QuickBooks

Why Upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise?

Written by Hector Garcia

If you are using QuickBooks Pro or Premier, why upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise? Let me first list the traditional features that make the QuickBooks Enterprise platform unique and a significant upgrade compared to QuickBooks Pro, Premier, and Accountant (which I will refer to collectively as “QuickBooks Desktop”) editions:

  1. The principal reason why you should upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise is that the database is designed for larger data files than what Pro and Premier can handle. You can surpass the recommended limit of 250mb for a company file and still work securely. In addition, QuickBooks Desktop has a limit of 14,500 records in lists, such as items and customers.
  2. QuickBooks Enterprise was built with Windows terminal services (remote desktop service built-in Windows Servers Operating Systems) in mind, which means that it works optimally with multiple users connected to the same Windows Server, whether locally or remotely.
  3. QuickBooks Enterprise is optimized to work in a local area network (multi-user system); therefore, it works faster and is more stable than QuickBooks Desktop when working with multiple, simultaneous users. Additionally, QuickBooks Enterprise can have up to 30 users, while Premier/Accountant is limited to 5 and Pro is limited to 3.
  4. QuickBooks Enterprise can have up to 15 custom item fields and 12 custom name fields, whereas Pro and Premier are limited to 5 and 7, respectively. Additionally, in Enterprise the custom fields can be set with input specifications, and even drop down menus. The additional custom fields are designed to capture even more data that can be used to search or filter on custom reports.
  5. Enterprise can search items within transactions, such as Purchase Orders and Invoices, which is a great plus for larger databases with lots of similarly named items!
  6. Enterprise has the ability to add Advance Inventory and Advanced Pricing Features.
  7. Enterprise gives you the ability to set up roles and specific task-based user security access. QuickBooks Desktop has a very limited user-permission scheme.
  8. Another Enterprise feature is US-based technical support, and you can automatically upgrade to the latest versions available, with an active Full Service Plan.
  9. With Enterprise, you can consolidate reports from multiple QuickBooks files into one combined financial statement in Excel.

Those are CORE traditional features that make QuickBooks Enterprise a more robust option than QuickBooks Desktop. Now, I would like to walk your through some of the exciting new features and improvements that are exclusive to QuickBooks Enterprise over the past 5 years. Why 5 years worth? Well honestly, I first became a RAGING fan of QuickBooks Enterprise in October of 2011, when version 12 came out, and I have been following every single improvement, no matter how small since then…

QuickBooks Enterprise 12 (2012)

  • FIFO Inventory Costing*: An alternative to the traditional (check out my article on Avg. Cost method at Intuit’s Accountant Blog).
  • Enhanced Inventory Receiving: Separates the receiving process from the accounts payable process, which is great to maintain separation of the receipt date of inventory from the bill date.
  • Serial or Lot Number Tracking*: You can now track individual inventory items by serial number or by lot number.
  • Automatic Price Markup: You can configure the MARGIN or the MARKUP of an item to be fixed, and QuickBooks will automatically update the sales price if the cost changes.
  • Find and Select Items: Very fast way to search for an item by name or description within a sales form, such as an Invoice.

*Advanced Inventory Add-on required

QuickBooks Enterprise 13 (2013)

All the new features from 2012, plus:

  • Automatic PO: Ability to create a Purchase Order automatically to stock up to recommended levels.
  • Default Classes: Ability to automatically assign a class in transactions to a Name (Customer/Vendor/Employee), item or Account.
  • Bin Location Tracking*: Inventory sub-locations within one location, allowing you to track inventory by bin number.
  • Bar Code Scanning*: Basic functionality, allowing bar code scanning whenever selling or receiving inventory has been added.

*Advanced Inventory Add-on required

QuickBooks Enterprise 14 (2014)

All the new features from 2013, plus:

  • Sales Rep and Custom Fields in Vendor Transactions: Now, you can add a sales rep or custom field to checks, bills, and credit card charges.
  • New Contractor Reports: New true WIP Summary Report, with percentage of completion calculation and Committed Costs by Job Report, as well as calculated costs of open purchase orders and timesheets assigned to jobs.
  • New Assembly Features for Manufacturers: Ability to automatically build assemblies with subassemblies, quickly remove or replace discontinued components in an assembly, and the option to auto calculate cost of assembly items, based on Bill of Materials.
  • Added Max reorder points to Auto PO: Instead of single reorder pointAuto PO feature suggests the quantity to order.
  • Advanced Pricing*: Enterprise now adds Price Rules, which supersedes Price Levers, and also adds advanced pricing functionality, including expiring discounts, quantity discounts, and package conditional pricing.

