QuickBooks

Goodbye to QuickBooks 2012 Support

Written by Charlie Russell

Goodbye to QuickBooks 2012 SupportIt’s that time of year again, Intuit’s annual “Sunset” of older versions of QuickBooks. If you are using QuickBooks 2012 (Windows and Mac) then you won’t be able to use certain services and features after May 31, 2015. I won’t editorialize (much) on why this is done of if it is a good practice, I’ll just discuss what the impact will be on your business.

What this means is that for the 2012 products:

  • Any “add-on service” that you are using from Intuit (payroll, online banking, etc.) will no longer be available unless you upgrade to a newer product.
  • Live technical support will no longer be available from Intuit.
  • Intuit will not guarantee that you can register products or retrieve keycodes.
  • Intuit will not provide replacement CD’s or manuals, although you can download older products.

This applies to the following products:

  • QuickBooks Pro 2012
  • QuickBooks Premier 2012
  • QuickBooks Accountant 2012
  • QuickBooks for Mac 2012
  • QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions V12

Note that you can upgrade to a more current version to continue getting support.

Services Discontinued for QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Enterprise and Mac 2012

After May 31, 2015 you will no longer be able to use these services if you are using one of the 2012 products (Note that not all of these were available to Mac users):

  • Basic, Standard, Enhanced or Assisted Payroll: After the cutoff, QuickBooks 2012 will no longer automatically calculate correct payroll taxes, provide updated forms, or send your payroll data.
  • Employee Organizer: You will no longer have access to this information.
  • 1099: You will not be able to launch the 1099 Wizard, which means (at the very least) you will not be able to use the 1099 E-File service.
  • QuickBooks Merchant Service will no longer process credit card transactions through QuickBooks 2012 (you can still process outside of QB). If you are a terminal customer you will still be able to process credit cards through your terminal, you just can’t download them to QuickBooks 2012.
  • Automatic Credit Card Billing: This service will be discontinued. You cannot download transactions, your customer profiles will be deleted.
  • Check Solution will no longer process transactions in QuickBooks 2012 (you can still process outside of QB) .
  • Bill Pay will no longer be available.
  • Billing Solution will no longer be available. This service is being discontinued, if you upgrade to a newer version of QuickBooks you will be allowed to convert to the new QuickBooks Payments product, but it has different features (see this article).
  • Intuit PaymentNetwork will no longer be available to process or download online payment transactions through QuickBooks 2012. You can still use this service by logging in through the website, but note that this is being replaced by the new QuickBooks Payments product (see this article).
  • Accountant’s Copy File Transfer (ACFT) will no longer work with QuickBooks 2012.
  • Online Banking , such as downloading transactions or sending/receiving online payments, will no longer work. If you try, it will show you one of several different error messages (depending on your download method) if you attempt to download transactions, send online payments or send online transfers. One example would be “QuickBooks is unable to verify the Financial Institution Information for this Download”.
  • Enterprise Solutions Full Service Plan (FSP)  – if you are on this then most likely you have already upgraded. Now you must upgrade to continue to get support past the end of your plan.
  • Live Technical Support will no longer be available.
  • Online Backup will no longer be available.

QuickBooks email (the internal QuickBooks mail service for emailing invoices) isn’t listed, but that generally is associated with one of the services listed above, so that won’t be available either.

Third party add-on products should not be directly affected by this – but you should check with your vendor to see what their policy is. Note that there are two kinds of third party add-on products:

  • Products that use the QuickBooks SDK: There is no reason why these products would not continue to work, unless the developer chooses to discontinue service.
  • Products that use the Intuit Partner Platform: Intuit’s statement on this is a bit vague – “We do not anticipate the discontinuation of QuickBooks 2012 and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 12 to result in any disruption with the QuickBooks compatible software from the Intuit Partner Platform.”  However, having said that, note that these types of products will stop working within a year as Intuit discontinues the desktop version of the Intuit Partner Platform for all QuickBooks desktop products (see this article).

What Should You Do?

If you are using QuickBooks, the standard answer is “now is the time to upgrade”. Many Sleeter Group Certified QuickBooks Consultants will be happy to provide you with an upgrade. For QuickBooks Pro you often can find the best deal from a mass marketer like Costco. Discounts are also available through The Sleeter Group’s Online Store.

Upgrading  of your QuickBooks data should be relatively painless going from QB 2012 to 2015, although there can sometimes be problems. Before you install the upgrade, make sure you have a good backup of your company file. We recommend that you work with a knowledgeable consultant in performing your upgrade so that you don’t lose any time in working out the details. A bigger issue is the change in the user interface, which surprised many users when they moved up to 2013 from older versions. We have quite a few blog articles about the changes in various versions of QuickBooks since the 2012 release.

