QuickBooks 2013 R5 Released

Written by Charlie Russell

Intuit has released the QuickBooks 2013 R5 update for the U.S. version of QuickBooks.

This will be available as an automatic update about a week later. Since this release is coming out so soon after the R4 update I’m guessing that they are pushing it out fast to get around one of the problems that a lot of people are complaining about (probably the “unable to add item to list” error), but that is just speculation on my part. In any case, the release is available as a manual update from the Intuit support web site. Please note that at the time this is being posted I have not worked with this release extensively.

  • QuickBooks will no longer display the error “Unable to add item to list” when updating your company file to use with a new patch release. This was something that a LOT of people were complaining about.
  • Credit card numbers are encrypted in your QuickBooks file, and sometimes there is an error that causes the encryption key to be damaged or inaccessible. When this occurs you will see an error in the QBWIN.LOG file when you run the Verify utility. The 2013 R5 update will now list all of the unreadable credit card numbers in the log file so that you can see which need to be repaired. I wonder – is this a security breach? I don’t have a test file that has this problem so I can’t test it, so it isn’t clear if the log file will contain credit card numbers in the clear, OR if it is just listing the customer name that has the damaged info (which would make more sense – if the number can’t be encrypted, it can’t be listed?). I expect that it will just list the customer names that have an unreadable credit card.
  • Another issue similar to the credit card problem – The Rebuild utility can now resolve the error “LVL-SEVERE_ERROR—GetMasterKey Failed: The decryption has failed” that you may see in the QBWIN.LOG file. This would relate to errors in trying to decrypt credit card numbers and social security numbers.
  • Company files should upgrade to QuickBooks 2013 fasterthan with prior releases.
  • A problem is fixed that was causing QuickBooks to close unexpectedly when opening an invoice in multiuser mode.
  • ToDo descriptions will now show correctly in the Reminders list.
  • ToDo notes will no longer be truncated if the description is more than 100 charactersEditors note – I still see this problem in the R5 update, so it apparently hasn’t been fixed.
  • In QuickBooks Enterprise, customers and memorized transactions can now be deleted in multiuser mode.
  • Company files with large numbers of list items will now open faster.
  • The Search refresh operation that happens in the background won’t delay other operations in QuickBooks any more.
  • The Automatic Data Recovery (ADR) system that automatically copies the company file in the background will no longer be re-enabled with updating QuickBooks. To tell the truth, I’m not sure how to interpret this. I know what the ADR system is, but I don’t understand the re-enabled part of this note from Intuit.
  • Using and opening the Customer Center will now be faster.
  • A problem was fixed that was causing QuickBooks to close unexpectedly after dismissing an error or warning dialog window.
  • If you were using the 2013 R4 release you may have seen the error Unrecoverable Error 00000 00000 when working on transactions. Intuit support would recommend that you roll back to the R3 release. This problem should be fixed in the R5 release.

Note that there is a small “file conversion” when you open your existing 2013 file with R5 for the first time, so you may want to make a backup copy BEFORE installing this (just in case), and you’ll want to schedule the installation at a time when it won’t interfere with your normal business operations.

I’m always cautions about these updates – particularly when they haven’t been extensively tested in the field prior to release (which is probably the case here). I don’t know of any problems with R5, but I haven’t used it more than a few moments (at the time I’m writing this). Unless you see a problem on this list that is troubling you, I’d recommend waiting a week before installing this to see if there are any big new problems being introduced.

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 writing for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. He retired from accounting and QuickBooks activities in early 2018.

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


  • Well this is not only the review we have been waiting for you to write, but the ‘release’ we have been waiting on, because hopefully if R5 checks-out, this will be the dawn-of-the-day when we can finally stop telling our clients (especially QBES)it is no longer necessary to wait to upgrade or install. Apparently many of the application errors that have plagued 2013 since day one are now finally fixed (we will see) and the product will be significantly more stable then over the last few months since release.

    Thanks for ALWAYS being on-top of things for us Charlie….


    • Thanks, Murph. I am not sure if they have caught all of the issues, I’m having a hard time in pinning down all the things that people are complaining about. And we’ll see if these fixes actually resolve the problems…

  • I have implemented quickbooks 2012 in one small business. He is facing price or cost update bug. I know there is an update to fix it but I cannot update due to some reasons. I am planning to upgrade him to qb 2013 but I am afraid that he could have many other bugs. Can someone please advise if it is the right time to move to QB 2013 with R5 update? He is my first client and I really do not want to disappoint him.