*Advanced Pricing Add-on required

QuickBooks Enterprise 15 (2015)

All the new features from 2014, plus:

  • Disallow Negative Quantity on Items: This is a HUGE feature. For the first time, you can disallow users to sell (invoice or sales receipt) items that have less quantity than the amount being sold.
  • Accompanying Negative Item Listing Report: With all the items that are currently on negative quantity on hand, it’s great to catch inventory errors.
  • Shortage Report: List of all items needed, in order to build an assembly that falls short and is marked as pending. Also, there’s an Inventory Shortage Detail Report with all pending builds and items required to be able to completed the assembly.
  • Report Filter enhancements: Ability to hide zero quantity on hand, and only show full assemblies on Inventory reports.
  • Transaction Improvements: Subtotal on item quantities and custom fields, ability to sort by any column, print footer on last page only, and alternate gray lines available when printing/PDF transactions.
  • Cost available on Sales Forms: This includes Sales orders, Invoices, and Sales Receipts, previously only available on Estimates.
  • Hide opening balances on items and names: Option to disallow users from putting in this information, when creating new item, customers, or vendors.
  • Disallow selling to overdue customers: Optional feature to prohibit users from creating invoices for customers that have at least one unpaid invoice that is aging beyond due date.
  • Advanced Reporting: Fully customizable pivot-style advanced reporting within QuickBooks Enterprise.

QuickBooks Enterprise 16 (2016)

Finally, on to QuickBooks Enterprise 16 (2016) NEW FEATURES**:

All the new features from 2015, plus:

  • Batch Delete/Void Transactions: Now it is possible to delete checks, invoices, or bills in batch! Great for error correction.
  • All Accountant Tools are now available in QuickBooks Enterprise: Batch Enter Transactions, Batch Reclassify Transactions, Client Data Review, Write-off Invoices.
  • Bill Tracker: This is the counterpart to Income Tracker, introduced in 2014, where you can view and organize all the Vendor-related transactions: Purchase Orders, Bills, etc.
  • Bulk Clear Send Forms: A fast way to clear all transactions marked to be “sent later.”
  • Auto Copy Ship-To Address: This is great for companies converting Sales Orders to Purchase orders with DROP SHIP.
  • This Fiscal Year-to-Last Month report filter: The most common date range used by QuickBooks users is now available in 2015.
  • 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: Finally, you can use custom fields in inventory items as filters on reports. Great for creating Inventory categories without the need to use Subitems!
  • Label Printer Support: You can now print labels on single roll continuous labels, instead of being limited to regular printers only.
  • QuickBooks Statement Writer now works with Microsoft office 2013!
  • Column Sorting on customer payment screen is now available.
  • Updated Advanced Reporting: Now with more ready-to-use templates.
  • Enhanced Assembly Shortage Report: Great report to pinpoint inventory issues during the assembly process.
  • E-Invoicing has replaced the old IPN system, providing a more streamlined electronic payment process for Invoices.
  • Improved Subtotal Item: Now you can multiply any numerical value (Amount, Price, or any Custom Field), useful for calculating total weight.
  • Expected Updates: Ever since the QuickBooks Enterprise 2015 R6 update, Intuit has shown that it is possible to release smaller feature updates “Delighters” without having to wait for the next annual release.   So it is possible that we will see more improvements during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. I will keep you updated.

**To be fair, I need to add a disclaimer that although the feature list I’ve presented for 2012 through 2014 is restricted to QuickBooks Enterprise ONLY, this 2016 feature list actually includes all the new features of all versions. The real reason for this is that as of this article date, Intuit has not released what I only speculate will be the BIG new features for QuickBooks Enterprise 2016 (I will update this article as soon as we get the info!).

As an Intuit Premier Reseller, I have a strong passion for QuickBooks Enterprise. You can see the latest video we did on a resent webinar about QuickBooks 2016’s new features on YouTube:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX7UmRKiPAo[/youtube]

 

About the author

Hector Garcia

Hector is a passionate trainer and consultant who loves helping small businesses grow and sharing best practices with colleagues. He works and Lives in Miami, FL. Hector has a postgraduate degree in Accounting, a Masters Degree in Finance, and a Masters Degree in Taxation from Florida International University. He was selected a top 40 under 40 Accounting Professional by CPA Practice Advisor in 2015, and a Top 100 QuickBooks ProAdvisor by InsightfulAccountant.

64 Comments

  • I think it’s important to point out that QuickBooks Enterprise is now a very expensive forced annual subscription. If you don’t renew each year, the software will stop working within 7 days.