HOWEVER – keep in mind that your basic QuickBooks 2012 product will continue to work for your basic business needs as long as you aren’t relying on the services I listed.

If you are a QuickBooks consultant, you need to check with your clients so that they understand what will be changing in May. Don’t let them be surprised when things stop working – evaluate their needs and see if they will lose anything crucial to their operation. Keep in mind that sometimes upgrading to a new release takes a bit of time and effort. You want to make plans so that this can be done in an orderly fashion, rather than as a last minute scramble when they find that things aren’t working right.

My recommendation would be to talk to clients about this now, to prepare them for the changes. From what I can see, there is no reason to not upgrade to QuickBooks 2015 at this time, OTHER than some questions about the new QuickBooks Payments system. Don’t wait until May – there are so many issues to deal with in retraining and possibly some hardware changes (larger monitors, possibly) due to the change in the user interface. Also, if you run into any conversion problems (which can happen), you don’t want to have to deal with that in a hurry as things like credit card processing stop working.

There are alternatives, of course:

  • Many of the discontinued services are available through other sources. There are payroll systems, merchant services systems that will continue to work with older versions of QuickBooks.
  • If you subscribe to the QuickBooks Pro Plus and QuickBooks Premier Plus programs you are paying a monthly subscription fee, and therefore the latest version is available to you for no additional charge. Enterprise users have the Full Service Plan option, which provides an upgrade.
  • Move to any online accounting product and you’ll always be using the most current version of that product. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a viable option for many desktop users, due to the smaller number of features provided by most online products currently.

What Do I Think?

Every year when Intuit sunsets an older version of QuickBooks we hear a great gnashing of teeth over the practice. How can Intuit disable the product that we bought?!

I’ve been a software developer for most of my life, so I may look at this in a different way than most QuickBooks users. I do have some sympathy for what Intuit is doing, but I don’t entirely agree with the policy when you look at the bigger picture.

QuickBooks itself won’t stop working – you can still print checks, manage your financial statements, and do the normal QuickBooks daily work on your desktop. What is stopping are all the services that rely on Internet servers managed by Intuit, as well as support services. In my mind, that is reasonable – QuickBooks is advancing, these services are being updated to provide new and better features to users of QuickBooks, so Intuit shouldn’t have to provide different versions of all of these services for every iteration of QuickBooks that is in use. That just isn’t feasible or practical.

I won’t be surprised if you disagree with me.

However, to balance this policy, I also believe that a software provider should make it relatively simple to upgrade your product to the latest version. This is where I think the Intuit policy fails. If you are using the older product and you must upgrade to the current product so that you can continue to use these services, Intuit should provide a low-cost upgrade path. As it stands now you essentially have to buy a new copy of the program. Sure, Intuit often provides a discount for upgraders, but it usually is insignificant. Their upgrade price usually is still higher than the “street” price for QuickBooks.


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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.

39 Comments

  • will Intuit Sync Manager work in QB 2012 after the sunset date? I am using a 1099 service (Track1099) and need the Sync Manager to transfer info to the 1099 software, but quite a few of my clients are still on QB 2012.
    Also, will we lose the ability in the vendor card to designate that vendor as a 1099 vendor and will be still be able to generate 1099 Detail Reports even if we cannot use QB to print the 1099s?

    • Cheryl, as I note in the article, Intuit states that they don’t anticipate that add-on products using the Intuit Partner Platform will stop working – and Sync Manager is the tool that these kinds of apps use. So Track1099 should continue to work. Keep in mind that this is only for awhile – about a year from now Intuit will stop supporting Intuit Partner Platform (IPP) apps for the desktop (that is, anything using Sync Manager) altogether for all add-ons. So you just get a year more before this changes. As I note at https://www.sleeter.com/blog/2015/01/preparing-quickbooks-1099-misc-forms/3/, Track 1099 is evaluating what they’ll do when Intuit Sync Manger is retired.

      You shouldn’t lose the ability to mark a vendor as needing a 1099, as that isn’t service based. It is a field in the local database. Any reports that QuickBooks itself provides should still work.

  • Charlie,
    “Note that there are two kinds of third party add-on products:”

    Thanks for making clear to readers the distinction between the SDK (which continues) and the IPP/Synch Manager/SDK stack (which will be discontinued).

    There has been a lot of confusion amongst some users who misinterpreted (understandably I guess as the distinction is somewhat technical) announcements of the Synch Manager discontinuation to mean that the SDK is also being discontinued…which is NOT the case.

