QuickBooks 2016 for the desktop is here! This release contains a number of new features as well as improvements to existing ones. I’ll list the major changes that I’m aware of in this article. Keep your eyes on the Sleeter Report over the next few weeks as I publish a series of articles that go into the details of these new and improved features. This is the 24th version of QuickBooks, I believe, if you go all the way back to the DOS version.
Update 9/9/2015: Note that QuickBooks 2016 is available now to members of the ProAdvisor program. It will be available to all other users starting September 21.
Here’s a quick summary of what you will see. Note that I’m working with the US versions in this article. It is not clear to me when (or if) any of these features will be available in the Canadian or UK versions of QuickBooks.
The following new/updated features are available in all versions of QuickBooks 2016 for Windows (Pro, Premier, Accountant and Enterprise), except as noted:
- Bill Tracker: Similar to the Income Tracker we already have. A dashboard feature that lets you see outstanding bills, item receipts, purchase orders and so forth.
- Bulk Clear Send Forms: A simple way to clear the “Email later” flag from a large number of transactions, in one simple step.
- Auto Copy Ship-To Address: If you create a purchase order from a sales order or estimate, you now have the option to carry over the ship-to address from the PO if you select an alternate address. Note that this will not be available in QuickBooks Pro.
- This Fiscal Year-to-Last Month report filter: A new report date filter that people will find useful.
- Rebuild Data and Verify Data Updated: When you verify or rebuild the QuickBooks company file, the program generates a great report on what has been fixed, and what cannot be fixed.
- Custom Field Filtering on Item Reports: You now can filter a variety of item reports by custom fields. Note that Intuit initially said that that this is only going to be available in QuickBooks Enterprise, but early testing shows it in other editions.
- Label Printer Support: You can now print labels on single roll continuous labels, rather than just page-oriented labels.
- Streamlined Upgrade Experience: If you are upgrading an existing file, the process creates a backup file using a new, simpler dialog.
- QuickBooks Statement Writer: If you have Microsoft Office 2013, then the QuickBooks 2016 installation program should patch your computer so that it will work with QuickBooks Statement Writer.
There is only one significant new feature that is found only in QuickBooks Enterprise:
- Column sorting on Payment screen: Click a column header to sort this form.
In addition, we have what I’ll call an “Accountant Feature,” something that is available in QuickBooks Accountant but not Pro or Premier (interestingly, Intuit is continuing the policy of making these features available in all versions of QuickBooks Enterprise, not just the Accountant version):
- Batch Delete Transactions: This function lets you delete or void groups of transactions in a batch, from one place.
ProAdvisor Program Changes: Along with the new features announced in QuickBooks 2016, Intuit is announcing a new variation of the ProAdvisor subscription program – ProAdvisor Deluxe. This is a lower-cost version of the regular desktop ProAdvisor subscription, including some but not all of the desktop products. They are also introducing some new names for the different variations of the program, as I’ll go into later.
There also are a few changes to QuickBooks for Mac, as I’ll go into near the end of this article.
Update 9/29/2015: A bug in QuickBooks 2016 has been identified, and it is going to take them awhile to get this fixed. This affects add-on products like Transaction Pro Exporter and others. If an add-on program asks for a customer record, QuickBooks will crash. This is NOT the fault of the addon, it is a bug in QuickBooks 2016. There is a way to patch one of the QuickBooks files to get around this – the developer of your addon should have that information.
We’ve had the Income Tracker feature for a few years now, which summarizes multiple income-related transactions into one screen where you can do bulk processing. Now Intuit has added the Bill Tracker, a similar feature for purchase orders and bills. You can access this through the Bill Tracker option in the left navigation menu, or by selecting Vendors in the main menu and then Bill Tracker.
There are a number of simple filters that you can apply to this list. For example, click on the yellow bar at the top and you will see just the “open bills.”
This kind of “dashboard” function is very helpful – it pulls together important information into one location, and it is more interactive than a report.
This feature will be available in the Pro, Premier, Accountant and Enterprise versions of QuickBooks for Windows.
People will find this very useful if they have to deal with a large number of bills, particularly if they don’t pay them as soon as they come in. I will examine this feature in more detail in an upcoming article.
Batch Delete Transactions
A new feature has been added that will let an Accountant delete or void multiple transactions at a time. You will find Batch Delete/Void Transactions in the Accountant menu.
Why might you want to use this? People make mistakes, and probably the main one is that they don’t make backups of their QuickBooks data file often enough. That means that if you import a bunch of transactions incorrectly, you can’t just roll back to a recent backup to start over. This function will help!
You can work with invoices, checks and bills at this time. Transactions that cannot be deleted are shaded.
The Linked Trns column shows if the transaction is linked to another transaction, such as an invoice being related to a payment receipt or sales order. Intuit warns that deleting linked transactions may have “unintended consequences” that could create orphan transactions that can lead to inaccurate reports, so it is important to know which are linked.
Once you select some transactions to void or link, you get a screen that lets you review the transactions before they are processed.
This feature is available in QuickBooks Accountant and QuickBooks Enterprise (all editions). In a multi-user environment, only the Admin or External Accountant user can use this function. It is also available via the Accountants ToolBox feature if you are logged in as the External Accountant and use your ProAdvisor account credentials.
This seems to be a very useful function, and it looks like they have covered the important features. I will examine this feature in more detail in an upcoming article.
Bulk Clear Send Forms
One of the annoying issues in QuickBooks is that you can have lots of transactions that have the Email Later box checked, even though you might not want to send that transaction. They tend to build up, and then you have a big list in your Send Forms window. Very annoying – hard to clear that out. There is a Remove button in that window, but it only removes a single form at a time (the currently selected form). Some of this can be addressed by the Mark Invoices utility program, but that is an additional charge (and it only covers invoices).
With QuickBooks 2016 we now have the ability to remove multiple transactions from this list in one step. The process is the same as before – open Send Forms, check the box next to the transactions to remove from the list (you can select all transactions easily), then click the Remove button. Easy! The difference this year is that all the checked transactions are removed, not just the single one that you have highlighted.
This feature will be available in the Pro, Premier, Accountant and Enterprise versions of QuickBooks.