    Since you can’t open an Enterprise file in other versions of QuickBooks (without hiring someone to convert the file) this means you lose access to your data.

    • A large percentage of the users that I dealt with before the price change were always on a full service plan, so the difference is a bit less. Although the prices have gone up significantly now. It is an important thing to keep in mind, though, as you point out.

  • I’m really sorry, Charlie. I love you to pieces, but I have a serious problem with a reseller singing the praises of QuickBooks Enterprise and even listing all the new features since 2012 without mentioning that biggest change since 2012 – the pricing.

    The 5 user full service plan renewal for Enterprise 2012 was $850 and you weren’t forced to renew.

    A 5 user subscription renewal for Enterprise 2016 is $2800 (more than 3x as much) and if you don’t renew you essentially lose access to your data.

    In my opinion, resellers should be putting their clients needs above Intuit’s and even their own. At least those that want to be “trusted advisors”.

    • No problem here, Ruth, I’m happy that you brought this up as a point of consideration. I agree that it is an important factor to consider. As for Hector’s article, he was focusing on features, not so much the business aspect of Enterprise licensing. There are issues that go beyond his list of features – licensing (as you mention), viability for the future (as I’ve talked about in other articles), potential issues with file corruption (which may be a bigger issue with Advanced Inventory in environments that don’t manage their file properly), availability of support (a moving target these days, it seems), releases of new features mid-year instead of just once a year (brought on by subscriptions, which may cause more “churning” of features and reliability), and more. As with any product, a single article can’t cover the entire universe of issues, which is why we continue to write about various aspects of the Intuit (and other) products in multiple articles.

      Your view as a major reseller of Intuit products is always valuable.

  • You refer to “automatic” upgrades (as does Inuit’s marketing). Upgrading the software & company file is NOT automatic (nor are recent R updates). In a multiple user network with Server it is a manual royal pain, and expensive (down time, hours of IT labor, etc.).

    At least you don’t have to worry about Charlie’s pet peeve of updates being forced on you.

    • I guess it depends on how you want to define “automatic”. When you have automatic updates enabled then the program will download the update automatically, and notify you that it is ready to install. As opposed to a manual update, where it is not downloaded for you, you have to go out and find the update file to download. In all cases you have the option of choosing IF you want to do the update. The “automatic” and “manual” terms are Intuit’s terminology, we all just go along with that.

      • If Intuit’s definition of automatic is “One minor aspect is automatic but the rest is manual and highly disruptive” then yes, Enterprise updates with Server are “automatic.” But in order to call upgrades (e.g., 2015 to 2016) automatic their definition of automatic would have to be “Absolutely nothing about it is automatic.” Although sending new versions of CD’s might be automatic, if they do that anymore.

        • Pete, not to beat a dead horse, but the terms involve the mechanism of delivery. It either is delivered automatically, or not. I for one am very glad that it doesn’t fully install “automatically”, without user intervention. The thought of that makes me shudder.

  • In regards to the issue of the subscription, one thing I do as a reseller in Greater Seattle when a client expresses an aversion to being on a subscription plan is to point out that they can buy the Enterprise Accountant version which is more money but doesn’t get “turned off” but there are some pros and cons.

    First, they can use the program indefinitely (I just met with a client using 7.0) but certain features like bank feeds, the ability to take credit cards through Intuit, use Intuit payroll, and updates are turned off about three years later (May 31, 2019 for 2016/16.0, May 31, 2018 for 2015/15.0, May 31, 2017 for 2014/14/0, and May 31, 2016 for 2013/13.0.

    One thing I like about it is having the accountants toolbox available to the staff as well as being able to generate all industry specific reports (retail, manufacturing and wholesaling, contractor, nonprofit, and professional services). Some of my clients are a combination.

    If a client doesn’t need or want those features, then these might not be an issue. If they want to be able to import their bank feeds, then I suggest using MoneyThumb’s convertors.

    Second, they have to buy payroll separately which may make being on Enterprise Accountant more costly (the last client I met with realized that) but they will be free.

    While they get the Full Service Plan (FSP), no monthly fee or minimum credit card processing at preferred rates, and Advanced Reporting (I don’t know about Advanced Inventory and Advanced Pricing but most clients who have asked aren’t concerned about these features) their first year, if they want to get the first three after that, they have to pay the FSP renewal fee.

    Third, I would like to point out that rent is a subscription. If you don’t pay your rent, you may be locked out or evicted. Intuit spends a lot of money developing their software. They have the right to make sure that they are compensated for the value it brings to a business through increased productivity and profit. Just as we do.