    Cheers
    John

  • I have all versions back to DOS..and I tell my small business owners, that unless they run any add on software or payroll, there is no need to update if they don’t want to. QuickBooks 2012 desktop will still work. Shoot,…I have clients on much older verisons than that, mostly auto shop owners, who just don’t want to update. I’m ok with that. This is why I keep all versions …forever….no need to force my clients to update for the heck of it.

  • I think this is outrageous. I have a small business and accounting doesn’t change for me every three years. I paid close to $300 for this software. If they don’t want me using their servers, fine. But connecting to my online banking to download transactions should use the banks servers, not Intuit’s, or at the very least a minimal infinitesimal server process on their part. Makes me mad.

    • While I don’t agree with the details of Intuit’s policies on all of this, I do think that bank feeds and reconciliation are a problem that requires people to keep up to date. Banks don’t all have a standard way of presenting their data – and the banks servers won’t necessarily present the information in a way that QuickBooks can work with. Often Intuit finds that they have to process the information to get it into a format that is useful – and the banks do change how they organize things, so Intuit has to be constantly monitoring and updating the interface to keep up.

  • Thanks for the info. I think 90% is that Intuit is just trying to sell more software…they are holding you over a barrel. They should support the software for at least 5 years! I have several copies of QB 2012 & QB 2013…but like the 2012 version better! The newer version seem to be slower.

  • Will I still be able to download transactions from my bank to a file on my computer and then upload/import the file into quickbooks pro 2012?

  • I moved from QB2012 to QBOnline because I kept getting the message and after speaking to someone on the 800 number they provide and asking questions I bought it. I have a small business , my husband has a small business, I do the bookkeeping for a non-profit and have been using QB for decades. I have been married for 23 years and I started with Quicken shortly after we were married and then when we started our home business I started with QB. I will be LEAVING QB now. After speaking to a slick salesman about the NEW AND IMPROVED QBONLINE I was told nothing would change. He literally used the words seamless transition!
    1) The format and procedures are COMPLETELY different they look NOTHING alike.
    2) It was so complicated that I had to call the 800 number to ask how to do the SIMPLEST of tasks!
    3) When I transferred everything, it did not transfer passwords so ALL of those had to be entered for credit cards and all bank account, etc.
    4) The employee payroll information did not transfer so I had to enter all of the routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit.
    5) When you DO call to get IT support half the time the idiot on the other end has not IDEA what he or she is doing and after about 40 hours of working on this I knew more than they did and I caught them on many occasions going down the WRONG road completely.
    6) I was NOT told that the other two small business THAT HAD NO PAYROLL AND WERE SIMPLE BUSINESS accounts were going to have to pay the same monthly rate as our main business. So in other words if you handle your Mary Kay or Avon on the side with QB it is no longer worth it and WILL NOT be available to you.
    I could literally go on for hours but I need to go back to my desktop and REENTER all the data that I entered for the past month and figure out which NEW company I will be changing to. QUICKBOOKS SUCKS!

    • One more thing I would like to add is the HUGE increase in COST to payroll. If you are a small business with only a couple of employees this is unbelievable!

    • I’m sorry that you got snookered like that, Christy. This points out the value of working with an independent advisor who knows about QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online and can provide you with the proper advice (and warnings about the transition issues). Intuit salespeople are heavily focused on switching people to QuickBooks Online, regardless of whether it is a good fit or not.

  • I keep getting a message to install R16 then there are 2 boxes under install now install later wont let me click either completely locked up how can i unlock

  • Why doesn’t the Government stop Intuit from their unethical and seemingly illegal practice of going in a actively crippling older versions of the software people have paid good money for (a practice they call “sunsetting”) ? Now this is not simply ending product support, the company loads an update that goes in and cripples the software so it can no longer download transactions from a bank online. This is no different than if Microsoft decided to send a “patch” on XP and Vista computers that DISABLED all printing and internet connectivity, to force people to upgrade. It is absolutely no different, so why can Intuit get away with CHANGING software people already purchased so that they MUST upgrade and pay more money ?

  • The problem is not that Intuit wants you to pay them to keep using their products. Software programmers have families to feed too and we get that. The problem is that Intuit requires you to upgrade to a new program that is redesigned, forcing you to have to learn how to use it. It also forces you to upgrade your company file. I have never once been able to upgrade my company file without error, causing me days if not weeks of work to to go back in and fix what QB screwed up during the file upgrade process.

    Here is the truth! Quickbooks is a Business Software. Businesses like fast, efficient and streamlined; because TIME IS MONEY. We don’t care about having to spend a few hundred dollars every few years to keep using quickbooks. What we care about is the thousands of dollars it cost in time and man hours to complete the upgrade process!!! That is what we care about.

