Cloud Accounting QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online–Changes for November 2012

Written by Charlie Russell

Here’s a preliminary look at some changes that you’ll see in QuickBooks Online in the next release coming out in November 2012. Please note that I haven’t had a chance to play with any of these new features at this time. I won’t show screen shots because the details may vary by the time this is released.

The list of supported financial institutions has been expanded from approximately 5,000 to around 18,000. This is a significant improvement for features like online banking integration.

There are a number of report enhancements:

  • The report basis is added to the top right-hand corner of the screen, so that you can easily see what the basis is without scrolling to the bottom. You will see a notation that says “accrual basis” or “cash basis”. This does NOT show on the printed or exported report.
  • There is an option to delete a memorized report for all users. I believe that this ability is restricted to the user who memorized the report initially.
  • The reconciliation report will now show un-cleared checks and deposits, similar to what you already see in QuickBooks for Windows.

QuickBooks Online will now allow you to print a 1096 form along with your 1099 forms. This is a feature that has been requested often. Please note that this is only available in QuickBooks Online Plus.

Document management is something that many businesses are looking for, and it is one place where QuickBooks Online has been lagging when compared to the desktop version. With this release you will now be able to attach supporting documents to sales forms (invoices, estimates, sales receipts). You’ll have the ability to open a “file” dialog to locate the document to attach, or use a drag & drop feature. Details on this feature aren’t entirely clear to me at this point. I believe that there is a limit to the volume of attachments you can have (25 MB was mentioned, but that isn’t certain). You can have multiple documents attached to one transaction, but a document can only be attached to one transaction (if you attach it to several, each attachment is a separate copy). I don’t believe that there are any reports showing attachments at this time, you’ll just see a notification of the attachment when you look at the transaction individually. I didn’t hear anything about there being any direct integration with a scanner. You won’t be able to share documents with someone outside of your QBO account. Also, I don’t see that there is any sort of “permission level” control over which user can see the transaction. Again, details aren’t clear to me yet, so I might have missed some features.  This is not true “document management”, it is a simple attachment feature at this time. I have a huge number of questions about this feature, I hope to get answers later on.

On a side note, I would like to mention that my favorite document management system, SmartVault (see this review article), will be available as an app that works with QuickBooks Online in the near future (see this press release), as announced recently at the Sleeter Accounting Solutions Conference.

In addition to these changes please note that the QuickBooks Online Accountant edition has finished it’s pilot project and is now available to all accountants or ProAdvisors. See my earlier review of this edition. For details on how to get this edition, go to https://accountants.intuit.com/.

QuickBooks Online updates are rolled out to users over a period of time in many cases. Some of you will see these updates sometime around November 15. You are the lucky people who get to test this release! The final rollout for everyone else should be around November 27. Note that it is always possible that either of these dates could change at the last minute.


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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.

8 Comments

    • Woody, definitely NOT “document management”. This is just attaching documents, and it is not close to being a “document management” feature. However, I will admit that until I have my hands on this I’m not sure of all the details. I have lots of questions…

  • As a ProAdvisor who is certified in QuickBooks Online, I attended their webinar yesterday morning about these updates and later that afternoon, my new client mentioned to me how they would like the ability to attach documents. They were happy to hear of this feature.

    One thing I am unclear about. Where are the documents stored?

    • Keith, the documents are stored in the “cloud”, as is your data. It is in the Intuit server. I wouldn’t want to use this as a document management system for a “paperless office”, because you can only access the documents through the QBO user interface. No way to access it from other avenues, no way to make backups, no way to do bulk retrievals. This aids you in locating a document for a transaction, but doesn’t serve as a primary repository for your documents.

      I’ll be very interested in the upcoming SmartVault integration with QBO, that should be much more manageable.

  • Charlie, how do Online users deal with buggy releases?

    With the desktop version we can control our destiny by not upgrading until Intuit finally gets it right and fixes the bugs.

    Do all online users immediately get converted to the buggy version at the same time? Do online users have the ability to wait until Intuit gets it right?

    With Intuit’s poor track record releasing buggy desktop software on the first/second release, I cannot imagine ever moving to the online version if there is no way to control what version we are using.

    • Well, Cliff, this is an area that I’m starting to explore as I dive into QBO more deeply.

      You rely on Intuit to do it right the first time…

      There are differences between the desktop releases and the online releases which cast this in a different light. First, most desktop releases are major changes, with lots of fixes and updates all wrapped into one release. Lots to test, lots of interactions to watch. With the Online version you have the opportunity to release things in smaller, more manageable increments. It is easier to test and release changes in the online product (as far as I can see, from the outside).

      As I mentioned, Intuit is phasing in the November release in two waves. They let a few people (I have no idea how extensive this is) see it first, and if all goes well then they release it to the rest. This is somewhat akin to what we see with the desktop product with manual releases followed by automatic releases, in a way.

      It is something that I intend to look at in more depth in the future.

  • Hi Charlie. Thanks so much for the notice on the Smart Vault integration. I have several QBO customers who are chomping at the bit for this application. This will really help me market the QBO product to potential customers.

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