    Fourth, I recently had a client who calculated what they would be saving by moving from ADP and Premier upgraded every three years to a Gold subscription which comes with unlimited enhanced payroll with direct deposit. So for some folks, a subscription might come with some hidden benefits.

    • Keith, are you sure that the accountants edition doesn’t have a subscription limit as the “regular” editions do? That is an interesting issue.

      Keep in mind that there are at least two different SKU’s for Enterprise Accountant – the version you buy retail is different than the one provided to ProAdvisors (and there may be other versions out there as well). I know that with the V16 (2016) product, at the least, my ProAdvisor version needs to check in with the registration server more often than in the past (I thought it was 14 days, Ruth says 7 days), a difference that I’ve noted because I only my laptop infrequently, and V16 keeps saying that it hasn’t been connected to the Internet recently.

      Licensing on Enterprise is tough for me to test since I only have the ProAdvisor version, and my ProAdvisor account is always current.

    • There is an Accountant edition of Enterprise that isn’t a subscription, but it’s coming soon.

      Not to mention that we’re only supposed to sell it to accounting firms. Hopefully no one from the ProAdvisor or IRP program is watching this discussion.

      Also keep in mind that Intuit recently announced that if you don’t renew the full service plan you won’t get any future updates after it lapses, and full service plan renewals are now just as expensive as the subscriptions.

      In other words, no matter how you slice it you’re going to be stuck paying an extremely high fee forever – or at least as long as you want to use a safe updated version of the software.

      • Interesting about the Accountant edition not on subscription, but if it is “coming soon” then it isn’t here now, so I generally don’t talk about things like that.

        As for “watching this discussion”, let me note that a LOT of Intuit folks watch our articles. I hear from them whenever we make an incorrect statement that they don’t like.

  • I sing praises to QuickBooks Enterprise because it is just a very powerful product. And even with the subscription model; it is less expensive that most other mid-market options.

    I avoided specific pricing, because there are promotional/seasonal prices all year long; and wanted to avoid having to disclaim expiration dates and pricing explanations. If there is any reader of this article that is interested in buying QB enterprise, they can contact a local reseller like Ruth or Keith (who have weigheted in these comments) and get pricing then.

    I encourage readers to also watch the YouTube video recording in the article that has a section dedicated to the new pricing structure and Intuit’s (as per my perception) justification of the new pricing model.

    I assume that everyone at Sleeter remains impartial to product preferences; and like me, are simply trying to deliver the best possible content to help allow the reader make informed decisions.

    My omission of the pricing structure in the article was not meant to put “Intuit’s needs over my customers…” it was simply a choice to focus on features and not a cost/benefit analysis….That in itself, may be a great premise for an article that Ruth can author.

    Thank You for pointing out those very important omissions, this is why I love the comments section!!!

  • At the start of the annual feature improvement listing you say,
    ” Now, I would like to walk your through some of the exciting new features and improvements that are exclusive to QuickBooks Enterprise over the past 5 years.”
    exclusive is the word I keyed on.

    I was reading this, and my impression was that you were extolling the benefits of enterprise over pro/premier. Then as I read I saw features that are also in pro/premier and it was not until I reached the end that I finally found your “to be fair note”.

    I wished you had complied with your first statement listing enterprise exclusive features.

    I agree completely with Ruth. Cost is critical to any business. Equating the cost of accounting software to store rent is, in my view, not applicable. The business does not exist without store rent – but the business will continue to garner revenue without accounting software – there was a time when business operations was not centered on the ability of a software package.

    And when talking about cost, cost increases significantly when you start adding advanced inventory and Advanced pricing add-ons. I feel those features should have been listed separately instead of using the easily overlooked asterisk and foot note.

    In the article you mention ( for year 2014) “Ability to automatically build assemblies with subassemblies.”
    Could you explain this one? What I consider automatically building an assembly is probably not what you are referring to.

    • On “automatically build”, what Hector is referring to is the ability to do a multiple level build. You can issue the build for the higher level assembly, and Enterprise will, if you choose to, “automatically” build the subassemblies as well (if components are available). I wouldn’t use the term “automatically” myself, but some people do refer to it that way.

      Terminology is tough sometimes. Intuit has their phrasing, it doesn’t always match what we use in “the real world”.

