many people see this update/problem. I had several calls on it, but then nothing more. I suspect it has to do with a lot of people just not using the online managed apps…

  • Charlie:

    Thank you for this detailed insight.

    To me, this is just one of an increasing number of examples where Intuit is completely under-educating their ProAdvisors about their products. I agree that this whole thing was poorly thought out and the lack of insight on the error message is pretty typical.

    Come to think of it, I haven’t seen a ProAdvisor newsletter from them for a long time now.

    Guess that tells us just how much they “value” what we do for them.

    • Scott, I generated a lot of internal discussion about this issue at Intuit when I started asking questions, and I’d have to say that there was some agreement that this notification and error message should have been done better. I agree with you about the ProAdvisor newsletters, they have been very inconsistant and often don’t include much info. I think that they are relying on their ProLine blog to get get info to ProAdvisors, although they aren’t writing articles there that talk about this kind of thing. So, keep your eye on THIS blog – I get the info out as quickly as I’m allowed to…

  • What would we do without you Charlie??? Thank you so much for this.

    I agree with Scott that it seems that there is more issues that ProAdvisors do not know about then before. It is difficult enough for us to manage clients and all their financial “silliness”, employee turnover issues and bla, bla, bla, but to add software changes that we do not know about makes it that much more difficult.

    • Cynthia – there is a lot of noise from Intuit saying that ProAdvisors are very important to them. But I’ll agree with you, there are a lot of issues that we SHOULD be hearing about from them, that we don’t. I think that ProAdvisors should be told about EVERY change that goes out to our clients. In any case, I’ll keep working on ferreting this stuff out and getting it posted here. More coming this week!

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