    The correct and most sensible thing for Intuit to do is to charge a $100 annual fee for the special services and let people continue to use the version of Quickbooks they know and are use to. They would still make their money and it would not cause their customers unending headaches. This is the logical and sensible thing to do, but you must have some sense to see this, and my experience is that Intuit has no sense .

    • Well, John, I’ll say that the main beneficiaries are the Intuit stockholders, not the programmers and their families.

      As a software programmer myself (not working for Intuit), I’ll disagree a bit. Keeping the services running for all the versions of QuickBooks over the years is a major chore, particularly since Intuit is updating the features of those services. It is a complex issue. Updating your software only has to be done every three years (as far as the “sunset” policy), so that mitigates things a bit.

      Most years the learning curve isn’t that high, but with the major user interface overhaul that created a lot of issues for people.

      As far as not being able to upgrade your file without error, that isn’t typical in my experience. I’m wondering if there is some issue lurking in your file that should be resolved. And that might depend on how you are maintaining the file. But that is speculation. The QuickBooks database is a bit fragile and needs care…

      • Charlie. There are two type of software upgrades. Upgrade that are necessary for security reasons and interface upgrades. Intuit absolutely unequivocally never has to upgrade the interface to upgrade the security. There is no logical reason they cannot upgrade the software without changing the existing interface. I guaranty you that it is easier to do this, then to constantly redesign the interface. So no, it is not difficult to maintain older software. It is rather simple. Just do what needs to be done and leave the rest alone!

        If you are a company that is marketing to the typical basic technology user, then you will need to keep up with the latest shinny styles of interfaces to stay competitive.
        But Quickbooks is not a piece of software that is marketed to the typical tech user. It is a BUSINESS class software. The rules for business class software are totally different and this is something that Intuit does not seem to get. Businesses want stability in their software. We want one thing, functionality and stability. We do not care what it looks like as long as it works and save us money by saving us time.

        No serious business in this world thinks of using a web interface for serious computing. Sure it is fine for communication and sharing of data, but when it comes down to serious business, businesses depend totally upon the DESKTOP computer.

        It is obvious that Intuit is trying to push it’s customers towards a Web style Interface. They want to migrate us away from the desktop. This is not being done for the benefit of the customer. No company is asking for this. It’s only being done because a bunch of geeky software engineers need a justification for all that time and money they spent getting their college degree. Their brains are filled with all this shinny new technology they are dying to use and they don’t care what is best for the user.

        One of these days a serious company that understands what Businesses need will make an accounting software and will do to Quickbooks what Google Chrome did to Internet Explorer. Back in the 90s, no one thought I.E. could be knocked off the mountain, but we all know better now don’t we? This is what happens when you don’t listen to your user base.

        • Well, John, I disagree with you, but everyone has the right to their opinion. Certainly there are more types of upgrades than just security and interface upgrades. Intuit over the years has introduced new features, made changes to the database structure, changed the internal database engine that runs the software, and much more. “latest shiny styles of interface” has no bearing on the issue of attached services, really. Certainly Intuit has been making changes there, but that doesn’t come to play in the services issue. The online service expects certain information to be exchanged, and if Intuit updates the desktop program to add, or drop, some of the fields (I’m making a simple case, it is more complicated than this) then the service has to change to reflect that. It is more complicated to have a service that can react to different versions of the database on the desktop side.

          It can be more complicated, and more expensive, to support interfaces for different versions of the product. Few software businesses actually do that these days. Can it be done? Sure, but it generally isn’t an affordable option.

          My issue isn’t that they are dropping support for services that work with older product versions, my issue is that if you have a user with an older version they shouldn’t have to pay full price to upgrade to the newer version. If you had a simple, cheap upgrade patch, moving up to the new version would be simpler. You would still have to contend with changes in the program (getting used to the “shiny new style of interface”, worry about features that might be dropped (although Intuit doesn’t drop many features moving forward in the desktop, usually), and having to deal with new bugs that tend to be introduced. But it would be feasible.

          • Charlie. You are not disagreeing with me, you simply are not understanding me. Let me try to make my point clearer. Take MS Word for example. In 2007 Microsoft introduced a whole new interface for Word called “Ribbon”. This switch to this new Ribbon style interface was completely and totally unnecessary and 99% of users hated it out of the box and many still do (Myself being one). Microsoft did not have to change the interface to increase the security of Word or to add new features to Word. They just did it because some software engineer thought it was a better way to interface with the program.