    • Adeel, I’m not sure what bug you are referring to, and “cannot update for some reason” doesn’t give us much to go on. Keep in mind that there are two issues with moving up to 2013 – the change in the user interface (which some upgraders don’t like), and how well it works. Early to tell on R5 so far, since it just came out this week.

    • I would recommend installing QB 2012. There are FAR too many bugs/issues with 2013 to base your reputation on. As one who has used every version of QB and over 400+ customers, I can safely say that this is by far the worst release of QuickBooks yet. The PDF drivers, the crashes, the video issues, the flaky install failures with registration.dat files to having to re-register DLL’s to reinstalling Microsoft software. My customers who are on 2010+ are staying that way until Intuit gets this version right. For those customers who have 2009 and earlier, a decision has to be made…

      • Lance, R6 was just released, and it addresses many of the problems. Time will tell if it has addressed ALL of the problems. To be honest, several of the issues that you point out are ones that I’ve never run into with my installation, or any of the ones that I am monitoring for clients, so I’m not sure how widespread they are (or if they are unique to 2013).

        • Charlie, I have Quickbooks Pro 2010 and it works fine. Quickbooks gives me a message when I start the program that I need to upgrade to 2013 or I wil not b able to download. My business is very small and may not have it much longer. The downloads which I use in quickbooks are direct downloads from two credit cards. Do you know whether I will be able to use those downloads. I would like to avoid a whole new format and the apparent problems of 2013.

          Thank you for any information you can offer me.


          • Dollie, the Online Banking feature will no longer be available to you, with QB 2010, after May of this year. Your options are to not use that feature (manually enter your info), upgrade to QB 2013, or look for a product that might be able to take the credit card download and import it. I can’t say if a third party tool would work for you, as I don’t know what card you are using (etc). Sometimes it is cheaper to upgrade than it is to get the add-on product to stick with what you have.

  • We upgraded our install of Enterprise to R5 quickly because we were having so many issues with R4. The new version seems to crash a little less often but we are having issues with recording customer notes. You can type a note in just fine after you hit ok, it hangs for a while then the note disappears. Happens with all levels of permissions.

    • Dustin, that is very odd. I just did a quick test, adding a customer note via the Notes tab in the customer center, and I had no problem. If you are having frequent crashes, you may want to have someone take a look at your company file to see if there are any corruption errors. You may have a damaged database.

  • I just started using Q2013 for Mac. Had imported about 1600 items, after few try it worked. No i have to add bout 530 more items to the list of inventory items. simple data, most of them are similar items with price and description and item Number only change. Tried about 15 times it will say processing and will show the status up to about 515 – 525 then stop. The only way out is force quit.
    Tried spiting into groups of 150 or so. same thing Anyone has any suggestions. There is not much other data other than the items numbers and descriptions. only a dozen customers and dozen invoices and purchase orders. Help. I downloaded the release 5 update today. no luck.

  • Do you troubleshoot QuickBooks Enterprise? There has been a bug for some time now for those of us using payroll processing. The program thinks there are checks to send – but there are none! The fix is to send them when there are none – the notification disappears – until you run the next payroll! This is so frustrating – as every time you open and close the company file the notification pops up.

    • James, best I can say is to keep complaining to Intuit – if enough people complain, they’ll do something about it. That is assuming that it isn’t due to some error in your file of some sort. I don’t work with payroll so I don’t know if this is a widely seen issue.

      • Charlie – this is known issue – as I discovered during my 30 minute wait for tech support. I was on the community boards – and the issue has many “complainers”. Initially the tech support person told me the engineers had created a “fix”. I gently advised her that the engineers may be working on a “fix” – but it isn’t “fixed”.

        Thanks for the response.

  • We updated to R5 in early Jan, but continue to have sudden shut downs on our QB 13. I have a “QB adviser” that can’t figure this out, nor can the QB help line. Can you? Please advise?

    • Nancy, unfortunately, from here there isn’t much that I can say. I can get you in touch with some top notch QuickBooks people who understand these things, but that wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem. Hard to say.

  • Sure wish I could go back in time. Only thing we have accomplished since upgrading to QBES 13 is lost time, lost productivity, and gained frustration. We are running R5 and it doesn’t come close to fixing the shortcomings of this new version. Intuit needs to release a file downgrade utility, so that I can happily go back to QBES 11, as 12 was a mistake too. We upgrade to 13 to try to escape from the shortcomings of 12…

    I have a fast server, fast clients, and a fast network. Watching the resource monitor on both client and server, sometimes the client will go to 100% CPU on one core, as qb only uses one core at time it appears, but no communication will occur with the server until minutes go by. Its as if the client has to process the request to pull up the customer list, before making the request, etc.

    Unfortunate FAIL on the part of Intuit.