    • “There was a time when business operations was not centered on the ability of a software package”. Well, the times they are a changing, as they say. I’m not going to attack or defend Intuit’s pricing policies in this case (I’ve not agreed with some of their pricing policies for decades). However, these days there most certainly are times when a business operation is critically “centered” on a computer program. One example, if you are selling a high volume of products via the Internet, your order processing software must be working properly or your business is critically impaired. I can even come up with real-life examples from the 80’s when I was working with a high volume quick order manufacturing firm who heavily relied on JIT processing (just in time), where if the software package wasn’t working correctly it could shut down the entire operation. Of course, at heart I’m a software developer, so I think that the world revolves around software…

      I’m not a fan of the new Enterprise licensing policy that disables the product if you don’t continue to pay the subscription, particularly considering the high price of the subscription. However, this isn’t the only case where you are going to see this. The market is grinding on towards more and more reliance on online software products, and these are subscription based. We have to deal with the concepts in many situations.

      What would be interesting would be a price analysis comparison between Enterprise and a similar online product. I’ve been playing with comparisons of these products (but based on features, not so much on pricing) and it is tough to do because the feature lists vary so much from product to product. And you have the complication of having to support hardware on the Enterprise side (unless you are hosted). Complicated comparisons.

    • Jim, all the features are exclusive to Enterprise with exception to 2016. Intuit has not yet released a “real upgrade” to QBES for 2016. We are expecting to see those on R4 or R5 where NEW (exclusive to enterprise) features should be released.

      If an assembly contains another assembly within it. You can create the subassemblies within the parent assembly… that is a new feature in 2014 and exclusive to Enterprise

      • Actually, that isn’t exactly right, Hector. You have been able to add an assembly as a component to another assembly for a long time now, both in Premier and Enterprise. Prior to the update you reference, you had to issue the build transaction for the subassembly separate from the build of the higher level assembly. The change is that you can issue the higher level build, and it will (at your option) also issue the build for the subassembly. Slightly different than what you just said.

        • charlie, that is what I meant.. One Assembly Action can trigger assemblies of other assembly items that are part of the BOM of assembly being created…

          Reading it again, I realize that is hard to explain in short sentences..

  • Hector
    * min and max settings for inventory were introduced in premier in 2014, as well as including them on the stock status report and the qty to order is based on those settings
    * you have always been able to add custom fields to purchase orders and bills in premier, the rest of that statement is enterprise
    * Batch delete and void is also in premier with the 2016 version
    * auto copy ship to address (drop ship) is also in premier 2016 version
    * updated rebuild and verify is in premier 2016
    * fiscal year to last month report setting is in premier 2016
    * e-invoicing is also in premier 2016

    • Charlie
      re: if you are selling a high volume of products via the Internet, your order processing software must be working properly or your business is critically impaired.

      Well sure, but that is not the issue at all is it? The issue is the cost-value aspect of enterprise and whether you need (need not want) those abilities, vs the assumption that enterprise is great – my impression of the tone of this article.

      Enterprise has the same bugs as premier has, and more. Advanced inventory and advanced receiving add even more problems to enterprise – an objective push to upgrade should mention those IMO. But then if it was mentioned, resellers would not sell.

      • Jim, I was responding to your specific statement, and I stand by what I said. It IS one of the issues. You want to broaden that to a wider issue, well, sure, there are a lot of factors. This isn’t an article that talks about the overall market for this level of software.

        Yes, Enterprise has issues. I’ve never run any software that covers as many business aspects as this does that didn’t have issues. Enterprise is a good product in my mind. It has problems, sure, and we’ve written about them over time. I also know that there are a lot of companies that are successfully using Enterprise. You have to manage it, perhaps more than we should have to, but you do.

        Note that certain aspects of Advanced Inventory have problems, but others do not and work well. Yet others don’t cause problems, but don’t do enough, which is a different issue.

        I don’t know that every article we publish has to go through the entire list of all errors that might or might not happen. We have lots of articles about problems. And even Pro and Premier have problems as well.

        Besides, we don’t need to point out every problem – that is why we have you! (and I’m saying that with a smile on my face, my friend).

      • Jim.. some corrections to your comments. Batch Delete/Void is not on premier, just on Accountant. All 2016 features have a clear disclaimer that says: “this 2016 feature list actually includes all the new features of all versions. The real reason for this is that as of this article date, Intuit has not released what I only speculate will be the BIG new features for QuickBooks Enterprise 2016” very clearly on the conclusion of the article.

        Min/Max is in fact in QB Premier 2014 and above.. bet does not have any real functionality unless they are combined with the AUTO PO feature that is in Enterprise. Maybe the AUTO PO should have been highlighted.

        The tone of the article is meant to be “Enterprise is Great” that is it; no need to mention the potential bugs, pricing structure, cost benefit analysis… those are things that can be covered in other articles; or even here in this comments.

        • In order for the tone to not be “Enterprise would be Great if it actually did what their marketing says does,” I recommend taking out the words “automatically upgrade” since it is misleading at best for people using Server (which is likely the case for Enterprise users).