            That is what I am trying to say. Quickbooks did not need to change the exist interface of quickbooks to do anything you mentioned. The fact is this, every time a company that produces business level software make significant changes to the interface of a program that businesses depend on, they cost businesses untold millions of dollars in lost productivity (combined). I really don’t think there is much debate about this.

            All I am saying is that making radical interface changes in business software is unnecessary and harmful to businesses. Hopefully we can agree on this point.

          • OK, I can see where you don’t think the user interface change was necessary. I don’t see any connection between that and “security” at all. No connection there, and the “sunset” of the 2012 product has nothing to do with the interface change.

            The change in the interface is old news, since it happened years ago. Yes, it is brought up because that is a change that people will have to go through if they move up from the 2012 product to a current product. Yes, it is painful for some people. However, years ago when the change was made, I did write about it quite a bit. At that time I pointed out some good points (and some bad points, some of which they have since rectified). The good point at that time was that the goal was for them to consolidate user interface mechanisms in the product. They had at least three significantly different collections of user elements in QuickBooks, and it was very, very inconsistent. Their goal was to make it all consistent, using one new interface, and I feel that this was a good thing for them to do. They have wandered from that a bit, but there is a better degree of UI consistency now than there was at that time. Of course, some of the elements that they chose aren’t my favorites. But, I’m generally happier with most aspects of the new UI than with the old collection of disparate UI elements that they had. Most of the complaints come from people who were long time users of the older versions, or people that tried to use the minimum screen resolutions that Intuit officially supports (it works best on wide screen monitors).

            It was a painful change for some, and 2012 users will have to deal with it if they upgrade, but there are some advantages.

            It still has nothing to do with security, though. And, yes, I am still not a fan of the Microsoft ribbon, although I’m getting used to it.

  • OK I honestly haven’t read this whole blog, but I started getting notifications so figured I’d leave my issue/concern. New “features” aside, the plain and simple fact is that Intuit goes in and BREAKS the software, disabling the ability to directly download transactions from the bank. Now this wasn’t some formatting issue, one of their “updates” literally disabled the software, in direct violation of the software license (which I read – it clearly stated any connections to the bank are between the user and the bank, Intui has no part in the process). What they did is equivelant to Microsoft going in and “disabling” the print function function in Windows after 2 years in order to FORCE people to upgrade. If Microsoft did anything like that they’d be in frontof Congress in a heartbeat. What Intuit does is unethical and would certainly appear illegal, I never agreed to allow them to hack into my paid-for copy of the software and disable features…….

  • Charlie, I am going to have to disagree with you. The 2016 version is crap compared to the 2012 version, and I am not just talking about interface differences. I can say with certainty that it is now taking me four times longer to complete the same processes I was doing in 2012. I have discovered many glitches (or inconsistencies) in the basic functions of the program. The program is massively over bloated and a resource hog deluxe. Even an upgrade to 8GB of ram did little to speed it up. The minimum system requirements for the 2016 version of QB it on par with many graphically intense video games. There is no reason on God’s green earth to justify that level of hardware requirements in an accounting software. Many functions that could be completed entirely with the keyboard in 2012 are now divided between the keyboard and the mouse requiring a user to go back and forth between the two continuously (huge time waster). It is simply a poor design with a leaky memory bugs. Who care about new features if the whole program is poorly designed.

    I am not the only one saying this, there are thousands of people saying this. But this argument aside, you did not disagree with my statement that a major interface change to a business class software is harmful to businesses, so I assume you agree with that statement.

    • I respect your opinion, John. We’ll just have to agree to disagree to some degree. I am certainly not a fan of QuickBooks from a technical standpoint. It is old and creaky, and there are patches built on patches over too long a period of time. If we were to talk about how the database works internally you would find out that it may be worse than you expect. However, I will say that from many aspects, the 2016 version is better than the 2012 version. Certainly not all things are better, but there are some aspects that are greatly improved.

      Personally, I have fewer problems with reliability of the database in the 2015 (the version I use) and 2016 versions than I did with the 2012 version, and that plays out with the clients that I work with. As long as you stay away from certain aspects of the “Advanced Inventory” feature, and some optional features in Enterprise such as Enhanced Inventory Receiving.

      Yes, lots of complaints about the newer versions. There were lots of complaints about the older versions as well. I don’t see (without a scientific study) a higher level of complaints now than I did in 2012, really. And in between there were some big issues that came up (that were eventually, mostly, resolved). The funny thing about looking at complaints in forums is that people with issues will comment, but people who are happy with things don’t, so you get a biased view of things. But I will agree, there are a lot of issues with QuickBooks. If there was a commitment to create a good, solid DESKTOP product to move forward, Intuit would be better off rewriting from scratch rather than building on the existing creaky, faulty system. That won’t happen. And I don’t see anyone else committing major money and effort towards a totally desktop system. Hybrid systems, cloud and desktop, perhaps. But not a totally desktop system.