  • Attached document issue. Spent a lot of quality time with Intuit yesterday when attach document from scanner did not work after applying the R5 patch. After two calls to different “Diamond support” people, it turns out that it is a known issue and should be resolved in R6. The fix, uninstall program, download and reinstall the R4 version of the program. I wish Intuit would notify the ProAdvisors on a weekly or some other regular basis when they discover a program issue, we can efficiently take care of our clients.

    I want to thank Chris Hook at Intuit for his concern and the following links to go back to version R4 of Premier and Enterprise. NOTE please read the entire path to make sure you are downloading the proper product:


    • Steven, I heartily agree that it would be great if Intuit would let ProAdvisors know about the problems that exist, but I seriously doubt that we’ll ever see a comprehensive program for something like that from them.

      I can’t talk about R6 yet, but note that when you roll back to R4 from R5 you are bringing back a lot of other problems. Personally, I don’t like the QuickBooks Doc Center feature for any but the very smallest business, since it has no security and it is too easy to lose documents.

  • Obviously when installing a fresh copy or upgrading from an earlier version, one must take the into account the “environment” that you are installing in, as well as the pre-step check list and post check. With that being said QB 2013 is still having issues. I just did what would should be the piece of cake of installations. I upgraded a customer from 2011 to 2013 Enterprise R5 on a single computer. The company file was small, customer backs up manually everyday and never had to rebuild, fragmentation was 3. Computer was only 13 months old and a good business machine (not store bought). A day after leaving her office 2013 started giving her errors and crashing. Did the typical troubleshooting steps but still the same issue. Called QuickBooks Support today and they say that it is a “known issue” and are working on a patch. The only option now is completely format the machine and reinstall, but no guarantees.

    I’ve been telling my customers to stay clear on upgrading at least until May.

    • Steve there are a number of technical notes in the Intuit support website that refer to problems in the database, although Intuit doesn’t always make it clear if it is with the 2013 product or earlier. I tend to not write about them unless I see the issue myself, and I’ve not run into any of them with my installation, or my client installations. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there, just that I don’t have a way to see or test the issue.

      The best I can say at this point is that there will be more updates to the program in upcoming months, when I’m allowed to write about them there will be articles in this blog.

  • Hello

    I’ve been using Quickbooks 2006-simple dependable. My needs are simple. No payroll, no invoicing, no inventory, no customer addresses, no printed checks. I just need to generate P&L reports for my accountant. My Win XP Computer of the same vintage died. I purchased a New Win 8 Computer and Quickbooks Pro 2013. Before my old Computer died I was able to finish the year 2012, print reports etc. Data conversion of my QBB backup to the new 2013 QB seemed to go fine. All numbers, reports, Mem Transactions seemed ok. Have not entered any new data yet, but did modify a couple reports. Two days later, QB crashed. When opened, crashes immediately. Support took control of my computer and reinstalled QB with the R5 patch. All seemed ok. Three days later, it’s happening again. I saved the original crash report before the reinstall, and this current crash report is identical. I don’t have time/patience to wait for a fix. I don’t Need all the frills of 2013. Should I find and intall a QB 2011 copy-it seems stable from reading this forum and upgrade to QB2013 when it’s fixed? I need to start adding data for 2013. Quarterly sales tax is due soon and I need Reports!

    Thanks Chuck Thomas

    • Chuck, without hands on your system and knowing more about the “crash” details, there isn’t much that I can say. Some people are having lots of trouble with R5, some have none (it never crashes for me). One problem you have is that you can’t take your 2013 file and convert it back to an older year (at least, not without a lot of sweat and tears), so you would have to go back to a copy of the file that you had before converting. I’m going to guess that this isn’t an option. There are some updates coming out to QB 2013 in the near future, hopefully those will address some of the issues. But, I can’t tell if the issues you have are specifically from QB 2013 or not, as you have a number of variables here.

  • i currently have Quickbooks Pro 2010 and have to upgrade to 2013 or i will lose my payroll capabilities. I have bought the new version but have also just bought a new computer that i have not converted over to but will soon. I was wondering if i should put the new 2013 pro on my old computer first, then transfer, or install only on new computer and transfer 2010 files over to new computer. I was unsure if this would screw up my files. Thanks Charlie!

    • It shouldn’t matter. I would just install it on the new computer, make a backup copy of the files on the old computer, restore the backup (a QuickBooks backup) on the new computer, then open the file. QB 2013 will convert the file to the new format when you restore it.

      • Thanks so much Charlie- that is what my husband thought i should do but i was worried it would screw things up using a 2010 backup to open up a new 2013 on my new computer.

Leave a Comment