    • As the article mentions, the 2016 features were found in other versions. Hector states that.

      I’ve corrected the first two items you pointed out. My error as editor for not catching those. I will note that in Intuit’s release documents they sometimes state that some features are only found in Enterprise, but they find their way into Premier sometimes (by accident, they don’t always intend for that to happen), so when we are looking back it sometimes is hard to keep that straight.

      Thank you for pointing those two out.

  • Hector, you are right I forgot I have premier accountant, and not just premier

    I appreciate that you are behind the product, but to me, if you say you are going to list enterprise only features, that is what you should do.

    And including add on subscriptions is not enterprise. That would be like me writing about premier being so great, and listing a where used report for the assembly BOM*, and auto build of assemblies*

    and down the page show that the * requires the ccrqbom utility from Charlie and the autobuild utility from flagship

    • Jim… I disagree… Enterprise comes in 3 flavors now. Silver, Gold, and Platinum… The “Add-ons” are no longer really addons.. they are now part of the Platinum subscription… So you think for this reason, I should omit that?

      • Hector
        It’s like reviewing premier, if I list the feature that you can track insurance expiration dates on the vendor record, but I do not say that is only possible in one version. That leads folks who read the article to assume that is true for all versions of premier.

        Omit those features? maybe not, but certainly I think it needs to made clear that it is a different package/version, at an increased cost. Whereas in my premier example there is no additional cost.

  • Fair enough… Charlie, if you want, please replace it with: “Immediate access to upgraded version every year”

    Also Pete, this is not “Intuit Marketing”.. I wrote this article myself and I am 100% independent from Intuit.

    If you have issue with the wording, you can stop using the “Intuit Marketing” euphemism and say “Hector, I disagree with the wording…etc”; this is the greatness of independent blogs; we can discuss these ideas freely without resorting to conformity.

    • You misunderstood my meaning. When I say Intuit marketing I am referring to the marketing division of, and materials published by, Intuit. Not you, I am not shooting the messenger. It is, specifically, the misuse of the word “automatic” by the company Intuit that I am complaining about.

  • Extremely useful info particularly the comments by Keith. I am a struggling businessman mainly looking for larger data files limit than Premier 2010. I found QuickBooks Enterprise 2014. Yes, I have found a way to use this program indefinitely for now. I do not use bank feeds and some other features. I turned off any automatic updates. Everything is working fine.

    Based on separate conversations with actual users, there is no need to UPGRADE this software every three years. I even found one user still using 2007 enterprise. As Keith pointed out, they work indefinitely. You lose few features but nothing big. Hey, I like to milk it for few years. Besides they are not coming out with anything HUGE anyway.

    • Brett, I am on the same boat. I really do wish we could just purchase a the software for a “one-time fee”. Unfortunately, this is the business model that Intuit has chosen. As an end customer, I do not like it. But as a stockholder and reseller, I am glad they are able to get paid for the value they are creating.

      Alternatively, at the time being, it is possible to purchase the “Accountant” license through a reseller that does not require the annual subscription.

    • The need for upgrade. depends on what kind of business you have, and what features or products you use. If you use Intuit payroll or credit card processing, you need to upgrade periodically. Not all businesses use those features, or have found alternatives. There are some significant new features that have been added over the years, particularly relating to inventory, but if you don’t need those features then you don’t need to upgrade. I have clients using very old versions of Enterprise very happily. I have clients who really love some of the new features that have been added in recent years. It all depends…

    • I have a customer who still uses QuickBooks for DOS, and it works fine for what he needs. I doubt he needs worry about that getting hacked!

      But a serious business, for security/fiduciary reasons and concerns such as compliance (PCI etc.), it is not good to use aging software. One of the many QB alternatives for your basic needs is probably a better solution.

  • I’m running QBPOS (multistoer) at 12 retail locations which backup to our QBPOS Server, which until now has been functioning separately from our Quickbooks Enterprise (which our accounting department uses). Next week, we are planning on finally syncing the 2 servers (QBPOS server and QB Financial server), and I have a couple of questions:

    1) If I eventually go with a hosted version of Quickbooks Enterprise using a service like Cloud 9, do I lose any functionality that is available on the desktop version (kind of like how quickbook online does not have all of the same features as the desktop version)?

    2) In QBPOS quantities suggested in Suggested POs can be calculated in one of two ways. A) Reorder Point-QOH-Quantity On Order=Reorder quantity and B) X number of days worth of stock based on last x number of days sales.
    Well, in option B the suggested reorder quantity does not take into consideration the QOH. Does Quickbooks Enterprise do so with Automatic POs? Also, does Enterprise or an add on for it have the ability to forecast demand using more sophisticated models? For example, I’d love to find a product that can recognize if an item is sold out based on my sales per day dropping to “0”, and then adjusting for that automatically as needed/where needed in its demand forecast, and its suggested quantities in automatic POs. I have 65,000 SKUs and so I can’t calculate much of this stuff manually.