      For the user interface issues, there are problems with the new system. There were problems with the older products as well. The majority of the people who complain are ones who transitioned from old to new. There are far fewer complaints from people who started off with the new product.

      You like to make assumptions about my opinion on things. I suggest that you don’t. Major interface changes (in a general sense) can be disruptive to existing users in the short term, but if done properly can yield benefits in the longer term. “Done properly” is the key, and that is difficult to do sometimes.

      In any case, thanks for the discussion, it is always great to see that someone is actually reading some of the stuff we write here!

  • I respect your opinion Charlie. I can tell that you attempted to be honest and balanced in your reposes to me. Having said that I also understand that you are a software engineer, and thus, your survival depends on a constant evolution in software. Were the software industry to become static, there would not be much need for software engineers. I am not saying that you have not made some valid points, I am just saying that for you to admit that major interface changes are not needed to keep a program functioning well, would be akin to you shooting yourself in the foot. The whole software industry and your career depends constant evolution, and thus, this could make you just a little bias on this subject (Not that you do so intentionally).

    You and I both know that the tech industry is a waste and churn industry. It can only survive if it keeps evolving, regardless if there is any real need for it to. The only way for it to keep evolving is for it to FORCE people to constantly re-buy the same products they already own. The software and the hardware industries are tied together in this regard in that the hardware industry needs the software industry to constantly increase the hardware requirements of their software, so that people will have to keep upgrading their hardware, and vice versa. It’s kind of a quid-pro-qou system. It really is not the needs of the user driving this, because most people are still using their tech in the same manner they were ten years ago. It is the tech industries ravenous need to turn the market over each year to feed the massive tech machine. The tech industry has achieve total market saturation, so they need people to re-buy stuff or they will go out of business. That is what is really behind all these changes in my opinion.

    The real trick to accomplishing this market churning though, is deception. What I mean by this is that the tech industry must trick the consumer into believing that they are getting something new or better, when they are actually just getting something old or worse, or the same. Take my prediction for the future for example. I predict that one day Apple, or Samsung will release a new smartphone that is powered by ambient light. They will promote it as the latest thing in technology and people will pee their pants trying to get one. Then they will carry it home and lay down to to their 1970s style digital calculator that has been powered by ambient light for the last four decades. LOL!

    It is only recently that the tech industry stopped delivering media on vinyl disk. LOL! I was wondering how long the tech industry get away with changing the name of a vinyl disk (CD, DVD, Blue Ray) and people would keep falling for it. It only took the tech industry a little over 100 year to figure out a new away to distribute media other then a piece of flat round plastic!

    I agree with you on this. Intuit has done a poor job with Quickbooks. Unfortunately, they have a monopoly on the accounting software industry and they have no incentive to do a better job. I for one will spend the next year looking for some other accounting software. I have had it with Intuit.

    Thanks for the good discussion. I appreciate taking the time to respond to me. Please do not be offended by anything I said, as I was not intending to offend you or impugn you in anyway. I am simple an old guy that is tired of walking around on tiptoes trying not to offend anyone and I just say things the way I see them.

    • Actually, to clarify a few points regarding my own situation.

      First, only a part of my income comes from software development. In fact, at this point, the majority of my income comes from writing and speaking about accounting software. Some other comes from consulting (sometimes with software developers, more often with end users). The smallest part, at this time, comes from software development or sales.

      Second, I tend to bristle a bit when people make generalizations, and then try to include me. Please note with regards to the software products that I produced that work with QuickBooks, there are people still running the 2008 versions (which still work with QuickBooks 2016), and they still get support from me. And, if those people would like to upgrade to more current versions, they can do so at no charge. So in no way am I profiting from the “churn” of the products.

      The only customers of mine who might run into issues are those that run products that I created on CP/M (there is still one of them running my product that I’m aware of) or the people running the versions that ran on DOS (pre-Windows), of which there are still a number. They would have to pay to move up to a newer version of the product, if one was available.

  • Gentlemen,
    I apologize for intruding on your conversatin again, but would someone be able to answer a question about Quickbooks 2016 ? I do agree on many of the points made in the conversations above (not that my opinion matters), but does anyone know if with QuickBooks 2016 does Intuit force a company to store their fles on the Intui servers or (more impertantly) do they REQUIRE a user to “sign in” to an intuit account in order to access their local data files ? I am asking because I downgraded to Quicken Home & Business to avoid the cost of QuickBooks every 2 years, only to learn that Intuit actually forces Quicken users to sign into their accounts to “verify” that the data file they’re accessing is registered to them, allegedly for the user’s security. That is complete bullshit, and I NEVER knwingly gave Intuit permisson to access my computer. After working my way through customer service they acknowledged that yes, Intuit servers access my computer and check the data file. Well I never gave them permission to access my computer (something that must have happened during installation) so their system – or anyone that hacks into their system – has complete access to my computer and all of its files. WTF ????

    • Thomas, I wouldn’t worry about this as far as security of your data.

      There are a couple of aspects to this.

      First, you have to “register” your program with Intuit to be able to run it. That usually is a one time thing, a file is stored on your computer that contains the authorization.

      Second, if you have the Enterprise version, or “QuickBooks Plus” (both Pro and Premier versions), these are subscription versions that you pay a monthly, or yearly fee to use. Not purchase. You can purchase QuickBooks Premier and QuickBooks Pro outright without having to pay a subscription, which is how most people use them. Enterprise users are finding, now that it is subscription, that they have to be connected to the Internet at least once every other week, as Enterprise (and I assume the Plus versions of Pro and Premier) has to check in with the authorization servers periodically, or you can’t run the program.

      And, QuickBooks does sometimes get “behind the scenes” program updates periodically, although you can control that with your update settings.

      In each of these cases, you don’t have to log in (other than perhaps the initial registration setup), and your company data is not accessed by anybody outside.

      In addition to all of this, for the past few years there has been an optional feature that would “sync” your data with the Intuit cloud servers, where it could then be used by add-on products that you subscribe to. This was optional, and totally under your control. That feature, however, is being discontinued.

      So, no, your company data isn’t being synced to the cloud, and Intuit can’t go in and see your data. And you don’t have to log in to an Intuit online account other than to use features that you can choose to use, such as QuickBooks Payments, or certain Payroll functions.

      • Charlie, Thank you for your reply. I wasn’t concerned with Intuit stealin my data or anything, but here’s the techncal concern I have as I understand it (which was reluctantly confirmed by a support person at Intuit): In order for Intuit to verify that the data file I am attempting to open is “registered” to my Intut ID and Password, their server must access my hard drive and look at the data file. Since I never specifically gave the Intuit server permission to access my hard drive, it must have gained that ability when I installed the program as an Administrator. The laptop is running Windows10 and I’m not that familiar with it, so I don’t know where to look, but the point to me is it seems deceptive to not make it clear you’re allowing Intuit access to your computer by installing the program. If someone hacks into their system they could (in theory) gain access to my computer the next time I “signed in”. Given the number of complaints about their online services, I have little faith in their assurances, but it really comes down to deception.

    • People say that kind of thing often, when they aren’t happy with QB. I’m always curious, what “else where” product would you use for the desktop? And in this case, will moving to another product be cheaper than simply upgrading to the newest year of QuickBooks? Usually not.

  • Mr. Russell, I assume you must work for Quickbooks or have some other type of close relationship with them, but you have conveniently omitted commenting on the actual issues (perhaps you’re an attorney, I don’t know). Paying a reasonable fee each year is one thing, but when a software company (without permission) goes in and INTENTIONALLY HACKS THE PROGRAM AND BREAKS IT after 2 years by disabling features that the LICENSE AGREEMENT clearly states is only between the customer and their bank, that is unethical, immoral and illegal. What would you say if Microsoft suddenly disabled ALL PRINTINIG FEATURES in Windows after 2 years unless you were FORCED to upgrade ?????? and did it without making it clear that was the plan originally ??? Any now even with Quicken, regardless of what you say, Inuit themselves has reluctantly admitted that IT DOES IN FACT ACCESS FILES ON YOUR COMPUTER when you are forced to “sign in” – a “feature” claimed to be a customer requested security precaution but that’s total bull. If the Intut server can access your computer to read files you never gave it ermission to, it can read ANY of the files on your machine, and so can anyone who hacks the Intuit system and steals customer information. “People say that kind of thing often” because it is true, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why Intuit servers should access my personal or business computer – certainly not without my permission. That company has absolutely destroyed what could have been a great, stable and profitable product for decades to come, but their actions have shown what their real intentions are.

    • Thank you for your comment, Thomas.

      First of all, I am not an employee of Intuit. I am a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, but that is just a certification. They don’t pay me. Nor am I a lawyer, which is why I avoid giving what might be construed as legal advice.