    Thanks in advance and sorry if the above is hard to understand.

    • Regarding hosting – make sure that the hosting provider, and the kind of server that you select (shared vs private, for example), will support QB POS. Enterprise hosting is much more common than POS hosting. In general, if you have a host that properly supports Enterprise and QBPOS, you will have access to pretty much all the features. The issues will be support for add-on products, and hardware support for QBPOS. Look into the details with the host. I’ll admit that I have NOT worked with a QBPOS system in a hosted environment myself.

      The issue of the difference between your desktop product and QB Online is a different issue. With QB Online, you have a different product that has no real relationship with the desktop product (it isn’t an online version of the desktop product). With QuickBooks Hosting you are actually running the same version of the software, it is just being offered up in a different way.

      For Automatic PO’s, take a look at the description of the feature at https://www.sleeter.com/blog/2012/09/quickbooks-2013-inventory/, and then as it was updated at https://www.sleeter.com/blog/2013/09/quickbooks-2014-enterprise-inventory-changes/. Quaot PO’s do take the quantity on hand into account, on the Enterprise side of things (it won’t know anything about QBPOS).

      As far as forecasting demand, Enterprise does not have any sort of sophistication there at all. For this kind of thing you do have to look at an addon product – the choice would depend on many factors that I don’t know about your business. You might look at Acctivate if you are a distribution business, or MISys Manufacturing if you are a manufacturer, for starts. HOWEVER, going back to your “hosting” questions, make sure that the hosting provider and setup you choose will support the addon products that you want, in an affordable arrangement. Some hosting setups/companies won’t support these kinds of products, or will charge a large fee to support (in addition to the products).

      • Important distinction between Online (cloud) and hosting. In my limited experience with POS, most operations use local server (and then can connect to regional/accounting/off-site server to relay data). The trend for POS like other things is to solutions that are cloud based, but the POS interaction device in all cases I have seen still have basic functions (like making a sale) even when the net connection is lost. The transactions are held locally, and automatically sent to the cloud when connection is regained.

        I think by Karan’s description they will still use local POS servers at each location, which then connect to off site server only to relay data–not for POS functions. So there would be no hosting of POS servers, only of the server that POS data “backup” is sent to (which may still run QBPOS for the data processing). So I don’t see concerns about the host’s compatibility, since it will not be directly involved in POS transactions.

        For Enterprise, if you loose connection to the server (company file) whether that server is on-site or off (hosted), you’ve got nothing. So, the lost functionality to going hosted, is All for the accountants if the Internet at the accountant’s location goes down. But the POS locations will still be able to do sales, with their local server. Only the “backup” data transfer to accountants could be affected by Internet outages at any POS locations, which is no different than before hosting.

      • Hello Charlie, I currently have Quickbooks Desktop Accountants. I contacted the customer service of Quickbook and they couldn’t help me to answered my questions. I want to do an upgrade to the current one I used, but I am not sure which one will fit better for me: Accountant Plus 2016 or Accountant 2016. I also would like to know if there is a training, I want to learn how to do an upload or import for recording expenses per vendor so won’t be so consuming time for me. I appreciate any help or hint you can refer me to. Thanks

        • It really depends on what your situation is. Are you an accountant or bookkeeper, are you using this just for your own business or working with clients? I would need to know much more about your situation before being able to make a recommendation.

  • Eli, QB Accountant 2016 is the same as “PLUS” (just you pay annually instead of one time)

    Search in YouTube “batch enter transactions QuickBooks” you will see plenty videos about importing vendors or expenses

  • Hi Charlie, Hector and all other Knowledgeable Enterprise Support Consultants. I need comment on user rights in the UK version of Quickbooks Enterprise 2014:
    I have encountered something quite disturbing, in fact I’ll even say crazy, about how Intuit responds to what appears to be a deficiency in the way user rights functions in Quickbooks Enterprise. I have tested it on both the UK and the US versions.

    An ordinary/basic user, though set up to be prevented from editing selling prices, is able to do so. The explanation received suggests that changes cannot be made after the invoice is saved the first time, but the user may change the price at the time of processing the invoice, for the first time. It is furthermore stated that it can be tracked in the audit trail. I’m don’t understand the rationale. Surely it’s meant to stop editing of a set Price, by an unauthorised user? I find it peculiar that this is acceptable to users of the software.