      There are a few inaccuracies in your statement. Features are discontinued after three years, not two. Intuit does access information on your system, but they only see some limited information that is strictly limited to your use of QuickBooks. For Pro and Premier users you can run QuickBooks without accessing the Internet at all, but of course that would disable bank feeds and similar “service” oriented features. Your comment refers to Quicken in one place, note that Intuit has sold that product and it is no longer a part of the Intuit product catalog.

      As far as Intuit’s product sunset policy, I’ve said on multiple occasions in the past that I don’t agree with the way they handle things. Sunsetting certain features, that rely on Internet services, doesn’t bother me that much. I can (and have in the past) made a good case why that is reasonable. However, I don’t agree with Intuit’s policy of not offering a reasonably priced upgrade to the new product when it comes out each year. Making people pay full price for an updated version is just wrong, in my view. It isn’t the way that I run my own software company.

      Keep in mind that the features that are discontinued are ones that rely on online services that Intuit provides, and there is a cost for them to supply those, which desktop users don’t continue pay for as time goes on.

      In any case, it isn’t something that I have any control over. I’m just reporting what is going on. Users have the option of upgrading to a new, supported version, or moving to another product, or choosing to threaten lawsuits of Intuit. I have been contacted in the past by a district attorney about a lawsuit, asking me for some details and my opinion on the subject, and they eventually decided to not file a lawsuit after understanding what was going on and what the license agreement was.

      In any case, thank you for leaving a comment. I’m always happy to have a discussion on these issues.

      • Charlie, Thanks for your comments. I don’t want to get into a big debate because I don’t think enough of Intuit as a company to even care anymore, and I’m sure some of the corrections you made to the details in my comments are correct. However, the two most serious issues I have are accurate and (to the best of my knowledge) remain to date:

        1) whether it’s Quicken or Quickbooks, being able to directly download bank and credit card statements requires an internet connection, not an Intuit server. When this first came up for me I carefully re-read the “license agreement” which specifically stated direct downloads are between the user and the bank; Intuit has no responsibility or liability for them. Despite pointing this out, they secretly included code within an “update” that hacked the program and disables this direct connection – the connection that they clearly state they have nothing to do with. This is unethical and in DIRECT violaton of the license agreement, but as a big corporation they apparently feel they can take any action they want and the “llicense agreement” is merely a one-way document that they can use against consumers when it suits them.

        2) When installing Quicken/Quickbooks I gave no permission for anyone to access my computer, nor did I set special permissions on the data files. Therefore, NO ONE but myself should have been able to access the files under any circumstance. If their servers can access the “certain information” they decide is neccesary, there is NOTHING that is preventing them (or anyone who hacks into their system) from accessing any other file on my computer, this is a simple fact. Accessing files on someone else’s computer without their knowledge or consent is illegal, it’s called hacking.

        Again, if Microsoft were to do these things they would almost certainly be facing criminal charges but I guess the number of people who use Quickbooks isn’t enough to cause a public uproar. I appreciated your response and hope you reconsider talking to that DA…..

        • Can’t say much about Quicken, as I don’t work with that. The QuickBooks bank feed feature goes through their system, not direct to the bank.

          Software licenses are odd things, they write them so that if you install the software you are implicitly agreeing to the license. I hate the way that works. And, Intuit is heavily scrutinized. If they did something like what you suggest, they would at the very least get a lot of bad publicity.

          Microsoft does all of these kinds of things, you know. It isn’t just Intuit. Which doesn’t make it right.

          “Reconsider talking to that DA” – you misunderstood what I said. I DID talk to them, extensively, and THEY decided that there wasn’t a basis for an action, at that time.

          I come back to that question that I’m very interested in hearing about. Lots of people say that they will move to something else, but they never say what they are moving to. Seriously, I’m interested to know what product people move to if they are unhappy with QuickBooks desktop.

          And if you are unhappy with QuickBooks desktop for having access to your info, you definitely don’t want to switch to QuickBooks Online…

          • Microsoft doesn’t disable printing, internet browsing, or anything else like Intuit does, all they do is discontinue support on old products. Simply downloading bank statements certainly is a direct connection (that banks charge for), if you’re saying Intuit routes them through their servers that’s even more outrageous since they get access to private financial information that they never explicitely got permission to. I threw Quickbooks in the trash and will keep my accounting manually (in Excel, but would use crayons and drawing paper before I bought anything from Intuit ever again).

            If a company comes along and puts out a basic accounting package that doesn’t do all the unthinkable things Intuit has done I think they’d be an instant success. It is an absolute shame that Intuit has chosen to absolutely destroy Quicken and Quickbooks in their greed to control and squeeze every possible penny out of their customers before finally driving them away. Their management should be ashamed of themselves but I’m sure they are not……

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