    How do you view this issue? There may even be more such issues around user rights which you are aware of. I hope I’ve provided a clear description of the issues, and hope you’re able to comment.

    • That is something that has been an issue for a long time in QuickBooks. There isn’t any way to let someone create invoices but to force the price to be what is set in the item record, really. All you can do is, as you note, prevent the user from coming back at a later time and change prices on an existing invoice. That has been a complaint for years, and so far Intuit hasn’t done anything to change that.

  • Apologies for not introducing myself properly. I am an accountant/consultant based in Cape Town (South Africa), and have a client who is most perturbed that a clerk is able to edit set customer prices, when doing invoicing. And yes, we are using the Enterprise version, which will soon be history! Very sad for our clients who bought it, and those who have outgrown Accountant/Premier.

  • I think what you are saying is that a data entry person has the ability to override the price that gets automatically filled in when adding an item to an invoice. They are not changing the price listed for the item, they are only changing the price for that specific entry in that specific invoice. I think this is considered a normal capability that anyone creating invoices should have, in the same sense that they can change quantity. Regarding concerns for errors or fraud, not charging at all for an item or entering wrong quantity are more likely and worrisome–and less traceable–than changing price. Even a check-out clerk at Wal Mart has certain price override capability. Some things require training, auditing, etc. and cannot be easily solved by software. Did you look closely in the (tricky to find) advanced rights capability that Enterprise has? It is quite granular.

    It’s news to me that Enterprise will soon be history, even though in some ways Intuit treats it like that.

    • Pete, as far as “Enterprise will soon be history” – note that this is probably referring to the UK version. Intuit has discontinued the UK version of Enterprise.

      There are businesses that do wish that the invoice data entry person would not have the ability to change the price from the list price. I get that request often. In addition, there is still a fraud situation allowed in the current setup. You can create an invoice with one price, print it (or email it), then change the price in the invoice even if you don’t have the permissions to do so, AS LONG AS you don’t log out of that session. Yes, you may be able to see that in an audit trail, but if you have a large number of invoice transactions going through the system it is hard to catch those kinds of things. This can set up a fraud situation that is quite troublesome for some kinds of business.

      • I can see where invoice tampering is a problem in non-inventory POS situations with cash payment, but could you give an example of a fraud situation you refer to. My thinking is that (non-cash) payment not matching invoice would be glaring when entering payments or depositing checks or auditing the merchant account.

        • Well, you are adding qualifications that weren’t in the original question, which makes it less likely.

          Usually in cash situations, possibly in check situations. Operator creates and prints an invoice for $1000.00, receives payment for $1000.00 (cash, or possibly a check, but cash would be more likely). Before the operator exits QuickBooks, the invoice is modified to be for $500 and saves it. Operator deposits $500 and puts the other $500 in their pocket.

          You can examine the audit trail and see this, but how many business owners/managers spend time perusing the audit trail for this particular kind of situation? You only look if you think there is a problem. And if there are a lot of transactions posting, it can be hard to find.

          • Indeed. Being on the technical side of things, my point is that the computer is not the end-all for preventing fraud. There is always room for computing to be improved as fraud prevention, but that costs money, which is inevitably the limitation.

          • Certainly not. But, this is a loophole that shouldn’t exist. The preference says to not let someone edit the transaction. It isn’t saying that you can’t edit only if you exit and reenter. In any case, there are lots of places in QuickBooks where the preference settings could be improved.

  • We are back to the original question of “Why Enterprise?” Clearly, fraud prevention and other security issues also play a role in that very complex anaylsis. There is no easy answer. Good thing we have a great source of useful, relevant consideration on this site!

  • I’m only responding now, because the notice of your comments ended in my spam. Anyway, thank you Charlie and Pete. It is almost inconceivable that Intuit ignores to fix this glaring PROGRAMMING ERROR, because that is what it is! When price levels are preset and assigned to customers UNAUTHORISED PERSONNEL (ORDINARY INVOICING CLERKS) should not be allowed to edit the pricing!!! THAT APPLIES TO POINTOF SALE TOO!!! Besides fraud, as described by Charlie, losses through granting of special prices to friends, could go undetected. This can be prevented, if the user rights assigned to a user role, functions properly!!!

  • That has been a complaint for years, and so far Intuit hasn’t done anything to change that.the cross-sale in quick book doesn’t represent same customer again it takes them as new fresh entry in their system what is possible solution for that

    • You cannot easily change an Enterprise database back to a Premier format (QB Accountant is a Premier format database). You have to use a third party tool to do exports and imports, and it is complicated.

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